1 I 1. 1 INTRODUCTION What 1s B u s i n e s s Studies? Business Studies is that part of the curriculum which enables the student to make informed decisions in the everyday business of living, which contributes to the student's understanding of the world of business, which encourages a positive attitude to enterprise and which develops appropriate skills in that field. The syllabus is balanced between the business education necessary for the individual/household area and business education in the purely commercial context. This balance is achieved by devoting separate syllabus sections to 'the Business of Living' and 'Enterprise'. The business concepts and skills introduced in one are restated and reinforced in the other. A section on economic awareness forms a bridge between these two sections. The syllabus consists of the main topics outlined below. These topics are interrelated and the achievement of the aims of the syllabus depends upon recognition of the need to integrate these various aspects of Business Studies The business of living The management of personal finance is an important lifeskill which must be practised by everyone, young and old. In business studies much business knowledge and many of its skills may be taught through reference to familiar situations - personal or household. The topics dealt with in this section include: personal income and expenditure, consumer education, budgeting, financial services for the individual, borrowing and insurance. The development of communications skills, both oral and written, and the skill of efficient record-keeping (and its role in decislon-making) are also central to the business of living Economic awareness Without a basic level of economic awareness citizens cannot fully participate in the democratic process, Every day, individuals make economic decisions, as do business firms and governments. It is becoming increasingly difficult to make political choices without some knowledge of economics. Business Studies aims to make some contribution to economic literacy among students in order to enable them to make an informed contribution to the democratic process.
2 Enterprise Many of the concepts and skills introduced in 'the business of living' are restated and reinforced in 'enterprise'. The syllabus thus leads the student from the familiar personal/household situation to the less familiar commercial situation. Topics covered in 'enterprise' include forming a business, marketing, business overheads and related accounting including final accounts and balance sheet. The accounting element seeks to promote in students the attributes of neatness and accuracy; it also seeks to develop the skill of communication in numerical form. It involves the assembly, the recording, the processing, the analysing and the interpretation of numerical data. Students are introduced to accounting principles and to the key concepts of accountability and control. Accounting is an important aspect of business education but it should not be taught in isolation from the rest of the syllabus. It should be seen as a form of communication, as a record-keeping process, as a major contribution to decision-making and not as an end in itself. i.1.4 Information technology The advance of new technology has already reached the stage where all students should be given some experience in its operation. Business Studies makes provision for basic keyboard training, it also advocates the use of this skill in operating appropriate computer software. It is recognised that students, teachers and schools face a great challenge with the spread of modern technology. Business Studies can help to meet that challenge in a school environment which is receptive to modern technology.
3 -3-2. AIMS AND OBJECTlVES Aims To contribute to a balanced and appropriate general education at the Junior Cycle level~ leading to the personal and social development of each student To develop, in each student, habits and methods of investigation, analysis and problem solving at an appropriate level To familiarise each student with technological developments in the business environment To encourage initlatlve and develop self reliance in each student To provide each student with an appropriate level of economic/business literacy To develop in each student a positive attitude to the creation of wealth and its distribution To provide a foundation for students which could lead to employment/further studies in the business field Objectives To encourage in students an interest in, and a positive attitude towards, the business world and to enable them to acquire a knowledge and an understanding of commercial activities and to provide an introduction to the structures and functions of business institutions and their inter-relationships To develop in students skills of communication, use of technology and recording of information and transactions To enable students to apply oral and written communication skills to business activities and to develop the vocabulary necessary for further progress in the business world To enable the students to develop skill in nnmeracy, neatness and accuracy in respect of recording transactions, summarising these and interpreting the results To develop the skill of accurate keyboarding To develop in students an understanding of the new information technologies and, as far as possible, to enable them to establish a practical and useful skill in the use of computers and office technology To enable students to integrate knowledge and skills in a practical and useful way and in particular in applying them to realistic business/personal situations To encourage students to apply business knowledge and skills to the commercial aspects of their own lives and that of their households
