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ACC3116 Accounting and Society

Semester 1, 2021 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Accounting and Society
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Business
Student contribution band : Band 4
ASCED code : 080101 - Accounting
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 11 April 2021


Examiner: John Sands


Pre-requisite: ACC2115

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


Many students ask 'why do we have to study theory?' This course answers this question for accounting to show how theories underpin not just about everything we do in our lives but also the practice of accounting. Theories are just that, someone’s view of phenomena. Therefore, theories must be looked at with a critical eye, not taken on blindly. They can help us make decisions providing benefits including explaining current practice, providing some principles for taking decision actions and identifying problems so that we can improve our professional practice. Students may then be able to move from what we do now (positive theory) to what we would like to do (normative theory) making a contribution to the accounting profession in the form of ideas and recommendations for a better world.


This course introduces students to the theory that underpins accounting practice. Using established accounting theories, the factors or incentives that exist for preparers of financial reports are investigated. These factors require consideration when making financial reporting decisions or evaluating the decisions of others. The primary objective of this course is to overlay theory concepts and a framework to accounting practice from a critical perspective so students see the relevance of theory to practice. This includes an investigation of the popular theories and evidence with regard to financial reporting. The financial reporting issues addressed include the choice of accounting methods, voluntary disclosures, environmental performance reporting and the regulation of financial reporting. As a capstone course for the accounting major, students are expected to bring together all their learned knowledge of accounting from prior courses and take a critical look at theory and practice of accounting.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate problem solving, critical thinking and judgement skills to the level of threshold learning outcomes for accounting through assessment tasks;
  2. show the ability to undertake independent research and present those research findings in assessment tasks;
  3. outline, apply and evaluate accounting theories from an ethical perspective and used to explain and predict accounting practices to enhance decision making;
  4. critically evaluate the Australian accounting regulatory system including the conceptual framework and accounting standards with reference to the challenges in financial reporting;
  5. evaluate the influence of accounting information on human behaviour and decision processes using empirical evidence from capital markets research.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Financial reporting and the accounting regulatory environment 25.00
2. Accounting theories and applications 33.00
3. Corporate governance, ethics and issues 17.00
4. Developments and challenges in accounting and financial reporting 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Rankin, M, Stanton, P, McGowan, S, Ferlauto, K 2017, Contemporary issues in accounting, 2nd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Queensland.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Deegan, C 2014, Financial accounting theory, 4th edn, McGraw-Hill Education, North Ryde, New South Wales.
Gaffikin, MJR 2008, Accounting theory research, regulation and accounting practice, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales.
Godfrey, J, Hodgson, A, Tarca, A, Hamilton, J & Holmes, S 2010, Accounting theory, 7th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Queensland.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 33.00
Lectures and Tutorials 39.00
Private Study 93.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ONLINE TEST 30 15 22 Mar 2021 (see note 1)
OPEN EXAM - ONLINE 105 60 End S1 (see note 2)

  1. Further details of assessments will be provided on the course StudyDesk during the semester.
  2. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are: To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S1, 2021:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are: To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S1, 2021:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are: An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S1, 2021:
    This is a restricted examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the examination for this course are:
    1. writing materials. These must be non-electronic and free from material, which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination.
    2. an unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary). A student whose first language is not English may take a translation dictionary into the examination room. A translation dictionary with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Normally Deferred and Supplementary Examinations are held in the next Examination period. In S1 2021 selected courses will pilot an early Deferred and Supplementary Examination period held within 30 business days of results release. The list of courses involved can be found at

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions, which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

Date printed 11 April 2021