ACCTING 3501 - Corporate Accounting

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

Topics include strategic and legal issues in mergers and acquisitions; accounting for inter-corporate investments; takeovers through asset purchases and share purchases; consolidation;; foreign currency transactions and translation; disclosure and financial analysis issues (including segment reporting and related party disclosure).

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ACCTING 3501
    Course Corporate Accounting
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week (1 hour online content)
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites ACCTING 2501
    Assumed Knowledge CORPFIN 2500 & ECOMMRCE 1000 or equivalent
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/interim work as prescribed at first lecture.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Chelsea Liu

    Location: Office 13.43, Level 13, Building: Nexus10, 1 Pulteney Street
    Office hours: to be advised

    Course Website:
    Course Timetable

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

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

    1. Pre-recorded Lecture Videos (1 hour): 

    - provide basic concepts / methods / content for each topic;
    - published on MyUni one week prior to the face-to-face lecture;
    - must be watched BEFORE attending the face-to-face lecture and tutorial each week. 

    2. Flipped Classroom Lectures (2 hours):

    - cover advanced content that builds on the pre-recorded lectures;
    - involve flipped-classroom activities and problem-solving (published on MyUni prior to the lectures).

    3. Tutorials (1 hour): 

    - additional practice questions and problem-solving. 

    PLEASE NOTE: Financial Accounting II is a pre-requisite for Corporate Accounting III as this course builds on the material covered in that subject. If you have not successfully completed Financial Accounting II, you will NOT be permitted to enrol in Corporate Accounting III.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. Describe the different types of relationships amongst business entities and identify these relationships for financial reporting purposes;

    2. Determine the ‘reporting entities’ for each inter-entity relationship, and explain the appropriate accounting policy choices.

    3. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of relevant accounting standards and the ability to apply them to solve practical problems that arise from inter-entity relationships.

    4. Select the appropriate accounting techniques, as prescribed by the relevant accounting standards, and perform the accounting treatment for each type of inter-entity relationship (including preparing consolidated financial statements).

    5. Discuss the strategic, legal, and assurance issues associated with establishing inter-entity relationships, and generate recommendations.

    6. Communicate accounting policy choices and strategic recommendations and justify conclusions with reference to relevant laws and accounting standards.
    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

    Leo,K., Knapp, J.,, McGowan, S., and Sweeting, J., Company Accounting, 11th Edition, 2018, J. Wiley and Sons, Australia. 
    2019 Accounting Handbook / Financial Reporting Handbook
    [either the CPA Australia version or the ICAA version is acceptable. E-books (on iPads or similar devices) cannot be taken into exams]. 

    You are permitted to take your handbook into the final exam of this course but the handbook must not contain any writing, notes, tabs, stickers, inserts or any other form of unauthorised materials. Underlining and highlighting are permitted.

    You are advised not to use a prior edition of the handbook. No marks will be awarded if references are made to outdated sections of the accounting standards.


    Additional compulsory readings in the form of Harvard Business Publishing Cases, short articles, or book chapters have been provided on MyUni to either elaborate on, or supplement, items in the textbook.  In some cases, there are no relevant readings in the textbook and you will need to use the readings provided on MyUni.

    Reading is a very important mechanism for your learning in this course. Lectures will only serve to highlight the key points in each topic, which are to be supplemented by completing the prescribed readings. Everything covered in the prescribed readings is potentially examinable.
    Recommended Resources

    See MyUni course website for recommended resources.

    Online Learning

    Course materials for each topic are distributed online via the MyUni course website.

    Lectures will be recorded and posted on the MyUni course site.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Tutorials start in Week 2. Lectures start in Week 1.

    A coherent course structure that develops from basic concepts about the nature of different inter-entity relationships to consider in detail the accounting implications of those different levels of relationship. All topics link together to build up an overall picture of the major financial reporting issues associated with inter-related entities.