4 Attitudinal development While not specifying attitudes for each section of the syllabus it is expected that in covering the syllabus students will be positively encouraged To develop a positive attitude towards budgeting in the personal, business and national context To develop an awareness of the market forces at work in society and to develop a discriminating attitude in dealing with them To develop an openness to and appreciation of the differing viewpoints in industrial relations To develop an appreciation of accounts as a form of communication and to develop confidence in reading accounts To develop a positive attitude towards entrepreneurs, towards profits, towards the creation of wealth and its distribution To develop a confidence when dealing orally or in writing with financial institutions To develop a positive attitude towards our export market and to transfer that attitude towards acquiring foreign language skills To develop an awareness of the important role of the state in economic affairs and how that role might be manifested To appreciate the importance of acquiring basic economic literacy in order to make informed political choices To develop a positive attitude towards technological development in the domestic, business and industrial world
5 -5-3~ 3.1 SYLLABUS STRUCTURE AND CONTENT Knowledge and s k i l l s Each section of the syllabus is described in an introductory sentence. The key concepts and knowledge are then listed. These are followed by a llst of skills with which the student should be equipped having completed that section of the syllabus. The student will be assessed on the skills as well as on the knowledge c o n t e n t. 3.2 I n t e g r a t i o n T h r o u g h o u t the c o u r s e e v e r y e f f o r t s h o u l d be made to p r e s e n t the syllabus in an integrated manner, the old division between B u s i n e s s Methods and Book-keeping should be avoided. 3.3 B u s i n e s s Studies and maths Students are required to display a number of mathematical skills: these skills are part of the Business Studies syllabus. For the most part the teaching of these skills will involve the reinforcement of skills acquired in maths classes. 3.4 B u s i n e s s S t u d i e s and l a n g u a g e The communications skills specified in the syllabus are an integral part of the Business Studies course. In some cases it will involve the reinforcement of skills acquired in language class, in others it will involve their introduction ab initio. For many students the vocabulary associated with parts of the course will be totally new - weaker students especially will require time to be spent on familiarlsation with the 'new language'. 3.5 B u s i n e s s S t u d i e s and t e c h n o l o g y The links between Business Studies and technology should be explored both in the use of information technologies in Business Studies and in the contribution that Business Studies can make to the wider perspectives of technological education in such areas as marketing, costing and social and economic organisation. 3.6 V i s u a l p r e s e n t a t i o n of I n f o r m a t i o n In presenting data emphasis should be placed on the various ways in which it can be presented e.g. chart, graph, tabular diagrammatic and pictorial form. 3.7 L e v e l s Sections of the syllabus marked with an asterisk will be assessed at Higher Level only.
6 - 6 - SECTION ONE: THE BUSINESS OF LIVING Budegtlng Students are introduced to the matching of income with expenditure Income Sources, regular and additional Statutory deductions and consequent benefits; other deductions Gross and net pay Benefit in kind Cash account Upon completion students should, from given data, be able to: Expenditure Identify sources of income Estimate or calculate income Interpret a wages sllp File and record income Fixed, irregular, discretionary Weekly, monthly, annual Opportunity cost Impulse buying Scarcity and choice Analysed cash accounts Upon completion students should, from given data, be able to: The budget List major items of household expenditure Classify expenditure under appropriate headings Prepare simple expenditure estimates Prepare analysed household accounts Check bills/invoices/delivery notes File and record expenditure Personal/household Planning a budget Surplus/deficit Planning savings Current/Capital spending Accruals, e.g. ESB Upon completion, the students, from given data, should be able to: Match income and expenditure Set priorities in expenditure Identify false economies Identify shortfalls in income Prepare personal/household budget Analyse critically personal/household spending Classify and record income and expenditure Compare the budget with the actual expenditure
7 - 7 - Consumer Educmtlon Students are introduced to the concept of being a good consumer, consumer rights and consumer protection. The consumer The informed consumer Reasons for protection Agencies involved Legislation (elementary knowledge) Procedure for redress Writing a business letter Ordering goods/services; receipts; credit notes Upon completion students should, from given data, be able to: Identify causes for complaint Apply legislation Present oral or written complaint File and record details Carry out simple research into consumer products F i n a n c i a l S e r v i c e s f o r the Consumer Students are introduced to money, banking services, personal borrowing, savings and insurance. Money and banking Forms of money Money transfer facilities The use of cheque card; credit card; Eurocheques; travellers' cheques; cash dispenser; Paypath Factors involved in selection of an agency (money transmission and savings) from: An Post, credit unions, building societies, commercial banks Upon completion students should, from given data, be able to: Identify different types of money Open and operate an account Recommend a method of payment Complete a cheque Interpret a statement File and record data Cross a cheque in an appropriate manner Show how a cheque might be negotiated Recommend a suitable financial institution Prepare a bank reconciliation statement Calculate interest on deposits
8 8 Borrowing Cash v. credit Being a debtor Nature and purpose of financial requirement Lending agencies including licensed moneylenders Rates of interest Collateral Hire-purchase and rental Borrower as a consumer Bankruptcy Upon completion students should, from given data, be able to: Insurance Compare cash with total credit cost Select an appropriate source of credit Present a written or oral application for credit Calculate and compare the cost of credit Compare the true v. flat rate of interest Compare rental, purchase and hire-purchase Identify the rights of the borrower Budget for the borrowing cost File and record data Need for adequate insurance Insurable and non-insurable risks Basis of insurance Personal Life Car All risks Proposal form Premium Claim Compensation Average clause Upon completion students should, from given data, be able to: Identify insurance requirements Estimate cost Identify risk effects on premium Estimate compensation (including the average clause) Calculate a premium Explain terms used Complete a proposal or claim form
9 - 9 - SECTION TWO: ECONOMIC AWARENESS The N a t i o n a l B u s i n e s s The student is introduced to basic economic concepts and to the economic environment in which he/she lives. Economic framework Budgeting Trade What is economics? Choice, scarcity, limited resources Purpose of the economic system Rate of inflation Economic Growth National Budget (outline) Expenditure - an introduction to main services provided by the state with particular reference to public utilities Income - main sources Deflcit/surplus Imports and exports Importance of trade Main types of goods traded Sources of imports, destination of exports Foreign currencies and exchange rates Balance of trade - simple outline* Balance of payments - simple outline* On completion a student should, from given data, be able to: Draft a simple budget Identify a surplus or deficit Identify on a map sources/destinations of Ireland's main exports/imports Identify the member states of the EC, their language and currency Identify the currencies of other main markets Convert one currency into another currency Business Background The student is introduced to the general background and structure of business nationally, and, to commercial services available to business. Forms of business Sole trader Private limited company Co-operative State ownership
10 The private company Formation procedure (outline) Incorporation Limited liability On completion the student should, from given data, be able to: Identify forms of ownership Recommend forms of ownership The student should also be able to research and compare forms of ownership in their locality. Services to business* The student is introduced to services available to business. This section also involves an informal introduction to the balance sheet. Finance Financial institutions Cash flow Types of finance Relative costs of finance Importance of security/collateral Appropriateness/suitability of finance Commercial banks Insurance Communications Financial services Money transfer facilities Procedure for opening accounts Operating accounts Need for insurance Major types of insurance Internal/external Modern developments Telecom On completion the student should, from given data, be able to: Prepare a simple business plan including cash flow costings identification of markets Identify suitable sources of finance Prepare and present a loan application (oral and written) Calculate the cost of a loan Compare costs of finance Identify insurance requirements Recommend a form of communications Record essential data
11 At Work The student is Introduced to the chain of production and to the people who work in the chain including industrial relations. The chain of production Primary production Manufacturing/processlng Service industry Channels of distribution Modern developments in retailing People at work Employment Work v/employment Nature and extent of employment Self-employment, risks and rewards Organisation of the workplace Types of jobs and jobskills Introduction to rights and responsibilities of an employee Being an employer Introduction to rights and responsibilities Procedure for employing staff Gross wages; time and piece rates; commission; overtime Net wages; types of and reasons for statutory deductions Importance of employee records Industrial relations A simple introduction to include Trade Unions role Management role Dispute Resolution of a dispute by a third party, e.g. conciliation, arbitration, Labour Court On completion the student should, from given data, be able to: Identify different units in the chain of production Distinguish between different types of retailing Match names to jobs Draw a simple organisation chart for a business Calculate gross wages bill for a small business Complete a wages slip Identify steps in the resolution of an industrial dispute The student should also be able to carry out relevant projects including simple surveys at local level.
