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This subject introduces the fundamentals of accounting and financial statement interpretation within the context of government and commercial environments. Commencing with an examination of the principal financial statements the subject navigates the nature and types of transactions undertaken by organisations and how these transactions are recorded and reported. In the second half of the semester the subject addresses the key techniques for deeply assessing the financial performance, funding capacity and solvency of organisations. Finally the subject concludes with an examination of the accounting policy choices organisations may use to present their financial statements in the best possible light.
Principal topics include:
- The purpose of accounting
- Accounting reports and analysis
- Financial statement ratios
- Financial statement disclosures
- Accounting policy choices and earnings management
- Accounting reports and business failures
- The limitations of accounting information.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the Accounting principles underlying the preparation and interpretation of published financial statements
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness with which published financial statements meet the informational needs of users
- Be an engaged participant in debate regarding the efficacy of financial statements and the relative merits of proposed alternatives
- Have an advanced understanding of the accounting policies and choices available to preparers of financial statements
- Have a detailed understanding of earnings management policy choices used in commercial and political environments
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to the interpretation of financial statements
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse an organisation’s financial performance
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding financial performance to relevant specialist and non-specialist audience
- Be able to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility when using financial statements.
Last updated: 2 December 2019