- Class Number 2487
- Term Code 2930
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Sarah Adams
- Dr Sarah Adams
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 25/02/2019
- Class End Date 31/05/2019
- Census Date 31/03/2019
- Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
The objective of this course is to provide the student with the opportunity to obtain a sound knowledge of normative, positive and critical theories of accounting. The course begins by examining the nature of theories and alternative forms of logic. The conceptual framework and key contemporary and historical accounting issues are examined, highlighting the role of theory in understanding current accounting standards, accounting practice and the use of accounting information by the myriad stakeholders in reporting entities. Throughout the course examples of the relationship between theories of accounting and decisions facing real people (accountants and financial statement users) are highlighted.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- have read more widely in accounting;
- have acquired a deeper and more critical appreciation of what defines contemporary accounting practice, and more importantly, what it is that should define the nature, scope and future of accounting;
- be familiar with concepts of theory development and theories of accounting policy choice, measurement of economic income and the societal use of accounting information;
- have achieved a deeper understanding of selected contemporary issues in accounting;
- have developed an ability to critically analyse these issues within the theoretical framework developed earlier in the course.
This course builds on current research to examine contemporary issues in accounting, which includes research in other disciplines such as finance and economics. The course adopts an interactive approach to learning and teaching and draws from active learning pedagogies. Students are encouraged to be an active participant in the learning process.
Deegan, Craig. Financial Accounting Theory, 4th edition, McGraw-Hill, 2013.
Students are expected to have access to a copy of the prescribed book for the duration of the semester. The book can be purchased from the on campus bookshop, with a small number of copies of the text also available for 2 hour loan in the reserve loan section of the Chifley Library.
In addition to the relevant chapters of the textbook, required readings for each week will be made available on Wattle. These readings will be the subject of prescribed tutorial questions and specific questions for consideration may be provided on Wattle. Additional readings may be prescribed during the semester. The readings provided in Wattle are NOT exhaustive. You are expected to conduct follow-up readings and background research into topics and issues addressed in this course as part of your private study.
You will find the ANU’s extensive list of electronic and traditionally delivered academic journals extremely useful. For some sessions you may be required to use the ANU’s electronic databases to locate and obtain relevant journal articles for study in class.
ALL topics and issues addressed in the lectures are examinable.
Students will be given feedback in various ways in this course, including verbal or written feedback on the return of assessment tasks, during class discussion, or during consultation with lecturers and tutors.
ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
The greatest benefit from lectures is obtained by reading the relevant material in advance of attending the lectures and participating in discussion during tutorials. Students are required to prepare the relevant set of questions in advance of attending tutorials and come to tutorials prepared to discuss the issues involved, and any difficulties encountered in responding to the set questions and areas in which they are in need of clarification.
Hurdle Assessment Requirement:
In order to pass this course you must satisfactorily complete all of the items of assessment, including a mark of not less than 50% in the final examination; and an overall result of not less than 50% for the semester.
As a further academic integrity control, students may be selected for a 15 minute individual oral examination of their written assessment submissions.
Any student identified, either during the current semester or in retrospect, as having used ghost writing services will be investigated under the University’s Academic Misconduct Rule.
Email and Forums on the Wattle Course Website
Email and the Wattle course website are the preferred ways of communication. Student forums are set up on Wattle for each topic and can be viewed by all enrolled students and teaching staff. Students are encouraged to post any questions they have in the appropriate forum.
If necessary, the lecturer and tutors for this course will contact students on their official ANU student email address. Students should use this email address when contacting staff as spam filters used by ANU may not allow other email addresses to be received. Information about your enrolment and fees from the Registrar and Student Services' office will also be sent to this email address.
