Business Finance for Accountants

Module description


This module introduces you to the key concepts in finance, so that real world issues can be explored and discussed. Whilst the module assumes no previous mathematical experience, it does assume a fundamental understanding of accounts – therefore BEA1008 is a pre-requisite. It is also recommended to take this module if you wish to study Financial Management.

Additional Information:

The content of this module is applicable worldwide and draws on examples from a diverse range of businesses.

The main text for this module has been customised for this module, comprising of work from several sources. All of the other resources for this module are available on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).

External Engagement
Occasionally there will be guest lectures from Professionals from local accounting firms.
The content of this module is informed by ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales), ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), and ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland).


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.

Full module specification

Module title:Business Finance for Accountants
Module code:BEA1010
Module level:1
Academic year:2016/7
Module lecturers:
  • Mr Aurel Kucani - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:





BEA1008 Introduction to Financial Accounting

Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

The aim of this module is twofold:

a)     to introduce students to the basic concepts within finance: key financial mathematics, investment appraisal techniques, working capital management, financial statement analysis, capital structure decisions, dividend policy decisions, personal financial management and risk management;  

b)    To expose students to real business issues and decisions that they may face as an accountant; as well as introducing them to other areas that they may consider for further investigation in the future.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. apply the mathematical skills needed to study financial management
  • 2. describe and illustrate alternative capital project appraisal techniques
  • 3. describe the role of the finance function
  • 4. describe the main features of the capital markets and the finance functions interaction with them
  • 5. describe how business plans are developed and generate forecast financial statements
  • 6. undertake the analysis and interpretation of financial statements
  • 7. discuss the factors involved in the management of working capital and calculate the effect of different strategies
  • 8. describe the advantages and disadvantages the main sources of internal and external finance
  • 9. calculate the weighted average cost of capital and understand its implications for capital structure
  • 10. discuss the determinants of dividend policy
  • 11. identify the main components of the risk management process and explain how it operates
  • 12. explain the main principles and models of business valuation
  • 13. describe and explain the Efficient Market Hypothesis

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 14. identify and present appropriate information to assist management with determining the mix of funds from different sources and taking financial management decisions
  • 15. apply financial management concepts and practices to analyse simple business problems and recommend courses of action
  • 16. demonstrate an appreciation of the usefulness or otherwise of a range of financial management techniques

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 17. demonstrate written communication skills
  • 18. demonstrate problem solving skills
  • 19. demonstrate an ability to undertake independent study and manage their time

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
Contact Hours20Lectures
Contact Hours2Revision
Contact Hours10Tutorial

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly problems and questions to aid discussion in tutorials2-3 hours for preparation; 1 hour in-class session1-19Tutor run-through of questions and suggested solutions
Tutorial discussion1 hour in-class session1-19In class feedback

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
In-class Test201 hour1-7 and 15-19Mark awarded and suggested solutions
Written Examination802 hours1-19Mark awarded and suggested solutions

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written examination (in-term test, 20%) and Written Examination (80%) Examination (100%) 2 hours1-19August / September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

If you have been referred in this module overall, you will have the opportunity to take a second exam in the August/September re-assessment period, and this constitutes 100% of the module re-assessment.

If you have, due to genuine mitigating circumstances, missed the in-term test element of this module only, the written exam constitutes 100% of the module assessment.

If you have been deferred in the written exam (80%) only, you will have the opportunity to take a second exam in the August/September re-assessment period, and this constitutes 80% of the module assessment

If you have been deferred in both the in-term test (20%) element and the written exam (80%), you will have the opportunity to take a second exam in the August/September re-assessment period, and this constitutes 100% of the module assessment.

Syllabus plan

Mathematics primer:

  • Financial mathematics – arithmetic and geometric progressions, discounting, compounding, annuities and perpetuities


  • The role of the finance function
  • The financial world: markets, institutions and products  Capital investment decisions:
  • Investment appraisal techniques

Financial planning and analysis:

  • Analysis and interpretation of financial statements – profitability and efficiency ratios
  • Analysis and interpretation of financial statements – liquidity, solvency and investment ratios
  • Working capital – working capital elements, policies and the cash cycle
  • Working capital – the management of inventories, receivables and payables
  • Financial planning – financial statement forecasts, reconciliation of cash flow to profit projections

Financing decisions:

  • Financing a business – internal and external sources
  • Financing a business – raising long-term finance
  • Cost of capital and gearing
  • Developing a dividend policy

Financial controls:

  • Introduction to risk management

Introduction to business valuation models:

  • Dividend and abnormal earnings models
  • Discounted cash flow and EVA models
  • Multiples-based valuation
  • Cost of capital assumptions


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

BEA 1010 Business Finance for Accountants Custom Text, Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.

Note this is taken from:

Atrill, P. (2014), Financial Management for Decision Makers, 7th ed., Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd (Chapters 1-3; and 6-10) Arnold, G. (2012), Essentials of Corporate Financial Management, 2nd revised ed., Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd (Chapter 1)

Watson, D. & Head, A. (2012) Corporate Finance, Principles & Practice, 6th revised ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd. (Chapter 12)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Directed reading, tutorial questions and further practice questions

Origin date


Last revision date