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Financial Reporting and Accountability

Unit code: BMAN21020
Credit Rating: 20
Unit level: Level 2
Teaching period(s): Full year
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit?: N



Additional Requirements

BMAN 21020 has pre-requisites of: BMAN10501 or BMAN10621(A), BMAN10621(B) or BMAN10621(M). Available to Mgt, IM, IMABS, IBFE & ITMB. Core for BSc Accounting & BSc ITMB (Accounting). Also available to BAEcon & Maths w Financial Maths.

Pre-requisite course units have to be passed by 40% or above at the first attempt unless a higher percentage is indicated within this course outline. If the pre-requisite unit is defined as a compulsory course unit within your programme of study (Maths with Finance, IBFE, Accounting, BA Econ pathways for example) then progression onto the dependent unit is permitted as long as you have gained the appropriate amount of credit to progress on to the following year of your registered undergraduate programme.


BMAN10501 Financial Reporting with an examination pass mark of 40% or above or

BMAN10621(A), (B) or (M) Fundamentals of Financial Reporting with an examination pass mark of 40% or above

This course builds upon the learning from the above pre-requisite courses. Students must have a good knowledge and understanding of:

  • The structure of financial statements, particularly the Statement of Financial Position and Income Statements
  • The 4 main transaction types (Assets, Liabilities, Income & Expenditure)
  • The working of dual effect transactions on the accounting equation, i.e. debits and credits.

Co-requisites: None

Dependent course units: BMAN30030 Contemporary Issues in Financial Reporting & Regulations, BMAN30131 Accountability and Auditing, BMAN30211 Corporate Governance in Context.


BMAN21020 aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding, both theoretical and practical, of:
- the framework of regulations which influence financial reporting practice;
- theoretical approaches which have been offered as guides to financial reporting;
- group accounting; and
- accounting techniques and methods adopted in practice.


The course comprises two main sections. The first section is organised around three main themes: (i) the nature of the basic issues underlying financial reporting choices, accounting principles and concepts of income and value; (ii) major theoretical approaches to the analysis of the production and use of financial statements; and (iii) the framework established to ensure the quality of financial reporting, through the legal and professional structure of regulation and financial statement auditing.

The second part of the course, which is completed in the second semester, looks at accounting methods on a number of specific issues/controversies where financial reporting standards influence how organisations report externally in practice. This section begins by looking at attempts in the UK and elsewhere to develop a general ’conceptual framework’ to guide financial reporting practice.  A number of specific areas of reporting will then be referred to, for example: reporting of earnings, valuation of tangible assets, accounting for research activity, group accounting, intangibles and provisions.

The course is concerned with the principles on which organisations report to external interest groups and what evidence from actual reporting practice reveals about the motivations associated with financial accounting. It is expected that students will become competent with intermediate level accounting methods in a number of areas of practice, but there is also emphasis on the conceptual issues linked to accounting methods - what theory would suggest regarding practice, how accepted accounting conventions are applied and what actual company behaviour illustrates about the nature of financial reporting.  Some technical aspects of financial reporting will be highlighted in workshop classes during both semesters.

Teaching and learning methods

32 one hour lectures (1 or 2 per week) and 16 one hour workshops over the duration of the course.

Total study hours: 200 hours split between lectures, classes, self study and preparation for classes, coursework and examinations.


There are eight workshops each semester on the course. Each workshop will be convened each week for one hour. The topics of the workshops are detailed in the lecture and workshop timetable in the course description and on BlackBoard. The workshops will involve groups of no more than 20 to 25 students and you will be required to attend the same timetabled slot each week. This will allow you to build a rapport and dialogue with your workshop tutor.

Students will be expected to prepare their own answers for every workshop and to attend their workshop ready to present the answer they have prepared. The tutors will randomly pick students from every workshop to present their answers to the rest of the class.

Attendance and punctuality for workshops

In accordance with The University of Manchester Student Charter, you are expected to attend ‘all scheduled teaching sessions’.

Workshop tutors will keep a register of attendance and punctuality.

If a student is unable to attend a workshop for any reason, then an absence from class form must be completed and submitted to MBS Student Support, D14 AMBSE.

Students must not sign the register for anyone other than themselves.  Any student found to have signed the register for another student will be reported and may face disciplinary action.

Informal Contact Methods

  • Office Hours - booked through SOHOL
  • Email tutors directly
  • Drop in Surgeries (extra help sessions for students on material they may be struggling with)
  • Online Virtual Drop-in Surgeries


Learning outcomes

It is expected that on successful completion of this course students should be able to:
- Explain and apply basic theoretical ideas about financial reporting, including its role in a framework of governance and accountability and the measurement of income and value;
- Describe the principal elements in the regulatory structure applying to financial statements and how this structure has developed over time;
- Explain the role of auditing in relation to financial statements;
- Describe and evaluate the components of conceptual frameworks for accounting;
- Analyse the way in which theory, practice and rules (primarily accounting standards) apply to specific reporting issues which have been subjects of controversy and regulation in recent years;
- Explain and apply the main principles and methods recommended in a number of accounting standards.

In addition, through studying this course students should develop their skills in:
- The preparation, use and interpretation of financial accounting statements including those for group companies;
- Evaluation and presentation of quantitative and qualitative information;
- The use of academic literature and critical analysis;
- Problem solving, numeracy and data manipulation;
- Communication of structured information.

Assessment Further Information

2.5 hour examination (50%) at the end of semester one

2.5 hour examination (50%) at the end of semester two

The final mark will be based on the average of the 2 exams.

Semester 1 exchange students admitted via the Alliance Manchester Business School International Office on course code BMAN20641 will undertake a separate exam consisting of a technical accounting question and a written essay. The questions will be made available on Blackboard on Monday 4th December 2017 at 9:00am and must be submitted to room AMBSE D20 by 3:00pm on Thursday 7th December 2017.


Recommended reading

Core Text Book:

M. Strivens (2013), Financial Reporting and Accountability, 4th Edition, McGraw Hill. (customised)

This Core Text is available as an e-book free to students registered on this course, as part of the University’s “Books Right here Right Now” scheme.

WARNING: Do not buy earlier editions of the above text book as they are now technically out of date.

Supplementary Reading:

B. Elliott and J. Elliott (2015), Financial Reporting and Accounting, (17th edition), Prentice Hall.

Alexander, D. Britton, and Jorissen, A (2014), International Financial Reporting and Analysis, 6th ed. Thomson Learning.

C. Deegan and J. Unerman (2014), Financial Accounting Theory; 2nd European Edition, McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.

Kim, K.A., Nofsinger, J.R. and Mohr, D.J (2010) Corporate Governance, 3rd Ed. Prentice Hall.

Collins and McKeith (2013) Financial Accounting and Reporting, McGraw Hill.




Feedback methods

The following methods will be used to give feedback:

  • Informal advice and discussions during lectures, and workshops.
  • Online exercises and quizzes delivered through the Blackboard course space in the 1 Semester.
  • Responses to student emails and questions from a member of staff including feedback provided to the cohort via an online discussion forum on Blackboard.
  • Generic feedback posted on Blackboard regarding overall examination performance.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam - 5 hours
  • Lectures - 32 hours
  • Practical classes & workshops - 16 hours
  • Independent study hours - 147 hours

Teaching staff

Wendy Wild - Unit coordinator

Huw Morgan - Unit coordinator

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