Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

3 hours per week (two hours of lectures and one hour of tutorial) for 12 weeks or equivalent in intensive mode or online.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is integral to learning the complex discipline of accounting. A discipline that is becoming more and more in demand with the growth and evolution of the world economy. This unit provides an introduction to accounting and the application of these concepts in decision-making by a wide range of potential stakeholders. The knowledge gained from this unit is also of a benefit for those who will not pursue an accounting career as they will become more confident in communicating with accountants and have some idea of how financial reports are prepared and analysed. 

The unit focuses on both theoretical and practical applications of fundamental accounting concepts; International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS); recording transactions; accounting cycle; internal control; and preparing, analysing and interpreting financial reports. Emphasis is placed on utilising financial information for decision making in consideration of its ramifications for corporate social responsibility. 

The aim of the unit is to provide students with a sound foundation in accounting concepts in order to pursue a career as an accountant, financier or manager. 

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 - Analyse the elements of accounting within financial statements and apply the accounting treatment for complex business transactions over the complete accounting cycle using double entry accounting (GA5, GA8)

LO2 - Critically evaluate a set of financial statements to assess the performance of an organisation (GA5, GA9).

LO3 - Assess the fundamental and ethical role of accountants and accounting in economic decision-making and the way accounting decision-making can promote common good for individuals, society and the environment (GA2, GA5).

LO4 - Appraise and use financial information of the accounting information system to determine the effectiveness of internal controls within an organisation (GA4, GA5).

LO5 - Distinguish partnerships and apply accounting treatments for various stages of their life-cycle (GA5).

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 

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

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media


Topics will include:

  • Decision making and the roles of accounting for corporate social responsibility
  • Financial statements for decision making
  • Recording transactions
  • Adjusting the accounts
  • Completing the accounting cycle
  • Accounting for retailing and inventories
  • The accounting information system and internal control
  • Presentation, analysis and interpretation of financial statements
  • Cash management and control
  • Receivables
  • Inventories
  • Accounting for partnership

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Practice and applied practical activities are essential for learning accounting. Students are expected to adopt an ‘active’ learning strategy and learn by doing. ACU’s teaching policy focuses on learning outcomes for students in the form of knowledge, capabilities and background. 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 practical workshops provide an interactive environment for involving in class discussions and exchange of ideas.

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 learning material and preparatory and practice opportunities for you to prepare and revise.

Mode of delivery

This unit is offered in different modes depending on the teaching period. These are: “Attendance” mode, “Blended” mode and “Online” mode. This unit is offered in three modes to cater to the learning needs and preferences of a range of participants and maximise effective participation for isolated and/or marginalised groups.

Attendance Mode

In a weekly attendance mode, students will require face-to-face attendance in workshops at specific campus location/s enabling regular physical interaction with teachers and fellow students.

Blended Mode

In a blended mode, students will require face-to-face attendance in blocks of time determined by the School. This approach facilitates learning and participation for students with both face-to-face attendance opportunities and virtual learning activities.

Online Mode

Students are required to participate in a series of online interactive workshops which include activities, knowledge checks, discussion and interactive sessions. This approach allows flexibility for students and facilitates learning and participation for students with a preference for virtual learning.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessments are used primarily to foster learning. ACU adopts constructivist approach to learning, which requires alignment of learning outcomes, teaching, learning and assessment and the environment in which learning occurs. Assessment is an integral part of the learning process. Assessment tasks in this unit are aimed at measuring and developing student’s achievement of both the learning outcomes and graduate attributes noted above. In this unit, there are multiple forms of formative assessment for a student to assess their progress against the learning objectives as well as three (3) main pieces of graded summative assessment.

To pass this unit, students are required to complete and submit three graded assessment tasks and achieve an aggregate mark of at least 50%. Marking will be in accordance with a rubric specifically developed to measure students’ level of achievement of the learning outcomes for each item of assessment. Students will also be awarded a final grade which signifies their overall achievement in the unit. The same assessment strategy applies to all modes of delivery.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1: Online Practical Assessment

This is an online assignment that requires students to demonstrate their understanding and application of fundamental but critical accounting concepts/techniques covered in the unit.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Online Assignment

Artefact: Submitted answer (equivalent to 500 words)



GA5, GA8

Assessment 2: Written Report

This assessment task requires students to conduct real-world analysis of organisational annual reports, including financial statement information, to determine organisational performance and apply understanding of the ethical role of organisations’ social responsibility in accounting and financial decisions.  

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Written Report

Artefact: Written Report (1500 words)


LO2, LO3

GA2, GA5, GA9

Assessment 3: Case Studies

The final assessment comprises a set of practical cases to evaluate and assess how students can firstly appraise and use financial and non-financial information for various internal control measures and secondly, demonstrate and apply their knowledge of accounting for partnerships. 

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Case Studies

Artefact: Written analysis and response (2000 words)


LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5 

Representative texts and references

Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal [a peer-reviewed academic journal covering accounting theory and practice], Emerald Publishing Group, <>

Accounting, organizations and society [The journal focuses on the relationships between accounting and both human behaviour and organizations' structures, processes, social, and political environments], Elsevier Publishing <>

Atrill, P. & McLaney, E Accounting and finance for non-specialists, 10th edn, Pearson Education, Harlow, UK.

Atrill P, McLaney E, & Harvey D Accounting for non-specialists, 7th edn, Pearson Education, Sydney.

Birt J, Chalmers K, Maloney, S., Brooks, A & Oliver J Accounting: business reporting for decision making, 6th ednJohn Wiley & Sons, Australia, Milton, QLD.

Carlon S, Mladenovic-McAlpine R, Loftus J, Palm C, Kimmel PD, Kieso DE & Weygandt JH Accounting: building business skills, 4th edn, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Milton, Qld

Contemporary accounting research [a peer-reviewed academic journal covering research on all aspects of accounting's role within organizations, markets, or society], Elsevier Publishing, <>

Cunnigham, B., Nikolai, L.A., Bazley, J., Kavanagh, M., Slaughter, G. & Simmons, S 2015, Accounting: information for business decisions, Cengage Learning, South Melbourne.

Gray, R. Adams, CA & Owen, D. Accountability, social responsibility and sustainability: accounting for society and the environment, Pearson Education, Harlow, UK.

Hancock, P., Robinson, P. & Bazley, M Contemporary accounting: a strategic approach for users, 9th edn, South Melbourne, Cengage Learning.

Hoggett, J., Edwards, L. Medlin, J., Chalmers, K., Hellmann, A., Beattie, C., and Maxfield, J Accounting, 10th edition, Wiley Publications Australia, Milton, QLD.

Marshall, D, McManus, W & Viele, D Accounting: what the numbers mean, 11th edn, McGraw- Hill Australia, Sydney.

Nobles, T.I., Mattison, B. I., Matsumura, EM, Best, P, Fraser, D, Tan, R, Willett, R Horngren’s accounting, 8th edn, Pearson Education, Melbourne.

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

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