Credit points


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ACCT100 Introduction to Accounting

Teaching organisation

4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The Accounting Professional Bodies identify financial accounting and reporting skills as a core competency area for accountants. Preparation of financial reports is a statutory requirement for all businesses. This unit explores General Purpose Financial Reporting within the Australian Conceptual Framework (Statements of Accounting Concepts). It also applies the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the Australian Accounting Standards as the conceptual basis for accounting activities. It also distinguishes the economic implications of applying Australian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to various accounting activities. It is designed to provide students with a sound understanding of the ethical, practical and global application of the historic cost financial accounting model. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - identify and promote stewardship by exploring the ethical role of Accountants using the new standards of reporting in sustainability such as Triple Bottom Line reporting (GA2, GA5)

LO2 - critically examine the theoretical principles of the conceptual framework of accounting that underlie accounting practice (GA4, GA5)

LO3 - review the regulatory framework and the role that this framework plays in the preparation and presentation of financial reports (GA5, GA8)

LO4 - record a range of financial accounting events for various business structures and disclose that information in general purpose financial statements that are in accordance with accounting standards and the Australian and International Financial Reporting Standards (GA5, GA6)

LO5 - demonstrate autonomous and collaborative working skills through evaluating the effect of accounting policies and accounting standards on financial reporting (GA5, GA7).

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Topics will include:

  • financial accounting in a business context
  • regulatory framework, role of accounting standards
  • the role of accounting and promoting stewardship
  • the reduced disclosure requirements regime
  • conceptual framework
  • assets, depreciation, revaluation & impairment and liabilities
  • share capital and reserves
  • statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income
  • revenue recognition issues
  • accounting in national and international contexts
  • accounting for partnerships
  • accounting for employee benefits
  • accounting for financial instruments
  • accounting for share-based payments
  • digital technologies as accounting tools for decision-making
  • working collaboratively in the financial accounting context 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The teaching and learning strategy is built on a “student-focused approach,” which can be described as “Level 3. Focus: what the student does” instead of a “teacher-focused approach,” ACU’s teaching policy focuses on learning outcomes for students. Our teaching aims to engage students as active participants in the learning process while acknowledging that all learning must involve a complex interplay of active and receptive processes, the constructing of meaning for oneself, and learning from others. ACU promotes and facilitates learning that is autonomous and self-motivated, is characterised by the individual taking satisfaction in the mastering of content and skills and is critical, looking beneath the surface level of information for the meaning and significance of what is being studied.

The schedule of the workshop is designed in such a way that students can achieve intended learning outcomes sequentially. Teaching and learning activities will apply the experiential learning model, which encourages students to apply higher order thinking. The unit ensures that learning activities involve real-world scenarios that in turn assist with ‘real-world’ preparedness. The unit also uses a scaffolding technique that builds a student’s skills and prepares them for the next phase of the learning process.

This unit is taught in a flipped classroom format and will require face-to-face attendance in specific physical location/s. Students will have face-to-face interactions with lecturer(s) to further their achievement of the learning outcomes. This unit is structured with required upfront preparation before workshops, most students report that they spend an average of one hour preparing before the workshop and one or more hours after the workshop practicing and revising what was covered. The online learning platforms used in this unit provide multiple forms of preparatory and practice opportunities for you to prepare and revise. It is up to individual students to ensure that the out of class study is adequate for the optimal learning outcomes and successes.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessments are used primarily to foster learning. ACU adopts a constructivist approach to learning which seeks alignment between the fundamental purpose of each unit, the learning outcomes, teaching and learning strategy, assessment and the learning environment. In order to pass this unit, students are required to achieve an overall score of at least 50%. Using constructive alignment, the assessment tasks are designed for students to demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Case Study

This assessment task consists of a 1000-word research case study. This task requires students to demonstrate their knowledge of the fundamental stewardship and ethical role of accountants.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Case Study

Artefact: Written report



GA2, GA5

Assessment Task 2: Research Report

This assessment task consists of a 2000-word group research report. This task requires students to work collaboratively to research and discuss a current financial accounting issue and the role that the regulatory and conceptual frameworks play in the preparation and presentation of financial reports. It also requires students to consider national and international contexts.

Submission Type: Group

Assessment Method: Research report

Artefact: Written report


LO4, LO5

GA5, GA6, GA7

Assessment Task 3: Exam

This assessment task consists of a final exam entailing both descriptive type theoretical questions and numerical calculation type questions. This task requires students to independently draw on their analytical and evaluating skills and apply their knowledge of the topics covered in the unit to the exam questions.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Exam

Artefact: Answers to exam questions


LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Aerts W. & Walton P 2017, Global financial accounting and reporting, 4th edn. South Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning Australia.

Arthur, N 2016, Accounting for corporate combinations and associations, 8th edn. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education.

Arthur, N., Egan, M. Howieson, B., Keet, P. Luff, L. & Ram, R 2016, Accounting for corporate combinations and associations, 8th edn. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Financial reporting handbook 2017, Milton, QLD: John Wiley & Sons.

Deegan, C 2015, Advanced financial accounting theory and issues, 1st edn. North Ryde, NSW: McGraw-Hill.

Deegan, C 2016, Australian financial accounting, 8th edn. North Ryde: NSW. McGraw-Hill.

Henderson, S 2017, Issues in financial accounting, 16th edn. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Leo K, Knapp, J., McGowan, S. & Sweeting J 2017, Company accounting, 11th edn. Milton, QLD: John Wiley & Sons.

Loftus, J, Leo, K., Boys, N, Daniliuc, BL., Hong, A & Byrnes, K 2016, Financial reporting, 1st edn. Milton, QLD. John Wiley & Sons.

Phillips, F., Libby, R. & Libby, P 2015, Fundamentals of financial accounting, 5th edn, North Ryde: NSW. McGraw-Hill.

Trotman, K., Carson, E. & Gibbins, M 2015, Financial accounting: an integrated approach, 6th edn. South Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning Australia.

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