ACCTING 7025 - Accounting Essentials for Decision Makers (M)

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 1 - 2016

This course introduces students to both financial accounting and management accounting. It provides an overview of accounting concepts and principles, the major external financial accounting reports and accounting systems and the accounting cycle. Management accounting tools of costing and budgeting are introduced, as well as performance analysis and capital investment decisions. Students are also provided with the tools for analysing and interpreting the financial statements of an organisation and managing the working capital and long term financing of the business.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ACCTING 7025
    Course Accounting Essentials for Decision Makers (M)
    Coordinating Unit Business School
    Term Trimester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Course Description This course introduces students to both financial accounting and management accounting. It provides an overview of accounting concepts and principles, the major external financial accounting reports and accounting systems and the accounting cycle. Management accounting tools of costing and budgeting are introduced, as well as performance analysis and capital investment decisions. Students are also provided with the tools for analysing and interpreting the financial statements of an organisation and managing the working capital and long term financing of the business.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Cathryn Harris

    Kate Harris B.Sc. (Hons), Dip. Ed., Dip. Acc., M. Com (Research).

    Kate has been teaching in the University of Adelaide Business School for over 20 years. Her main teaching areas are in financial accounting. She has published in both professional and academic journals, is the co-author of an accounting theory textbook, and has taught in France and Malaysia. Her main research interests are in financial reporting and accounting education.

    The University of Adelaide Business School, The University of Adelaide
    10 Pulteney Street
    Adelaide SA 5005

    Work: +61 8 8313 8124
    Fax: +61 8 8223 4782
    Course Website :
    Course Timetable

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

    This course begins on 17th February, 2016, and runs for 6 weeks.

     Classes: 17 and 24 February, 9 and 23 March, 9.00 am to 3.30 pm, Horace Lamb 422
                  2 and 16 March, 11.00 am to 5.30 pm, Ligertwood, 231.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the end of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Discuss the issues relating to corporate governance and sustainability for an entity;
    2. Know the concepts that underpin the financial statements of an entity and explain the purpose of these statements;
    3. Identify, analyse and record the effect of economic transactions on the financial statements of an entity;
    4. Know and utilize the different costing techniques and budgeting processes available to the management of an entity;
    5. Explain and apply the different techniques available to managers to make investment decisions and discuss the different financing available for the investments; and
    6. Use appropriate analytical tools to evaluate the financial performance and position of a company and the divisions of that company.
    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
    1, 3, 5 and 6
    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
    3, 4, 5 and 6
    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
    1, 3 and 6
    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
    Text Book:

    Accounting: Business reporting for decision making, 5th edition, Birt, Chalmers, Maloney, Brooks, and Oliver., Wiley, 2014

    ISBN 978-1-118-62418-0

    An ebook is available from:

    Students will need to create an account prior to adding the product to the shopping cart to obtain the advertised discounted price.
    This is a perpetual licence and therefore does not have an expiry date and provides students with two downloads to the same account, first download to PC/laptop and second download to Laptop/iPhone/iPad
    Recommended Resources
    The financial press – both newspapers and business magazines cover a wide range of business topics.

    Some relevant information is also available on various websites. Each of the topics in the course gives some additional online resources that may be helpful.
    Online Learning
    Many course resources are available on the course website: including:

      Lecture documents and related material.
      A sample examination and suggested solutions.
      Assignment related documents.

    In addition, students will be able to purchase access to WileyPLUS, an online resource accompanying the text book. Please note that this is an optional tool and students are not required to purchase the WileyPLUS version of the textbook.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Classes will provide students with material that covers both financial and management accounting, including explanations of key concepts, appropriate examples and applications. In addition, there will be questions and problems that students will be asked to complete. These will be in three categories:

     1. In-class Questions
    These questions are done in-class, during the class. They complement material covered in the topic. No extra preparation is required.

    2. Self-study questions
    Solutions to self-study questions are provided on MyUni. These questions will only be discussed if requested by students for clarification of specific issues.

