Advanced Financial Accounting

Module Code






SCQF Level


Credit value


Module Co-ordinator   

Dr Sarah Jane Smith


15% Class Test, 25% Essay, 60% Examination

Module Introduction, aims and objectives

Financial Reporting is rapidly adopting an international perspective and knowledge of international accounting standards is vital to the aspiring financial manager or controller in multi-national companies. This module is firmly grounded in international generally accepted accounting principles.

Most multi-nationals are multi company entities and debates about the value and appropriateness of different ways of accounting for business combinations continues unabated in a business world often obsessed with mergers and acquisitions.

A significant part of the course is therefore concerned with the theory and practice of consolidated financial statements. The remainder then considers some of the most important and contentious international accounting standards. Accounting for leases can be a recipe for businesses more concerned with cosmetics than portraying reality and so a firm grasp of the issues here is vital.

Companies’ most important assets, in twenty-first century knowledge economies, are no longer plant and machinery but intangibles so these assets receive our critical attention in the course. Other international standards studied include these on foreign currency translation and deferred taxation.

Learning outcomes and skill developed

  • Knowledge and understanding of some alternative practices of accounting by examining accounting for groups, income taxes, foreign currencies and leasing.
  • Extension of skills in recording transactions and other economic events and preparation of financial statements, by examining group accounts and the impact of foreign currencies.
  • Development of an understanding of the contexts in which accounting operates, by studying regulatory issues, including international regulation.

Transferable Skills

  • Ability to analyse and draw reasoned conclusions concerning structured problems from a given set of data, principally via the preparation of financial statements using varying bases (in group accounting, income taxes, foreign currency translation and leases)
  • Develop capacity for independent and self-managed learning
  • Develop computational skills
  • Develop communication skills, including the ability to present quantitative and qualitative information, together with analysis and commentary

Introductory Reading

The main text which is a required purchase is:

Alexander, D, Britton, A, and A Jorissen, International Financial Reporting and Analysis (5th ed), (South Western, 2011).

This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.

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