ACCTING 7020 - Intermediate Financial Reporting (M)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course extends students' knowledge of corporate external financial reporting. It focuses on corporate disclosure and measurement issues and practices in a regulated environment. Topics include measurement of income, assets, and liabilities (including provision accounting), accounting for Income Tax, non-current assets (acquisition, subsequent cost or revaluation model, impairment of individual assets and cash generating units), intangible assets and goodwill, accounting for leases, employee benefits and share based payments, foreign currency transactions, and accounting for financial instruments (including hedging).

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ACCTING 7020
    Course Intermediate Financial Reporting (M)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites ACCTING 7019 & CORPFIN 7005
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Robyn Davidson

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Learning Outcomes
    By the end of this course students should be able to:
    1. Apply their understanding of the conceptual framework and the accounting standards in interpreting reported accounting information
    2. Apply the relevant accounting standard to determine the appropriate treatment of the new or unusual transactions
    3. Support their professional judgement by reference to an applicable source
    4. Navigate through the Accounting Standards Handbook and utilise it to solving accounting problems
    5. Identify accounting standard choices adopted through examination of financial reports
    6. Present coherent and persuasive arguments to your employer, clients, auditors, and regulators on important matters of accounting policy
    7. Have an understanding and appreciation of ethical behaviour and a commitment to uphold ethical standard in the accounting profession
    8. Collaborate and communicate with peers and use technology to solve problem

    Communication Skills

    The professional accounting bodies have regularly reinforced with university staff and students the significance of the need for accounting professionals to possess strong communication skills. These skills are needed to enable you to present coherent and persuasive arguments to your employer, clients, auditors, and regulators on important matters of accounting policy. Poor communication skills could, for instance, result in lost business or expose you and/or your employer to legal action. Consequently, this course will seek to develop your communication skills by providing you with a framework for debating and resolving accounting policy issues. Your ability to employ this framework successfully will be practised and assessed in tutorial discussions, weekly wiki activities, and the examination.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. A, B, C, D
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. A, B, C, D, E
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. B, C, D, H
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. C, F, H
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. H
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. A, B, C, G, H
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. C, F, G
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. G
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Text Books

    • Issues in Financial Accounting 15th edition by Scot Henderson, Graham Peirson, and Kathy Herbohn. Published 2014 by Pearson. (ISBN 9781442561175)
    • Ethics LX Simulation digital access code published by Pearson is available at
    • The above two resources can be purchased together as a value pack (ISBN 9781486024995)
    Accounting Standards

    You will need access to accounting standards throughout the semester. These are available at no cost from the Australian Accounting Standards board (AASB) Website:

    It is highly advisable that you print the required standards each week so that you can highlight relevant paragraphs and refer to them often. You will need to have the relevant standard to prepare and participate in your tutorials. Failure to print and take the standard to the tutorial will severely inhibit your study.

    Study Guide

    A study guide is provided on MyUni. This includes lecture notes, worked examples, and tutorial activities.
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended Additional Textbooks

    • Understanding Australian Accounting Standards by Janice Loftus, Ken J. Leo, Ruth Picker, Victoria Wise, Kerry Clark. Published 2012 by Wiley. ISBN 978-0-7303-0207-0
    • Australian Financial Accounting 7E by Craig Deegan. Published by McGraw-Hill, copyright 2012, reprinted 2013. ISBN 9780071012409, 0071012400

    These are two good texts that you may find useful. They cover much of the course material and are available in the University library. If you have trouble locating them please ask at the Research Help Desk.

    A complete set of accounting standards are available in the following handbook. While it is not necessary to purchase one of these if you print the required standards from the AASB website they are a convenient resource. Note that accounting standards will not be allowed in the examination room.

    • ICAA Financial Reporting Handbook 2015 published by Wiley this is also available as an e-book
    For some sections of the course additional material is made available in on MyUni. Due to the ever changing nature of accounting standards please ensure you are reading the most current edition of any text.

    A Note on the Role of Reading in This Course

    Some students feel that reading can be something of a “chore”. Nevertheless, it is a very important mechanism for your learning because books and articles are an important repository of our knowledge. Many of the topics are very complex and so it is impossible to cover all you need to know in lectures alone. Try to make your reading as productive as possible – for instance, rather than simply highlighting sections of text, take written notes of what you have read because research studies suggests this practice means that you are more likely to retain the information in your memory. Also, take breaks when reading and try to read only small sections at a time. This will reduce your level of fatigue and again tend to improve your understanding and memory of the material. 

    Also seek to plan ahead with your reading. Some weeks may have more reading than others and you will sometimes need to start reading earlier than usual if you are to cover everything. The “Topics” section of this course outline contains a listing of most of the major readings for each week to assist you in timing your reading activity.

    Online Learning

    Additional materials are on MyUni which either elaborate on, or supplement, items in the textbook. 

    Apart from lectures, MyUni is the main point of contact with students. Check MyUni regularly for announcements.

