International Accounting

The details
Essex Business School
Kaplan Singapore
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
14 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module is concerned with accounting and financial analysis in a global context, and considerable attention is focused on the accounting practices of a wide range of countries. The module begins with a discussion of the problems involved in the classification of national accounting practices and understanding how these practices develop over time. This leads on to a discussion of the benefits and costs associated with recent initiatives to promote international harmonisation of accounting practices.

Discussions also cover the emergence of International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the organisation of the IFRS Foundation, and the standards setting procedures. Next a comparative analysis is made of accounting practices in a number of countries covering USA, Australia, European Union, France, Germany, Japan, and countries of the developing world. Finally the module considers some specific issues related to international financial analysis, environmental accounting and reporting, and international public sector accounting.

Module aims

This module aims at providing an understanding of contemporary issues in international accounting and theorising the changes taking place in this field. The module offers a critical analysis of ongoing development in accounting convergence referring to earlier accounting classifications, power and politics in standards setting activities and regulating environmental and public sector accounting. Group work, presentation and case studies are integral components of this module.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
• Describe the distinguishing features of some of the main types of accounting system in use internationally. This includes the accounting systems of the US, Australia, Japan, EU, Germany, France, and developing & emerging nations
• Assess the benefits and costs associated with issues such as the increased harmonisation of financial statements
• Understand the core reasons for on-going convergence with International Financial Reporting Standards and the challenges in achieving convergence
• Comprehend the on-going developments in international public sector accounting
• Analyse the importance of environmental accounting and reporting
• Understand international financial analysis.

Skills for Your Professional Life (Transferable Skills)

This module is specifically designed to provide students with a set of transferable skills which will be applicable in their professional life. In particular, the module seeks to support students to:
• Identify and critically evaluate key features and arguments in international accounting
• Develop a range of skills and techniques enabling them to analyse issues in international accounting and finance
• Communicate effectively orally and in writing, in presentations and essays
• Develop problem solving skills relating to international financial accounting issues
• Work effectively as part of a team (team working skills in developing a case study and presentation)
• Work under pressure independently and effectively to meet deadlines (time keeping skills)

Module information

A set of topics relating to the lecture will be provided at the end of each lecture. These topics will be reviewed in the following week's lecture. The topics have been chosen in order to help with your assignment and exam preparation. It is therefore important to read the relevant sources as the module progresses. A good understanding of these references will help develop a critical awareness of the international accounting literature. As the module progresses, lecture notes and power point slides will be made available on Moodle.

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching takes place during weeks 16 to 25 of the Spring term. A revision lecture will be organised in the summer term. The module will be delivered by: * 10 two hour lectures: Weeks 16-25, Spring term * A revision lecture in week 31


