ACCT5930 Financial Accounting - 2018

Subject Code
Study Level
Commencing Term
Semester 1
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Delivery Mode
On Campus

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

​This course covers the main financial statements produced by an accounting system (i.e., Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Statement of Cash Flows) and the process by which these statements are prepared. The needs of users of accounting reports and the institutional and regulatory environment that affects the design of accounting systems are considered. Contemporary pressures and demands on financial reporting are examined.

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

Financial accounting is the language of business. It is the means by which an enterprise’s financial situation is reported and communicated. This course, together with subsequent financial accounting courses, aims to provide you with the skills needed to measure and report that financial situation. ACCT5930 lays a broad foundation so that more advanced financial accounting topics and issues can be presented in subsequent courses.

The course aims are to:

  1. Develop the knowledge and ability to prepare Balance Sheets, Income Statements, and Cash Flow Statements, for organisations characterised by moderately complex financial transactions.
  2. Develop an ability to identify and build opportunities for financial accountants to add value to an organisation and, more broadly, improve the efficiency of capital markets.

This course forms part of the requirements for the award of the Master of Professional Accounting degree. It is the first financial accounting course in the program. There are no prerequisites that need to be satisfied. The course assumes no previous knowledge of accounting.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeDrNicole AngRoom 3097, Quadrangle Building – Ref E15+61 2 9385 5832TBA
Seminar Leader    Kate MorganRoom 3109, Quadrangle Building – Ref E15+61 2 9385 5907TBA
Seminar Leader    Shaun SimmonsRoom 3109, Quadrangle Building – Ref E15+61 2 9385 5907TBA
Seminar Leader    Minnie Singh-MurphyRoom 3109, Quadrangle Building – Ref E15+61 2 9385 5907TBA
Seminar Leader    Yitang (Jenny) YangRoom 3109, Quadrangle Building – Ref E15+61 2 9385 5907TBA

Communications with Staff

Consultation times will be announced at a later date on the Course Moodle Website. You are welcome to attend the consultation times of any staff member teaching on the course.

Please note that if you come to consultation you must come prepared i.e., bring the text or a hard copy of the question that your query is about, as well as your initial attempt at the question, so that the staff member may assist you. If you do not do come prepared, and are unable to demonstrate that you taken some effort to understand the material yourself in the first instance, staff assistance will be limited.

Except in situations where the question relates to a brief clarification, consultation will not be conducted by email. It should also be noted that only emails sent from official UNSW student email accounts will be replied to.

Please note that common written etiquette must be observed when conducting any written communication with staff members. Communications that use, for example, short hand and “SMS” language are not permitted. Please do not expect a reply if you do not follow these writing requirements.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

At university, the focus is on your self-directed search for knowledge. Seminars, textbooks, exams, and other resources are all provided to help you learn. You are therefore required to attend all seminars, and we recommend that you read all required readings, in order to fully grasp and appreciate the concepts of financial accounting.

Whilst it is up to you to choose how much work you do in each part of the course, we have found that preparation for seminars, completion of seminar exercises, studying for quizzes and exams, and seeking assistance to clarify your understanding, all have a positive relationship with your achievement of the learning outcomes in this course. It is up to you to choose an approach that best suits your learning style and goals in this course. This course has been designed so that students may experience a flexible but directed learning approach to the study of financial accounting.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

The course consists of formal face-to-face seminars and out of class study.


The weekly three hour seminar constitutes the core learning experience of the course. Seminars introduce and explain concepts that are critical to the core themes of the course, provide the opportunity to discuss these themes with reference to actual corporate reporting practice, allow you to work through illustrative examples (as a group and individually), and address questions and concerns with the course material.

Seminars are designed to be an interactive experience. Seminars are not lectures. During seminars, you are expected to raise questions or concerns you have with the material, comment on the issues discussed with reference to personal experience, contribute to the discussion of illustrative examples, and generally contribute to a vibrant learning environment.

