What is the module about?
This module is designed to offer an introduction to accounting for students with limited or no prior knowledge of the subject. Upon completion of the course, students will have developed the necessary knowledge and skills needed to prepare, interpret and analyse the key financial statements, with a focus on the income statement, balance sheet and cashflow statement. This module aims to make accounting accessible and engaging for anyone interested in business by revealing how these key statements document the value, profitability and cashflow of a business. In addition, this module will show how accounting principles can be applied to planning, control and decision making to assist managers in running their business organisations. We will also introduce costing and explain its importance in helping businesses achieve their performance goals.
Aims and Objective:
The aims of the module are to:
- Provide an introduction to financial and management accounting for students without any previous accounting knowledge.
- Introduce students to the key principles underlying financial reporting with an emphasis on understanding, interpreting and using accounting information.
- Apply accounting principles to decision making in modern business organisations
- Apply accounting principles to the business planning process and develop the skills used by businesses for management control
- Encourage critical thinking about the problems and challenges faced while preparing financial accounts and management reports.
Upon completion of the course students should be able to:
- Explain the role of accounting information in business organisations and discuss the key information needs of different stakeholder groups.
- Be able to prepare a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement.
- Understand the uses and limitations of the information in financial statements.
- Employ ratio analysis to analyse and interpret accounting information.
- Analyse costs and use costing techniques to cost products
- Apply the principles of planning and control (including variance analysis)
- Perform CVP analysis and evaluate its application to short term decision making
- Evaluate long term capital projects using investment appraisal techniques
Who should do this module?
Accounting is described as the language of business, so anyone interested in business should study this module given it provides the key skills to understand the value, profitability and cashflow of an enterprise as well as how managers use financial information to run and understand their businesses. More specifically, this module will provide the skills needed to draw up financial statement and record transactions, explore how to read and analyse the financial statements, prepare financial plans, perform variance analysis, and understand the uses of financial information in decision making as well exploring more widely how accounting information is used in business and society.
Provisional Lecture Outline
1 Introduction to Course:
A clear overview will be offered on the learning objectives of the course, including what you are expected to have learned by the end of the course and how you will be examined.
Introduction to the statement of financial position
This week you will learn what accounting is and what is its purpose. We will then consider the one of the key financial statements, The Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet).
2 The income statement
This week we will explore how we measure and report financial performance and look at the accounting for limited companies.
3 The statement of cash flows
This week we will discuss the crucial importance of cash to a business. We will then look at the nature of, and prepare, one of the key financial statements, the statement of cash flows.
4 Analysing and interpreting financial statements
This week we will consider the analysis and interpretation of financial statements. We will see how the use of financial ratios can help assess the financial performance and position of a business.
5 Investment Appraisal Techniques
This week we will see look at payback period, accounting rate of return, internal rate of return and net present value.
6 Introduction to Company and Bond Valuation
This week we look key concepts in finance such as present value, future value and perpetuities.
7 Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis
This week we will see the relationship between cost, the volume of activity and profit and how an understanding of this relationship can be used to make decisions.
8 Relevant Costs for Decision Making
This week we look at the importance of identifying which costs are relevant when making management decisions.
9 Full (absorption) costing and costing in a competitive environment
This week we will see how Full (absorption) costing is used to deduce the cost of a product and how in the modern competitive environment businesses must manage their costs more effectively.
9 Budgeting (Planning)
This week we will see how budgets set out short term plans to help managers run the business
10 Accounting for Control
This week we look at how managers use accounting as a tool for control and managing performance.
Online examination (80%)
Tutorial Assessment (20%)
The format of the examination has not yet been confirmed. All students will be expected to sit any remote exams in January, but semester 1 only students will be set an alternative assessment in lieu of any in-person exams
Suggested reading list
Harlow: Pearson. (Custom publication for King’s College London. Compiled by McFaull, A. London: Pearson.