  • Weetman, Pauline. (no date) 'A Comparative International Analysis of the Impact of Accounting Principles on Profits: The USA versus the UK, Sweden and The Netherlands.', in Accounting & Business Research (Wolters Kluwer UK). vol. 21 (84) , pp.363-
  • Bonham, Mike; Ernst & Young. (2008) International GAAP 2008: generally accepted accounting practice under international financial reporting standards, Chichester: Wiley.
  • Chamisa, Edward E. (2000-7) 'The Relevance and Observance of the IASC Standards in Developing Countries and the Particular Case of Zimbabwe', in The International Journal of Accounting. vol. 35 (2) , pp.267-286
  • Al-Qenae, Rashid. (2002) 'The Information Content of Earnings on Stock Prices: The Kuwait Stock Exchange.', in Multinational Finance Journal. vol. 6 (3)
  • Perera, M.H.B. (1989-6) 'Accounting in developing countries: A case for localised uniformity', in The British Accounting Review. vol. 21 (2) , pp.141-157
  • Roberts, Clare B.; Weetman, Pauline; Gordon, Paul D. (2008) International corporate reporting: a comparative approach, Harlow: Prentice Hall.
  • Standish, Peter E. M. (no date) 'Origins of the Plan Comptable Général: A Study in Cultural Intrusion and Reaction.', in Accounting & Business Research (Wolters Kluwer UK). vol. 20 (80) , pp.337-
  • Nobes, Christopher; Parker, R. H. (2016) Comparative international accounting, Harlow: Pearson.
  • Gallhofer, Sonja; Haslam, James. (1991-1) 'The aura of accounting in the context of a crisis: Germany and the first world war', in Accounting, Organizations and Society. vol. 16 (5-6) , pp.487-520
  • Nobes, Christopher; Stadler, Christian. (2013-11) 'How arbitrary are international accounting classifications? Lessons from centuries of classifying in many disciplines, and experiments with IFRS data', in Accounting, Organizations and Society. vol. 38 (8) , pp.573-595
  • Zeff, Stephen A.; Nobes, Christopher W. (2010-06-10) 'Commentary: Has Australia (or Any Other Jurisdiction) ‘Adopted’ IFRS?', in Australian Accounting Review. vol. 20 (2) , pp.178-184
  • Nobes, C.W. (no date) 'A judgemental international classification of financial reporting Practices', in Journal of Business Finance & Accounting. vol. 10 (1) , pp.1-
  • Gray, S.J. (1988) 'Towards a Theory of Cultural on the Development of Accounting Influence Systems Internationally.', in Abacus. vol. 24 (1) , pp.1-
  • Kober, Ralph; Lee, Janet; Ng, Juliana. (2010-07-14) 'MIND YOUR ACCRUALS: PERCEIVED USEFULNESS OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION IN THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SECTOR UNDER DIFFERENT ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS', in Financial Accountability & Management. vol. 26 (3) , pp.267-298
  • Gorton, Donald E. (1991) 'The SEC Decision Not to Support SFAS 19: A Case Study of the Effect of Lobbying on Standard Setting.', in Accounting Horizons. vol. 5 (1) , pp.29-
  • Baskerville, Rachel F. (2003-1) 'Hofstede never studied culture', in Accounting, Organizations and Society. vol. 28 (1) , pp.1-14
  • Cooper, D. (1986-) 'An Analysis of the impact of corporate pollution disclosures: A comment', in Advances in public interest accounting, Bradford: Emerald., pp.187-191
  • (no date) Lessons from misclassification in international accounting.
  • Zeff, Stephen A. (2008) 'IFRS Developments in the USA and EU, and Some Implications for Australia', in Australian Accounting Review. vol. 18 (4) , pp.275-282
  • Zeff, Stephen A. (2002) '"Political" Lobbying on Proposed Standards: A Challenge to the IASB.', in Accounting Horizons. vol. 16 (1) , pp.43-
  • Sedaghat, A.M.; Wright, G.; Sagafi-nejad, T. (c1989-) 'Economic development and securities markets in developing countries: Implications for international accounting', in The International journal of accounting, Amsterdam: Elsevier Science., pp.297-315
  • Giacomino, Don E. (no date) 'CASH FLOWS: ANOTHER APPROACH TO RATIO ANALYSIS.', in Journal of Accountancy. vol. 175 (3) , pp.55-
  • IASB. (2009) International financial reporting standard for small and medium-sized entities (IFRS for SMEs), UK: IASC Foundation Publications Department.
  • Cooke, T.E. (1990-2010) 'The evolution of financial reporting in Japan: a shame culture perspective', in Accounting, business and financial history, London: Routledge. vol. 1 (3) , pp.251-277
  • Guthrie, James. (no date) 'Debating developments in New Public Financial Management: The limits of global theorising and..', in Financial Accountability & Management. vol. 15 (3)
  • Freedman, M.; Jaggi, B. (1986-) 'An analysis of the impact of corporate pollution disclosures included in annual financial statements on investors' decisions', in Advances in public interest accounting, Bradford: Emerald., pp.193-212
  • Goeltz, Richard Karl. (1991) 'International Accounting Harmonization: The Impossible (and Unnecessary?) Dream.', in Accounting Horizons. vol. 5 (1) , pp.85-
  • Hossain, M.R. (1996) 'Accounting practices in developing countries', in Readings in international accounting, London: International Thomson Business Press., pp.91-107
  • Nair, R. D. (no date) 'The Impact of Disclosure and Measurement Practices on International Accounting Classifications.', in Accounting Review. vol. 55 (3) , pp.426-449

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
30% 0%


Coursework Exam
30% 70%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Pawan Adhikari, email:
Pawan Adhikari



External examiner

Prof Joan Amanda Emery
University of Ulster
Professor of Accounting
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Essex Business School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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