AGSM6210 Accounting and Financial Management - 2023

Subject Code
Study Level
Commencing Term
Term 1
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Delivery Mode
Online Weekly
Intensive, Sydney CBD
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. To view other versions, visit the archives .

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

The aim of this course is to show how the effective use of financial information can improve organisational decision-making. The course provides a broad introduction to how accounting contributes to an organisation. You will examine how accounting can help managers measure and analyse their organisation's economic performance, to improve resource allocation, and build accountability for performance through effective governance.

The users of accounting information are typically classified as either external (such as investors or lenders) or internal (such as operational managers). Different users have different  information needs. This course deals with the needs of these two main user groups and how senior managers can more effectively use accounting data to connect with them.

The course explores accounting techniques and terminology, to equip you with sufficient conceptual and practical skills to make you confident in your ability to understand and communicate complex financial strategies.

You will also examine the design and operation of accounting systems. As a result, the course integrates ideas and concepts from accounting with a range of other disciplines and reveals how the effective use of financial information provided by such systems can improve organisational decision-making. You will also examine how firms use non-financial information such as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) to communicate their performance and strategies.

It is assumed that participants have little prior knowledge of accounting and financial management.

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.

As well as being offered in online asynchronous mode, this course is scheduled to be offered in face-to-face Intensive mode. However, there is a chance that there could be subsequent COVID-19 restrictions. 

If it is not possible to gather together for the two Intensive weekends, we will offer the course asynchronously online in Moodle. This mode will be augmented by some synchronous online discussions on the days of the scheduled Intensive weekends. Attendance at these discussions will be optional and they will be recorded for students who are unable to attend.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

The aims of the course are to develop:

  • analytical skills associated with the interpretation of accounting reports
  • evaluation and judgement skills associated with the use of accounting information in decision-making.


Additional Course Details

3. Staff Contact Details

Position Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Facilitator in ChargeKate Morgan
Facilitator in ChargeKate Morgan

Facilitator in Charge

Each course has a Facilitator in Charge who is responsible for the academic leadership and overall academic integrity of the course. The Facilitator in Charge selects content and designs assessment tasks, and takes responsibility for specific academic and administrative issues related to the course. Facilitators in Charge oversee Facilitators and ensure that the ongoing standard of facilitation in the course is consistent with the quality requirements of the program.


The role of your Facilitator is to support and enhance the learning process by encouraging interaction among participants, providing direction in understanding the course content, assessing participant progress through the course and providing feedback on work submitted. Facilitators comprise academics and industry practitioners with relevant backgrounds.

4. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

Learning resources

You have three major resources to support your learning in this Course:

  1. The course materials comprising Units 1 to 10, the Course Outline and the Assessment Details. You will do much of your learning independently by working through the learning materials, and by completing the activities in the Course Materials and the Assessment tasks in the course. 
  2. The learning exercises set by your Facilitator for each Unit. Your Facilitator will set for each Unit a mixture of online discussions and quizzes as appropriate for each of the Units in the course. The Facilitator's job is to facilitate your learning by facilitating the discussion, answering questions that might arise and providing insights from their own practical experience and understanding of theory, as well as providing you with feedback on your assessments.
  3. Your co-participants. Your colleagues in the class are an invaluable potential source of learning for you. Their work and life, and industries and their willingness to question and argue with the course materials, the Facilitator and your own views, represent a great learning opportunity. Your class colleagues bring much valuable insight to the learning experience. You can use this course to take a major step in broadening your appreciation of accounting and financial management.

Course Structure

Unit 1: The Nature of Accounting provides a broad perspective on the development of financial reports. It focuses on providing you with an introduction to financial accounting, including what the basic financial statements are, who uses them, and for what purpose.

Unit 2: The Key Financial Statements takes a more detailed look at the key financial statements. Our primary focus is the relationship between the three key financial statements, their content and the underlying accrual principle governing their construction.

Unit 3: Accrual Accounting: Impact Of Transactions On Financial Statements
In this Unit, the main emphasis is on how transactions impact each element of financial statements. Transaction analysis is illustrated by showing the effect of each transaction on the accounting equation and the impact on the financial statements. The Unit also covers the purpose of accrual accounting adjustments (prepayments, unearned revenue, accrued expenses and accrued revenue) and how they affect the financial statements.

Unit 4: The Statement Of Cash Flows
A statement of cash flows provides relevant information to users about the cash inflows and cash outflows of an entity during a financial year. Understanding the statement of cash flows is important for all users of accounting reports in gaining a better insight into the health of a company. Undertaking the detailed analysis that is required for preparing a statement of cash flows is a good way to cement your understanding of what the financial statements contain and the interrelationship between income statement accounts and balance sheet accounts.

Unit 5: Analysing Financial Statements
Accounting reports are basically summaries of the accumulated results of individual transactions, modified by specific period-end adjustments. They normally contain information almost exclusively in dollar value terms. This data is highly summarised and condensed. To bridge this gap in detail, accountants and financial analysts have developed a variety of ways of comparing items within a set of financial reports with each other, or with data from previous reports or other sources. As a result, financial reports can yield more cogent indicators of the organisation's underlying financial state and the trend of the results from its activities. This process is 'financial statement analysis'.

Unit 6: Cost Behaviour & Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis introduces and defines the role of managerial accounting and differentiates it from financial accounting, highlighting its internal management decision-making focus. It considers the links between costs, volume and the resulting profit.

Unit 7: Product & Service Costing examines the systems used by firms to cost their products, services and internal activities and thus how firms may be divided into cost or revenue centres.

Unit 8: Profit & Liquidity Planning provides an overview of financial planning for the organisation as a whole. Managers are aware of the benefits of a formal business plan. This comprehensive plan is called a master budget. It has three main sections: a profit plan, a cash budget and a capital expenditure budget. Our main focus in this Unit is on profit planning and cash budgeting.

Unit 9: Capital Investment Analysis examines capital investment decisions. Unlike operating decisions that typically have a short-run (one-year) focus, investment decisions involve choice over the longer term. Because the longer-term commitments inherent in major capital investments affect the nature and flexibility of a firm, they should not be taken lightly. Several techniques (models) have been developed to aid in the evaluation and selection of proposed capital investments. The purpose of this Unit is to introduce the basic elements of these techniques and discuss their applicability in practice. 

Unit 10: Budgetary Control, Cost & Profit Centres is devoted to performance measurement. Using concepts developed in previous Units, this Unit examines a variety of budgetary control reports. By comparing actual financial outcomes with budgeted outcomes, these reports aim to direct management's attention to problem areas in implementing the current year's budget and provide information that is useful for both improving future plans and measuring current performance against the benchmarks provided by the budget.

6. Course Resources

Course materials

The learning materials for this course comprise the Course Outline, Assessment Details and 10 study Units. 

For each Unit, you are expected to:

  • Read the Course Materials and raise any areas of interest or seek further clarification in the 'Questions on Unit' forums in the classroom.
  • Complete the Activities to check your understanding of the Unit Readings, compare against the worked solutions provided and seek assistance in the 'Questions on Unit' forums in the classroom. These activities are designed to give you further practice in the types of problems which will be assessed in the Assessments or the Final Online Test.
  • For each Unit, complete the participation requirements for your mode of delivery (further details will be provided in Moodle).

Recommended texts

The written instructional material is designed to be largely self-contained. However, as the material is introductory, students may wish to extend their understanding by consulting other material.

The following texts are recommended for further study, although they are not required to successfully complete the course. They provide an alternative way of presenting some of the material as well as providing additional information.

An excellent programmed learning text for those having trouble with the 'mechanics' of financial accounting (Units 1-5) is:

  • Trotman, K, Carson, E & Morgan, K 2019, Financial accounting: An integrated approach, 7th edn, Cengage Learning, Melbourne and the accompanying Study Guide to the text.

In the area of management accounting (Units 6-10), an excellent reference is: 

  • Langfield-Smith, K, Smith, D, Andon, P, Hilton, R & Thorne, H 2018, Management accounting: Information for creating and managing value, 8th edn, McGraw-Hill, North Ryde.

Supplementary materials

A glossary of common accounting and financial terms has been included in Moodle.

