Current Issues in Financial Reporting

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
12 September 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC N400 Accounting,
BSC N400NS Accounting,
BSC N401 Accounting (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N402 Accounting (Including Year Abroad),
BSC N404 Accounting (Including Placement Year),
BSC N420 Accounting and Finance,
BSC N420NS Accounting and Finance,
BSC N422 Accounting and Finance (Including Placement Year),
BSC NN43 Accounting and Finance (Including Foundation Year),
BSC NNK3 Accounting and Finance (Including Year Abroad),
BSC NN24 Accounting and Management,
BSC NN27 Accounting and Management (Including Placement Year),
BSC NN42 Accounting and Management (Including Foundation Year),
BSC NNK2 Accounting and Management (Including Year Abroad),
BSC N4L1 Accounting with Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC NKL1 Accounting with Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC NL41 Accounting with Economics,
BSC NL44 Accounting with Economics (Including Placement Year),
BA L147 Financial Economics and Accounting (Including Placement Year),
BA L148 Financial Economics and Accounting,
BA L149 Financial Economics and Accounting (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

In the first five weeks of the autumn term we will look at deconstructing what accounting and regulation is, we will also look at the role of international standard setters and politics in standard setting. Following this we will move to look at accounting theory which forms the foundations for the approaches to accounting that are currently taken in society, we will look at the way that this forms the conceptual framework and the discuss the measurement approaches that are taken. The module will continue with a more in-depth look at corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting, including discussions about recent initiatives as well as academic findings. We will then look at fair value accounting in terms of its valuation measurements, its strengths and weaknesses in comparison with historical cost accounting and its relation with the global financial crisis. In the last two weeks of this term, we will discuss the accounting issue of foreign currency translation and we will compare and contrast the different methods which can be used to account for it. In the first five weeks of the Spring term we will explore issues related to Off-balance Sheet accounting with a particular focus on lease contract. We will then discuss the role that these tools have played in encouraging opportunistic behaviours that lead to the bankruptcy of global companies and to the recent global financial crisis. We will then move to discuss the accounting treatment of goodwill and other intangible assets. More focus will be provided on the initial recognition of goodwill with particular reference to IRFS 3 “Business Combinations”, and subsequent measurements reflected in impairment tests following IAS 36 “Impairment of Assets”. Recent academic research will be discussed to provide more insight on the complexities associated with the accounting of goodwill in practice. The final five weeks of the Spring term explores issues of manipulation, reconstruction and income smoothing issues of company financial statements - and the significance and application of IAS 37, Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets; followed by the importance of pension schemes in company reporting and in particular how companies report the provision of pension for employees and with particular reference to IAS19, Employee Benefits; then measuring and reporting financial instruments, with particular reference to IAS39/IFRS9, Financial Instruments and the specific implications for banking and financial services based companies.

Module aims

This module is centred upon constructing, examining and applying theoretical frameworks to evaluating contemporary issues in accounting.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

1. Critically review the attempts by accounting standard setters to develop a conceptual framework and assess the likelihood of success of such a pursuit;
2. Evaluate the impact of political, social, and ethical influences on company financial statements and accounting standards and regulation;
3. Assess developments in company financial reporting in their national, economic, social and political contexts;
4. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of corporate financial reporting practices.

On completion of this module, students should have attained key transferable skills that include being able to:

1. Apply and adapt academic skills to a professional working environment
2. Develop and apply high level financial analytical skills in the working environment for clients and employers
3. Understand the need to communicate and explain complex financial statements to non-accounting colleagues and write reports in a clear and concise manner
4. Be aware of, and understand, contemporary accounting debates and developments in an international and practical context
5. Appreciate the importance of ‘softer’ skills in the working environment such as developing a professional attitude and commitment, exhibiting sound communication and awareness of completing tasks to strict deadlines

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The module will be delivered by: * two hour lectures/workshops (weeks 2 -11 and 16-25) * one hour fortnightly classes (weeks 3-11; 16-25 and 30) Classes will take place on a fortnightly basis. Your attendance is required at each of the lectures and classes assigned to you. Please look at the Module website for supporting material.


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework AUTUMN TERM ESSAY 13/11/2019
Coursework SP TERM ESSAY 19/02/2020
Exam 180 minutes during Early Exams (Main)

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
30% 70%


Coursework Exam
30% 70%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Autumn Term: Rebecca Warren, Osamuyimen Egbon ; Spring Term: Silvia Gaia, John Azure



External examiner

Dr Javed Siddiqui
Senior Lecturer in Accounting
Available via Moodle
Of 144 hours, 144 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Business School

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