University of Sydney Handbooks - 2020 Archive

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Table of postgraduate units of study: Commerce

The information below details the unit of study descriptions for the units listed in the Table of postgraduate units of study: Commerce.


Achievement of a specialisation in Accounting requires 30 credit points from this table comprising:
(i) 6 credit points in foundational units of study
(ii) 24 credit points in elective units of study.

Units of study for the specialisation

Foundational unit of study

ACCT5001 Accounting Principles

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 3hr class per week Assessment: assignment (20%), mid-semester test (30%), final examination (50%)
This unit provides an introduction to the generally accepted accounting principles and practices underlying financial accounting and reporting. The unit introduces students to the concepts and skills required to prepare, analyse, and interpret financial statements.

Elective units of study

ACCT5002 Managerial Accounting and Decision Making

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 3hr class per week Prerequisites: ACCT5001 Assessment: business practical (business case) (32%), mid-semester assessment task (8%), capstone readiness assurance self-assessment (5%), final exam (55%)
This unit introduces the context and processes of managerial accounting, with financial and non-financial information literacy to inform both understanding and application of key managerial accounting techniques. Critical business career skills of ethical behaviour in difficult situations, collaboration, problem-solving, time management, persuasive communication and following instructions are fostered across the areas of cost accounting, business performance, and strategic value creation in management accounting. Through weekly 'business practicals', students get real-world like experience in addressing practical managerial accounting issues in organisational contexts. Students become familiar with the many kinds of managerial accounting decisions concerning the techniques, benefits and risks of accounting frameworks chosen. The unit is completed with a capstone case study which consolidates learning and allows students to use their new knowledge and skills gained in identifying and addressing operational and strategic issues facing organisations concerning competition, innovation and government regulation.
ACCT6001 Intermediate Financial Reporting

Credit points: 6 Session: Intensive January,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 3hr class per week Prerequisites: ACCT5001 Assessment: mid-semester test (35%), final examination (50%), and assignment (15%)
Note: Department permission required for enrolmentin the following sessions:Intensive January
Note: Departmental Permission required for enrolment in the Intensive January session.
This unit provides an understanding of the contemporary Australian financial reporting environment. Particular attention is paid to accounting theory and concepts, mandatory reporting practices and reporting policies that reflect either a choice from among several mandated alternatives, or those areas where regulation has not occurred. The unit is intended for those who will be involved in the preparation or use of company financial statements. The unit provides an understanding of accounting techniques, both in terms of technical method and their relative impact on a corporation's financial statements. The emphasis throughout is on both the 'techniques' and the related explanations for their use.
ACCT6002 International Accounting

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr lecture and 1 1hr workshop per week Prerequisites: ACCT6001 Assumed knowledge: Accounting standards and their application Assessment: final exam (50%), test 1 (15%), test 2 (15%), assignment (10%), oral presentation (10%)
Many of the topics in an international accounting unit have a domestic counterpart. However, new factors and complications arise in the international arena. Some of these are (1) diversity of laws, practices, customs, cultures, and competitive circumstances; and (2) risks associated with fluctuating exchange rates, differential rates of inflation, and unstable property rights. International accounting discusses issues from the perspective of companies that have internationalised their finance and/or their operations. It has a comparative aspect, comparing accounting across countries. It deals with corporate reporting and disclosure across national boundaries. It also deals with the harmonisation of the worldwide diversity in financial reporting, in particular, convergence around International Financial Reporting Standards. It discusses consolidation issues that arise from multinational operations.
ACCT6003 Fundamental Analysis for Equity Investment

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 13x 2hr lectures, 13x 1hr workshops. Prerequisites: ACCT5001 and FINC5001 Assumed knowledge: QBUS5001 or QBUS5002 Assessment: mid-semester test (20%); weekly workshops (15%); equity investment (20%); final exam (45%)
Note: ACCT6003 assumes knowledge of basic statistics and econometrics that are covered in QBUS5001/5002. ACCT6003 requires the analysis of data, ratios, normal distribution, expectations, variance, data graphs. ACCT6003 also assumes solid knowledge of time value of money concepts.
This unit develops a framework of fundamental analysis for equity investment in publicly traded companies. The first part of the unit deals with the analysis of financial statement information, complemented with other sources of information such as business strategy, industry prospects and key macroeconomic effects. Emphasis is on the analysis of earnings quality and accounting-based valuation methods. The second part of the unit applies fundamental analysis in the appraisal of equity investment, and the effect of credit evaluation and risk analysis, as well as the valuation for takeovers. The unit also covers the impact on equity valuation from inherent behavioural patterns in informing investment decisions.
ACCT6006 Advanced Managerial Accounting

