Accounting and Finance

The following modules are available to incoming Study Abroad students interested in Accounting and Finance.

Alternatively you may return to the complete list of Study Abroad Subject Areas.

AC.F211: Accounting Information Systems and Auditing

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: High school mathematics and Introduction to Accounting.

Course Description

This module provides an overview of the design and main features of accounting information systems (AIS). It introduces methods used by business to meet the financial information needs of external parties and management and includes systems used for collecting, recording and storing transactions data, internal controls and effective design of AIS. It also provides an introduction to auditing, including the regulatory framework, audit planning, systems auditing and substantive testing.

Educational Aims

This course is intended to provide an introduction to and overview of the design and main features of Accounting Information Systems (AIS), the use of such systems in the conduct of an audit, and also coverage of the basic audit techniques.

Outline Syllabus

  • Designing and Implementing Information Systems
  • Financial & Management Information Systems
  • Introduction to Accounting Information Systems/Project Management Skills
  • Owner Managed Businesses/Companies and Relevant Accounting Systems
  • Environment Reporting/Social Reporting/Public Sector Reporting
  • Principle of Third Party Assurance and the Roles and Responsibilities of the External Auditor
  • Audit Planning
  • Controls/System Auditing
  • Substantive Testing
  • Audit Completion & Review

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F212: Principles of Financial Accounting

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: High school mathematics and Ac.F 100 / 111 / 261 or other equivalent introductory course

Course Description

This module examines the main features of financial reporting by UK companies as well as the regulatory requirements and conceptual bases associated with these, with attention given to the UK Companies Acts and international accounting standards. Time will be devoted to problem areas and to specific reporting topics of current interest and concern.

Educational Aims

This course is designed to extend students' knowledge of the environment within which companies in the U.K. conduct their financial accounting and reporting, introduce selected issues relating its regulation and monitoring and aspects of the theory and practice relating to such reporting. Whilst the course examines certain technical aspects of the accounting process, it aims to broaden students' perspectives to enable them to appreciate the principles guiding the regulation of financial reporting, and the role of external financial reporting in the efficient allocation of economic resources.

Outline Syllabus

  • Introduction to course – Review of Course Outline - Recap of AcF 100 / 111 / 261 or other equivalent introductory course’s coverage of the basics – Accounting for sole traders – The Extended Trial Balance to Final Accounts
  • Accounting for Partnerships
  • Cash Flow Statements
  • The Regulation of Financial Reporting – Theory and The law
  • The Regulation of Financial Reporting – Practice: the accounting profession and others
  • Regulation of Financial Reporting
  • Share capital & creditor protection
  • Property, Plant & Equipment
  • Intangible Assets, Research & Development, and Brands
  • Impairment of Assets
  • Inventories
  • Revenue from contracts with customers
  • Reporting Financial Performance
  • Earnings Management
  • Earnings per share
  • Published Accounts of Companies

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F213L: Management Accounting for Business Decisions

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics and Introduction to Accounting (such as that offered in Ac.F261)
    • May not be combined with AC.F213M: Management Accounting for Business Decisions

Course Description

This module provides an introduction to the use of management accounting information for management purposes. This includes an examination of cost-volume profit analysis, the concepts of direct and indirect costs, and various costing methods. The importance of budgets to organisations and their impact on performance are also discussed

Educational Aims

The half unit course acts as an introduction to management accounting, and is designed to explore the basic principles and underlying concepts of the subject. The aim of the course is for students to develop an appreciation of the main approaches to measuring, analysing and reporting information to support management decisions.

The objectives for the course are as follows:

  • Examine the major aspects of management accounting in the organisation;
  • Provide insights into the changing nature of manufacturing practice and the recent development of other management accounting methods (for example Strategic Management Accounting) and the impact on the role of the management accountant;
  • Facilitate the development of skills for, and knowledge of, management accounting in the organisation.

