ACCTING 7020 - Intermediate Financial Reporting (M)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2024

This course extends students' knowledge of corporate external financial reporting. It introduces students to the Accounting Standards setting environment. Students learn how to read, interpret and apply accounting standards to make informed policy choices for a variety of complex accounting issues. Topics include fair value, revenue, provisions and contingencies, income tax, non-current assets, intangible assets and goodwill, leases, employee benefits and share based payments, and accounting for financial instruments. Students will be equipped with tools to guide ethical decision making in a professional context. Students undertake a research project to investigate how standards are applied by ASX listed companies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ACCTING 7020
    Course Intermediate Financial Reporting (M)
    Coordinating Unit Accounting
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites ACCTING 7019 and CORPFIN 7005
    Incompatible ACCTING 7020AMELB, ACCTING 7020BMELB
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Kent Wilson

    Location: Office 13.29, Level 13, 10 Pulteney Street

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1 Interpret financial reports based on concepts from the Accounting Conceptual Framework and Australian Accounting Standards.
    2 Account for complex accounting transactions by choosing and applying relevant accounting standards.
    3 To conduct practical research in the accounting discipline.
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    • Financial Reporting, 4th Edition, Loftus et al. (2022) ISBN: 9780730396413
    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 have access to the required standards during class 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.

    Study Guide

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

    • Issues in Financial Accounting by Scott Henderson, Graham Peirson, Kathy Herbohn, Tracy Artiach, Bryan Howieson.  Published 2017 by Pearson. ISBN 9781488611643

    This is a good text that you may find useful. It covers much of the course material and are available in the University library. If you have trouble locating them please ask at the Help Desk.

    You should access the most recent version of acounting standards from the AASB website.  Printing the required standards from the AASB website are a convenient resource. Alternatively, you may choose to purchase the Financial Reporting Handbook published by Wiley. Note that accounting standards will not be allowed in the examination room.

    For some sections of the course, additional material is made available 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

    While some students may feel that reading can be something of a “chore”, reading is a very important mechanism for your learning because books and articles are a significant repository of our knowledge. Many of the topics are complex and so it is impossible to cover all you need to know in the lectures alone. In order to make your reading as productive as possible, you can both highlight relevant sections of text and concurrently take written notes of what you have read. As suggested by research studies, taking notes helps retaining better the information in one's memory. Also, you can take breaks when reading, or 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. 

    You can also 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 Weekly Schedule (available on MyUni in the Course Information module) contains a listing 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. Please 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. It is highly recommended that you complete them in your own time under the 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. You may have access to the old exams which are no longer relevant. Please focus on what is provided for the semester. 

    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
    Seminar Mode

    The 3-hour seminar mode is adopted for course delivery. This mode aims to integrate the strengths of our traditional lecture-tutorial system, providing a more cohesive and immersive learning experience.

    Structure and Expectations

    Each seminar seeks to offer a well-rounded experience, merging the informative depth of lectures with the practical benefits of activities and discussions. In preparation for seminars, students are encouraged to read the relevant material and attempt the pre-seminar quiz. This ensures that the seminar time is utilised effectively, allowing for summarisation of topics, explanation of concepts, emphasis on key points, and hands-on work with examples. Building on this foundation, the seminars encourage active engagement, fostering proactive thought, critical inquiries, open-ended discussions, and timely, constructive feedback.

    Active Participation
    Master’s level education emphasises active learning, where students play a pivotal role in shaping the quality of their educational journey. We expect all participants to:
    • Collaborate effectively in group settings.
    • Initiate and lead group discussions on various topics.
    • Ensure a balanced level of participation, allowing all members to contribute.
    • Present arguments coherently, drawing from accounting standards, readings, and research.
    • Stay open to and explore alternative viewpoints.
    • Extend their knowledge by referring to topical external materials, such as recent articles.
    • Assist peers in grasping the subject matter.
    • Be punctual, respectful, and sensitive to the needs and feelings of fellow participants.

    Understanding that there might not always be a single "right" answer, students should aim for responses grounded in relevant accounting principles and concepts.

    Prior Preparation
    The success of this course hinges on proactive preparation. Without prior preparation, grasping the nuances during the seminar might prove challenging. Although not all seminar questions will have definitive solutions, given the fluid nature of some accounting topics, our teaching staff is eager to assist, provided students have made a genuine written attempt beforehand.

    Embracing this seminar mode, we aim to foster an environment where learning is both deep and collaborative. Your active participation and commitment will be instrumental in making this transition seamless and fruitful.