Students are expected to check the Wattle site for announcements about this course, e.g. changes to timetables or notifications of cancellations. Notifications of emergency cancellations of lectures or tutorials will be posted on the door of the relevant room.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Introduction to course, contemporary issues—analysing the role of accounting in corporate failure||No tutorials in Week 1.|
|2||Introduction to theories and their application to accounting||Required readings will be available on Wattle. Tutorial questions will be placed on Wattle.|
|3||Positive Accounting Theory I – introduction, agency theory||Required reading: Deegan (2013) Ch 1 [textbook] Additional required readings will be available on Wattle. Tutorial questions will be placed on Wattle.|
|4||Positive Accounting Theory II - earnings management and accounting policy choice||Required reading: Deegan (2013) Ch. 7 [textbook] Additional required readings will be available on Wattle. Tutorial questions will be placed on Wattle.|
|5||Positive accounting theory III– capital market responses to accounting information||References and Readings: Deegan (2013) Ch. 7 [textbook] Additional required readings will be available on Wattle. Tutorial questions will be placed on Wattle. Group Assignment - Referencing Exercise and Essay Plan (10%) DUE|
|6||Behavioural Accounting Research||References and Readings: Deegan (2013) Ch 10 [textbook] Additional required readings will be available on Wattle. Tutorial questions will be placed on Wattle.|
|7||Regulation of financial accounting||References and Readings: Deegan (2013) Ch 11 [textbook] Additional required readings will be available on Wattle. Tutorial questions will be placed on Wattle.|
|8||The conceptual framework for financial reporting||References and Readings: Deegan (2013) Ch 3 [textbook] Additional required readings will be available on Wattle. Tutorial questions will be placed on Wattle. Group Assignment – Research Essay (25%) DUE|
|9||Alternative Measurement Approaches I||References and Readings: Deegan (2013) Ch 6 [textbook] Additional required readings will be available on Wattle. Tutorial questions will be placed on Wattle.|
|10||Alternative Measurement Approaches II||References and Readings: Deegan (2013) Ch 5 [textbook] Additional required readings will be available on Wattle. Tutorial questions will be placed on Wattle.|
|11||Corporate social responsibility||References and Readings: Deegan (2013) Ch 5 [textbook] Additional required readings will be available on Wattle. Tutorial questions will be placed on Wattle.|
|12||Extended accountabilities - corporate social and environmental accounting Course Review||References and Readings: Deegan (2013) Ch 9 [textbook] Additional required readings will be available on Wattle. Tutorial questions will be placed on Wattle.|
Please see Wattle for tutors’ information.
Tutorial signup for this course will be done via the Wattle website. Detailed information about signup times will be provided on Wattle. When tutorials are available for enrolment, follow these steps:
1. Log on to Wattle, and go to the course site.
2. Click on the link “Tutorial enrolment”
3. On the right of the screen, click on the tab “Become Member of ……” for the tutorial class you wish to enter.
4. Confirm your choice
If you need to change your enrolment, you will be able to do so by clicking on the tab “Leave group…” and then re-enrol in another group. You will not be able to enrol in groups that have reached their maximum number. Please note that enrolment in ISIS must be finalised for you to have access to Wattle.
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Tutorial presentation (10%)||10 %||04/03/2019||05/06/2019||1,2,3,4,5|
|Tutorial Preparation (5%)||5 %||04/03/2019||05/06/2019||1,2,3,4,5|
|Group Assignment - Referencing Exercise and Essay Plan (10%)||10 %||27/03/2019||05/04/2019||1,2,3|
|Group Assignment – Research Essay (25%)||25 %||01/05/2019||31/05/2019||1,2,3,4,5|
|Final Exam||50 %||06/06/2019||04/07/2019||1,2,3,4,5|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.
Moderation of Assessment
Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
Materials permitted in the exam venue:
· No electronic aids are permitted e.g. laptops, phones
· Dictionary – for candidates with written approval from School
Details regarding materials and equipment that is permitted in an examination room can be found on the ANU website:
Information regarding permitted examination materials for the course will be available on the examination timetable website when the examination timetable is released:
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Tutorial presentation (10%)
In this assessment task, students will work in groups of two (2) allocated in the first tutorials in Week 2. Groups will be allocated a tutorial week in which they will present their findings to the set tutorial questions for the week, and promote broader discussion with the class on the weekly topic. The tutorial questions to be included in the presentation are available on Wattle. The presentation will be assessed based on three criteria (n.b. these are not evenly weighted):
1) Content of the presentation - understanding of topic, coverage of all key issues, and level of evidence and reasoning provided for responses.
