ACCT602 Financial Accounting and Reporting
This assessment requires students to demonstrate understanding of how accounting is interrelated with the economic, social, natural environments and under special circumstances, e.g. global COVID-19 pandemic.
1. The coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak has developed rapidly in 2020. It is primarily a public health issue, but it changes the current economic environment rapidly.
Restrictions on international travel and compulsory stay-at-home policies have been implemented to avoid the spread of virus. There are some challenges with remote work. These policies are seriously affecting the business operations of entities in Australia and other countries.
The coronavirus also impacts the stock market and leads the changes of the expectation of public companies and businesses of all sizes in very near future.
There are a lot of uncertain facing companies in many industrial around the financial reporting. Owners may look at their asset values. In some cases, the owners start to plan for assessments of solvency and going concern even though the Federal government has provided some financial supports, e.g. JobKeeper, early access to superannuation and supporting apprentices and trainees’ schemes.
Lenders and landlords also impact on those entities. Transparency of the company finance is significantly important to the stakeholders. It is likely to have a pervasive impact on the financial reports which require the preparers to challenge underlying assumptions, judgments and disclosures that may not have been considered in the past.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) was releasing to measure the economic impact of COVID-19. Data was collected between 12 August and 19 August 2020.
More than a third (35%) of Australian businesses expect to find it difficult or very difficult to meet financial commitments over the next three months. The Business Impacts of COVID-19 Survey found that small businesses were almost twice as likely to report that they expected to find it difficult or very difficult compared to large businesses (35% compared to 18%). ABS Head of Industry Statistics, John Shepherd said: “41 per cent of businesses reported that revenue had fallen over the last month and 22 per cent had an increase in operating expenses. “In addition, 28 per cent of businesses expected a decrease in revenue over the next month.
Do you think the impact of COVID-19 on businesses requires any changes to the regulatory framework of accounting (for example, ASIC, FRC, AASB and ASX)?
Explain with examples from publicly listed companies including example of changes that have already taken place (if any).
2. Kothari and Wasley (2019) discuss how capital market research has developed since Ball and Brown (1968). Below are some suggested resources.
BallR and Brown P1968. An empirical evaluation of accounting income numbers. Journal of Accounting Research pp.159-178.
Beaver W.H.1968. The information content of annual earnings announcements. Journal of Accounting Research, pp.67-92.
Landsman W.R Maydew E.L and Thornock J.R. 2012. The information content of annual earnings announcements and mandatory adoption of IFRS.
Kothari, S.P., 2001. Capital markets research in accounting. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 31(1-3), pp.105-231.
Kothari, S.P. and Wasley, C., 2019. Commemorating the 50‐Year Anniversary of Ball and Brown (1968): The Evolution of Capital Market Research over the Past 50 Years. Journal of Accounting Research, 57(5), pp.1117-1159.
Critically analyse the findings of Kothari and Wasley (2019) with suggestions to future direction of capital market research. Find references of Kothari and Wasley (2019), Ball and Brown (1968), and a few other articles that might be useful. You can, however, include other articles that you consider relevant.
3. A critical assessment of conceptual framework of accounting is that financial reporting ignores many social and environmental costs with its general purpose financial statements.
a) Discuss the contents of general purpose financial statements and identify some limitations of these statements to address the social and environmental issues for the needs of other stakeholders.
b) Critically analyse some disclosures suggested by standards other than financial reporting standards to address corporate social responsibility.