However, you can expect some informal structure to each seminar. The first part of the seminar will involve the discussion and clarification of any issues that might have arisen from the exercises set for the previous week’s topic. This will be followed by a presentation of the current seminar’s material. The final part of the seminar will focus on illustrations and group discussion of the material just presented.

Out of Class Study

While most students may have preferred individual learning strategies, it is important to note that most learning will be achieved outside of class time. Out of class study is a key element of the learning design of this course.

An “ideal” strategy (on which the provision and timing of the course materials is based) would involve:

  1. Reading the relevant chapter(s) of the text and accessing the weekly overheads from the course website before your weekly seminar time. This will give you a general idea of the topic area.
  2. Attending seminars. During the seminar, the material being covered will be placed in context. The relevance of the topic and its relationship to prior topics will be explained.
  3. After each seminar but before the next weekly seminar, you should attempt the set problems for that topic. This will identify the things you need to do to demonstrate your understanding of a topic and guide you in re-reading specific parts of the textbook. This will also provide a self-test of your understanding and identify those parts of the topic with which you have problems (you can raise these problems at the commencement of the next weekly seminar). We suggest that you start with the Practice Problems for which solutions are available at the website accompanying the textbook. Once you have understood those problems you should then attempt the remaining questions that have been set, paying particular attention to the working and format of your answers. Suggested solutions to numerical exercises will be posted on the course website the week following the relevant seminar. Prior to accessing the solutions you should first attempt the assigned exercises. The aim of these exercises, in addition to reinforcing the concepts raised in the seminars, is to encourage you to assume responsibility in the learning process, and to make the seminars more effective. Thus, the onus is on you to complete and review the suggested solutions to these exercises. It will not be possible to cover all exercises in the first part of the seminar.

5. Course Resources


  • “Financial Accounting: An Integrated Approach”, by K. Trotman, E. Carson and M. Gibbins, 6th Edition (2016). The textbook is published by Cengage Learning.

Students should note that the textbook is available as part of a number of packaged combinations (e.g., together with a Management Accounting Supplement and Study Guide). Only the textbook itself is required for this course. The textbook by itself is available for purchase on request at the UNSW Bookshop cashier. Students should also note that only the 6th Edition of the textbook is supported in this course. Earlier editions are not supported.

Perdisco Online Practice Set

You are required to complete an online practice set that will count towards the overall assessment for this course. The practice set has been designed to provide you with experience in the practical and technical skills essential to accounting, through the completion of a one month accounting cycle for a fictional business.

The practice set will provide you with a unique accounting scenario and must be completed on an individual basis. Submission is completed online, however it is recommended that you print various parts of the practice set for offline calculation. Once submitted, the practice set will provide immediate performance feedback and a final score.

The online practice set is purchased directly from Perdisco. Payment can be made by credit card, cheque, money order, or BPAY. Please allow up to 5 working days for some payment methods to be processed.

Detailed instructions to be followed when purchasing your practice set and setting up your account have been prepared and are available from the course website.

If you experience any technical difficulties with the online practice set, please telephone the Perdisco helpline (1800 808 636) or send an email to

In the interests of student access and equity, virtual ‘library copies’ of the practice set are provided through an Electronic Special Reserve (ESR) service on the Perdisco website for students who do not wish to purchase their own copy. Like textbooks made available in the library, they are limited by available hours, number of simultaneous users, and the length of time they may be accessed on each occasion. While there is no limit on the number of students who may complete the practice set using the ESR copies, only a limited number of copies are available at any one time. If a copy is not available when you log in, it will be necessary to wait until a copy becomes available. As such, students who wish to use the ESR to complete the practice set need to start early and carefully plan their time. To access the ESR copies, you must first create an account, add the ACCT5930 practice set to your account, and click on ‘ESR Login’. For more information, click ‘ESR Info’ after registration. Purchased copies are available 24 hours a day at the convenience of the purchaser.

Seminar Slides

Seminar slides for each topic are available on the course website. Students are required to print their slides and bring them to class. You will not be permitted to use your mobile phone in class to access slides.

Exercise Solutions

Solutions to exercises set for each topic will be available on the course website once all of that week’s seminars have been completed.

