ACCTING 7020 - Intermediate Financial Reporting (M)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

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 Adelaide Business School
    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 & CORPFIN 7005
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Sabine Schuhrer

    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. Explain the underlying theoretical framework in the application of principles-based accounting standards.
    3. Prepare complex accounting transactions by choosing and applying relevant accounting standards.
    4. Explain current national and international developments in financial reporting to a professional and non-professional audience.
    5. To make ethical decisions using a recognised framework.
    6. 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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    • Financial Reporting, 2nd Edition, Loftus et al. (2018) ISBN: 9780730344551
    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

    • 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. 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


    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 though 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 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, Insitutional Framework in Accounting and Accounting Theory
    Topic 2: Fair Value
    Topic 3: Non-Current Assets – Revaluations, Impairment & Cash Generating Units
    Topic 4: Income Tax
    Topic 5: Intangibles
    Topic 6: Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets
    Topic 7: Revenue
    Topic 8: Leases 
    Topic 9: Financial Instruments - General Issues and Principles
    Topic 10: Employee Benefits and Share-Based Payments
    Topic 11: Ethics

    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 Due Date and Time Weighting Related Learning Outcome
    Mid-semester test  TBA 15% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Research project  - Individual component (TBA)

    - Team component (TBA)

    1, 2, 3, 4
    Final exam
    3 hours
    During the exam period (TBA) 60% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    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

    Mid-semester test - 15 %
    There will be a 1 hour mid-semester test in week 6. The test will cover the content from the first four topics. The test is a closed book test. It is designed to help you assess how you are progressing along the way so you can adjust your learning accordingly, if neccesary. 

    Research Project  – 25%
    The research project is 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. Your team is required to submit a report. You will get an individual mark based on the quality and quantity of your individual component; 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. You will receive a group mark for the group submission component. 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.

    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).

    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. In the research report, you should demonstrate what you have learned in the first two accounting courses, by applying your knowledge to relevant actual financial statements.

    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 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 3 you have a tutorial that covers material from the week 2 lecture. Following your tutorial and before the next tutorial (in week 4) you must complete the wiki activity. Your tutor will check if you have contributed. The activities involve reading and discussing each other’s work so it is important that each student post their part early in the week so everyone has time to engage with the material and to allow time for team member's to comment on each other's contribution. 
    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.