ACCT3563 Issues in Financial Reporting and Analysis - 2020

Term 1
6 Units of Credit
On Campus
This course outline is provided in advance of offering to guide student course selection. Please note that while accurate at time of publication, changes may be required prior to the start of the teaching session. You should always access the current online version of the outline when the Term commences.

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

Building on the foundation laid in ACCT2542, this course covers controversial issues in financial reporting, for example, leases, share-based payments, extractive industries, biological assets, foreign currency transactions, and derivative financial instruments. The course also covers topical issues related to the scope and quality of financial reports. Students are required to use relevant accounting standards, accounting theories, and ethical theories to address particular accounting issues.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

ACCT3563 extends what students learned in ACCT2542 Corporate Financial Reporting & Analysis. While ACCT2542 dealt with accounting for corporate groups (via consolidation accounting and equity accounting), ACCT3563 takes consolidation accounting and equity accounting as assumed knowledge and then adds currently controversial financial reporting issues. In order to enrol in ACCT3563, students must have passed ACCT2542.

The initial aim of the course is to equip students with the requirements and techniques found in various Australian accounting standards. The primary aim of the course is to develop students' capabilities to analyse and assess financial reporting problems and financial reporting issues using theoretical frameworks. This is achieved by addressing questions about:

  1. The recognition and measurement of assets, liabilities, revenues or expenses.

  2. Whether accounting information is useful to investors.

  3. The role of accounting information in contracting.

  4. The incentives that managers face to report truthfully versus their incentives to distort financial reports.

  5. The political and economic forces that shape regulatory and corporate responses to accounting issues.

  6. Ethical issues related to accounting policy choices.

This course forms a compulsory part of a major or double major in Accounting within the Bachelor of Commerce degree, and can also be taken as part of a disciplinary minor within those degrees. ACCT3563 constitutes part of the core curriculum studies required by the CPA Australia and by the Chartered Accountants Australia-New Zealand.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeAProfRichard D. MorrisRoom 3064, Quadrangle building - Ref E159385 5818TBA

​A full list of class instructors and consultation times will be posted on Moodle.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

To maximise learning and marks:

  • Listen to all podcasts and take notes before coming to each class. Podcasts and seminar notes will be posted on the course website. The quizzes will test your learning of topics in previous weeks.

  • Read the set textbook readings.

  • Read the remainder of the set readings. Do not neglect the readings posted on Moodle because exam questions are often based on them.

  • Study consistently throughout the semester and do not leave it until the last minute to study for the exams. Many topics in the course are intellectually demanding and cannot be crammed successfully in the last few days before the exam.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

This course adopts a partial blended learning approach.

Starting from Week 1, weekly seminars will contain a mixture of instruction from class lecturer and tutorial work. In addition, all lecture content will be conveyed through podcasts. The seminars will focus on synthesising material relevant to each topic and enhancing students' learning through an interactive approach between seminar facilitators and students, and on creating an environment for peer learning. Students are required to listen to the podcasts and study prescribed readings before attending the seminar.

Students will be allocated into teams and work in the assigned teams throughout the trimester. Quizzes will be based on the podcast and classwork of preceding weeks. Each student will undertake the individual quiz first, followed by a second round undertaken by all members of his/her team. Any student who fails to complete the quizzes may be given an "absent fail" (AF) grade. Individual reports will be completed by students on an individual basis.

The effort each team member contributes to the group quizzes will be evaluated at the end of the semester through the peer evaluation score.

5. Course Resources

Text Book

Students are expected to have copies of the following:

  • Deegan, C., Financial Accounting, 9th edition (2020), McGraw-Hill Irwin. This is the main text for ACCT 3563.

  • ACCT 3563 Supplementary Materials. Individual readings are posted on the course website on Moodle. NOTE: Printed copies of the supplementary materials will NOT be available.

  • ACCOUNTING STANDARDS – Most weeks’ readings contain references to accounting standards. Students are not expected to know all the details in these standards, only those details highlighted by the LIC. However, for accounting majors, some familiarity with accounting standards is essential. The standards themselves can be downloaded free of charge from the AASB’s website.

Course Website

The website for this course is on UNSW Moodle.

The course website contains all course materials. During the semester, seminar notes, handouts, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and various announcements will be posted progressively on the website, together with a selection of exam practice questions.

Useful Websites

Australian company annual reports are available from the Connect 4, Datanalysis and Mergent Online databases on Sirius in the UNSW library website.

