1 Written Assessment
Assessment Title Literature review: individual assignment (2,500 words MAX)
Task Description You are required to provide a literature review on a topic provided on the Moodle site for this course. A list of possible topics will be provided in Moodle. You are to select one topic and write a literature review.
Details will be provided in Moodle on how to research and write a literature review.
Assessment Due Date Tuesday (21-Apr-2015) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 8 Friday (08-May-2015)
Assessment Criteria You will be assessed on:
• Quality of your literature review (80%)
• Quality of your English expression (10%)
• The readability (presentation) of your report (10%).
You must use the Harvard style of referencing. Proper referencing is expected, and up to 5 marks may be withdrawn in penalty if instances of poor referencing are found.
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submit online via Moodle.
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You are to submit a literature review on the topic of the international harmonisation of accounting standards. Module Three will provide further information on the harmonisation project. To do this, you must:
• Report on the current state of Australia's harmonisation and standardisation with the international accounting standards;
• Report on the progress towards harmonisation of one of the following countries:
Finally, compare the experiences and progress of Australia with the country of your choice.
Your literature review should include articles from the academic literature, as well as commentary from:
• Web sites
Provide your literature review in the form of a simple business report, which has:
• Executive summary
• Literature review
You must reference your sources using the Harvard method.
The 2,500 word limit applies to the literature review component of your report only.
Module # 3
Why IFRS? The history and issues
Before exploring the history of harmonisation and the IFRS, it is good to respond to an obvious question: Why bother? Why would countries want to give up their own way of doing things, their own rules and quirky approaches? As it turns out, there are several good reasons why having common accounting standards around the world is an advantage. Here are some:
• Transparency and comparability are key desirable aspects of financial reporting, no matter where you are in the world. The more the world reports financial results according to a common set of standards, the greater the transparency and comparability.
• By adopting common financial standards, your accountants are being trained in global practices and standards. This means that it is easier for countries to hire in trained accountants from anywhere else. Oh, and it means that you, as a future accountant, will find it easier to work around the world if you choose (Venice, anyone?).
• With the first two points in place, corporations gain greater efficiencies in financial reporting, and who doesn't want that?
Underlying all of these points is self-interest. You see, over the last 20 years, advances in business communications networks have greatly improved the flow of global capital. Countries and corporations who adopt and report according to a common set of financial standards find that they can tap into this global capital flow much easier. So how are accounting standards and global capital flows linked?
The holders of capital, whether they are institutional investors, banks, or individual shareholders use financial reports to determine how they are going to use and invest their capital holdings. Based on the results that were reported, investors might choose to:
• Invest more capital (or invest in a company for the first time)
• Withdraw some or all capital from the company, or
• Do nothing and let the current capital holding persist.
Financial reports are not the only influence on an investor's investment decisions, but they are clearly important. Therefore, having companies reporting according to common accounting standards makes it easier for an investor in China to make decisions on investing in Australian, Indian or British companies. Investors are no longer limited to using local financial reports.
And another thing: without common international standards, companies could still tap into international capital by listing on foreign share markets. However, this mostly meant that financial reports had to be re-presented according to local accounting standards1. This can result in some wild changes in profits or losses, just by applying different sets of standards.
Your textbook also recognises that problems and differences exist between countries that have adopted IFRS. Considerable latitude is given to local accounting regulators to amend international standards. Therefore issues such as different taxation systems, different traditions of capital raising, and different approaches to monitoring and enforcement mean that adoption and harmonisation is still a long way from -identical-.