Module Catalogue 2020/21

ACC2000 : Interpreting Company Accounts

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Habiba Al-Shaer
  • Other Staff: Mr Donald Halliday
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
ACC1000Introduction to Non-Specialist Accounting and Finance
ACC1003Introduction to Accounting and Finance (for Business School Students)
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



- to enable students to appraise a company's financial condition and performance from its published accounts, paying particular attention to the context of its operating environment and accounting policy choices.
- to develop project management skills.
- to develop team working skills.
- to develop report writing skills.
- to develop presentational skills.

Outline Of Syllabus

Analysis of the business environment, ratio analysis, report writing, working in teams, work on presentations.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the module students should have gained an:
- understanding of the key indicators of financial performance
- an appreciation of the impact of accounting policies on financial disclosures
- an appreciation of the interaction with the business environment, that accounting does not exist in a vacuum.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:
- analyse financial statements using ratios
- prepare a word-processed group report and a presentation, highlighting and explaining significant trends and features
- research a company's history and market trends
- make appropriate use of computer databases
- work in teams.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture191:0019:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching20:301:00Progress Meeting (30 mins each)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study160:0060:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will explain the aims, objectives, structure and operation of the module, and students will form teams and be allocated a different company to each team. Lectures on team working, spreadsheet construction and on the analysis and interpretation of company accounts will provide a framework for understanding the following key indicators of financial performance:
1. level of growth
2. profitability, cost structure and impact of accounting policies;
3. cash generation and liquidity;
4. level of investment as a safeguard for future profitability;
5. structure of a company's finance.

In addition, guest lecturers may provide sessions. The FAME database, which contains the accounts of all UK listed companies as well as those of large private companies, allows students to obtain comparative data for individual companies or industry sectors. Students are expected to obtain relevant background information from the library, which is well-stocked with periodicals, Financial Times CD ROM database, industry/economic reports etc. All students have the opportunity to consult with supervising staff on a group basis throughout the module. Students are required to take the initiative to arrange team meetings, consultations with staff as required, and to play a full part in the work of the group. Team working, research, spreadsheet construction, and report writing skills are thus developed through the project as well as analytical and numerical skills.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M75Written group project (6000 words max) and group presentation
Essay2M25Reflective Essay on Group Work (up to 2000 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Report1MStudents submit a piece of written work (600-1000wd) & will receive formative feedback on their group work during progress meetings
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Individuals will receive the group mark adjusted according to the team members' assessment of each other's contributions to the report and presentation. Each team is to keep a log of its meetings, which should be handed in with the project itself. The Module Leader retains the right to adjust individual marks where it is deemed necessary in the interests of fairness.

The group report and group presentation test the students' knowledge and skills outcomes without exception.
Students will be asked to submit an individual reflective essay on group work. Individual marks received on reflective essays will be added to the adjusted group work marks.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Original Handbook text:

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.