Financial Accounting

Module description

This module builds on the foundation laid by BEA1008 Introduction to Financial Accounting.  Students must be familiar with and be able to apply the definitions of the elements of the financial statements and the accrualbasis of accounting.  You must also be proficient in double entry accounting as well as adjusting and closing entries.  In addition, you need to know how to produce a basic set of financial statements (incorporating a statement of comprehensive income, statement of financial position and a statement of changes in equity). 

The module focuses on the theory and practice of financial accounting.  This area of accounting deals with the reporting of useful information to external users of financial statements.  You will be exposed to current issues within the financial reporting environment and will engage with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and relevant academic literature.  Use is also made of the published financial statements of listed companies as a practical illustration of the concepts taught.

Full module specification

Module title:Financial Accounting
Module code:BEA2001
Module level:2
Academic year:2015/6
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Kevin McMeeking - Convenor
  • Mr David Kolitz - Convenor
Module credit:30
ECTS value:



BEA1008 Introduction to Financial Accounting

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


Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

This module aims to give you a solid foundation in the theory and practice of financial reporting. It will provide you with the knowledge and skills that you need to progress to further study of financial reporting and / or to the exams of the professional accountancy bodies.

You are introduced to accounting as a social science and exposed to the some of the key academic debates around the nature of accounting, for example, if accounting is indeed a construction, why are accounting facts and figures elevated to the position of absolute truths? How does accounting function as a legitimation device? How does it shape (in)visibility? This sets the scene for the core content of the module i.e. the tension between the apparent objectivity of accounting numbers vis-à-vis the subjective nature of accounting interpretations.

This leads to a discussion of the regulatory environment in which accounting operates. You will also be taught about the Conceptual Framework (which sets out the concepts that underlie the preparation and presentation of financial statements for external users) and also how to apply the concepts of the Conceptual Framework to practical financial reporting issues. Through the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), you will be exposed to the recognition, measurement and disclosure issues relating to a wide variety of financial statement items.

Current issues in financial reporting such as the debate around social and environmental accounting, professional ethics, creative accounting and emerging trends in contemporary financial accounting research are also examined.

The ability to communicate clearly is essential to business and this will be emphasised in the module.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. question the commonly perceived objectivity and rationality of accounting
  • 2. identify and explain the issues relating to regulatory environment of financial reporting and the development of accounting standards
  • 3. state and apply the principles and definitions in The Conceptual Framework
  • 4. prepare a set of financial statements in compliance with IAS 1, Presentation of Financial Statements
  • 5. discuss as well as explain and apply the recognition, measurement and disclosure principles of the international financial reporting standards dealing with property, plant & equipment; investment property; intangible assets; provisions & events after the reporting period; leases; accounting policies, changes in accounting estimates & errors; revenue; income taxes; statement of cash flows; earnings per share; foreign currencies
  • 6. discuss issues relating to corporate social responsibility and social & environmental accounting
  • 7. discuss the issues relating to creative accounting
  • 8. discuss current trends in financial accounting research

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 9. critically evaluate arguments and evidences
  • 10. analyse and draw reasoned conclusions concerning structured and unstructured problems
  • 11. develop an ability to locate, extract and analyse data from multiple sources

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 12. be able to work individually
  • 13. demonstrate well-developed numeracy skills
  • 14. demonstrate well-developed written communication 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
Contact Hours40Lectures
Contact Hours20Tutorials
Contact Hours4Revision lecture

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly tutorials3-4 hrs preparation by student / 1 hr in-class discussion1-13Discussion in tutorial and suggested solutions on ELE
Weekly on-line pre-lecture MCQs½ hr to complete2-5On-line responses

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
Coursework test (mid-term 1) 101 hour1-4Discussion in lecture/tutorial and suggested solutions on ELE
Written exam (January exam session)402 hour1-5; 8; 9-14Discussion in lecture/tutorial and suggested solutions on ELE
Term 2 group presentation1013 minutes5-7Verbal discussion in class and suggested solutions in ELE
Written exam (May exam session)402 hours5-8; 9-14Suggested solutions on ELE

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Coursework test (mid-term 1) and Written exam (Term 1 assessment)2 hour written examination1-5; 8; 9-14August Examination Period
Coursework test (mid-term 2) and Written exam (Term 2 assessment)2 hour written examination5-8; 9-14August Examination Period

Re-assessment notes



If you


Term 1 assessments

Term 2 assessments


Fail the module as a whole


Fail overall (mid-term test and Jan exam combined)

Fail overall (assignment and May exam combined)

Refer Jan exam (100% reassessment, 50% contribution) and May exam (100% reassessment, 50% contribution)

Fail the module as a whole


Fail overall (mid-term test and Jan exam combined)

Pass overall (assignment and May exam combined)

Refer Jan exam (100% reassessment, 50% contribution)

Fail the module as a whole


Pass overall (mid-term test and Jan exam combined)

Fail overall (assignment and May exam combined)

Refer May exam (100% reassessment, 50% contribution)








Defer Jan exam

Pass overall

Defer Jan exam (40% contribution)




Defer May exam

Defer May exam (40% contribution)



Defer Jan exam

Defer May exam

Defer Jan exam (40% contribution).  Defer May exam (40% contribution)

Note 1: No deferral or referral for mid-term test or assignment.

Note2: In the rare event of a student failing the assessment in one term and deferring that in the other term, the student would take the deferred assessment in August, and if the student failed the module overall, the re-assessment would take place in August the year after, as per one of the first three scenarios set out above.

Syllabus plan

Term 1

  • The financial reporting environment
  • The conceptual framework
  • Presentation of financial statements
  • Property, plant & equipment
  • Investment property
  • Intangible assets
  • Accounting policies, estimates & errors
  • Provisions and contingencies / Events after the reporting period
  • Leases
  • Accounting for taxation and deferred tax

Term 2

  • Accounting theory
  • Income measurement
  • Revenue / EPS / Earnings management
  • Ethics
  • Regulatory framework / Conceptual framework
  • Value relevance
  • Statement of cash flows
  • Consolidations
  • Emerging issues

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core Text:

  • Deegan, C. and Ward, A. (2013) Financial Accounting and Reporting: An International Approach, Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education

Additional Texts:

  • McKeith, J. and Collins, B. (2013) Financial Accounting and Reporting, Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education
  • Kothari, J. and Barone, E. (2011) Advanced Financial Accounting, Harlow: Pearson Education Limited
  • Maynard, J. (2013) Financial Accounting, Reporting and Analysis, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web page of the IASB, and the financial reporting sections of the web pages of the ICAEW, ICAS and the professional accountancy firms

Electronic databases

IAS Guidance (Available via the library webpage)

BPP e-learning module on International Financial Reporting (available via ELE)

Origin date


Last revision date