Financial Reporting

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
10 weeks
Module code
Centre for Financial and Management Studies

Module overview

Welcome to the Financial Reporting module. Accounting is a vital yet complex task for any organisation. Businesses and public organisations need to keep accurate records of their income and spending. This information is needed both for internal decision-making and to demonstrate accountability to their stakeholders. This module is designed to give students sufficient knowledge of financial reporting practices, in both the private and public sectors, to use the information produced and to contribute to debates on the development of reporting policy. The module concentrates on financial reporting using the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). These standards have now been adopted in many countries; other countries are in the process of adoption or have implemented similar systems.

Learning outcomes

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

  • discuss the international conceptual frameworks for financial reporting in the public and private sectors
  • discuss the development and global adoption of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
  • explain and contrast the differences in external reporting on a cash and accruals basis
  • discuss the accounting treatment for specific assets and liabilities in accordance with IPSAS and IFRS
  • discuss the process of consolidating financial statements and identify relevant accounting standards
  • discuss the application of governance principles and compare with national governance guidance.

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 6, and the second assignment at the end of the module, on the Tuesday after Week 10. 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 July each year.

Study resources

  • Study guide: The module study guide is 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 assigned readings.
  • Key texts: 
    • Elliott B & J Elliott (2019) Financial Accounting and Reporting. 19th Edition. Pearson.
    • Müller-Marqués Berger T & EY (2018) IPSAS Explained: A Summary of International Public Sector Accounting Standards. 3rd Edition. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Readings: Throughout the module you will be directed to study a selection of readings, including journal articles, book extracts and case studies that are of particular relevance and interest to the topics covered in the module.
  • Virtual learning environment: You will have access to the VLE, a web-accessed study centre. 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.

Study calendar 2022/23

Elective module S1
Financial Reporting (M492)  Not running Running Not running Not running

Study calendars are subject to change.

Module overview

Unit 1 Context of Financial Reporting

  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Private Versus Public Sectors
  • 1.3 Rationale for Financial Reporting Standards
  • 1.4 International Conceptual Framework – Public Sector
  • 1.5 International Conceptual Framework – Private Sector
  • 1.6 Conclusion

Unit 2 Accounting Concepts 1

  • 2.1 Financial Standards: IFRS versus IPSAS
  • 2.2 Cash- Versus Accruals-Based Accounting
  • 2.3 Cash Versus Accruals and Accounting Standards
  • 2.4 Case Study
  • 2.5 Feedback on Case Study
  • 2.6 Conclusion

Unit 3 Accounting Concepts 2

  • 3.1 Income, Capital and Value
  • 3.2 The Accountant’s View
  • 3.3 The Economist’s View
  • 3.4 Accounting for Changes in Price Levels
  • 3.5 Case Study
  • 3.6 Feedback on Case Study
  • 3.7 Conclusion

Unit 4 Accounting for Assets

  • 4.1 Current Assets
  • 4.2 Non-Current Assets
  • 4.3 Valuing Assets in Agriculture
  • 4.4 Case Study
  • 4.5 Feedback on Case Study
  • 4.6 Conclusion

Unit 5 Accounting for Liabilities

  • 5.1 Current and Non-Current Liabilities
  • 5.2 Provisions and Contingent Liabilities
  • 5.3 Financial Instruments
  • 5.4 Case Studies
  • 5.5 Feedback on Case Studies
  • 5.6 Conclusion

Unit 6 Leases and Partnerships

  • 6.1 Leases
  • 6.2 What are Public Private Partnerships?
  • 6.3 Use of PPP
  • 6.4 Accounting for PPP
  • 6.5 Case Study
  • 6.6 Feedback on Case Study
  • 6.7 Conclusion

Unit 7 Group Accounts

  • 7.1 Group Accounts
  • 7.2 The Consolidation Process
  • 7.3 Users and Uses of Consolidated Financial Statements
  • 7.4 Case Studies
  • 7.5 Feedback on Case Studies
  • 7.6 Conclusion

Unit 8 Governance

  • 8.1 Definitions
  • 8.2 Governance Failures
  • 8.3 Good Governance in the Public Sector
  • 8.4 Good Governance in the Private Sector
  • 8.5 International Comparisons and National Perspectives
  • 8.6 Conclusion
  • 8.7 The Examination

Module samples


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules