MNGT5211 Accounting and Financial Management - 2023

Subject Code
Study Level
Commencing Term
Term 2
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Delivery Mode
Full-time, Session 1, Kensington

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

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.

This course is scheduled to run in face-to-face mode. However, there is a chance that there could be subsequent COVID-19 restrictions. 

If it is not possible for us to gather together on campus, we will offer the course synchronously online in Moodle.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

Understanding the importance of Accounting and Financial Management materials as a building block of all MBA Programs is an essential element of your participation in this course. Without this understanding, difficult aspects of the course are prone to be ignored, or worse still, rationalised as unimportant. The best way of understanding the importance of accounting and financial management is to understand the role it plays both within organisations and between an organisation and its major stakeholders. The regular creation of both internal and external financial reports (such as balance sheets, income statements as well as forecasts and budgets) and the expensive infrastructure surrounding their production is evidence of the importance of a firm's accounting system.

In this course, you will learn how to interpret and use accounting reports for the purposes of both communicating to stakeholders and making more informed decisions as managers.

The aims of the course are to develop:

  • analytic skills associated with the interpretation and analysis of accounting reports
  • evaluation and judgement skills associated with the use of accounting information in decision-making
  • an understanding of the increasing importance of non-financial information in communicating a broader view of firm performance.

Additional Course Details

Responsible Management Curriculum at AGSM

The Responsible Management Curriculum at AGSM is a whole-of-program systematic approach to embedding responsible management in your MBA education. This includes ethical, sustainable and inclusive decision-making and action. The curriculum offers an optional component enabling you to achieve an additional credential:

Responsible Management Foundations

You will complete this pre-MBA module as part of your Foundations of Management course. It will help you to understand the fundamental challenges encountered by leaders today and to acquire the skills that can help you to solve them.

During MBA Core Courses

Responsible Management in Context: Week 1 of every core course includes a primer on the material issues relating to responsible management in that discipline. This primer will help you to understand these material issues and help you apply your foundational knowledge of responsible management to solving these most challenging problems faced by managers today.

Responsible Management in Action: You will have the opportunity to engage in guided discussions with thought leaders in responsible management. These sessions are optional. However, they are a requirement for those students seeking to become an AGSM Fellow of Responsible Management.

Post-MBA (optional) - Fellowship of Responsible Management

Students have the opportunity to achieve the credential 'AGSM Fellow of Responsible Management'. This requires participation in Responsible Management in Action (see above) each term and submission of a Responsible Management Portfolio prior to graduation. The final requirement is for each applicant to complete a viva in front of a panel of esteemed leaders at graduation. Successful candidates will be awarded the postnominal FRM and a digital credential.

3. Staff Contact Details

Position Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
FacilitatorKate Morgan

4. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies


The material for each Unit of Accounting & Financial Management includes a number of practical activities and their solutions. The purpose of these activities is to help you understand the concepts presented in that Unit. These activities are designed to be worked in sequence with the materials. A general level of comprehension must exist before you begin working through the activities. Detailed solutions are provided to assist those of you who are new to the discipline. The activities will provide you with good preparation for all assessment tasks.

Illustrative examples

Illustrative examples of practical problems are included in the materials. These may be used in the class sessions to explain the mechanics of accounting processes. You should ensure that you are familiar with the questions and preferably attempt an answer prior to a class session.

      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. 

      Unit 5: Analysing Financial Statements. Accounting reports are 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. 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 useful 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.

      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 which 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 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. Investment evaluation techniques can be used not only to evaluate investment alternatives, but also to support prior commitment (by a project sponsor) to a proposal.

      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 managements attention to problem areas in implementing the current year's budget and provide information that is useful for both improving planning 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, 10 study units and a copy of a recent Woolworths Limited Annual Report (available in Moodle). Each unit introduces you to a different aspect of the accounting process.

      Other resources

      The Accounting and Financial Management Moodle site also contains a glossary of common accounting and financial terms, a selection of accounting related articles and materials to assist you in understanding the Woolworths report.

      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 then go to .

      Recommended texts (optional)

      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 accounting is:

      Trotman, Humphreys, Clout & Morgan (2023). Fundamentals of Accounting and Financial Management. 8th Edition Cengage (Trotman, Carson & Morgan 7th edition would be suitable)

      In the area of internal accounting reports, we recommend:

      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.

      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

      Students liked:

      • Applying accounting principles to real-life cases.
      • The practice quizzes that help support learning early in the course.
      • The relevance and application to the workplace.
      • The in-class quiz questions.
      • FASS (faculty assisted study sessions).

      Students wanted to see more:

      • Working through problems in class; e.g. working through one or two complex problems in class visually, for instance on the whiteboard.
      • More workbooks/Excel solutions.
      • Linking of class content with the course material.
      • More visually worked examples.


      Response to Student Feedback

      Weekly summary videos are now provided for each Unit. These provide an overview of each topic and link the topic to current business issues.

      Videos have also been prepared doing 'workthroughs' of how to answer questions and activities in the course materials.

      Assessment has been modified and explicitly includes a component for participation. The course facilitator will be actively encouraging in-class participation. 

      8. Course Schedule

      Week Activity Topic Detail/Engagement Assessment Task
      Week 1 Class ParticipationUnit 1: The nature of accounting
      Assessment 1 : Active participation - Peer assessment of contributions to class discussion
      Week 2 Class ParticipationUnit 2: The key financial statements
      Assessment 1 : Active participation - Peer assessment of contributions to class discussion
      Week 3 Class ParticipationUnit 3: Accrual accounting - Impact of transactions on financial statements
      Assessment 1 : Active participation - Peer assessment of contributions to class discussion
      Assessment 2 : In-class quizzes
      Week 4 Class ParticipationUnit 4: The statement of cash flows
      Assessment 1 : Active participation - Peer assessment of contributions to class discussion
      Week 5 Class ParticipationUnit 5: Analysing financial statements
      Assessment 1 : Active participation - Peer assessment of contributions to class discussion
      Assessment 2 : In-class quizzes
      Week 6 Independent Study Week
      Assessment 3 : Analysis of transactions and their impact on financial statements
      Week 7 Class ParticipationUnit 6: Cost behaviour and cost-volume-profit analysis
      Assessment 1 : Active participation - Peer assessment of contributions to class discussion
      Assessment 2 : In-class quizzes
      Week 8 Class ParticipationUnit 7: Product and service costing
      Assessment 1 : Active participation - Peer assessment of contributions to class discussion
      Week 9 Class ParticipationUnit 8: Profit and liquidity planning
      Assessment 1 : Active participation - Peer assessment of contributions to class discussion
      Assessment 2 : In-class quizzes
      Week 10 Class ParticipationUnit 9: Capital investment analysis
      Assessment 1 : Active participation - Peer assessment of contributions to class discussion
      Week 11 Class ParticipationUnit 10: Budgetary control - Cost and profit centres
      Assessment 2 : In-class quizzes
      Assessment 4 : Calculation of costing and budgeting information with written response

      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
      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