12 SECTION THREE: ENTERPRISE (i) The B u s i n e s s Unit The student is introduced to the operation of formal double-entry accounting, beginning with a private limited company. Private limited company Formation procedure* Incorporation* Limited liability Terms used capital ordinary share capital loan capital Purpose of financial recording and filing Assets and liabilities, fixed and current The balance sheet Operating the ledger Simple control accounts* Checking accuracy Trial balance Purpose of a trial balance Differentiate between assets and liabilities Construct a simple company balance sheet Record changes in assets and liabilities through ledger account* Interpret a ledger entry* Extract a trial balance Marketing and D i s t r i b u t i o n The student is introduced to simple market research, identification of a market, to the purchase and sale of goods, and, to working out the level of gross profit (or loss!). Marketing Types of market Market research - an introduction Product development Advertising Promotions and public relations Selling techniques branding special offers loss leaders Export markets/import substitution Identify target markets from given data Suggest suitable sources of information on the market Carry out simple research projects on markets and marketing Select an appropriate method for promoting a product or service from given data
13 Del i v e r y systems Importance of transport in the chain of distribution Modern developments in delivery systems Factors affecting choice of delivery systems On completion students should, from given data, be able to: Select an appropriate delivery system, giving reasons Calculate delivery times Calculate cost of delivery Purchases and sales Effective purchasing Sources of supply VAT Simple terms of trade Documents used in purchasing Stock control* Finance for purchase Method of payment Sales procedure from receipt of order Checking credit rating of customers Stock control* Method of payment Computerised stock control Upon completion students should be able to: Complete or interpret the following documents (including VAT) - letter of enquiry - quotation - order form - invoice - deblt/credlt notes - delivery docket - statement of account File documents Record data in accounts from source documents Compose a reply to queries - tracing a transaction to its origin through documents and accounts* Calculate mark-up and margin*
14 The trading account Purpose of the trading account The trading period Net sales/net purchases Trading and non-tradlng stock Stocktaking* purpose procedure valuation of stock Cost of goods sold Gross proflt/loss Present appropriate (simple) reports on stock and stocktaklng* Record stock in accounts Calculate closing stock as per accounts* Operate the trading account in accordance with conventions of double entry* Prepare a trading account from given data Interpret information presented in a trading account* Calculate gross profit percentage.
15 ENTERPRISE (ii) Net Profit or Loss The student now deals with the main overheads incurred by business leading to the preparation of the profit and loss account. Business overheads Nature of overheads: lighting and heating rent and rates insurance loan interest advertising telephone Monitoring overheads* Upon completion students should be able to: Record overheads in accounts Check invoices, statements, cash dockets and vouchers Classify and maintain analysed cash books Extract a trial balance The profit and loss account Purpose of the profit and loss account Distinction between the profit and loss account and the trading account Capital and revenue expenditure* Selling expenses Net profit/loss Operate the profit and loss account in accordance with conventions of double entry* Prepare a profit and loss account from given data Interpret data presented in profit and loss account form* Calculate net profit percentage The profit and loss appropriation account Purpose of the profit and loss appropriation account Ordinary share dividend Retained earnings Calculate dividends from given data* Prepare a profit and loss appropriation account Interpret data presented in a profit and loss appropriation account*
16 The b a l a n c e s h e e t In preparing the balance sheet the student is given the opportunity to review the following: the trial balance, simple control accounts, final accounts and the functions of each. The uses and limitations of a trial balance* Function of control accounts* Modern layout of the balance sheet Purpose of sub-dlvisions in the balance sheet Working capital, capital employed A d j u s t m e n t * Prepare final accounts from given data with balance sheet Interpret information presented in balance sheet form. Nature of the following adjustment: prepayments, accruals bad debts depreciation (straight llne only) stocks Procedure for dealing with account adjustments Calculate adjustments Calculate depreciation using straight line method Record adjustments in accounts REPORTING ON ACCOUNTS Having completed the preparation of final accounts the student is now introduced to the analysis of this information and the compiling of reports thereon. Assessing the business - its financial state and viability Overtrading Profitability, profitability ratios Liquidity, liquidity ratios Solvency Limitations of final accounts in assessing a business I n t e r p r e t and c o m p a r e f i n a l a c c o u n t s I n t e r p r e t and c o m p a r e r a t i o s S e l e c t and c a l c u l a t e r e l e v a n t r a t i o s C o m p i l e a r e p o r t ( i n s i m p l e f o r m ) on f i n a l a c c o u n t s and b a l a n c e s h e e t t o g e t h e r with v a l i d r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s
