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We continue to see an increasing trend towards international business, with organisations operating in a variety of countries and investors needing to compare the performance of companies in different countries. Contrary to some beliefs, accountancy is not an exact science and, left to their own devices, many organisations would report their finances in diverse and even conflicting ways.

This module introduces the core accounting concepts and explores the financial reporting framework and guidelines currently available to international companies. The module will use a range of examples and case studies to illustrate the theoretical principles and assist you to understand and apply financial reporting in the international context.

Learning outcomes

When you have completed your study of this course, you will be able to:

  • Outline and discuss the theoretical framework and principles of financial reporting in a global context
  • Critically assess the core economic and accounting concepts in relation to specialised industries and contexts
  • Evaluate the application of the International Financial Reporting Standards to particular industries and contexts
  • Determine the disclosure of specific assets and liabilities in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards
  • Define the elements of company groups and discuss the financial reporting principles in relation to international companies
  • Analyse sustainability reporting and evaluate the disclosures of accounting for climate change
  • Discuss the importance of corporate governance and its relationship to corporate failures
  • Explain and contrast the international differences in external reporting on both financial and non-financial issues

Study materials

Study guide

You will receive a looseleaf binder containing eight units. The units are carefully structured to provide the main teaching, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the further assigned readings. The unit files are also available to download from the Virtual Learning Environment.


Elliott B & J Elliott (2015) Financial Accounting and Reporting. 17th Edition. Pearson.

This is a comprehensive and useful textbook covering the International Financial Reporting Standards. Where there are gaps in the textbook coverage, these will be supplemented by articles and extracts from other texts reprinted in the Module Reader.


You are provided with a range of academic journal articles, extracts from supplementary text books and other reports or material. These comprise the Module Reader which forms an essential part of this course.

Excel worksheets

You will also be provided with a series of worked examples on the quantitative calculations undertaken in the course. In order to facilitate your understanding of the calculations, these worked examples will be provided in Excel worksheets that can be downloaded from the VLE.

Virtual learning environment

You will have access to the VLE, which is a web-accessed learning environment. Via the VLE, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the module using discussion forums. The VLE also provides access to the module Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library.

Module overview

Unit 1 Context of Financial Reporting
  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Rationale for Financial Reporting Standards
  • 1.3 International Conceptual Framework
  • 1.4 Accounting Standards
  • 1.5 Global Perspectives
  • 1.6 Summary
Unit 2 Economic and Accounting Concepts
  • 2.1 Income, Capital and Value
  • 2.2 Accountant's View
  • 2.3 Economist's View
  • 2.4 Accounting for Changes in Price Levels
  • 2.5 Case Studies
  • 2.6 Feedback on Case Studies
  • 2.7 Summary
Unit 3 Accounting for Assets
  • 3.1 Current Assets
  • 3.2 Non-current Assets
  • 3.3 Leased Assets
  • 3.4 Valuing Assets in Agriculture
  • 3.5 Case Studies
  • 3.6 Feedback on Case Studies
  • 3.7 Summary
Unit 4 Accounting for Liabilities
  • 4.1 Current and Non-current Liabilities
  • 4.2 Contingent Liabilities
  • 4.3 Leased Liabilities
  • 4.4 Financial Instruments
  • 4.5 Case Studies
  • 4.6 Feedback on Case Studies
  • 4.7 Summary
Unit 5 Groups of Companies
  • 5.1 Mergers and Acquisitions
  • 5.2 Associated Companies and Joint Ventures
  • 5.3 Consolidation of Accounts
  • 5.4 Foreign Currency
  • 5.5 Case Studies
  • 5.6 Feedback on Case Studies
  • 5.7 Summary
Unit 6 Sustainability Reporting
  • 6.1 Sustainability
  • 6.2 Environmental and Social Reporting
  • 6.3 Accounting for Climate Change
  • 6.4 Case Studies
  • 6.5 Feedback on Case Studies
  • 6.6 Summary
Unit 7 Corporate Governance
  • 7.1 Concept of Corporate Governance
  • 7.2 Corporate Failures
  • 7.3 Global Perspectives
  • 7.4 National Perspectives
  • 7.5 Case Studies
  • 7.6 Feedback on Case Studies
  • 7.7 Summary
Unit 8 International Differences in Financial Reporting
  • 8.1 Causes of International Differences
  • 8.2 Different IFRS Practice
  • 8.3 Examples of International Differences
  • 8.4 Summary
  • 8.5 The Examination

Tuition and assessment

Students are individually assigned an academic tutor for the duration of the module, with whom you can discuss academic queries at regular intervals during the study session.

You are required to complete two Assignments for this module, which will be marked by your tutor. Assignments are each worth 15% of your total mark. You will be expected to submit your first assignment by the Tuesday of Week 5, and the second assignment at the end of the module, on the Tuesday after Week 8. Assignments are submitted and feedback given online. In addition, queries and problems can be answered through the Virtual Learning Environment.

You will also sit a three-hour examination on a specified date in September/October, worth 70% of your total mark. An up-to-date timetable of examinations is published on the website in April each year.

Module sample

Click on the link below to download the module sample document in PDF.