Financial Accounting A

Module description

Financial accounting is that branch of accounting that focuses on producing information for external users of financial reports, including shareholders and creditors. The information produced by the financial reporting system is crucial for the efficient operation of world financial markets.  The accounting information system collects data, processes that data and produces information.  This information manifests itself in the form of the annual report, issued by all companies (the financial statements forming part of the annual report). 

The module begins with a discussion of the regulatory environment in which accounting operates followed by an examination of the Conceptual Framework (which sets out the concepts that underlie the preparation and presentation of financial statements for external users).  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 including the overall presentation of financial statements and specifically property, plant and equipment, intangible assets, investment properties, leases, provisions and events after the reporting period, tax and deferred tax.

The 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 accrual basis 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).


Full module specification

Module title:Financial Accounting A
Module code:BEA2019
Module level:2
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Mr David Kolitz - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEA/INT1008 Introduction to Financial Accounting  

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


Module aims


 The module aims to give you a solid foundation in the theory and practice of financial reporting.   .  You will be exposed to current issues within the financial reporting environment and will engage with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).  Use is also made of the published financial statements of listed companies as a practical illustration of the concepts taught.

The module is focused on real world financial reporting issues and you will be encourage to relate what is taught with the practical application in published financial statements as well as to engage with the analysis and opinions published by the professional accountancy bodies and the professional accountancy firms.

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

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Identify and explain the issues relating to the regulatory environment of financial reporting and the development of accounting standards.
  • 2. State and apply the principles and definitions in the Conceptual Framework.
  • 3. Prepare a set of financial statements in compliance with IAS 1, Presentation of Financial Statements.
  • 4. Discuss as well as explain and apply the recognition, measurement and disclosure principles of the International Financial Reporting Standards dealing with a wide variety of financial statement items including the overall presentation of financial statements and including property, plant and equipment, intangible assets, investment properties, leases, provisions and events after the reporting period, tax and deferred tax
  • 5. Explain and discuss some of the theoretical and practical issues relating to the application of accounting standards.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. Demonstrate problem solving skills
  • 7. Use analysis and critical thinking to evaluate financial reporting issues, to make judgements and recommendations.
  • 8. Identify key problems and then use relevant qualitative and quantitative information to solve them.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Demonstrate well-developed numeracy skills
  • 10. Demonstrate well-developed written and verbal 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
Scheduled learning and teaching activities20Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities15Tutorials
Scheduled learning and teaching activities1Revision Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities4Seminars focusing on application of fundamental accounting technique
Guided independent study110Reading of the relevant accounting standards and related commentary (text books and web-based), preparation for seminars and tutorials, review of lecture, seminar and tutorial work.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly Tutorials3-4 hours preparation by Student. Followed by tutorial discussion and explanation of solutions1-10Discussion in tutorial and suggested solutions on ELE
Weekly on-line MCQs1/2 hour for Student to complete1-4On-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
In term test201 hour1-4; 6-8Online responses
Written exam (January)802.5 hours1-10Solutions on ELE

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
In term test and Written exam2.5 hour written examination1-10August Examination Period

Re-assessment notes

Students who fail the module overall will be reassessed by way of a 2.5 hours written examination during the August examination session.

Syllabus plan

  • 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

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

 Core text:

 Melville, A. (2019). International financial reporting: A practical guide (7th ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education.

Additional texts:

Service, C.L. (2020). Gripping GAAP (2020 ed.), Durban: LexisNexis.

Maynard, J. (2017). Financial accounting, reporting and analysis (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

The following websites are useful to bookmark and visit on a regular basis:

Professional accountancy bodies and financial reporting websites

  • The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) website that has up to date information on the latest developments in IFRS as well as technical summaries of the IASB standards,
  • IAS PLUS, a Deloitte hosted website with summaries of all the IASB’s standards (IFRS and IAS), model financial statements and much more,

The websites of the Big 4 practices all have sections devoted to financial reporting, including latest updates, discussions and model financial statements

Accounting education websites:

  • IFRS Box, a site covering technical IFRS issues, with good summaries and innovative diagrams,
  • Accounting Coach, a resource consisting of easy to read text, quizzes, crosswords etc aimed mainly at introductory level so useful for revision but also has some relevant intermediate topics,
  • Learn Accounting, a collection of short video lectures covering a range of accounting topics (no cost to register),

Last revision date