School of Business & Law
Unit Code and Title ACCT20074 Contemporary Accounting Theory
Assessment mode Research report (Literature review and analysis)
Assessment type Individual
Tentative length 2500 words - Plus or Minus 10% (E.g. 2250 - 2750 words) You may be penalised if your words are significantly above or under this range
Marked out of 100
Due date Week 6 (Friday, 22 April 2016, 11.45 PM AEST)
Late submission penalty 5% (1.5 mark) per day (out of weighted marks)
Extension Must apply prior to due date with reasonable an appropriate evidence
Marked assessments return date Week 8 (Friday, 6 May 2016). Note: this date will not apply to the assignments submitted after the due date
This assignment aims at assisting students to learn and develop the following key skills:
• Reviewing literature
• Critical analysis and evaluation
Students will lean and develop these skills by (i) writing a literature review on accounting issues (e.g. measurement) and (ii) analysing companies' practice with respect to the use of measurement. Your assignment work must meet basic academic and professional standards which include articulate, critical, supported by evidence, free from errors and more importantly free from plagiarism (i.e. your own work).
This assessment assesses the following learning outcomes as identified in the Course Profile for ACCT20074:
• Analyse, interpret and report on given business situations using appropriate accounting theories
• Critically evaluate Australian accounting and regulatory environment
Measurement is becoming increasingly critical issue in financial reporting. Particularly, there has been a strong debate amongst research academics and alike (Christensen & Nikolaev, 2013) with respect to the choice between measurement methods (e.g. fair value and historical cost accounting). This is partly due to the two reasons - First, they are two different measurement methods, each underpinned by different assumptions and second, International Accounting Standard Board (IASB) 2010 conceptual framework, which Australia is subject to, does not prescribe a specific measurement base to account for the financial reporting elements. In fact, IFRS and therefore AASB provides a free choice between fair value and historical cost accounting for the non-financial asset groups - property, plant and equipment (PPE) (see IAS 16) and intangibles (see IAS 38). This has resulted in variations in valuation practices for PPE and intangible assets. Accordingly, consistency and comparability of financial reports, which is one of the key qualitative characteristics of the financial reports, is being questioned.
Write a literature review on the following research issue;
'The current accounting reporting approach that allows reporting entities to choose between measurement methods (e.g. fair value, or historical costs, or mixed of both) with respect to measurement of PPE and intangibles, is a problematic and therefore should be removed - do you agree?-
Identify and analyse valuation (measurement) practices with respect to the use of historical cost and fair value) for the PPE and intangibles by carefully examining the 'Accounting Policy' sections of the companies listed in Australia and the USA.
(Note: Choose a company, each from listed in the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and the New York Stock Exchange (NSYE) and download their annual report for the period ending 2015 to answer this task).
Based on your observation and analysis in Task 2, provide your opinion on the free choices between historical cost and fair value accounting for PPE and intangibles. Do you think such free choice be continued or abandoned? Justify your arguments.
Format and presentation of the report
• Cover page showing the title of the report, the author (Student name and ID number) and the word count (not included in the word count) -
• Executive summary outlining the major findings of the report (1/4 to 1/2 page) (not included in the word count) - 5 marks
• Table of contents (not included in the word count)
• An introduction telling the reader what the report is about, what it cover and how and how it is structured - 5 marks
• The answer itself of all 3 assignment tasks o Task 1 - 30 marks o Task 2 - 25 marks o Task 3 - 20 marks
• A conclusion/summary - 5 marks
• References - using Harvard referencing style (not included in the word count) - 10 marks
• appendices (if applicable – not included in the word count)
Your report should be presented complying with the followings:
• 1.5 line spacing
• Times New Roman 12 point font
• 2.54 cm margins on all sides
• Clearly label section and subsection (if applicable)
Note: There are marks allocated for format and presentation. Make sure you comply with them all.
Citation and referencing (Must use Harvard referencing style)
This is investigative research assignment which include literature review component. Therefore, you must carry out research to gather relevant literature, cite them and appropriately reference them. Note that you are using Referencing not Bibliography. Ask your lecturer or tutor if you do not know the difference.
There are no set number in terms of how many literature you need to cite. The general rule is that 'more is better' as long as they are relevant and add value to your report. I would expect at least 15 literatures cited in your report (mostly in literature review section- but you can have citation in other section too). Make sure that you use types of literatures that are considered credible and authentic. They may include:
• Journal article (peer reviewed only)
• Government regulation or policy document
• Court case (decisions)
• CPA and CIAA article
• Media report
• New paper article
Do not use
• Google articles
MAKE SURE YOU ATTACH YOUR SIGNED ASSIGNM,ENT COVER SHEET TO THE FORNT OF YOUR REPORT.