    Sample Exams

    Many past exam questions with suggested solutions are available on MyUni. These are to give you extra practice questions. You would be wise to complete them in your own time under exam conditions then use the suggested solutions to check your progress. Please note that they are only indicative of the type of exam questions you may encounter and the exam questions for this semester may be different in structure or coverage. Past students may provide you with old exams which are no longer relevant. Please focus on what is provided. 

    Useful Websites

    Changes in accounting standards and other developments in accounting practice occur very frequently. Links to several useful websites have been placed on the MyUni site for this course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes


    Lectures are held once a week starting in the first week. You are expected to have read the relevant material and attempted the pre-lecture quiz before coming to the lecture. The lecture is designed to summarise the topic, explain concepts, stress important points and work through examples. You will gain more benefit from the lecture if you read the relevant section of the textbook and attempt the pre-lecture quiz before coming to the lecture.


    Tutorial classes will be held weekly commencing in the second week of semester. Tutorials are designed to elaborate on the material presented in the previous week’s lecture. It is a chance to work thought examples and ask questions and discuss issues. To gain the most benefit from tutorials you need to prepare answers to the questions in advance. The activities for each week are in the Study Guide. 

    Membership of tutorial classes is to be finalised by the end of the first week of semester. Students wishing to swap between tutorial classes after this time are required to present their case to the Lecturer-in-Charge, but should be aware that such a request may not be approved.

    Tutorials are an important component of your learning in this course. The communication skills developed in tutorials by regularly and actively participating in discussions are considered to be most important by the school and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies.

    At the Masters level of study, you are much more responsible for the quality of your learning than an undergraduate student. Consequently, at this level of study the emphasis is upon active rather than passive learning. It is expected that each student will actively involve him/herself in the discussion during each tutorial. In general, a good participant will, among other things:

    • Take the initiative and lead the discussion on a question;
    • Be prepared to control the level of their involvement so that other class members can participate equally in the discussion;
    • Present their points in a structured manner with reference to relevant accounting standards, readings and research evidence;
    • Be prepared to accept and explore alternative viewpoints;
    • Be willing to go beyond the suggested readings and resources and use their initiative to present other topical material as examples, e.g., recent newspaper articles;
    • Speak clearly;
    • Assist other members of the class with understanding the material;
    • Be prepared to work cooperatively and productively in small groups;
    • Be sensitive to the needs and feelings of other participants; and
    • Be punctual.

    It is not reasonable to expect that you will always have the “right” answer and, indeed, it should be recognised and understood that valid alternative points of view might well exist on an issue. This does not mean that “anything will do” when trying to find a solution to controversial topics – rather a “good” answer will be one that is grounded in, among other things, references to relevant and valid accounting standards and concepts.

    Preparation prior to attending your tutorial is vital to your successful completion of this course and if you have not prepared beforehand you will have significant difficulties in understanding what is going on in the class session. Full solutions will NOT be handed out for tutorial questions. However, the teaching staff are very happy to spend time assisting you with a question PROVIDED you have made a sincere written attempt beforehand. After each week’s tutorial a brief discussion of the material covered with key points will be made available on MyUni.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that, for this course, you are expected to commit approximately 8 hours to private study in addition to 4 hours of lectures and tutorial time, which is study outside of your regular classes.

    Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus one tutorial class each week.

    Please refer to Access Adelaide for your timetable and enrolment details:
    Learning Activities Summary
    Topic 1: Overview of the Course, Institutional Arrangements and Policy Choices
    Topic 2: The Conceptual Framework, Definition, Recognition, and Measurement
    Topic 3: Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets
    Topic 4: Ethics 
    Topic 5: Non-Current Assets – Revaluations, Impairment & Cash Generating Units
    Topic 6: Income Tax 
    Topic 7: Intangibles
    Topic 8: Leases
    Topic 9: Financial Instruments - general issues and principles
    Topic 10: Financial Instruments - foreign currency transactions and hedging
    Topic 11: Employee Entitlements - share based payments

    Students should see the associated material on MyUni for a comprehensive summary of topics and readings
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Friday 24 April 2015, 5 pmPart 1: Friday 24 April 2015, 5 pm.
    Assessment Due Date and Time Weighting Related Learning Outcome
    Pre-lecture quizzes
    (Best 10 of 11)
    Midnight before each Lecture*
    *except at the end of week 1 in which case one MyUni quiz and the eLearning Module are due by midnight before the week 2 lecture
     10% A, B, C, G, H
    Research Project (incorporating weekly wiki activities) Wiki activities are due weekly before your next tutorial. (There is no wiki activity for the first week.)
    Part 1 (Individual submission) is due Fri 24th April at 5pm.
    Part 2 (Team submission) is due Sun 31st May at 5pm.

    A, B, C, E, F, G, H
    Ethics LX simulation Ethics LX Simulation due 6pm Thur 16th April
    Attendance at the week 4 lecture is highly advisable.
      5% C, G, H
    Final exam
    3 hours
    During the
    exam period
     60% A, B, C, D, E, F
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    A class roll will be maintained for each tutorial group. Students are recommended to attend and participate in all tutorials.

    To gain a pass for this course, a mark of at least 50% must be obtained on the examination as well as a total of at least 50% overall. Students not achieving the minimum exam mark will be awarded no more than 49.

