AF6009 - Contemporary Issues in Financial Reporting

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What will I learn on this module?

You will learn to critically appraise, understand and apply a range of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The purpose of this module is for you to learn about a select number of standards in detail. In many cases this involves looking beyond the technical computational elements of the standard, instead focusing on areas of the standards which require the judgement of a professional accountant. The following standards will be covered in the module:

• IAS38 - Intangible Assets
• IAS32 / IFRS 9 - Financial Instruments
• IFRS13 - Fair Value
• IFRS15 - Revenue Recognition from Contracts with Customers
• IAS19 - Employee Benefits

In addition to the accounting standards mentioned above you will learn about some of the contemporary issues in financial reporting, these include:

• Corporate Governance and Compliance
• Integrated Reporting
• Sustainability and Carbon Accounting
• Responsible Financial Accounting
• Harmonisation
• Forensic Accounting and Fraud

You will be assessed by means of an examination and a continuous professional development (CPD) event. The examination will consist of a combination on computational, discursive, case-study and essay based questions. The CPD event is a simulated workshop where you will be required to present (in a group) on a contemporary topic in financial reporting. This will involve you carrying out research on a topic and being able to find innovative and interesting ways to disseminate that research to your peers during the workshop. This event builds your professional skills in a number of ways; researching, delivery of contemporary financial reporting content and innovate use of technology.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn though lectures, structured seminars and independent learning. The lectures will, in the case of the accounting standards, cover the critical viewpoints which need to be considered. In the contemporary issues lectures you will cover theory in the area. In both cases this will be followed up with structured seminars, where a range of activities will be designed in order to provide a more in-depth discussion of the topics covered in the lectures.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported in a number of ways. The most direct from of support will be through the seminars, where you will engage and interact in debates and discussions around a given topic. In addition to this there will be a number of drop-in sessions to support you though the CPD event planning process. This will give you the opportunity to ask questions about your topic and ways to approach the presentation and briefing paper. In addition there will be ongoing support from the module tutor via email and informal discussions.

Lectures may be recorded using Panopto and made available on Blackboard. In addition a range of material will be made available from professional bodies which will support your study of International Financial Reporting Standards.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Understand, apply and critically appraise the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary financial reporting practices (MLO1).

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Critically assess your Continuous Professional Development by means of a group-delivered professional training event supported by an appropriate briefing paper (MLO2).

• Develop and critically assess your research and presentation skills through deliver to a peer audience (MLO3).

Personal Values Attributes:
• Develop and critique your research skills by investigating particular financial reporting issues and synthesising the material into an evaluative briefing paper (MLO4).

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment will be provided to you through a range of seminar activities which will enable you to prepare for summative assessment during, and at end of the module. You will be given the opportunity to develop examination skills through example examination questions. Formative assessment will be provided by tutors during sessions, and through guidance notes to seminar activities.

Summative Assessment:
Three hour closed book examination (plus 15 mins reading time) worth 50%. Feedback on exam script. Some of the learning objectives will be measured through this assessment; they will be in the form of computational, scenario based and long-form essay questions (MLO1).

Continuous Professional Development event - 50%. Some learning objectives will be measured by this assessment. Feedback will be provided in written format for both elements (briefing paper construction and presentation) (MLO2, MLO3, MLO4).


Level 4 Financial Accounting Module or equivalent
Level 5 Financial Accounting Module or equivalent



Module abstract

This module examines the contemporary issues and controversies in financial reporting. As such it focuses on technical and theoretical elements of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). This will enable you to understand how financial reporting standards are used and applied in practice. In addition the module gives insights into academic research which supports your understanding of higher level financial reporting issues.

The module is split into two distinct areas which complement the assessment structure. The first part involves teaching of reporting standards which are a continuation of the work you undertook at level 5 in financial reporting. The concepts which are taught in this module enable you to gain a deeper understanding of the subjective elements of IFRS, thus aiding your decision-making skills. The second part introduces theoretical research which aids in your understanding of the contemporary issues which face the macro environment of financial accounting.

Course info

UCAS Code N400

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

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