ACCTING 7020 - Intermediate Financial Reporting (M)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

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 Yunyan Zhang

    Room 13.38, Level 13, Nexus 10
    +61 8 8313 6825
    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, 3rd Edition, Loftus et al. (2020) ISBN: 9780730369462
    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
    Design of this course is based on facilitating learning in an environment where you are actively engaged by applying abstract concepts to practical problems that are meaningful to you. By giving you a range of activities and time to reflect on what you have learnt you get the opportunity to build up a good understanding which you can demonstrate through assessment tasks at appropriate times throughout the semester. The course design has been well thought out to help you learn but it will only work if you put the effort in and work consistently throughout the semester. If you do work consistently there is no reason why you will not do well.

    There are four key activities:

    1. Pre-class activity – Preparation
    Each week you should read through the appropriate chapter of the text book before the lecture. Do this online by following the link in the weekly module on MyUni. Read the eBook and watch and do the interactive activities. These are often a series of slides and animations with audio which explain key concepts followed by something for you to do. You are not expected to be able to do activities 100% correctly at this stage but you should at least watch and attempt them as it will give you a broad overview of the weekly topic which enables you to get maximum benefit from the following lecture and tutorial time. After  reading the relevant chapter and activities you should also have a first attempt at the weeely online quiz. Note that while the weekly quiz due date is set for each week, you can have multiple attempts at it up until the end of week 12.

    2. In-class activities – Understanding
    Having completed the preparation you can come to the lecture and tutorial ready to actively listen and participate in discussion and activities. The lecturer or tutor will not need to labour the key terms, as they were covered in the preparation and minimal explanation should see you grasp these concepts. Examples will be worked through, questions asked and answered, concepts compared, discussed, and relationships formed with previous work. This will build up your body of knowledge and understanding.  All of the weekly material will be not be covered in each tutorial, there are additional self-study questions. The activities are designed so that you can use the skills you have learnt to answer the remaining questions. A guide for students is provided at the end of each week to assist in your revision.

    3. Real World application – Consolidation
    Many of our examples use simplified data to enable understanding. The real test comes in applying the concepts you have learnt to real company annual reports. What this does is take an abstract concept demonstrated in simplified examples in the textbook and lectures/tutorials and illustrates that concept in its full complexity in a real world setting. You are given activities to do in the Research Project with real annual reports; such as interpreting the application of accouting standards. Through applying your knowledge in this way, you will consolidate your understanding. The research project is a team activity. You should approach this as a “team” and work closely together to find the required information and discuss your annual reports. Much can be learnt through helping each other to discover items and through discussing concepts.

    4. Assessment - Demonstration
    At various points throughout the semester and ultimately at the end of semester you will complete assessment tasks. These are individual and team tasks and the final exam which gives you an opportunity to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcomes of the course. In addition, and most importantly, you get feedback and find out which concepts you are struggling with so that you can work on these areas.

    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) Online ethics lecture and simulation
    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, 4
    Mid Semester Test Individual Week 6 20% 1, 2, 3, 4
    Research Project Group Week 12 25% 1, 2, 4, 6
    Online Exam Individual Exam Period 45% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    TOTAL 100%

    Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.

    1) Online quizzes should be done before the lecture every week with attempts as many times as you can till the due date.

    2) You are encouraged to discuss the issues of project assignment by online apps such as Zoom, Wechat, Facebook, etc. There is also the groups working space in myuni.

    3 Mid-semester test will be done online in week 6 lecture time.  Please check the availability of access to the internet to finish the test independently without disruption.

    4) The 3hr final exam will be online administered through Myuni during the official exam period. It includes MCQs and comprehensive cases study questions.

    5) Minor modification of the assessment for technology issues will be communicated by the announcements. The section of COVID-19 Modified Teaching Arrangements will be updated accordingly. Please make sure the email and announcement are more frequently checked.

    Assessment Related Requirements
    To gain a pass for this course, a mark of at least 50% overall must be obtained.

    The use of calculators incapable of storing text is permitted in the final examination in this course.

    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% overall must be obtained.

    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 if markers are unable to read or understand your answers because of poor hand-writing.
    Assessment Detail

    Weekly Quizzes - 10%
    Each week you can test your knowledge with the online activity. You may do these as often as you like and there is no time limit. This activity is designed to help you to understand the course content and is not a test of your understanding. You are encouraged to try the activities after reading the text to gauge how much you understand and again after having completed the relevant tutorial. You will be notified of the suggested time you should first attempt these on MyUni, however please note that you may attempt them multiple times up until the end of week 12. You should refer to your text and notes and discuss issues with your fellow students which will aid your understanding of the content.

    Mid-semester test - 20 %
    There will be a 1 hour mid-semester test in week 6. The test will cover the content from the first four topics. 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 brings together the key concepts that you have learnt in the early weeks of the course and allows you to demonstrate your knowledge in a real world context through the use of company annual reports. This project will be worked in team of five (5) within the same tutorial session and should be approached as a “team” event. That is, everyone working together and helping each other to discuss the requirements and derive an outcome. An excellent project will be one that is presented in a professional manner, provides the information asked for, and is seamlessly put together and not dis-jointed. Extensive guidance will be provided on the project requirements. Further details will be provided in a separate handout.

    Final Exam – 45%
    There will be a three hour exam at the end of the semester. All topics in the course are potentially examinable. 

    This course builds on knowledge from Accountring Concepts and Methods (ACM). It is important that you understand the key concepts from ACM and be prepared to revise any concepts that you are not sure about.  During the IFR lectures 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 ACM and IFR, by applying your knowledge to relevant actual financial statements.

    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.