Additional Online Materials

The course website may also contain important self-study material relating to topics (further information TBA).

Course website

The website for this course is on Moodle.

You must be enrolled in the course to access the website. The website will contain seminar slides for each topic, announcements, copies of the suggested solutions for weekly questions, the additional self-study material, the online quizzes, and any other material deemed suitable by staff teaching on the course from time to time.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Each year feedback is sought from students about the courses offered in the School and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. In this course, we will seek your feedback through UNSW’s myExperience survey. You will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on this course at the end of the session, and are encouraged to do so.

The course that you are enrolled in this session reflects changes that have been made in response to feedback received from students in previous sessions. For example, following suggestions by, and discussions with, students who have previously completed the course, the contribution to the total composite mark of the online quizzes is now based on performance rather than attempts, and the number of quizzes has been reduced.

7. Course Schedule

Week 1: 26 Feb




Week 2: 05 Mar



The Balance Sheet

Week 3: 12 Mar



The Income Statement / Record keeping

Week 4: 19 Mar



Adjusting Entries/ Closing Entries

Week 5: 26 Mar



Expanded Record Keeping / Cash and Internal Control

Mid Semester Break: 02 Apr
Week 6: 09 Apr





The mid-semester examination will be conducted in the first half of seminar

Week 7: 16 Apr



Non-current Assets

Week 8: 23 Apr



Liabilities and Equity

Week 9: 30 Apr



Financial Statement Analysis

Week 10: 07 May

Revision Week


Revision week (no classes)

Week 11: 14 May



The Cash Flow Statement (Part 1)

Week 12: 21 May



The Cash Flow Statement (Part 2)

8. Policies

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

Program Learning Goals and Outcomes

The Business School Program Learning Goals reflect what we want all students to BE or HAVE by the time they successfully complete their degree, regardless of their individual majors or specialisations. For example, we want all our graduates to HAVE a high level of business knowledge and a sound awareness of ethical, social, cultural and environmental implications of business. As well, we want all our graduates to BE effective problem-solvers, communicators and team participants.

You can demonstrate your achievement of these goals by the specific outcomes you achieve by the end of your degree (i.e. Program Learning Outcomes—henceforth PLOs). These PLOs articulate what you need to know and be able to do as a result of engaging in learning. They embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are identified, mapped, taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program.

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

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Undergraduate
  • Postgraduate Coursework
Knowledge You should be able to identify and apply disciplinary knowledge to business situations in a local and global environment.
Critical thinking and problem solving You should be able to identify and research issues in business situations, analyse the issues, and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions.
Written communication You should be able to prepare written documents that are clear, concise and coherent, using appropriate style and presentation for the intended audience, purpose and context.
Oral communication You should be able to prepare and deliver oral presentations that are clear, focussed, well-structured, and delivered in a professional manner.
Teamwork You should be able to participate collaboratively and responsibly in teams, and reflect on your own teamwork, and on the team’s processes and ability to achieve outcomes.
Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  1. You should be able to identify and assess ethical, environmental and/or sustainability considerations in business decision-making and practice.
  2. You should be able to identify social and cultural implications of business.
Workplace skills (Co-op programs only) You should be able to conduct yourself in a professional manner in the work environment, communicate effectively in diverse workplace situations and be able to apply discipline knowledge and understanding to real business problems with initiative and self-direction.
Related PLO Documents View the Undergraduate Honours PLOs (pdf)
Knowledge You should be able to identify and apply current knowledge of disciplinary or interdisciplinary theory and professional practice to business in local and global environments.
Critical thinking and problem solving You should be able to identify, research and analyse complex issues and problems in business and/or management, and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions.
Written communication You should be able to produce written documents that communicate complex disciplinary ideas and information effectively for the intended audience and purpose.
Oral communication You should be able to produce oral presentations that communicate complex disciplinary ideas and information effectively for the intended audience and purpose.
Teamwork You should be able to participate collaboratively and responsibly in teams, and reflect on your own teamwork, and on the team’s processes and ability to achieve outcomes.
Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  1. You should be able to identify and assess ethical, environmental and/or sustainability considerations in business decision-making and practice.
  2. You should be able to identify social and cultural implications of business.
Related PLO Documents View the Master of Philosophy PLOs (pdf)
View the Doctor of Philosophy PLOs (pdf)