    For each topic of this course, the following steps are designed to enable you to maximise your learning efficiency and effectiveness:

    Stage I: Basic Materials and Knowledge

    1. Pre-Classroom Recorded Lecture Videos

    - The pre-recorded videos will cover the fundamental concepts and methods, and provide background knowledge that can can be used to help address practical accounting problems.
    - Please ensure that you watching the pre-recorded lecture BEFORE attending the face-to-face flipped classroom lectures.
    - The pre-recorded lectures will be published on MyUni one week prior to the face-to-face lecture.
    - You will be required to complete a quiz after viewing the pre-recorded lectures (see Assessment Information).

    - Please also ensure that you complete the readings before attending the lectures.
    - Read as widely as possible so that you are best equipped to discuss and resolve the relevant accounting policy problems associated with inter-entity relationships. It is not possible to cover in lectures all the information associated with the complex topics we will address. All readings are potentially examinable.

    Stage II: Advanced Instructions and Application

    2. Flipped Classroom Lectures

    - The flipped classroom lectures provide an opportunity to build on the content covered in the lecture videos, and a chance for you to gain hands-on experience of solving accounting problems and team-working.
    - You will ONLY be able to follow the content in the flipped classroom lectures IF you have watched the pre-recorded videos.
    - The advanced lecture materials and problem questions will be posted on MyUni prior to the lectures. The face-to-face lectures will be recorded and posted on MyUni.

    3. Tutorials

    - Allow you to explore issues and material in an interactive group setting, receive feedback and guidance, and develop the various competencies.
    - Please attempt your tutorial questions BEFORE attending the tutorials, which is vital to your successful completion of this course.
    - If you have not prepared beforehand you will have significant difficulties in understanding what is going on in the tutorials.

    Stage III: Further Feedback

    4. Self-Study Questions - help you to further solidify your understanding of each topic. Discussion Boards and Consultation Times are available for you to resolve any remaining queries.

    Contact details and consultation times for all tutors in the course will be available on the MyUni course site.

    5. In-lecture activities, weekly quizzes, the assignment and the mid-semester examination - these activities allow you to practice and improve your communication skills and your ability to present and justify arguments and decisions as well as providing you with timely feedback on your understanding of the course material.


    Students must attend the tutorial in which they are enrolled. Lecturers and tutors do not have the authority to override the university enrolment system. If you attend a tutorial in which you are not enrolled, you may be asked to leave.

    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 you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours for a three-unit course for private study outside of your regular classes.

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

    Learning Activities Summary

    Our primary focus will be upon groups of corporate entities in the ‘for-profit’ sector but much of the material is equally relevant to non-incorporated entities and entities in the public and not-for-profit sectors.  Material relating to all of these sectors and types of entities will be addressed and assessable.  This course has a central theme which looks at the accounting associated with different types of inter- entity groups.  In addition to the introduction (Topic 1), the course is divided into three broad sections which explore both the relevant theoretical and practical aspects of this theme.  The first section (Topics 2 and 3) describes the way in which inter-entity relationships might be formed – so-called ‘business combinations’ in which one entity might, for example, purchase all the share equity or, alternatively, the individual assets and liabilities that collectively form a ‘business’ of another entity. This part of the course deals with issues such as how the acquisition should be measured and recorded and the treatment of any goodwill that might arise on the acquisition.  Some information is also provided about how acquisitions are made in practice and relevant legal obligations.  All of this material is extremely important to understanding the topics covered in the second part of the course.

    The second section of the course deals with the various accounting implications that arise once a group of entities is established (Topics 4 – 6).  As each entity might have its own legal status, it will also have its own set of financial statements (even if only for internal management purposes).  However, if the related entities are essentially controlled by another, then this ‘economic entity’ (the group of entities) is also a ‘reporting entity’ for which we prepare a collective set of financial statements; the ‘group’ or ‘consolidated’ financial statements.  Although in principle the consolidated financial statements are basically all the individual financial statements added together, many adjustments are required to prepare the consolidated Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Comprehensive Income, and Statement of Cash Flows.  As the group is effectively treated as though it is one entity, it is necessary to ensure that when the consolidated financial statements are prepared, any transactions between the members of the group are not included – e.g., if one member of the group sells inventory to another member, then the inter-company sale and purchase have to be removed (‘eliminated’) when preparing the consolidated income

    Apart from inter-company transactions we will also be exploring how to account for groups of entities where the entity in control does not fully own all the equity of another controlled entity (the presence of so-called ‘non-controlling interests’ or ‘outside equity interests’) (Topic 7).  In addition, we will explore those investments in other entities where there is either ‘significant influence’ but not control (Topic 8) or where there is ‘joint control’ (i.e., two entities have equal amounts of influence over another) (Topic 9).  The second section of the course will conclude with a study of how to translate the financial statements of overseas entities into the group’s presentation currency (Topic 10).