Outline Syllabus

  • Introduction to management accounting and cost concepts
  • Information for decision making: Cost-volume profit analysis and special studies/marginal analysis 
  • Cost assignment and pricing: Full costing 
  • Information for planning and control: The budgeting process, standard costing and variance analysis and the need for responsibility accounting, performance measurement, motivation and behavioural aspects of accounting systems
  • Management of working capital
  • Strategic cost management & performance management

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F213M: Management Accounting for Business Decisions

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics and Introduction to Accounting (such as that offered in Ac.F261)
    • May not be combined with AC.F213L: Management Accounting for Business Decisions

Course Description

This module provides an introduction to the use of management accounting information for management purposes. This includes an examination of cost-volume profit analysis, the concepts of direct and indirect costs, and various costing methods. The importance of budgets to organisations and their impact on performance are also discussed.

Educational Aims

The half unit course acts as an introduction to management accounting, and is designed to explore the basic principles and underlying concepts of the subject. The aim of the course is for students to develop an appreciation of the main approaches to measuring, analysing and reporting information to support management decisions.

The objectives for the course are as follows:

  • Examine the major aspects of management accounting in the organisation;
  • Provide insights into the changing nature of manufacturing practice and the recent development of other management accounting methods (for example Strategic Management Accounting) and the impact on the role of the management accountant;
  • Facilitate the development of skills for, and knowledge of, management accounting in the organisation.

Outline Syllabus

  • Introduction to management accounting and cost concepts
  • Information for decision making: Cost-volume profit analysis and special studies/marginal analysis 
  • Cost assignment and pricing: Full costing 
  • Information for planning and control: The budgeting process, standard costing and variance analysis and the need for responsibility accounting, performance measurement, motivation and behavioural aspects of accounting systems
  • Management of working capital
  • Strategic cost management and performance managemen

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F214L: Principles of Finance

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics and Introduction to Finance (such as that offered in Ac.F263M)
    • May not be combined with AC.F214M: Principles of Finance

Course Description

The course aims to describe the theory and practice of financial decision making to cope with the practical financial problems that both firms and individuals are likely to confront. To equip the students with the necessary tools for dealing with such issues, this course focuses on the capital budgeting process, introduces the theory of risk, return and the cost of capital, including portfolio theory and the capital asset pricing model (CAPM), outlines the efficient markets hypothesis (EMH) and some behavioural issues in finance. The course also discusses how firms raise funds to undertake their investments by introducing basic arguments for the firms’ capital structure and payout policies. The course concludes with the introduction of three main derivative contracts (options, forwards and futures).

Educational Aims

By the end of the course, students should:

assess investment projects using capital budgeting techniques, and understand the problems associated with applying such techniques in practice;

understand the relationship between risk and required return and interpret the capital asset pricing model;

understand the concept and practical implications of market efficiency; be able to provide a number of rational and behavioural explanations of selected market anomalies;

interpret the determinants of a firm’s capital structure choice and payout policy;

have a basic understanding of futures and forwards contracts, demonstrate payoffs of simple options.

Outline Syllabus

Fundamentals of capital budgeting

Risk, return and the cost of capital

The Efficient Markets Hypothesis and behavioural finance

Capital structure

Payout policy

Futures and Forwards

Option Markets

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F214M: Principles of Finance

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only.
  • US Credits: 4 semester credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics and Introduction to Finance (such as that offered in Ac.F263M)
    • May not be combined with AC.F214L: Principles of Finance

Course Description

The course aims to describe the theory and practice of financial decision making to cope with the practical financial problems that both firms and individuals are likely to confront. To equip the students with the necessary tools for dealing with such issues, this course focuses on the capital budgeting process, introduces the theory of risk, return and the cost of capital, including portfolio theory and the capital asset pricing model (CAPM), outlines the efficient markets hypothesis (EMH) and some behavioural issues in finance. The course also discusses how firms raise funds to undertake their investments by introducing basic arguments for the firms’ capital structure and payout policies. The course concludes with the introduction of three main derivative contracts (options, forwards and futures).

Educational Aims

By the end of the course, students should:

assess investment projects using capital budgeting techniques, and understand the problems associated with applying such techniques in practice;

understand the relationship between risk and required return and interpret the capital asset pricing model;

understand the concept and practical implications of market efficiency; be able to provide a number of rational and behavioural explanations of selected market anomalies;

interpret the determinants of a firm’s capital structure choice and payout policy;

have a basic understanding of futures and forwards contracts, demonstrate payoffs of simple options.

