AC414      Half Unit
Financial Reporting, Capital Markets and Business Combinations

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Vasiliki Athanasakou OLD 2.20 and Prof Ane Miren Tamayo OLD 5.05


This course is available on the MSc in Accounting and Finance, MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions, MSc in Management and MSc in Management (CEMS MIM). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Other students may be admitted only with the agreement, in writing, of the MSc (Accounting) Course Tutor if they have sufficient academic background knowledge. This course cannot be taken in conjunction with AC420 Financial Reporting in Capital Markets.


The course is capped to one section of around 55 students; ie, 55 total. Students on the waiting list will be admitted on a first-come first-served basis, although MSc students on the Accounting programmes will be given priority


Knowledge of financial accounting at undergraduate level is presumed.

Course content

A number of financial reporting issues and topics are covered. It is likely that they include but are not restricted to the following: accounting for value creation with special emphasis on cash flows and revenues, business combinations, corporate disclosure, capital markets efficiency, and corporate governance. Most topics are covered from an International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and/or United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP) perspective.


30 hours of seminars in the MT. Teaching is delivered in a 3-hour session  each week. Each session is conducted in groups of about 55 students, often involving case study analyses and group discussions. This mode of teaching requires good advance preparation by the students; hence, every student should be ready to contribute to the discussion when called upon. Active participation is expected and encouraged.

Formative coursework

The lecturers set exercises, essays or case studies for class discussion each week. Many of these involve reading key papers and other writings in the financial accounting literature and illustrating their effects numerically. Two pieces of work, based on these assignments, are collected for formative assessment.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists are handed out at the start of the course, and will be largely based on papers in academic journals. Relevant books covering specific parts of the course are: Keith Alfredson, Ruth Picker, Janice Loftus, Kerry Clark, Victoria Wise, Matt Dyki, Applying International Financial Reporting Standards, 2nd edn, Wiley, 2009; Beaver WH, Financial Reporting: An Accounting Revolution, 3rd edn, Prentice-Hall, 1998; Scott W, Financial Accounting Theory, Prentice Hall, 1997; Watts RL & Zimmerman JL, Positive Accounting Theory, Prentice-Hall, 1986; David Alexander, Anne Britton, and Ann Jorissen, International Financial Reporting and Analysis, 5th edn, Thomson.


Exam (100%, duration: 1 hour and 45 minutes) in the main exam period.

The first 15 minutes is reading time.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 19.4
Merit 41.1
Pass 34.7
Fail 4.8

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2014/15: 51

Average class size 2014/15: 18

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 64.1%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)