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1 x 3hr class per week Prerequisites: ACCT5002 Assessment: seminar assignments (10%), assignments (25%), seminar contribution (15%), final examination (50%)
This unit examines a number of advanced topics in managerial accounting as they relate to the use of key analytic and calculative techniques for decision making and value creation. Topics are biased towards those that are relevant and even contentious to contemporary practice and include: the potential inconsistencies between management accounting and strategic decision making and control; executive compensation and reward systems; ethical issues in budget setting and performance management; the theory of the firm and outsourcing; issues in managing joint ventures and strategic alliances; performance measurement systems; decentralisation and transfer pricing, and innovation and change in management accounting practice. An overview of each topic area is provided before exploring the topics more deeply by examining current research and/or working through case studies to provide insights into contemporary business practice.
ACCT6007 Contemporary Issues in Auditing

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 3hr seminar per week Prerequisites: ACCT6001 Assessment: mid-semester exam (30%); group case study (20%); final exam (50%)
The focus of this unit is the development of knowledge and understanding of the key elements of the 'corporate financial statement' audit process with particular reference to Australian Auditing Standards. Auditor's duties and responsibilities are considered before moving to planning the audit, performing the audit and arriving at an audit opinion. Students are exposed to the techniques used by auditors in carrying out audit procedures and evaluating audit evidence. Students are expected to further develop their critical thinking skills through applying technical audit principles to real-world auditing problems and corporate case studies. Students develop an appreciation for the essential role the auditor and the audit function play in enhancing the quality of financial statements and corporate governance. In this context, the unit critically examines contemporary audit issues, recent audit headlines and challenges faced by the audit profession in the Australian and global environment.
ACCT6010 Advanced Financial Reporting

Credit points: 6 Session: Intensive January,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 3hr seminar per week Prerequisites: ACCT6001 Assessment: mid-semester examination (25%), case study (20%), final examination (55%)
Note: Department permission required for enrolmentin the following sessions:Intensive January
Note: Departmental Permission required for enrolment in the Intensive January session.
This unit provides students with a detailed understanding of more complex financial reporting issues. Topics examined include: group accounting issues such as the practical application of the control test; multiple subsidiaries; non-controlling interest; foreign currency translation; consolidated cash flow reporting; segment reporting; accounting for joint arrangements and associates; and related party disclosures. The unit builds on the knowledge base acquired from earlier accounting units with a strong emphasis on the application of technical skills. The unit has a substantial case component, using current examples to illustrate both appropriate technical solutions in accordance with accounting standards and guidelines, as well as the forces which determine the choice of methods. The unit also provides students with an awareness of relevant research to assist in an understanding of both current debates and accounting choices. This unit helps develop students' ability to read and analyse financial reports and to understand the financial reporting implications of management decisions relating to internal reporting and organisational structure.
ACCT6014 Designing Accounting Systems

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1 x 3hr seminar per week Prerequisites: ACCT5001 Assessment: in-class assessments (20%), mid-semester test (20%), design skills test (20%), final examination (40%)
This unit introduces students to the concepts, challenges and approaches associated with the evaluation, design, introduction, operation and improvement of accounting systems and reflects the differences in the needs of family-owned businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises and multi-national business firms. Elements of those systems include methods of documenting transactions and events; internal control procedures designed to safeguard human physical and financial resources; manual, semi-automated or fully automated source data entry, transaction processing methods and financial and non-financial reports on operational activities. These issues are also considered with regard to the capabilities of contemporary industry-standard accounting and business application software such as spreadsheets, MYOB and SAP in a cost-effective and secure manner. Topics include the design of charts of accounts; in solutions context; internal controls and maintaining audit trails, records management; the identification of requirements and the use of selection criteria for the evaluation, introduction, configuration and operation of packaged accounting software solutions. It provides students with the hands-on skills in the design and implementation of an accounting system to a real-world medium-sized organisation using an industry standard accounting software solution by integrating concepts, approaches, commercial realities and capabilities of contemporary enterprise resource planning systems. At the commencement, students are provided with a review of business frameworks including cycles, systems, source documents and recording transactions which act as a common starting point on which the unit builds.
ACCT6015 Extended Performance Reporting

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 3hr seminar per week Prerequisites: ACCT5001 Corequisites: ACCT6001 Assessment: group work (20%), weekly reflection (20%), individual essay (20%), final examination (40%)
This unit reviews issues associated with sustainability reporting models which have been practised in the last decade and highlights current and possible future issues. These new reporting models claim to enhance understanding of organisational performance to a variety of stakeholders and are based on new performance measurement technologies that arguably improve decision making. This unit of study is designed to provide a critical analysis of the issues surrounding organisation performance and explores the key underlying issues associated with the emergence of these new reporting models. The unit looks at how the reporting of economic and non-economic performance enables private, public and third sector organisations to provide an account of their value creation and sustainability performance. The unit also explores the perspectives of significant bodies of research on reporting value-creating activities and non-economic performance.