2) Quality of the presentation - the clarity, structure and cohesiveness of the response, creativity and interest of presentation format, and keeping to appropriate time limits.
3) Efforts and ability to engage class and encourage participation in discussions, and respond and interact with the class and tutor.
Note: marks will be released progressively throughout the semester as groups present each week.
Due Date: The due date listed in the assessment summary is the earliest possible date.
Return Date: The return date listed in the assessment summary is the latest possible return date.
|High Distinction||Distinction||Credit Pass||Pass||Fail|
Excellent level of understanding of topic and theory with no discernible gaps in knowledge. All key issues are addressed in a careful and thorough manner. Arguments are strongly reasoned and well-evidenced.
High level of understanding of topic and theory with no gaps in knowledge. Key issues are addressed in full. Arguments are reasoned and evidenced.
Good understanding of topic and theory with relatively few gaps in knowledge. Most key issues are presented. Some reasoning and evidence for arguments.
Basic understanding of topic and theory with some gaps in knowledge. Some key issues are presented. Reasoning and evidence for arguments could be further developed.
Poor or limited understanding of the topic with evidence of gaps in knowledge. Lack of coverage of all key issues. Poor reasoning and argumentation.
Outstanding presentation which was extremely clear, logical and cohesive. Very interesting or creative format for presentation. Presentation well-paced and kept to time limits.
Excellent presentation which was clear, logical and cohesive. An interesting or creative format for presentation. Presentation well-paced and kept to time limits.
Good presentation which was mostly clear, logical and cohesive. Some interesting and creative elements. Presentation kept to time limits but some issues with pacing.
Reasonable presentation that could be followed, with some areas of clarity needed. Overall lacked cohesiveness. Format reasonable but could be improved. Some issues with timing.
Poor presentation of limited clarity, interest or structure. Failure to keep to appropriate time limit.
Outstanding efforts to engage with broader class and promote discussions. Convincing ability to respond and interact with class and tutor questions.
Excellent efforts to engage with broader class and promote discussions. Shows confidence in responses and interaction with class and tutor questions.
Good efforts to engage with broader class and promote discussions. Able to competently respond and interact with class and tutor questions.
Some efforts to engage with broader class and promote discussions. Some effort to respond and interact with class and tutor questions.
Limited or no efforts to engage in broader discussion with class. Unable or unwilling to respond to class or tutor questions.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Tutorial Preparation (5%)
Students are required to prepare fully for each weekly tutorial. Tutors will randomly select five (5) weeks of the semester to mark the preparedness of students for class based on their written responses to the tutorial questions for that week. This assessment will take place at the beginning of the tutorial, so students should be prepared each week to show tutors the work they have done prior to class, either on paper, or on their own personal computing device. Evidence of preparation provided after the tutorial will not be accepted. Marks will be allocated according to the following:
0/1: Limited or no evidence of preparation for tutorial, mostly incomplete responses. Student has copied answers from previous year tutorials.
0.5/1: Evidence that most questions have been attempted to a reasonable level.
1/1: Evidence of thorough and complete preparation on all questions.
Marks for this assessment task will be released after the conclusion of the tutorials for the semester.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
Group Assignment - Referencing Exercise and Essay Plan (10%)
Purpose: To ensure that students are in no doubt as to the level of referencing required in a scholarly paper and to identify and organise sources relevant to the completion of the research essay.
Outline: Students will continue working in the groups formed in Week 2 (for Assessment Task 1) for this assessment task. Each group will complete two tasks to help prepare them for the Research Essay: (1) an exercise on identifying sources and referencing them correctly using the Harvard referencing system [worth 5%] and (2) an essay plan that requires students to identify suitable journal articles for the research essay, identify suitable definitions of key terms for the research essay, and provide a written outline of how they will use their sources to write their research essay [worth 5%].
This assessment is due 6pm on Wednesday 27 March 2019 through Turnitin (Wattle).
