• Class Number 5884
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Lijuan Zhang
    • Dr Lijuan Zhang
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course is about financial reporting, but not how to report or account for activities. Two key features of the syllabus are the explicit linkage to the research literature and the emphasis on empirical evidence. The adopted approach is largely based on the economics of accounting and finance. The course also aims to introduce students to the theoretical and practical skills required to conduct their own empirical research.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon completion of the course students will have:
1. Read widely within the literature concerning the information content of published financial statements and the use of accounting information in contracting
2. Demonstrated an understanding of the key issues presented in the above literature and the implications of these issues for accounting research and practice
3. Developed rudimentary empirical research skills


Research-Led Teaching

This course is a research-based course, which aims to familiarize students with the contemporary research themes, techniques and outcomes in the financial accounting and capital market area. Students will gain research skills through:

1. a systematic review of seminal research papers in various areas of accounting research;

2. class presentations and discussions of a selective list of research outputs; and

3. a practical research project that helps students use statistical method to undertake scientific inquiries.

Examination Material or equipment

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:


Required Resources

There is no prescribed book for the course. Please refer to the course webpage on Wattle for list of readings.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments to whole class and individuals

Student Feedback

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.

Other Information


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 the Wattle Course Website

Email and the Wattle course website are the preferred ways of communication.

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction & Understanding Statistical Evidence Topic 1 reading
2 Accounting Information & Capital Markets Topic 2 reading
3 Earnings Management Topic 3 reading
4 Role of Accruals and the Accrual anomaly Topic 4 reading
5 Earnings quality Topic 6 reading
6 Introduction to Wharton database and Statistical software
7 Accounting Conservatism and Voluntary Disclosures Topic 7 reading
8 International Institutional Factors and Financial Regulation Topic 8 reading
9 Prediction of Future Cash Flows and Earnings Topic 9 reading
10 Security Analysts: Role and Incentives Topic 10 reading
11 Practical Assignment Presentations
12 Accounting and Capital Market Review

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Practical Research Assignment 30 % 04/11/2021 18/11/2021 1,3
Seminar Report and Presentation 20 % 11/08/2021 19/08/2021 1,2
Final Exam 50 % 04/11/2021 02/12/2021 1,2,3

* 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:

Assessment Requirements

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 Academic Integrity . 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.


Online live seminar via Zoom


Information regarding permitted examination materials for the course will be available on the examination timetable website when the examination timetable is released: http://timetable.anu.edu.au/

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 04/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 18/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Practical Research Assignment

Details of task:

The practical research assignment will require you to conduct rudimentary empirical research on a sample of real firms. You will be required to:

Identify and download a sample appropriate for your purpose

Manipulate the data in this sample using MS-Excel’s advanced functions

Import your data to a statistical program such as SPSS, Stata and SAS

Conduct rudimentary multivariate analysis of your data

Test the sensitivity of your model to the effect of outliers

Prepare a professionally presented report detailing your research motivation, method and findings

Further information will be provided by Week 6.

You will be asked to present your work during class in Week 11. While marks are not awarded for this presentation, it is an important part of the learning process as you will receive feedback during your presentation. Your presentation and the in-class feedback will assist you in improving your assignment prior to submission. Submission of the assignment is via Turnitin.


Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 11/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 19/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Seminar Report and Presentation

Presentation: 10%

Report: 10%

Details of task:

Starts in Week 3, each student will be required to lead the class discussion on an academic article on at least two occasions. All the articles will be available on Wattle in Week 1. Depending on the enrolment, there may be more than one student assigned to a particular article. While you are not expected to present a complete ‘lecture’ on your topic, you should prepare a small number of PowerPoint slides or hand-outs highlighting key issues/tables/equations/diagrams relevant to your readings. Students will choose their presentation time in Week 2 based on a first-come, first-served basis. For the paper that you are assigned as the discussion leader, you will also be required to submit a written summary (strictly 4 pages maximum) of the key issues including critiques considered in the paper. The written submission is due by 5pm before the day of presentation and must be submitted via Turnitin. You will be assessed on your demonstrated understanding of the assigned articles and their relevance to key issues studied in this course. The first report and presentation for each student will be by Week 5.

Due date: The due date listed in the assessment summary is the earliest possible date.

Return date: The estimated return date is one week after the due date. The return date listed in the assessment summary is the earliest possible return date.


Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 04/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 02/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Final Exam

4-hours take-home exam.

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.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

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.

Hardcopy Submission

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.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

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.

Returning Assignments

Assignment will be returned online.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

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).

Dr Lijuan Zhang

Research Interests

Financial accounting; Voluntary disclosure; Executive compensation; Analyst forecasts; Capital markets.

Dr Lijuan Zhang

Thursday 17:00 18:00
Thursday 17:00 18:00
Dr Lijuan Zhang

Research Interests

Dr Lijuan Zhang

Thursday 17:00 18:00
Thursday 17:00 18:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions