1. General information
As per the course description, this assignment constitutes 30 per cent of the total assessment in this course and is due in week 10 (27h May at 11.55pm) of the semester.
BUACC5933 covers a range of important cost and management accounting topics. The main purpose of this assignment is to provide students with the opportunity to apply and extend their knowledge, skills and values in connection with selected topics covered during the course.
3. Formation of groups
Students are to complete the assignment in groups of two and do not have any entitlement to adopt some other arrangement (such as completing the assignment individually or in a group of three) without the permission of the lecturer in-charge of the course at the location where they are studying. Students who have difficulty arranging membership of a group or who encounter other difficulties (for example, a group member withdraws from the course) should consult their lecturer in-charge. Where there are an odd number of students in the class, the lecturer in-charge may grant permission for one group of three students to be formed.
Each group is to submit responses to each of Topic 1 and Topic 2 as listed below. Each topic will carry a weighting of 15 marks out of the 30 marks available for this assessment task.
Topic 1: Case Study
The following short article appeared on page one of The Age newspaper on 16 February 2015:
A family in Cambridge received their Christmas presents from friends in Paris this week – 50 days after their parcel was posted. French posties sent it to Cambodia, and the near-20,000-kilometre trip, via several other countries, is estimated to have cost delivery firm ParcelForce $240 to deliver three children’s books.
How do you think the cost of $240 would have been calculated? (2 marks)
Regardless of the exact method used to calculate the cost of delivering the lost parcel, in what way or ways would such a calculation be subjective? Give examples to illustrate your answer. (2 marks)
If the parcel delivery firm did not lose the parcel, would this necessarily mean that its profit would have been $240 higher? Justify your answer. (1½ marks)
If the parcel delivery firm did not lose the parcel, would this necessarily mean that it would have $240 more cash? Justify your answer. (1½ marks)
Under what circumstances might it be contended that there was no cost associated with losing the parcel? (2 marks)
Might it reasonably be contended that the cost of losing the parcel could be much more than $240? (You may wish to consider here that the incident has been reported in a newspaper article that includes the name of the delivery firm.) Is this a valid way to calculate the cost of losing the parcel? (2 marks)
If you were asked to calculate the cost of losing the parcel, what approach would you adopt? Justify your approach and state any assumptions that you have made. (4 marks)
Topic 2: Essay
The management accountant plays a number of key roles in:
(a) Assisting an organisation achieve its objectives; and,
(b) Ensuring that the organisation is ethical in its pursuit of those objectives.
Discuss this statement within the context of each of the following types of organisation:
A business organisation that is a manufacturer; and,
A not-for-profit organisation, such as a charity.
In each case, ensure that you provide illustrations of how the management accountant can contribute to ensuring that organisational objectives are achieved and ethical integrity maintained.
The assignment is to comply with the University’s General Guide to Writing and Study Skills, General Guide to Referencing, and Assignment Layout and Appearance Guidelines. See comments below regarding word length. Each group is to submit a single copy of their assignment.
6. Assessment criteria
In assessing submitted assignments consideration will be given to:
Overall neatness, completeness and quality of presentation. Graduate students are expected to achieve a satisfactory standard with respect to this criterion as a matter of course, and for this reason no credit will be granted for achieving it. However, assignments that fail to achieve the minimum standard in connection with this criterion will be penalised. The expected standard concerning this criterion is as specified by the University’s General Guide to Writing and Study Skills, General Guide to Referencing, and Assignment Layout and Appearance Guidelines.
Timeliness of submission. Graduate students are expected to be able to meet reasonable deadlines for the submission of assessable work as a matter of course. For this reason, no credit will be given for submitting the assignment by the due date. However, assignments that are submitted late will be penalised at the rate of three marks out of 30 per day that the assignment is late.
Demonstrated application of appropriate cost and management accounting knowledge, skills and values. This criterion pertains to the overall quality of the content of responses to the assignment requirements. Specific factors to be taken into account include: accuracy, comprehensiveness, demonstrated understanding of the topics, and the location and effective use of relevant research materials.
The response to each topic is expected to be between 1,200 to 1,500 words (1,500 words being the maximum length for each topic). These guidelines exclude the cover sheet, list of references and abstract (note: an abstract is required for Topic 2 only). For Topic 1, students should be guided by the mark allocations in determining the length of their responses to each part of the topic.
Students in a group will normally each be awarded the same mark for their assignment. This is based on the expectation that each student in the group will have contributed equally to the preparation of the assignment. Where this expectation has not been satisfied differential marks may be allocated. Selected students may be required to discuss their assignment with the person responsible for marking it. This discussion may be taken into account in marking an assignment where it provides evidence that a student has not made a fair contribution to the preparation of the assignment. This could, for example, be evidenced by a student being unable to explain the meaning of their assignment, being unable to explain how they contributed to the preparation of the assignment, or being unable to explain why certain information has been included.