In your accounting career you will be required to analyse current accounting issues and communicate your theoretical understanding to your professional colleagues and your clients. For this assignment assume that you are the senior accountant working for a major firm.
Question 1 - 9 marks (1,500 words)
The CEO has forwarded to you an interesting article and requires you to provide her with a deeper theoretical understanding of the issues discussed so that she can fully engage in the lively discourse at an upcoming conference.
You are required to find a newspaper article or web page report of an item of accounting news, i.e. it refers to a current event, consideration, comment or decision that has been published after the 1st of January 2017. Your article could also come from one of the professional journals. The article should not come from an academic journal. Academic journals generally do not contain news articles or articles of less than one page and are usually only published 2 or 4 times a year. If you are having a problem ensuring that your article is from an appropriate source contact your subject coordinator.
You then need to explain the article that you have found in your own words and clearly relate the concepts, ideas and facts within the article to one or more of the theories or topics that you have studied this session. Support your analysis of the assumptions and implications of the topic or theory as appropriate with reference to sources in APA 6 style. For example, this article from the Sydney Morning Herald in April 2016 could be linked to the topics of accounting regulation and measurement (and perhaps others). You must provide a copy of the article or web page, with details of the source, date and page number with your answer.
Question 2 - 10 marks (1,500 words)
The Senior Partner of the firm you work for has appointed you to a new role. It is now your responsibility to review upcoming accounting standards and provide a report to the partners on the proposed standard and the opinions of other industry players on the changes.
Firstly, you are required to find a current exposure draft or proposal for a new accounting standard which has been opened for public comments. (These can be found on the websites of most standard-setting organisations, such as the IASB, AASB and FASB. Hint: These websites can be quite difficult to navigate, so as a first step try typing “IASB exposure draft and comment letters”/”FASB exposure draft and comment letters” into Google or other search engine of your choice). Read a sample of the comments from a range of respondents. Select four respondents, ideally from different types of organisations for example, from accounting bodies, industry, companies or corporate bodies. If you are having a problem finding suitable comments letters then contact your subject coordinator.
In your own words, supporting your evaluation with appropriate citations, appropriately referenced in APA 6 style, you are required to include the following information in the report.
a) Introduce the major issues in the new standard
b) Explain if there is generally a consensus or if there is disagreement between the commenting parties. Examine in detail why some parties may have a dissenting point of view.
c) Analyse the assumptions behind public interest, private interest and capture theories and evaluate which one best explains each of the comment letters.
Please note: you need to attach the comment letters you selected for your report (there is no need to attach the exposure draft)
Academic Writing and Referencing - 6 marks
Content assessed: Accounting regulation, current financial reporting issues and topics(s) that your research is related to.
Key generic skills: Research, critical thinking and written communication.
This assessment is designed to test your ability to:
communicate your understanding of the topic areas; and
be able to critically evaluate selected current financial reporting and management accounting issues (SLO4).
Question 1 High Distinction Distinction Credit Pass
Ability to find and describe an accounting issue.
Inclusion of item of accounting news. (SLO4) Copy of item included (1 mark) No copy or a link is provided (0 marks) 1
Description of major issues in article. (SLO4) Description with in depth discussion and identification of all the key issues. Clear identification and discussion of all key issues. Clear coverage of most of the key issues in the article. Summary provided, with one or two issues identified, but there may be other issues that could have been addressed that have been overlooked. 2
Linkage of major issues in article to one or more topics presented in the subject. (SLO4) Response identifies a range of relevant topics and theories and is able to deconstruct and evaluate the issues through the use of theories and arrive at a logical position, for example by synthesizing the insights of different theories. Response identifies a range of relevant topics and theories and is able to evaluate the issue with a discussion of theory containing relevant examples. Response uses theory to provide a clear explanation and analysis of most of the relevant issues in the article. Response provides a linkage to the most obvious topic as well as a brief description of the linkage to some of the related accounting theories. 3
Critical Capacity and use of source material: Has the student analysed the underlying assumptions and implications of the accounting theories or topics they have identified?Are the arguments supported? (SLO4) Response critically evaluates the underlying assumptions and implications of the applied theories or topics. Exemplary use of relevant sources from within prescribed materials and attempts to include sources beyond prescribed material. Response critically evaluates most of the assumptions in the applied theories or topics. Some may be evaluated with greater depth than others. Correctly refers to an extensive variety of sources to support arguments, including prescribed texts and a broad range of additional readings. Response provides some critical evaluation of the theories or topics as a whole. Demonstrates use of multiple appropriate sources. Response provides some summaries of the theories or topics and the underlying assumptions and implications. Limited but appropriate source consultation and background reading. 3
