A professional bookkeeper will be able to demonstrate expertise in the following areas:


Understand the importance of adhering to a professional code of ethical principles

Practice professional ethics when working with clients, suppliers, colleagues and others:

  • Integrity and honesty
  • Objectivity
  • Professional competence, due care and diligence
  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Professional behaviour, separating personal duties from business
  • Adherence to organizational codes of practice and regulations
  • Working within your own professional experience, knowledge and expertise

Understand the legal differences between the structures of various types of businesses

Practice professional ethics when working with clients, suppliers, colleagues and others with regards to:

  • Characteristics of and nature of liability for sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations and non-profits.
  • Characteristics of registered charities.

Understand the main accounting concepts that apply to the bookkeeping profession

Identify and explain the concepts of:

  • Economic entity
  • Dual aspect
  • Going concern
  • Accounting cost
  • Consistency
  • Money unit measurement
  • Matching principle
  • Accrual
  • Revenue recognition
  • Accounting equation

Understand the purpose of source documents and major types of business transactions.

Demonstrate ability to calculate the following:

  • Purpose and flow of documents between buyer and seller for both cash and credit transactions.
  • Purpose and need to record petty cash transactions.
  • Purpose of receipts and disbursements transactions.


Understand the basic principles of sales tax, payroll and other taxes and how it applies to business transactions

*Sales tax calculations will not be tested.

Understand and explain different methods for calculating sales tax such as:

  • Cash basis
  • Accrual basis
  • Based on the seller’s location
  • Based on the location where the item was installed or serviced
  • Based on the buyer’s delivery location (streamlined sales tax)


Reconcile vendor statements (Accounts Payable)

Demonstrate ability to:

  • Reconcile vendor statements with the detailed listing of open accounts payable by vendor and the general ledger trial balance.

Reconcile the general ledger against bank statements

In a computerized system:

  • Compare individual items on the bank statement with those in the ledger.
  • Update the ledger.
  • Resolve discrepancies and evaluate timing differences between the records of the bank and the general ledger.
  • Prepare the bank reconciliation report.

Use control accounts to reconcile sales and purchase ledgers

Identify and explain the concepts of:

  • Economic entity
  • Dual aspect
  • Going concern
  • Accounting cost
  • Consistency

Understand the need to prevent and correct errors

Demonstrate ability to calculate the following:

  • How transactions entered will impact different types of accounts in a computerized system.
  • How to make entries into computerized accounting system from source documents.
  • The use and set-up of control accounts in the ledgers.
  • Apply the best methods for matching paperwork, filing paper and digital documents.


Calculate Amortization

Demonstrate ability to:

  • Calculate amortization on a fixed asset using both straight line and declining balance method.
  • Calculate the original cost price of an asset given net book value and amortization rates and number of years of amortization.
  • Identify the need for amortization.
  • Calculate amortization expense, accumulated amortization, and reconciling to the general ledger.
  • Account for changes in the account detailing the cost of acquired assets and the related accumulated amortization.
  • Prepare the relevant journal entry to adjust the balance to match the supporting analysis of the detailed amortization report.

Account for the disposal of fixed assets

In both a manual and computerized system, be able to:

  • Identify the original cost of the asset disposed.
  • Identify and record all disposal costs and proceeds in the appropriate accounts.
  • Calculate and determine the cumulative amortization to date on a disposed asset.
  • Prepare the supporting analysis which documents the correct net book value of the asset as of the sale date, the cost to dispose of the asset, and the gain/loss on disposal of the asset.
  • Make relevant journal entries to record the disposal.

Understand the need to allow for adjustments to the accounts

Identify and explain the concepts of:

  • Opening and closing inventory, including valuing inventory at the lower of cost or market accruals.
  • Prepaid expenses, including dealing with the relevant entries in the following periods.
  • Provision for doubtful accounts


Enter the adjustments to the trial balance needed to close

Be able to:

  • Distinguish between retained earnings and the books at year-end
  • Calculate contributed capital.
  • Define shareholders’ equity.
  • Account for the issue of shares and debt.
  • Account for dividends paid.
  • Enter and understand the closing adjustments, as prepared by the company’s tax accountant.


Prepare a set of internal financial statements account for incomplete information

Be able to:

  • Prepare general ledger accounts to determine missing values for sales and purchases using mark-up and margin, expenses and draws.
  • Identify and reclassify capital expenditures to the proper general ledger accounts and also record them in the fixed asset software application.


Provide higher level analysis and reporting functions

Be able to:

  • Determine the opening value of capital through the accounting equation.
  • Determine bank and cash balances
  • Prepare adjusting entries and supporting analyses for accrued expenses and prepaid expenses.
  • Interpret financial reporting results

Download 2018 Exam Syllabus