Tour Contents

Welcome to the tour

Welcome to the tour

Hello and welcome to the tour for the A Balancing Act Toolbox.

To make it easier for you to find the information you need, this tour has been set up in sections for each part of the Toolbox

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to the tour

The home page

This Toolbox supports a total of eleven Units of Competency from the Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping) qualification – 4 sectoral core, plus 7 industry core units.

When you first enter the Toolbox, you’ll arrive at the home page (pictured at left). From here, you can access each of the six topics that the Toolbox contains, and the tasks within those topics.

You can also get to other main areas within the Toolbox – everything can be accessed from here. The next few pages in this tour take you through what’s available from the home page.

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The photo slide-show – Summerville

The work you'll be doing in A Balancing Act is based on the clients of a part-time bookkeeper who has just moved to the coastal town of Summerville. In the tasks, you'll be dealing with the books and accounts of three clients; Coastal Catering, the Summerville Sailing Club, and Mallee Farm.

The photo slide-show on the home page gives you a quick tour of Summerville, and introduces you to the clients.

The buttons in the bottom right-hand corner of the photograph control the slide-show – you can click the large PLAY arrow to let the photos play through in sequence, or use the BACK and NEXT buttons to go forwards or backwards through the photos one at a time.

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The blue buttons – topics and tasks

The six blue buttons on the home page correspond with the topics you'll be covering in your Certificate IV qualification. Rather than deal with each Unit of Competency separately, the Toolbox uses a topic-based approach to the skills and knowledge you’ll need for your assessment.

Moving your mouse over a blue button opens up an overview of the topic, the tasks it contains, and how it relates to the Unit/s of Competency from the Certificate IV. It also reveals the three tasks that the topic contains.

In the picture at left, you can see the three tasks within the ‘Accounting Systems’ topic. From here, you can click a task title to go directly to it.

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The grey buttons – extra features from the home page

There are three grey buttons on the home page.

  • Learning & Assessment – Provides an overview of how learning takes place within the Toolbox environment, and how the work you use can be used as evidence for your competency-based assessment.
  • RPL Expressway – Contains useful information, tools and tips to help you see whether you may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning in some or all of the Certificate IV qualification.
  • Toolbox Tour – Launches the tour of the Toolbox, which is where you are now.

Each of these three areas will open up a new window, so you can look through them easily without losing your place in the main Toolbox.

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Learning & assessment

In this section, you can find out more about how best to work through the Toolbox in a way that meets your learning needs and how all the tasks match up with the competencies that you'll be assessed on. Information is divided into sections, which you can access via the tabs along the top.

It's important that you read through the Assessment information, because you have additional tasks that are required (in addition to the work you complete through the topics) for your assessment.

The third tab contains a Unit mapping spreadsheet that you can use to keep track of your progress and which competencies you're achieving as you work through the Toolbox.

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image of the text only page

Text-based version for navigation

There's a text-only version of the home page, which provides links to all the same elements that are available from the Flash®-based multimedia version.

The link to the text-only version is in the bottom left-hand corner of the home page, as pictured here. When you click the link, a new screen will open. The topics and other areas within the Toolbox are displayed in the green highlighted rows, and you can click any topic title to get to the links for the tasks.

There’s also a link that will take you straight to the first task for the topic.

If you want to return to the Flash®-based home page, just click the tab in the top-left corner.

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That concludes the Overview section of this Toolbox tour, which covered the main elements of the home page.

You’ll also notice a few other things that weren’t explained in the Overview; there’s a copyright statement for the resource, and also a Credits|Disclaimer link on the bottom right-hand corner.

You can click either of these to find out more about the team behind the development of the A Balancing Act Toolbox, and to read the full copyright/disclaimer information for the resource.

 

 

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The six topics

The six topics within A Balancing Act are presented in the blue buttons on the home page. They are:

  • Accounting Systems
  • Payroll
  • Assets & Inventory
  • Reports
  • Financial Statements
  • BAS & Instalments.

It's recommended that you work through the topics in that order, however that's not compulsory and your training provider will talk more to you about the pathway you'll be required to follow, based on your individual learning needs.

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Topic & tasks overview

Rolling your mouse over any of the topic buttons will reveal the 'Topic and tasks overview' information, as shown in the picture at left.

This gives you an overview of what sort of skills and knowledge the topic covers, and what the three tasks within it are.

Because the eleven units supported by A Balancing Act have been organised into six topics, some of the topics cover competencies from more than one unit.