    A student who fails any of the assessment items will NOT be permitted to resubmit that item for remarking.

    Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process and reflect your competence in some types of communications skills. Marks may be deducted in the final examination because of poor hand-writing.

    In this course, the use of calculators incapable of storing text is permitted in the final examination in this course.
    Assessment Detail

    Pre lecture quizzes – 10%
    The pre lecture quizzes are designed to motivate you to do the required reading and think about the material before the relevant lecture. Each is a 10 question multiple choice quiz that is available on MyUni during the week before the due date. Students have 40 minutes to complete the quiz once they open it. The quiz can only be opened once so be prepared to finish the quiz once you start. Your 10 best scores will be taken from the 11 quizzes to calculate the final score. If you miss more than 1 quiz for any reason then your score will be the total of all the quizzes you attempt. Quiz results are available in the MyGrades section on MyUni. Completed tests are available to view for revision purposes a week after the due date. 

    On-line eLearning Module
    In week two an online eLearning module will replace the pre-lecture quiz. This module has been designed for you to work through at your own pace. The module incorporates a number of interactive activities and assessment questions. This module covers the Conceptual Framework which is a very important part of the course. Please read the supplied material and do the activities diligently.

    Research Project (incorporating weekly wiki activities) – 25%

    The research project and weekly wiki activities are designed to give you the opportunity to enhance your communication, collaboration, innovative and technology skills (all essential graduate attributes) in addition to your accounting knowledge. You will be assigned to a team of approximately 5 students with students from your tutorial. Each week throughout the semester you have tasks to complete and post to the wiki. At the end of semester your team is required to submit a report. You will get an individual mark based on the quality and quantity of your contribution; hence not all team members will get the same mark. Good students will not be penalised because some team members do not contribute, nor will non-contributors benefit from the work of others. Evidence from past semesters shows that teams that work well together and use this opportunity to discuss concepts generally do very well overall. Further details will be provided in a separate handout.

    Ethics LX Simulation – 5%
    The ethics component consists of in-lecture activities in week 4 and the completion of an on-line Ethics LX simulation. Week 4 will not be a traditional lecture. You will be asked to consider ethical situations and give your views, both individually and/or in groups. You will be given a handout to fill in during the lecture. These activities are not something you can study for as there is no one ‘correct’ answer. The purpose of this is to get you thinking about ethical situations and how you would respond and how your actions can have consequences on others. There is a ‘pre lecture quiz’ this week based on the relevant chapter of the text, your preparation includes doing this and familiarising yourself with the other reading in this section of the study guide. A separate handout will be given that details the requirements of the Ethics LX simulation.

    Final Exam – 60%
    There will be a three hour exam at the end of the semester. All topics in the course are potentially examinable. The exam is ‘closed book’ and you will be permitted to take in a calculator. You may NOT take in a copy of the Accounting Standards. An exam overview and revision session is scheduled for week 12. It is highly advisable that students attend this (and all lectures).

    Weekly assessable items are designed to help you learn, not to test your knowledge. The pre lecture quiz gives you an incentive to read the chapter and think about the material before attending the lecture. During the lecture the key concepts are explained and demonstrated. Without prior reading and thinking through the issues the lecture will make very little sense. This work is then built upon in the tutorial. It is your chance to put into practice what we are learning and ask questions of your tutor to receive a more comprehensive understanding of the material. To get any benefit from the tutorial you need to have prepared solutions to the questions in advance. The wiki activities then get you to relate what you have learnt to a real company by studying an annual report. These activities will highlight the diversity of annual reporting and help you to understand the concepts we are learning. The research report is a culmination of what you have found in your annual reports during the semester. 

    Pre lecture quizzes are completed online. It is important that you allow enough time to complete them before the closing time of midnight on the due date. Once a quiz is closed off it will not be reopened for an individual student, hence it is very important that you remember to do it and do it early. Do not leave it until the last minute. In the past many students have left it until 11.30pm with the intention of completing it at home only to discover they have technical problem such as a computer crash or the internet connection is lost. This is not a valid reason for a time extension. You must complete the test before midnight on the due date AND within the time limit.

    The research report is a summary of your findings and discussions with your team members throughout the semester. The weekly wiki activities are ongoing throughout the semester and simply designed to encourage you to gather information for your research report. Your team wiki can be accessed through MyUni. Wiki activities must be completed before your tutorial the following week. For instance, in week 2 you have a tutorial that covers material from the week 1 lecture. Following your tutorial and before the next tutorial (in week 3) you must complete the wiki activity. Your tutor will check if you have contributed. Part of the overall assessment for the research report will be allocated for timely posting and discussion. The activities involve reading and discussing each other’s work so it is advisable to do it early in the week so you have time to engage in discussion. 

    The Ethics LX simulation is an on-line activity. It is highly advisable to attend the week 4 lecture on ethics. In this lecture you will receive an additional handout with instructions on the simulation, in addition to a demonstration. It is expected that the simulation will take at least three hours (3) hours to complete although some take much longer. It is suggested that you do the simulation early to ensure you have it completed by the due date because when it closes it cannot be reopened.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.