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.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Knowledge
  • Oral communication
  • Research capability
  • Teamwork
  • Workplace skills
  • Written communication
Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Knowledge
  • Oral communication
  • Workplace skills
  • Written communication
Professionals capable of ethical, self- directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  • Workplace skills
Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  • Oral communication
  • Written communication

The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against these PLOs and graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You could use these records 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 nine to ten hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of eighteen to twenty 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.

Special Consideration

You must submit all assignments and attend all examinations scheduled for your course. You can apply for special consideration when illness or other circumstances beyond your control, interfere with your performance in a specific assessment task or tasks. Special Consideration is primarily intended to provide you with an extra opportunity to demonstrate the level of performance of which you are capable.

General information on special consideration for undergraduate and postgraduate courses can be found in the Assessment Implementation Procedure and the Current Students page.

Please note the following:

  1. Applications will not be accepted by teaching staff. The lecturer-in-charge will be automatically notified when you lodge an online application for special consideration
  2. Decisions and recommendations are only made by lecturers-in-charge (or by the Faculty Panel in the case of final exam special considerations), not by tutors
  3. Applying for special consideration does not automatically mean that you will be granted a supplementary exam or other concession
  4. Special consideration requests do not allow lecturers-in-charge to award students additional marks

Business School Protocol on requests for Special Consideration

The lecturer-in-charge will need to be satisfied on each of the following before supporting a request for special consideration:

  1. Does the medical certificate contain all relevant information? For a medical certificate to be accepted, the degree of illness and its impact on the student must be stated by the medical practitioner (severe, moderate, mild). A certificate without this will not be valid. Students should also note that only medical certificates issued after physically visiting a registered medical practitioner will be accepted. Medical certificates submitted for Special Consideration should always be requested from a registered medical practitioner that you have seen at a medical practice. Certificates obtained online or via social media may be fraudulent and if relied upon could result in a breach of the UNSW Student Code.
  2. Has the student performed satisfactorily in the other assessment items? To understand what Satisfactory Performance means in this course, please refer to the 'Formal Requirements' section in Part A of your Course Outline

Special Consideration and the Final Exam in undergraduate and postgraduate courses

Applications for special consideration in relation to the final exam are considered by a Business School Faculty panel to which lecturers-in-charge provide their recommendations for each request. If the Faculty panel grants a special consideration request, this will entitle the student to sit a supplementary examination. No other form of consideration will be granted. The following procedures will apply:

  1. Supplementary exams will be scheduled centrally and will be held approximately two weeks after the formal examination period.

    Supplementary exams for Semester 1, 2018 will be held during the period 14 - 21 July, 2018. Students wishing to sit a supplementary exam will need to be available during this period.

    The date for all Business School supplementary exams for Summer Term 2017/2018 is Wednesday, 21 February, 2018. If a student lodges a special consideration for the final exam, they are stating they will be available on this date. Supplementary exams will not be held at any other time.

  2. Where a student is granted a supplementary examination as a result of a request for special consideration, the student’s original exam (if completed) will be ignored and only the mark achieved in the supplementary examination will count towards the final grade. Absence from a supplementary exam without prior notification does not entitle the student to have the original exam paper marked, and may result in a zero mark for the final exam.

The Supplementary Exam Protocol for Business School students is available at:

For special consideration for assessments other than the final exam refer to the ‘Assessment Section’ in your course outline.

Protocol for Viewing Final Exam Scripts

The UNSW Business School has set a protocol under which students may view their final exam script. Please check the protocol here.

Given individual schools within the Faculty may set up a local process for viewing final exam scripts, it is important that you check with your School whether they have any additional information on this process. Please note that this information might also be included in your course outline.

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

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