The 'Unit mapping' information within the topic overview will explain this to you, so you can clearly see how the topic and its tasks relates to your learning and assessment. You can also refer to the Unit mapping spreadsheet to keep track of this.

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The tasks within each topic

The three tasks in each topic are designed to cover discrete components of the skills and knowledge within the Unit/s of Competency that the topic supports.

Because of the sequential nature of bookkeeping, it's best to work through the tasks in the order they’re presented (ie in the example shown for Accounting Systems, you would do the 'Cash transactions' task first, followed by 'Accruals' and then 'Balance day'), however your training provider will talk to you about this, and may suggest a different learning pathway to meet your needs.

Rolling your mouse over each topic button will show you the titles of each task, and clicking a task title will take you straight to it.

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The job brief

Having selected a task, you’ll be taken to the Job brief page. Here, you will be given the ‘job’ for the client, and the various transactions that you’ll need to process. You’ll also be informed about what work you need to submit for your assessment.

If you’re an experienced bookkeeper, you can start work on the Job brief straight away, and access the Toolbox content and resources as and when you require them.

Here you’ll also find the Source documents that the client has provided – these will be all the receipts, invoices, statements etc that you’ll need to complete the transactions. These are explained further on the following page of this tour.

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Source documents for the Job brief

Sometimes there will be quite a number of source documents for the Job brief, depending on what sort of transaction/s you’re doing. When you click the View source documents link, they will open in a new window. To get to the different kinds of source documents, just click the tabs along the top of the screen - everything's all contained in this one screen so you can get to things easily.

Most of the Source documents will appear on screen, but others may be an Excel® spreadsheet or similar, in which case you will be provided with a link to the document.

You’ll probably find it easier to keep this window open as you’re working through the transactions, but you can also print all the Source documents.

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The Case study

If you’re not sure how to go about doing the Job brief, you can check out the Case study page. Every task will have one of these (in some cases, two of them), accessed via the ‘Case study’ tab.

The Case study takes you through a set of transactions similar to those in the Job brief, but with a different client. All source documents for the Case study are provided for you.

Within the Case study, you’ll be provided with example transactions and supporting information such as processes and procedures so that you can learn how to complete the transactions. There’s also Progress check points throughout the Case study, so you can check your work and make sure you’re doing things correctly.

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The Case study (continued)

The Case study is broken up into numbered steps, which appear in the dark grey shaded lines. Within each main step is a sequence of sub-steps – these are numbered, and appear in the green shaded lines.

Throughout the steps, you’ll find links to information, content and other information relevant to the transactions. These appear as blue links – just click the link to access the item.

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Icons in the Job brief and Case study

The following icons appear on both the Job brief and Case study pages.

Print icon Clicking this icon will print the page for you. On the Case study page, it will print out all the sub-steps in full.

Document icon This icon goes with the Source documents. The main link at the top of the page (under the photo) will open up ALL source documents, however when you see this icon inside a sub-step in a Case study, it will open up just that specific source document.

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Icons in the Job brief and Case study (continued)

Information icon The ‘information’ icon indicates that there’s content available to help with your learning - click the link will open it up.

Progress icon You can check your progress through the Case study whenever you see this icon – click the link to open up an Excel® spreadsheet with the correct answers for the completed transactions to that stage.

Template icon To help you complete the practice examples in the Case study, Excel® spreadsheet templates are provided wherever you see this icon.

The icons will change from grey to blue when you roll your mouse over them.

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Opening links to content

When you see the 'Information' icons, clicking the link will open up the content. This opens in a 'grey box' over the top of the screen you're currently on, rather than in a new window.

The grey box, as pictured here, will usually have a scroll bar to enable you to read the whole section of content. There's also a PRINT icon,so you can print the information if you like.

When you're finished, simply click the CLOSE icon (the X in the corner) to close the grey box and return to the main screen.

Or.. if you click your mouse outside of the content area (in the darker grey around the outside), that will also close the grey box.

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The Networking tab

You'll find a Networking tab within each task. In here, we have provided a range of activities and ideas to help you interact and collaborate with other students, and opportunities to reflect on the work you’re doing in the tasks.

This will help to enrich and further the learning that you’re undertaking in the Toolbox, and extend your understanding of professional practice.

Discussion icon When you see this icon, there’s a discussion point. Your training provider will let you know if they have set up online discussion forums for these and any other kinds of media that may be mentioned in the Networking area.

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Getting around the topics and tasks

Once you’re in the Job brief, Case study or Networking pages of the Toolbox, you can easily get to other topics and/or tasks without going back to the home page.