Further details on this assessment will be provided on Wattle in Week 1.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Group Assignment – Research Essay (25%)
Purpose: To critically analyse a selected contemporary issue in financial accounting.
Outline: The Research Essay examines your ability to critical analyse a selected contemporary issue in financial accounting. Students will continue working in the groups formed in Week 2 (for Assessment Tasks 1&2) for this assessment task. It is expected that your essay will be broadly researched, clear, well reasoned and argued, and that it will draw upon a considerable range of source material.
Assessment Criteria: The Research Essay will be assessed based upon the following criteria:
- Evidence of scholarly research: extent of literature review, relevance of articles, substantiation of arguments with references to literature.
- Depth and relevance of discussion: coverage and depth in the focus areas of the essay, demonstration of knowledge and understanding of theory.
- Critical analysis: level of critical analysis, argumentation, originality of ideas and insight.
- Written expression: effective language and writing (including attention to grammar and sentence construction), structure and coherence of the essay as a whole.
- Consistency with academic conventions: correct and consistent referencing, formatting and abiding by word count.
This assessment is due 6pm on Wednesday 01 May 2019 through Turnitin (Wattle).
Further details on the Research Essay will be placed on course Wattle website in Week 1.
|High Distinction 80% - 100%||Distinction 70% - 79%||Credit Pass 60% - 69%||Pass 50% - 59%||Fail <>|
Evidence of scholarly research
The essay effectively draws upon a wide variety of relevant scholarly resources and provides evidence to support all assertions.
The essay effectively draws upon a good amount of relevant scholarly resources and provides evidence to support most assertions.
The essay effectively references scholarly resources and provides evidence to support some assertions.
The essay draws upon a few scholarly references, and/or provides incomplete evidence to support assertions.
The essay draws upon a limited number of scholarly references.
Depth of argument
All aspects of the given topic are discussed in a thorough manner.
Most aspects of the given topic are addressed in depth.
Most aspects of the given topic are considered.
Key aspects of the given topic are considered.
Essay is superficial and/or inadequate in scope.
The essay demonstrates excellent critical analysis, development of logical arguments and insight into the topic.
The essay shows strong evidence of analysis, supported by logical arguments and insight into the topic.
The essay shows evidence of elementary analysis and the development of discussion.
The essay is mainly descriptive, showing basic understanding of the topic.
The essay demonstrates very limited understanding of the topic.
Structure and expression
The essay is exceptionally clear, cohesive, and structured. Grammar and expression are impeccable.
The essay is clear, cohesive, and structured. Grammar and expression are excellent.
The essay is mostly clear in terms of structure, with some weaknesses in cohesiveness. Grammar and expression are good, with some issues.
The essay is clear in some areas, and unclear in others. Some structural issues and lack of cohesion. Grammar and expression are acceptable.
The essay is unclear, disjointed or confusing for the reader. Grammar and expression poor.
Consistency with conventions
All aspects of the essay conform to a high academic standard. Word count is within limits.
Most aspects of the essay conform to a high academic standard. Word count is within limits.
Most aspects of the essay conform to academic standards. Word count is within limits.
The essay displays basic academic standard, with some issues or weaknesses. Word count is within limits.
The essay is not of an acceptable academic standard. Word count is NOT within limits.
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Centrally administered examinations through Examinations, Graduations & Prizes will be timetabled prior to the examination period. The due date listed in the assessment summary is the earliest possible date. Please check ANU Timetabling for further information. Exam scripts will not be returned. Students may review their exam scripts by appointment during scheduled sessions at the RSA School Office.
Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.
You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education), submission must be through Turnitin.
For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.
Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:
- Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.
Assignments will be returned using the course Wattle site.
Extensions and Penalties
Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Resubmission of Assignments
Students may not resubmit assignments.
Distribution of grades policy
Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.
Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for students
The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Sarah's research interests include social accounting and accountability; reporting by not-for-profit organisations, cooperatives, mutuals and other social-purpose entities; social finance, social enterprise and social business; business ethics, sustainability and accountability.
Dr Sarah Adams