    3. Non-assessable quizzes
    For each topic there will be an on-line quiz for students to attempt. It is recommended that students attempt these exercises as they provide valuable feedback. Marks will be awarded for attempts at these quizzes rather than the results of the quiz.

    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 you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours for a three-unit course or 13 hours for a four-unit course of private study outside of your regular classes.

    Students in this course are expected to attend all classes throughout the trimester.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Topic 1

    An Introduction to Accounting

    Topic 2

    Analysing Business Transactions

    Topic 3

    The Balance Sheet and Working Capital Management

    Topic 4

    The Income Statement and Statement of Changes in Equity

    Topic 5

    The Statement of Cash Flows

    Topic 6

    Different Types of Business Structures

    Topic 7

    Analysing Accounting Information

    Topic 8

    Cost Analysis and Costing

    Topic 9

    Budgeting and Performance Analysis

    Topic 10

    Performance Analysis

    Topic 11

    Capital Investment Decisions and Financing the Business

    Topic 12


    The table above lists the topics to be studied in this course:

  • 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

    Assignment Title



    Day /Week

    Learning Objective





    1 mark each for attempting at least 10 quizzes

    At the end of each topic



    Discussion Board

    Appropriate responses to set questions




    Application Activity

    Discipline specific



    To be advised

    10, 13, 14 

    Major project (case study)



    Parts 1, 2 and 3

    Dates to be discussed




    To be advised


    Assessment Detail

    How students will be assessed and marking guidelines for each assessment task are included in the detailed assessment information provided to the students. The following is an overview of each assessment task.

    Quiz - 10%
    At the end of each topic a short quiz on material studied in that topic will be available on MyUni. Each quiz consists of some multiple choice questions and some will include short exercises. Students are encouraged to complete each quiz as it provides valuable feedback. The score for each test is not included in the formal assessment for the course, however, students will be awarded a maximum of 10 marks for attempting each quiz. 

    Discussion Board Contribution - 5%
    Students are expected to submit their responses to the set discussion questions and to also respond to other students’ postings on the discussion board. There will be at least three set questions for which responses will be required.

    Application Activity - 10%
    Students are expected to complete and submit online a discipline based assignment which will apply concepts developed in the course to the students area of study. 

    Major Project - 50%
    Students will be allocated a company listed on the stock exchange. This company will be the basis of the major case study. As each topic is completed, students will be able to answer questions relating to that topic which will be assigned as part of the case study. This may mean extracting information from the company's publicly available information or researching in more detail a particular issue that is addressed in a topic. This research requires accessing academic and/or professional articles related to the issue in question.
    The case study is to be completed in three stages: submission dates will be discussed with students.

     Examination - 25%
    An examination will be held at the end of the course. It will be an open book examination and will cover most of the course material. 

     Notes on Assessment
    In this course, students’ continuing assessment will be assessed using specific guidelines and marking criteria prepared by the lecturers-in-charge. The marking criteria will be discussed prior to the commencement of marking. Before the assessment is returned to students, a sample of students’ assessment will be reviewed to determine if moderation is needed.

    Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process.

    Assignment Guidelines including Referencing Details
    A copy of the Postgraduate Programs: Communication Skills Guide Guide can be downloaded from

     This publication provides guidelines on a range of important communication skills including writing essays and management reports, making oral presentations 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. (Further information on plagiarism is provided later in this course outline.)

    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.
    Further assistance with referencing is available from the Faculty’s Learning Support Advisors. The contact details are provided in the Communication Skills Guide

    Presentation of assignments

    All work is to be submitted online. Instructions will be provided with the detailed assessment information.

    Please retain a copy of all assignments submitted for assessment.

    Assignments may not be accepted if they do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism (

    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.

    All requests for extensions must 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) will be penalised by 20% of the total assignment mark for each day that it is late.

    Return of Assignments 

    Markers aim to mark and return assignments to students within two (2) weeks of the due date with written feedback. Marked research assignments will be returned to students via MyUni.

    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.