Introduction to Financial Accounting

Module description

This is an introductory financial accounting module that aims at students who intend to major in accounting in their undergraduate studies, or who have a keen interest in gaining an understanding of elementary financial accounting.  The first part of the module outlines the framework of accounting – its nature, purposes, and the contexts/environment in which it is practised.   The module then covers the basics of accounting (i.e. concepts, conventions, principles and the accounting equation) and the recording/summarising mechanism that underlie financial accounting.  In addition, the recognition and measurement principles relating non-current assets, inventories, other assets and liabilities, and equity are also taught.  Finally, the module covers the preparation of financial statements from the trial balance for various types of entities including sole traders, partnerships, limited companies, and non-for-profit entities. The module uses the International Financial Reporting Standards as reference.

Additional Information:


Internationalisation is embedded in the content of this module through the use of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs).  Moreover, the principles of introductory financial accounting are common across most countries.


All of the resources for the module are available on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).

External engagement

The module content meets the standards of the professional accountancy bodies (e.g. ICAEW, ACCA and CIMA) and the module is accredited by them.


Material taught in this module is highly relevant to accounting- and business-related jobs. The module also offers an opportunity for students to develop their numeracy and logical thinking skills.

Widening Participation

Students are given problem sets a week before the tutorials and work on the questions independently. In the tutorials they have an opportunity to discuss any difficulties with the group. 

Research in teaching 

The module is informed by the module convenor’s research interest in financial reporting.

Full module specification

Module title:Introduction to Financial Accounting
Module code:BEA1008
Module level:1
Academic year:2019/0
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Chen Lim - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:





Cannot be taken with BEA1013 Introduction to Accounting (formally BEA1006 Accounting 1) concurrently

Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

This module aims to provide students with a broad understanding of introductory financial accounting, a thorough grounding in double-entry bookkeeping, and the preparation of financial statements for different types of entities. It serves to provide students who have a keen interest in accounting or intend to major in accounting in their undergraduate studies a solid foundation in financial accounting and reporting.

(Note: this module cannot be taken with BEA1013 Introduction to Accounting [formerly BEA1006 Accounting 1] concurrently)

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. describe the nature, uses and purposes of financial accounting, and outline both the conceptual and regulatory frameworks that govern the preparation and reporting of financial information
  • 2. explain the accounting equation and its link with financial statements, and illustrate the impact of economic transactions on the accounting equation
  • 3. describe the key concepts and conventions that underlie financial accounting
  • 4. describe and apply the transactions recording process from source documents to financial statements via the books of prime entry, ledgers and trial balance
  • 5. explain the nature and purposes of control accounts and apply appropriate correcting techniques for errors and omissions
  • 6. describe the role of computers in accounts production and the issues surrounding their use
  • 7. explain and apply the recognition and measurement principles relating to: non-current assets (including depreciation), inventories (and cost of sales) and other current assets and liabilities (including receivables and bad debts, prepayments and accruals, etc.) and non-current liabilities and equity in accordance with IFRSs
  • 8. explain the characteristics of a sole trader vis-à-vis a company; and prepare financial statements for both forms of entities in accordance woith IFRSs
  • 9. explain the characteristics of a partnership, prepare financial information for a partnership including the admission of a partner and the dissolution of a partnership
  • 10. prepare financial statements for non-for-profit entities

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 11. apply accounting principles, concepts and conventions in practical situations
  • 12. aggregate accounting data for companies, non-for-profit entities and other business forms into meaningful statements

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 13. demonstrate basic problem solving skills
  • 14. demonstrate an ability to undertake independent study and to manage time
  • 15. demonstrate basic written and numerical skills

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities21Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities10Tutorials
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities10Timetabled help classes (optional)
Guided independent study109Reading and preparation for tutorials, workshops and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly tutorials for discussion3 hrs preparation by student / 1 hr in class discussion1-15Discussion in tutorial and suggested solutions on ELE

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written examination (in term test)201 hour 1-15Debriefing in lecture and suggested solutions on ELE
Written examination802 hours1-15Suggested solution on ELE

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
1 hr in-term test and 2 hour written examination2 hour written examination1-15August Examination Period

Re-assessment notes

Students who fail the module overall will be reassessed by way of a two-hour written examination in the summer of the respective academic year.

Syllabus plan

  • The framework of accounting
  • The accounting equation, concepts and conventions
  • The transactions recording process, trial balance and basic financial statements
  • Control accounts, errors and omissions and computerised accounting
  • Non-current assets and depreciation
  • Inventories and cost of sales
  • Other current assets and liabilities
  • Non-current liabilities and equity
  • Preparation of financial statements for sole traders and limited companies
  • Preparation of financial statements for partnerships and non-for-profit organisations

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Thomas, A. and Ward, A. M. (2015) Introduction to Financial Accounting, 8th edition, London: McGraw Hill Education. (Note: older edition can be used)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources:



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