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ACC3116 Accounting and Society

Semester 1, 2023 Toowoomba On-campus
Units : 1
School or Department : School of Business
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules
Version produced : 24 September 2023


Course Coordinator: Gregory Jones


Pre-requisite: ACC2115


Many students ask 'why do we have to study theory?' This course answers this question for accounting to show how theories underpin not just about everything we do in our lives but also the practice of accounting. Theories are just that, someone’s view of phenomena. Therefore, theories must be looked at with a critical eye, not taken on blindly. They can help us make decisions providing benefits including explaining current practice, providing some principles for taking decision actions and identifying problems so that we can improve our professional practice. Students may then be able to move from what we do now (positive theory) to what we would like to do (normative theory) making a contribution to the accounting profession in the form of ideas and recommendations for a better world.

This course introduces students to the theory that underpins accounting practice. Using established accounting theories, the factors or incentives that exist for preparers of financial reports are investigated. These factors require consideration when making financial reporting decisions or evaluating the decisions of others. The primary objective of this course is to overlay theory concepts and a framework to accounting practice from a critical perspective so students see the relevance of theory to practice. This includes an investigation of the popular theories and evidence with regard to financial reporting. The financial reporting issues addressed include the choice of accounting methods, voluntary disclosures, environmental performance reporting and the regulation of financial reporting. As a capstone course for the accounting major, students are expected to bring together all their learned knowledge of accounting from prior courses and take a critical look at theory and practice of accounting.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate problem solving, critical thinking and judgement skills to the level of threshold learning outcomes for accounting through assessment tasks;
  2. show the ability to undertake independent research and present those research findings in assessment tasks;
  3. outline, apply and evaluate accounting theories from an ethical perspective and used to explain and predict accounting practices to enhance decision making;
  4. critically evaluate the Australian accounting regulatory system including the conceptual framework and accounting standards with reference to the challenges in financial reporting;
  5. evaluate the influence of accounting information on human behaviour and decision processes using empirical evidence from capital markets research.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Financial reporting and the accounting regulatory environment 25.00
2. Accounting theories and applications 33.00
3. Corporate governance, ethics and issues 17.00
4. Developments and challenges in accounting and financial reporting 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Rankin, M, Stanton, P, McGowan, S, Ferlauto, K 2017, Contemporary issues in accounting, 2nd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Queensland.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Quiz No 15 1
Assignments Written Case Study No 35 2,3,4
Examinations Invigilated Invigilated examination No 50 3,4,5
Date printed 24 September 2023