17 Club accounts The purpose of financial recording and filing The role of club treasurer Receipts and payments account Income and expenditure account Treasurer's report p u r p o s e format On completion students should, from given data, be able to: Farm accounts Prepare an analysed receipts and payments account Prepare an income and expenditure account (incorporating adjustment*)" Prepare a balance sheet Present a simple treasurer's report The purpose of farm accounts The use of analysed farm accounts Service firms Prepare simple accounts from given data Prepare a simple report on farm accounts Analysed cash accounts Final accounts for a service firm Prepare analysed cash accounts from given data Prepare final accounts from given data together with a balance sheet Presentation of ledger accounts* T account and continuous presentation C o n v e r t a c c o u n t s from T a c c o u n t to c o n t i n u o u s and v i c e - v e r s a P r e p a r e a c c o u n t s u s i n g a c o n t i n u o u s p r e s e n t a t i o n
18 SECTION FOuR : INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Although included in the syllabus under a separate heading It is expected that students will be made familiar with information technology throughout the course, and be given the experience of operating it. Students should be trained in correct keyboarding techniques with emphasis on accuracy. Modern information technology Storage, retrieval and transmission of data Use in b u s i n e s s c o m m u n i c a t i o n homes banks Keyboard layout Correct use of keyboard Techniques of proofreading Self-assessment of keyboarding skills Simple accounts on computer Having completed the course a student should be able to: Identify parts of the machine Use a keyboard effectively and accurately Operate effectively a system of computerised accounts The assessment procedures will take into account that not 811 students may have access to the equipment required to complete the practical components of this section.
19 ASSESSMENTT 4.1 Business Studies will be assessed at the two levels, Ordinary and Higher. At both levels, assessment will be by terminal written examination. Provision will be made for an optional element of school-based assessment for those schools which wish to avail themselves of the option. The format of the examination papers and the types of question will be related to the assessment objectives set out in this syllabus. The assessment procedures will take into account that not all students may have access to the equipment required to complete the practical components of the information technology section Assessment objectives - Higher L e v e l On c o m p l e t i o n s t u d e n t s s h o u l d be a b l e t o : Recall a knowledge of syllabus content Demonstrate ability to apply this knowledge to given situations Demonstrate an understanding of terminology and vocabulary central to the syllabus Display a basic level of numeracy skills in calculations based on commercial principles Explain, interpret or illustrate data in a variety of forms Display an appropriate level of communication skills to cope with everyday business Apply accounting principles to the solution of given problems Interpret and analyse given data in order to: predict likely outcomes of given situations recommend appropriate actions make evaluative Judgements Demonstrate an ability to use a keyboard effectively and accurately Display an appropriate level of research skills for the completion of simple assignments 4. 3 Assessment o b j e c t i v e s - Ordinary L e v e l On c o m p l e t i o n o f t h e s y l l a b u s s t u d e n t s s h o u l d be a b l e t o : Recall, in simple language, knowledge of specified syllabus content
20 Demonstrate some ability to apply this knowledge to given situations Demonstrate a familiarity with essential terminology and vocabulary central to specified areas of the syllabus Display a basic level of numeracy skills in calculations based on commercial principles Explain or illustrate simple data in a variety of forms including pictorial, account, numerical, literary or diagram form Display simple communication skills to cope with the requirements of specified areas of the syllabus Apply accounting principles to the solution of given problems in specified areas Assessment of Ordinary Level students will focus mainly on their ability to maintain receipts and payments accounts with related analysis. The operation of an accounting system in accordance with the conventions of the double-entry system will be assessed only at Higher Level. Ordinary Level students' accounting skills will be assessed on their ability to: (a) write up analysed receipts and payments accounts (b) display some understanding of the relationship between entries in the account and related documents e.g. receipts, vouchers, cheque counterfoils, lodgement forms (c) prepare a simple trading account, profit and loss account and balance sheet (d) prepare an income and expenditure account and balance sheet of a club Interpret and analyse, at this level, given data in order to: predict likely outcomes of given situations recommend appropriate actions make evaluative judgements Demonstrate an ability to use a keyboard effectively and accurately Display basic research skills for the completion of simple assignments
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GLOSSARY GLOSSARY Following are definitions for key words as they are used in the financial life skills resource. They may have different or additional meanings in other contexts. A account an arrangement
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