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ACC2000 : Interpreting Company Accounts

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Miss Melis Besen
  • Lecturer: Dr Xuejun Jiang, Mrs Tracey Wilson
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


- 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. Students will also be introduced to narrative reporting of financial performance in addition to analysing the methods used in reports such as impression management.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion601:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00PIP lectures
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading661:0066:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00small group seminars - PIP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study401:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time51:005:00Online surgery sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials (PIP lectures and pre-recorded lectures) and module talk 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.

Students are expected to obtain relevant background information for example via the the library, which is well-stocked with periodicals and other relevant sources e.g. Financial Times, industry/economic reports etc. All students have the opportunity to consult with academic 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 and report writing skills are thus developed through the project as well as analytical and numerical skills.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M50Written group project (4000 words max) and group presentation.
Report1M50Individual report (1000 words) on the assessment of narrative reporting as an indication of financial performance.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Report2MStudents submit a piece of written work (600-1000wd) & will receive formative feedback on their group work during progress meetings
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The report in semester one will help demonstrate development of skills which are key to the completion of the group project in semester two. The report will be based around reviewing and analysing narrative reporting techniques used by organisations to portray their financial performance to their stakeholders.

The second semester involves a group assignment. 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 in light of completion of a 'buddy check'. Included within the group report will be a reflective piece on the engagement and development involved in the first and second semester.

The group report and group presentation test the students' knowledge and skills acquired across the two semesters without exception.

Reading Lists