Other resources


BusinessThink is UNSW's free, online business publication. It is a platform for business research, analysis and opinion. If you would like to subscribe to BusinessThink, and receive the free monthly e-newsletter with the latest in research, opinion and business go to link

7. Course Evaluation & Development

Continual Course Improvement

AGSM courses are reviewed each time they run, with updated course outlines and assessment tasks developed. 

Additionally, the data collected in the myExperience survey provides anonymous feedback from students on the quality of course content and materials, class facilitation, student support services and the program in general. This student feedback is considered during all course revisions.

Student Response

Student feedback was obtained in Terms 1 & 2, 2022 and Term 3 2021. Key areas noted in the student feedback were the weighting of the final exam being 50% of the course grade, and a request for more detailed workings on exercises, and where the exercises are placed in the course learning journey. 

Response to Student Feedback

In Term 1 2023, the final exam weighting has been reduced from 50% to 40% of the course grade. More detailed worked responses are being provided for the more complex exercises, including video-based workthroughs.


8. Course Schedule

Week Activity Topic Detail/Engagement Assessment Task
Week 1 Participation (Ongoing Weeks 1-10)Unit 1: The nature of accounting
Assessment 3 : Participation: Online
Week 2 ParticipationUnit 2: The key financial statements
Assessment 3 : Participation: Online
Week 3 ParticipationUnit 3: Accrual accounting: Impact of transactions on financial statements
Assessment 3 : Participation: Online
Week 4 ParticipationUnit 4: The statement of cash flows
Assessment 3 : Participation: Online
Week 5 Participation; Assessment 1 dueUnit 5: Analysing financial statements

Assessment 1 is due on Monday 13 March 2023 by 3pm Sydney time

Assessment 1 : Assignment 1
Assessment 3 : Participation: Online
Week 6 ParticipationUnit 6: Cost behaviour and cost-volume-profit analysis
Assessment 3 : Participation: Online
Week 7 ParticipationUnit 7: Product and service costing
Assessment 3 : Participation: Online
Week 8 Participation; Assessment 2 dueUnit 8: Profit and liquidity planning

Assessment 2 is due on Monday 3 April 2023 by 3pm Sydney time

Assessment 2 : Assignment 2
Assessment 3 : Participation: Online
Week 9 ParticipationUnit 9: Capital investment analysis
Assessment 3 : Participation: Online
Week 10 ParticipationUnit 10: Budgetary control: Cost and profit centres
Assessment 3 : Participation: Online
Week 11 Study Week-
Week 12 Assessment 4 due-

Assessment 4 to be undertaken on Monday 1 May 2023. There will be a choice of a 9am or 6pm session.

Assessment 4 : Online Final Test (Open Book)
Week 1 Independent studyUnit 1: The nature of accounting
Week 2 Independent studyUnit 2: The key financial statements
Week 3 Independent study + Intensive Weekend 1Unit 3: Accrual accounting: Impact of transactions on financial statements

Intensive Weekend 1: Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 March 2023, 9am to 5pm

Assessment 3 : Participation
Week 4 Independent studyUnit 4: The statement of cash flows
Week 5 Independent study + Assessment 1 dueUnit 5: Analysing financial statements

Assessment 1 is due on Monday 13 March 2023 by 3pm Sydney time

Assessment 1 : Assignment 1
Week 6 Independent studyUnit 6: Cost behaviour and cost-volume-profit analysis
Week 7 Independent study + Intensive Weekend 2Unit 7: Product and service costing

Intensive Weekend 2: Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April 2023, 9am to 5pm

Assessment 3 : Participation
Week 8 Independent studyUnit 8: Profit and liquidity planning
Week 9 Independent study + Assignment 2 dueUnit 9: Capital investment analysis

Assessment 2 is due on Tuesday 11 April 2023 by 3pm Sydney time

Assessment 2 : Assignment 2
Week 10 Independent studyUnit 10: Budgetary control: Cost and profit centres
Week 11 Study Week-
Week 12 Assessment 4 due-

Assessment 4 to be undertaken on Monday 1 May 2023. There will be a choice of a 9am or 6pm session.

Assessment 4 : Online Final Test (Open Book)

9. 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 & Careers Hub
The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Student Support Advisors
Student 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.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
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

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