    The third section of the course (Topic 11) briefly explores some special issues associated with the analysis of group financial statements such as segment reporting and related party transactions.


    This course will cover the following topics. For more details please refer to the 'Course Information' tab on the MyUni course site.

    Topic 1 - Inter-entity relationships & Accounting for simple share investments

    Topic 2 - Due Diligence in Business Acquisitions & Takeover and Competition Laws

    Topic 3 - Business Combinations through acquiring assets and liabilities

    Topic 4 - Consolidation – Introduction (the concept of control)

    Topic 5 - Consolidation - Wholly Owned Subsidiaries

    (Note: Mid-Semester Exam will take place in week 6 (Time and Date TBA); tutorials will run as normal).

    Topic 6 - Consolidation - Intra-Group Transactions (weeks 7-8) Topic 7 - Consolidation - Non-Controlling Interest

    Topic 8 - Investments in Associates - Equity Accounting

    Topics 9 and 10 - Accounting for Joint Arrangements & Foreign Currency Translation

    Topic 11 - Segment Reporting & Related Party Disclosures.

    Note: the relevant readings and tutorial activities for each topic are provided on separate topic outline handouts provided on the MyUni site for this course.
    Specific Course Requirements

    As this is a course in advanced accounting, you are expected to have a strong understanding of material covered in prior related courses.  Accounting courses build on one another and so prior accounting studies inevitably are examinable in this course, e.g., accounting for income tax.  As a minimum, you are expected to be already familiar with specific topics covered in chapters 1 -3, 5 - 6, 9 and 11 of the textbook.

  • 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

    The detailed requirements of each assessment item will be posted on the MyUni site for this course.

    The assessment components are as follows:

    Assessment Task Weighting Learning Outcome
    Weekly Pre-Lecture Quizzes 15% 1-5
    Assignment 15% 2,3,5,6
    Mid-Semester Exam 20% 1-4
    Final Exam 50% 1-6
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students can only change their tutorial enrolments through Access Adelaide. Lecturers and tutors do not have the authority to override the university enrolment system. If you attend a tutorial in which you are not enrolled, you might be asked to leave.

    Assessment Detail

    Detailed requirements of each assessment item will be posted on the MyUni site for this course.

    Weekly Pre-Lecture Quizzes 15%

    Details: Each week you will be required to complete a pre-lecture quiz AFTER watching the recorded lecture series and completing the readings but BEFORE attending the face-to-face Flipped Classroom Lecture.

    Due Date: Weeks 1-12 (deadline: before the start of the lecture each week). Your 2 lowest quiz scores will not count towards your final grade.

    Course Learning Outcome: 1 - 5

    Assignment 15%

    Details: This assignment must be done in teams of three students. Further details are provided in the assignment instructions, which can be found under the ‘Assignments’ Folder on the MyUni course site.

    Due Date: To Be Advised (TBA)

    Course Learning Outcome: 2, 3, 5 & 6

    Mid-Semester Exam 20%

    Details: The exam will be held in Bonython Hall during week 6 (Date and Time TBA). Details to be provided on a separate notice in the ‘Assessment Information’ Folder on the MyUni course site.

    Content covered: This exam will cover Topics 1–4 only.

    Course Learning Outcome: 1 - 4

    Final Exam 50%

    Details: Duration of 3 hours.
    Course Learning Outcome: 1 - 6

    Important Note: to gain a pass for this course, a satisfactory result must be obtained on the final examination as well as a total grade of at least 50% overall. Students not achieving the minimum examination mark will be awarded no more than 49.


    Detailed requirements will be posted on the MyUni site for this course.

    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.

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