    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
    Wk 1: Overview of the Course, Regulation and the Conceptual Framework
    Wk 2: Fair Value
    Wk 3: Property, Plant, and Equipment
    Wk 4: Intangible Assets
    Wk 5: Impairment of Assets
    Wk 6: Mid-semester test (wks 1-4) 
    Wk 7: Provisions, Contingent Liabilities, and Contingent Assets
    Wk 8: Leases
    Wk 9: Income Taxes
    Wk 10: Revenue
    Wk 11: Application of Accounting Theory
    Wk 12: Revision and exam overview

    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
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Weekly quizzes Individual


    10% 1, 2, 3
    Mid Semester Test Individual TBC 20% 1, 2, 3
    Research Project Group TBC 20% 1, 2
    Final Exam Individual Exam Period 50% 1, 2
    TOTAL 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    To successfully complete this course, students must secure a minimum of 50% on the examination and an overall mark of at least 50%. Those who do not achieve the minimum exam mark will be capped at a score of 49.

    No resubmissions will be allowed for any assessment item that a student fails.

    Clear handwriting and coherent English expression are vital components of the assessment criteria, reflecting proficiency in specific communication skills. Poor handwriting may lead to deductions in the final examination.

    For the final examination in this course, students are allowed to use calculators that do not have text-storing capabilities.
    Assessment Detail

    Quizzes - 10 %
    Weekly online assessable items are designed to help you learn. The quizzes incentivize you to read the chapters and other related materials before attending the seminars. Weekly quizzes have three levels, i.e., Level A, B, and C. These quizzes are set at different difficulty levels. Level A quizzes are utilised for assessment, while Level B and C quizzes provide more practice. Level B quizzes will be discussed in the seminars.

    Mid-semester test - 20 %
    There will be a mid-semester test. It is designed to help you assess how you are progressing along the way so you can adjust your learning strategy accordingly, if necessary.

    Research Project – 20%
    The research project is designed to allow you to enhance your communication, collaboration, innovation, and technology skills (all essential graduate attributes) in addition to your accounting knowledge. Further details will be provided in a separate handout.

    Final Exam – 50%
    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.

    Prerequisite knowledge
    This course builds on the knowledge introduced in the courses ACCTING 7019 and CORPFIN 7005. Kindly acquaint yourself with the following concepts and skills.

    • Present value calculation
    • Definition of financial elements and criteria of recognition
    • Financial accounting process
    • Interrelationship between financial statements
    • Adjusting entries and closing entries.
    • The indirect method of bad debt estimation
    • Accrual basis and cash basis accounting

    Presentation of the Research Project
    A copy of the Business School's Communication Skills Guide may assist you in preparing your assignments.  A copy of this guide can be downloaded from This publication also provides guidelines on a range of other important communication skills including how to write essays and management reports, making oral presentations, short answer, etc. 

    In preparing any written piece of assessment for your postgraduate studies, it is important to draw on the relevant 'literature' to support critical analysis.  Also essential is to reference the literature used.  Correct referencing is important because it identifies the source of the ideas and arguments that you present, and sometimes the source of the actual words you use, and helps to avoid the problem of plagiarism. The Harvard System is widely used in the Business School. Guidelines for the use of this style of referencing can be found in the Communication Skills Guide.

    Please retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    The research project is submitted by one group member only via MyUni.

    Online submission confirms your acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism (refer below to the Academic Honesty Policy under 'Policies and Guidelines'). Students must NOT submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course without prior approval from the lecturer-in-charge.

    Late Assignment Submission
    Students are expected to submit their work by the due date to maintain a fair and equitable system. Extensions will generally only be given for medical or other serious reasons.

    If practical requests for extensions should be emailed to the lecturer-in-charge of the course a minimum of 5 days before the due date. Each request will be assessed on its merits. A late assignment (without prior arrangement) may be penalised by 20% of the total assignment mark for each day that it is late. Requests for extensions after the due date must be made with supporting documentation by completing the Application for Assessment Extension form within seven (7) days of the task due date.  If possible an alternative time to complete the assessment will be negotiated. The nature and form of the documentation to accompany a request for an extension must be in accordance with the instructions of the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment (see below under 'Policies and Guidelines'). Students who fail to submit any piece of assessment and fail to provide adequate supporting documentation to the Course Coordinator will be awarded a score of zero for that component of the course assessment.

    Return of Assignments and Tests to students
    Online weekly quizzes are marked automatically with results and feedback available on completion. We will aim to mark and return the research project to students within two (2) weeks of the due date with feedback. These will be marked online and available via MyUni. Feedback is given as you work through the ethics simulation. Your grade will be put into MyUni within 2 weeks of the due date.
    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.