Students may wish to become student members of the International Association for Accounting Education and Research (IAAER) (cost US$20.00 per year). Student membership entitles you to unlimited access to eIFRS which covers all IFRS and educational materials of the IASB.

Are You Adequately Prepared for ACCT3563?

Since ACCT2542 is the prerequisite for this course, it is assumed that you know about the standard setting framework, financial statement preparation, consolidation accounting and equity accounting. Students who do not feel confident about their knowledge of these topics should revise the relevant parts of the prescribed textbook of ACCT2542. In addition, it is assumed that you are fluent in written and spoken English. If that is not the case, you are strongly advised to take urgent remedial action because no allowance will be made for your inability to communicate clearly in English in exams and in written assessments.

Reference Books

Students should not purchase these as all are held on Open Reserve, Main Library:

  • Arthur, N., L. Luff, P. Keet, Accounting for Corporate Combinations and Associations 7th ed., Pearson Prentice-Hall 2011 or 6th edition by Arthur, Campbell and Luff (2008).

  • Brealey, R.A. and S.C. Myers, Principles of Corporate Finance (latest edition), McGraw Hill, chapters on leasing and hedging.

  • Godfrey, J., Hodgson, A., Tarca, A., Hamilton, J., and Holmes, S., (2010) Accounting Theory, 7th edition, John Wiley.

  • Henderson, S., G. Peirson, K. Herbohn, Issues in Financial Accounting, Longman, 14th ed edition 2011 or latest edition available.

  • Henderson, S., G. Peirson, K. Harris, Financial Accounting Theory, Pearson Prentice-Hall, latest edition available.

  • IASB International Financial Reporting Standards, latest edition.

  • Leo, K., J. Knapp, S. McGowan, J. Sweeting, Company Accounting 10th ed. 2014 John Wiley.

  • Nobes, C., and R. Parker (eds), Comparative International Accounting, latest edition, Prentice Hall.

  • Peirson, G, R. Brown, S. Easton and P. Howard, Peirson and Bird’s Business Finance, McGraw-Hill latest edition, chapters on leasing, futures contracts, options, and international financial management.

  • Scott, W.R., Financial Accounting Theory, Prentice Hall 6th ed. 2012.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 17 FebruaryPodcast and Seminars

Theories and ethics

Reading: Deegan: Chapter 2, Chapter 3; additional required readings on Moodle

Week 2: 24 FebruaryPodcast and Seminar

Accounting for revenue

Reading: Deegan: Chapter 15; Accounting Standard AASB 15

Weekly homework: Theories and ethics


Week 3: 2 MarchPodcast and Seminar

Accounting for provisions

Reading: Deegan: Chapter 10 pages 374-385, 390-397; Chapter 12 pages 463-476; Accounting Standards AASB 119, AASB 137

Weekly homework: Revenue


Week 4: 9 MarchPodcast and Seminar


Reading: Deegan Chapter 11

Accounting Standard AASB 16

Weekly homework: Provisions


Week 5: 16 MarchPodcast and Seminar

Share-based payments

Reading: Deegan: Chapter 17; Accounting Standard AASB 2

Quiz 1 covering topics Accounting for revenue, Accounting for provisions

Weekly homework: Leases


Week 6: 23 MarchPodcast and Seminar

Financial instruments and foreign currency transactions

Reading: Deegan: Chapter 14 pages 528-540; 542-560; and 585-590, Chapter 30 pages 1206-1208; Accounting Standards AASB 7, AASB 9, AASB 121, AASB 132



Weekly homework: Share-based payments




Week 7: 30 MarchPodcast and Seminar


Reading: Deegan: Chapter 14 pp. 560-578, Chapter 30, pages 1218-1220; Accounting Standard AASB 9




Weekly homework: Financial instruments and foreign currency transactions


Individual report due 11.59pm Friday of Week 7 via Moodle

Week 8: 6 AprilPodcast and Seminar

Accounting for agricultural assets

Reading: Deegan: Chapter 9 pages 349-365; Accounting Standard AASB 141

Weekly homework: Hedging



Week 9: 13 AprilPodcast and Seminar

Accounting for the extractive industries

Reading: Deegan: Chapter 20; Accounting Standard AASB 6

Weekly homework: Agricultural assets

Quiz 2 covering topics Leases, Share-based payments, Financial instruments and foreign currency transactions


Week 10: 20 AprilGroup Assignment

Earnings per share

Reading: Deegan chapter 24

Weekly homework: Extractive industries and EPS


Peer evaluation to be completed by 5 pm Friday of Week 10

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations.
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

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