Welcome to issue 4 of The Student Accountant, the official E-newsletter of Accounting-Basics-For-Students.com!

In this issue:

1. Why You Shouldn’t Memorize Debits & Credits
2. Free Accounting Questions – Test Yourself!
3. A Simple Dictionary of Accounting Terms
4. Free eBook!

1. Why You Shouldn’t Memorize Debits & Credits

I remember it clearly. The pain. The exasperation. The exhaustion. Drumming mindless journal entry account names into my head for hours on end.

Memorizing double entries seems to be the main way students learn debits and credits. But is this really necessary?

After studying accounting myself and teaching it to hundreds and thousands of others, I came to this conclusion: it’s not.

How did I come to that conclusion? Well, early on when I was studying the subject I started to see how the whole subject is actually totally logical, all based on the accounting equation and its elements. If you understand the accounting equation and its 3 elements (assets, liabilities and equity), as well as how income and expenses (the other 2 elements) ties into equity, then you can also understand why you debit and credit any type of account.

Did you know that every single debit or credit account falls under each of the 5 elements (categories) I just described? Did you know that each of the 5 elements above are all debited and credited according to which side of the accounting equation they fall on? Did you know that “debit” just means “left side” and “credit” just means “right?”

Well, if you didn’t, you’re not alone, but that means it’s time to get started with the very first lesson on Accounting Basics for Students and work your way through the lessons, one by one.

It is not just possible, but also easy, to know accounting well and to excel in the subject. This is not done by memorizing (memorizing is only really needed on the odd occasion to remember a few accounts that have complicated names).

So why shouldn’t you memorize debits and credits?

Because 95% of the time it’s totally unnecessary. Because it’ll give you headaches. Because memorizing journal entries takes many, many hours over the course of your studies, time which can easily be saved by just making sure you fully understand the accounting equation and debits and credits in the first place.

All you need to do is make sure you understand the subject. And that starts with the basis of it all – the accounting equation.

Take my advice and avoid a sore head, exhaustion, the pain of drumming mindless facts into your head, and lots of wasted time and effort :)

Don’t be a parrot – instead learn and understand why you debit one account and credit another, starting with the first lesson on the site.

Good luck!

2. Free Accounting Questions – Test Yourself!

Think you’re clever? Think you know accounting?

Test yourself by answering the accounting questions below, questions posed by fellow students on the Accounting-Basics-For-Students.com website.

Here are the latest and greatest questions that have been submitted for you to answer:

Balance Sheet Categories Question

What Are Retained Earnings?

Journal Entry - Money Order

Debtors, Creditors Control Accounts Question

What is the Cash Book?

Journal Entry Question

Sales Return Under the LIFO Method

Another Journal Entries Question

Calculating Value of Closing WIP (Manufacturing Costs Question)

Value of Closing Stock Question

There are many, many more free questions to try on the site. Use the site search box (top right of the screen) on any page of the website to search for free accounting questions on specific topics. For a list of the latest questions, lessons and articles, visit the Accounting Basics Blog.

Also remember that you can submit your own accounting questions at the bottom of the page of every lesson on the site.

3. A Simple Dictionary of Accounting Terms

There is an accounting dictionary. It’s simple and easy to use and defines hundreds of terms you will encounter in your studies. And it’s available here on Accounting Basics for Students.

Through tutoring, lecturing and writing course materials for hundreds of hours, I found that most students did not really understand even the simple terms like debit and credit, gross and net, capital and reserves, let alone more complicated terms like working capital and provisions.

Do you know what happens when you don’t really understand a term like any of the ones mentioned above? What happens is that you never fully get the concept you're learning at all, and at the end of the day you usually have to either resort to memorizing or you have to reread something a number of times (like banging your head into a wall) or you flunk that section of your accounting studies. Oh man, what a pain!

That’s why I created the dictionary – so accounting makes a lot more sense and is a lot easier. Fewer headaches. With an accounting dictionary, you just look up the strange accounting words you read – and, because it's explained simply – you get it. No banging your head against a wall or tearing your hair out to try and get what the textbook says. You just understand it. Plain and simple.

Check out the accounting dictionary here.

4. Free eBook!

Last year we created a whole section on the site just to hear what you have to say – called Your Voice. In this section you can create your own Personal Web Page, post funny, crazy or horrifying Accounting or Student Stories, find or submit details of Accounting Tutors and more.

We really wanna hear what you have to say. We wanna hear what you have to say so badly that if you submit a qualifying entry to any of the three pages above, we’ll send you the official Accounting Basics for Students eBook, valued at $25, for free!

So what are you waiting for, submit today!

Until next time, here's to your success as a Student Accountant!

~ The Editor
Accounting Basics for Students.com

P.S. If you would like to express your opinion on anything in this newsletter or on the site or anything else, please click here. We value your feedback.

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