Cambridge IGCSE Accounting: The Foundation for Your Financial Future


The Cambridge International curriculum creates a global standard for education and is widely recognized across the globe by universities and employers. The curriculum is flexible, challenging, inspiring, and culturally sensitive, yet international. Cambridge students develop an informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning. They also acquire the mandatory skills they need for success at university and life beyond.

The Cambridge pathway from primary through to pre-university is:

An advanced or A-level qualification offered across a range of subjects to school leavers. And A-levels are studied across two years – AS (year 12) and A (year 13).

The Cambridge ICE (International Certificate of Education) certificate is a group award for Cambridge IGCSE. It allows the schools to offer a diverse and balanced curriculum by recognizing the achievements of the students who pass the exams in a range of different subjects.

Cambridge AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) is a certificate awarded to students who do a compulsory core subject, Cambridge AS-level Global Perspectives and research, with Cambridge AS and Level subjects drawn from three curriculum areas – mathematics and science, languages, arts, and humanities. The option is available to do interdisciplinary subjects too.

Cambridge IPQ (International Project Qualification) is a brand-new standalone qualification for students aged 16-19 years. It allows the students to carry out an independent research project to complement their AS and A-level subjects and enhances their university applications.

The Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) curriculum offers multiple routes of study for students with varied learning abilities and whose first language is not English. For schools, IGSCE offers a challenging and demanding curriculum, supported by excellent resources and training.

Cambridge IGCSE first conducted its assessment in June 1988 (introduced for first teaching in September 1986). Students take the Cambridge assessment at the end of the course which can be in various forms – oral, written, coursework, and practical assessments. This broadens the students’ opportunities to showcase their learning, particularly when their first language is not English. Grades are benchmarked using eight internationally recognized grades – A* to G – A* being the highest and G the lowest. Assessments are conducted twice a year – June and November with the results out in August and January respectively.

There are 70+ subjects available at the Cambridge IGCSE including 30 languages, and the schools can offer them in a combination apt for their learning and local environment.

Let’s consider the Accounting subject of the Cambridge IGCSE. This course introduces the students to the theory and concepts of Accounting, enabling them to use Accounting in a number of modern economic and business contexts.


Aims of the Accounting Course

The Aims of the course are to enable the students to develop

  • A fair knowledge and understanding of the principles and purposes of accounting for individuals, businesses, non-trading organizations, and society as a whole
  • Understanding the accounting principles, concepts, policies, techniques, procedures and terminologies
  • Ability to think logically
  • Enhanced skills on numeracy, communication, enquiry, presentation, and interpretation
  • An excellent and strong foundation for further study


Subject Overview

The students should be able to:

The Fundamentals of Accounting

  • Appreciate and draw the differences between book-keeping and accounting
  • State the purposes of business profit and loss
  • Appreciate and explain the role of accounting in providing information for monitoring progress and decision making
  • Explain the meaning of assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity
  • Explain and apply the accounting equation


Sources and Recording of Data

  • Brief the double entry system of book- keeping
  • Use the double entry system in processing accounting data
  • Prepare ledger accounts
  • Post transactions to ledger accounts
  • Balance the ledger accounts
  • Interpret the ledger accounts and their balances
  • Understand the division ledger accounts – sales ledger, purchase ledger, general ledger
  • Work with business accounts – invoice, debit note, credit note , statement of accounts, cheque, receipt
  • Complete pro-forma business accounts
  • Appreciate the uses of business documents as sources of information
  • Explain the importance of using books of prime entry
  • Explain the use of accounting data in the books of prime entry
  • Post ledger entries from the books of prime entry
  • Explain the difference between and account for trade discount and cash discounts
  • Explain the two functions of the cash book
  • Explain the use of and record the payments and receipts made by bank transfers and other electronic means
  • Explain and apply the imprest system of petty cash


Verification of Accounting Records

Students should be able to use the trial balances, bank reconciliation statements, and control accounts for the purpose of verifying accounts. The processes and procedures for the correction of errors are also covered.


Accounting Procedures

Students should be able to

  • Be able to draw the differences between capital and revenue expenditure and receipts
  • Study in depth the non-current assets for depreciation and disposals
  • Record adjustments for accruals and prepayments, irrecoverable debts, doubtful debts, written-off debts
  • Evaluate the inventory and study the impacts on the financial statements


Preparation of Financial Statements

The main portion under this is focused on the preparation of the financial statements, including year-end adjustments, for different types of businesses. The procedures and methods used when only partial information or incomplete data is provided are also included.


Analysis and Interpretation

Students are encouraged to use and interpret the main accounting ratios.


Accounting Principles and Policies

Students are introduced to the main accounting principles together with how they are applied in accounting records and statements. Also included is the influence of international accounting standards and the selection of accounting policies.


Assessment Overview

All students take two papers

Paper 1 Paper 2
Paper format Multiple choice Structured written paper
Duration 1 hour 15 minutes 1 hour 45 minutes
Marks allotted 35 100
Weighting to the total score 30% 70%
Assessment details Multiple choice questions Questions will be based on the syllabus content
Assessment mode Externally assessed Externally assessed


Assessment Objectives (AO)

AO1 – Knowledge and understanding

Students should be able to

  • Showcase their knowledge and understanding of the concepts, principles, facts, terms, procedures, and techniques prescribed in the syllabus
  • Showcase their knowledge and understanding through numeracy, literacy, presentation, and interpretation and apply these in various accounting situations and problems

AO2 – Analysis

Students should be able to

  • Select the appropriate date related to the identified needs of business
  • Arrange, analyze, and present information in an appropriate accounting form

AO3 – Evaluation

Students should be able to Interpret and evaluate accounting information and infer reasoned conclusions.


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What is Cambridge IGCSE Accounting?

Cambridge IGCSE Accounting is an internationally recognized qualification that assesses a student’s understanding of financial accounting principles and practices. It is designed to prepare students for further education and careers in accounting, finance, and business.

Why is Cambridge IGCSE Accounting important?

Cambridge IGCSE Accounting provides students with a strong foundation in financial accounting principles, which are essential for success in a variety of careers. The course also helps students develop valuable skills in analysis, problem-solving, and decision-making.

What are Career options after completing Cambridge IGCSE Accounting?

Completing Cambridge IGCSE Accounting can lead to a variety of career options in accounting, finance, and business. Some of the popular career options include accountant, financial analyst, auditor, tax consultant, and financial advisor.

How can students prepare for Cambridge IGCSE Accounting?

Students can prepare for Cambridge IGCSE Accounting by practicing sample papers and past exams, studying the course material thoroughly, and seek guidance from teachers or tutors. Additionally, they can attend review classes or participate in online study groups to enhance their learning.

What topics is covered in Cambridge IGCSE Accounting?

The course covers a range of topics, including bookkeeping, financial statements, accounting principles, and cost accounting. Students also learn how to analyze financial data, create budgets, and make financial decisions.

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