Question 2 High Distinction Distinction Credit Pass
Ability to find comment letters, Inclusion of copies of comment letters. (SLO4) Copy of comment letters included (1 mark) No copy or a link is provided (0 marks) 1
Introduction of major issues in comment letters. (SLO4) Identification of all the relevant issues, clearly discussed and explained. Clear identification and some discussion of key issues in article. Identification and articulation of all the key issues. Summary provided, with one or two issues identified, but with various other issues overlooked. 1
Description of issues where there is agreement/disagreement between the parties who have written comment letters. Examination of why some parties would have a dissenting point of view (SLO4) All of the key areas of conjecture are described in depth and this is supported by evidence from comment letters. A high level of detail is provided regarding possible reasons behind dissenting points of view, demonstrating the ability to analyse the issues. A strong conclusion regarding the reasons behind the dissenting points is drawn. All of the key areas of conjecture are described in depth and a high level of understanding of why different parties would have different opinions is explained. Opinions supported by references to the comment letters. Most of the areas of conjecture are described. The reasons behind differences are clearly explained. Some reference made to the comment letters. The most obvious area of conjecture is briefly described. Possible reasons behind the differences are outlined, however only a basic level of understanding is demonstrated. 2
Analysis of the assumptions behind public interest, private interest and capture theory Response critically evaluates all the underlying assumptions of the theories of regulation. Response critically evaluates most of the underlying assumptions of the theories of regulation. Response provides some critical evaluation of the theories of regulation as a whole. Response provides some summaries of the theories of regulation and the underlying assumptions. 3
Critical Capacity: an evaluation of which theory best explains the comment letters. (SLO4)Has the student deeply analysed the underlying assumptions of the accounting theories they have used as examples? (SLO2) Response clearly applies all of the theories to the various issues in the comment letters and provides a well developed justification that critically evaluates the relevance of the theories to the issue. Response applies all of the theories to the various issues, and provides a clear justification for the chosen theories. Response applies most of the theories to various issues in the comment letters and provides justification for the chosen theory/theories. Response briefly applies some of the theories to one issue in the comment letters and provides a basic justification for the most obvious theory. 3
Academic Writing: Is the answer well written, easy to follow and understand? Accurate use of syntax, spelling and punctuation. A sophisticated vocabulary is appropriately used. Answer is logically structured with arguments coherently developed and supported. Accurate use of syntax, spelling and punctuation; succinct and effective use of vocabulary. Clear expression and structure. Accurate use of syntax, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation. Writing is easy to follow and understand. Mostly accurate syntax, spelling and punctuation, language is simplistic but appropriate. 4
Adherence to referencing guidelines Reference list included with correct adherence to referencing guidelines. Correct in-text referencing is provided. Reference list and in-text referencing performed in accordance with APA guidelines. Reference list and in-text referencing performed largely in accordance with the APA guidelines. Reference list provided, formatted in APA style with minor errors. Some in-text referencing provided with minor errors 2
The following points are a general guide for presenting assessment items.
Assessment items should be typed.
Use 1.5 spacing.
Use a wide left margin. Markers need space to be able to include their comments.
Use a standard 12pt font such as Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial.
Left- justify body text.
Include a separate title page with your name, student number, subject code, assessment number and assessment question. Include class time and tutor’s name if applicable.
Number your pages (except the cover page).
Use a header or footer with your name and student number on each page.
Always keep a copy of your assessments. Both a hard copy and an electronic copy.
Most importantly, always use your spelling and grammar checker, but remember that this does not pick up all errors. You must still manually and carefully edit your work.
For this assessment you are required to use APA 6 referencing to acknowledge the sources that you have used in preparing your assessment. Please refer to the CSU referencing guide http://student.csu.edu.au/study/referencing-at-csu. In addition a very useful tool for you to use that demonstrates how to correctly use in text referencing and the correct way to cite the reference in your reference list can be found at https://apps.csu.edu.au/reftool/apa-6
Assignments must be submitted through Turnitin. Further details about submission are provided in Appendix 1.