Along the top of each screen, you’ll see the six topics in the blue bar – clicking any topic title will take you to the first task (Job brief page) for that topic.

The tasks within each topic will always be displayed in the blue ‘bubble’ on the right-hand side of your screen, as shown here. Click a task title to go directly to its Job brief.

The task you’re currently in will be highlighted in white text within the blue bubble, so you always know where you are.

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The short-cut menu

The short-cut menu is a quick and easy way to get around the Toolbox - just roll your mouse over to make it drop down. The short-cuts available are:

  • Home (home page)
  • Resources
  • Learning & Assessment
  • RPL Expressway
  • Tour
  • Progress checklist
  • Communication – takes you to links for a discussion forum, chat room etc if these are being used by your trainer.

The short-cut menu closes by itself after a few seconds when you move your mouse away from it, or you can click on it to make it close.

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Show/hide help

The show/hide help feature is available if you need any assistance in using the Job brief and Case study pages.

Clicking the Show help icon will turn on the help feature (the icon will change to blue, and it will now say ‘Hide help’). When this is activated, a text ‘bubble’ will come up as you move your mouse over the main areas of the screen.

To de-activate the help text, just click the icon again.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are on a Macintosh computer using Safari version 1.3 as your browser, you will not see the SHOW HELP feature as it does not work in your browser.

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Supporting content and resources

For each topic, we have chosen a selection of supporting content and resources relevant to the tasks you're working on. These can be accessed via the grey buttons to the right of the Job brief and/or Case study.

Clicking a title will open up the item - most will open in a grey box as explained earlier.

'Industry Advice' contains video segments, in a self-contained player so you can watch them on screen.

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Resources

As previously mentioned, when you’re in the Job brief or Case study sections only the content and resources specifically related to those tasks are presented. However the Toolbox contains a great range of content, resources, activities and references that you’ll also find useful.

The Resources section, accessed via the short-cut drop-down menu, will open in a new window. It's like a 'library' of the whole collection of content and resources that the Toolbox contains so you can browse around and easily find the information you want.

Once you're in the Resources area, you can search by keyword, or click on the green column headings to sort the display by title or topic or file type. To view a resource, simply click its title.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are on a Macintosh computer using Safari version 1.3 as your browser, you will not see the SEARCH feature as it does not work in your browser.

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Glossary

A comprehensive glossary of bookkeeping and accounting terminology is also available in the Resources section. You can click the letters along the top to go to all definitions available under that letter, or click the SHOW ALL button to view the whole glossary.

You’ll also find some words within the content are linked to a glossary definition. They will look like this:

Glossary link

As you roll your mouse over the word/s, the link will change to blue. Click the word/s to open up the glossary definition.

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RPL Expressway

You probably already have some skills, knowledge and experience in bookkeeping, and may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in some or all Units of Competency in the Certificate IV qualification.

The RPL Expressway (available from the home page and via the short-cut drop-down menu) provides you with a range of resources and useful information to help you decide whether RPL is a viable option for you.. and if so, how the RPL process works and what’s involved.

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What's in the RPL Expressway

The RPL Expressway has six areas, as follows. Each area is accessed via the purple buttons.

  • About the RPL Process – explains what RPL is, and what’s involved in the assessment process.
  • Self-Assessment – check your skills and knowledge in each Unit.
  • Question Bank – provides examples of the questions your assessor may ask as part of your RPL assessment.
  • Practical Tasks for RPL – examples of practical tasks that may be used for RPL.
  • RPL FAQ and Glossary – frequently asked questions, and a glossary of terminology.
  • RPL Documents – examples of the kinds of documents used in the RPL process.

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Accessing the content and resources

When you click one of the links on the introduction screen for each section, the content will be presented in a grey box on the main screen. Sometimes, we have broken the information into topics (topic titles are in the green shaded bars) – just click the title to open up the information. If you see a scroll bar appear, you will need to use that to move down the screen and view all of the information available.

Some of the information and/or resources will be presented as a Microsoft® Word or PDF® document, which will open in a new window for you.

The PRINT button here will print the entire contents of the screen. When you’re finished, click the CLOSE button to return back to the main introduction screen.

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Summary

That completes your tour of the A Balancing Act Toolbox. We have only covered the basics here, but you’ll soon discover the rest as you work your way around the Toolbox and all its features.. everything is easy to get to and easy to use.

We encourage you to explore all the buttons and check everything out, before you get started on your tasks.

We wish you great success with your Bookkeeping studies!

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