Outline Syllabus

Fundamentals of capital budgeting

Risk, return and the cost of capital

The Efficient Markets Hypothesis and behavioural finance

Capital structure

Payout policy

Futures and Forwards

Option Markets

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework:  25%
  • Exam:  75%                                

AC.F215: Advanced Principles of Finance

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: Advanced Mathematics and Intermediate Finance (equivalent to Ac.F 214).

Course Description

This module provides a detailed analysis of three key finance paradigms: decision-making under uncertainty, including utility theory; capital asset pricing and market equilibrium; and option pricing and hedging strategies. Emphasis is placed on financial concepts, theories and models such as portfolio theory, the efficient market hypothesis, and theories of capital structure.

Educational Aims

This course provides a detailed analysis of three key Finance paradigms:

1. Decision making under uncertainty, including: utility theory

2. Risk-neutral pricing, including: dynamic behaviour of asset prices; arbitrage pricing in complete and incomplete markets; derivative securities; self-financing strategies

3. Capital asset pricing, including: mean-variance trade-offs; market equilibrium

Outline Syllabus

Decision making under uncertainty, including:

  • Preference relation
  • Expected Utility Theorem
  • Risk Aversion, Risk Premium
  • Absolute Risk Aversion
  • Examples: Optimal investment in risky asset; Basic insurance contract

Arbitrage pricing, including:

  • Arbitrage
  • State-prices
  • Complete and incomplete markets
  • Risk-neutral probabilities
  • Pricing kernel

Derivatives pricing, including:

  • Dynamic behaviour of asset prices
  • Binomial pricing model
  • Examples: Put-Call parity; Option Pricing

Market equilibrium, including:

  • Mean-variance trade-offs
  • CAPM

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F261: Introduction to Financial Accounting for Managers

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: High school mathematics.

Course Description

This module provides an introduction to the analysis and use of published financial statements and the concepts which underlie financial reporting by companies. It also considers the relationship between companies and their financial environment. The concepts and use of financial statements are placed within the current commercial context, so that you acquire an appreciation of the role of financial accounting.

Educational Aims

This objectives of this course are to introduce students with no previous knowledge of accounting and finance to:

  • the use and interpretation of financial statements,
  • some concepts underlying financial reporting by companies, and
  • an appreciation of financial accounting as needed by non-accountign mangers of companies.

The course considers the perspectives of various users and opportunities for creative accounting. It places the concepts and use of financial statements within the current commercial context, so that students can appreciate the role of financial accounting.

Outline Syllabus

  • Financial accounting: users and purposes
  • Principal financial statements and the accounting equation
  • Enron
  • International regulatory context for financial accounting
  • Corporate governance, qualitative characteristics and accounting policies
  • T accounts and the trial balance
  • Sales and revenue recognition
  • Cost of sales, inventories
  • Interpretation of inventories, gross and net profit
  • Working capital
  • Property, plant and equipment, including depreciation and disposal
  • Intangible assets and impairment 
  • Liabilities and provisions
  • Share capital
  • Cash flow statements
  • Groups of companies
  • Financial statement analysis

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 40%
  • Exam: 60%

AC.F263L: Introduction to Finance

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics.
    • May not be combined with AC.F 263M: Introduction to Finance

Course Description

This course, which runs in both the Michaelmas and Lent terms, provides an introduction to finance for non-specialists. The course aims to develop a basic understanding of financial environment and the importance of capital markets, to introduce the basic concepts of business valuation and provide an overview of relationship between risk and return. It assumes no previous knowledge of finance.

The key objectives of Ac.F263 are to develop a to understand financial concepts including the time value of money and to use them to value stocks and bond, to understand and apply net present value (NPV) and other criteria used in investment decision-making, to provide a basic understanding of financial markets and the trade-off between risk and return. Ac.F 263 cannot be taken by students who have previously studied Introductory Finance.

Educational Aims

By the end of the course, students should:

be able to explain the goals of financial management and understand conflicts which may arise between owners and managers,

be able to compute the present value, future value and rate of return of investments and compare criteria used to make investment decisions,

understand differences between types of bonds, the determinants of bond yields and the impact of inflation and interest rates on bond prices,

have an overview of the operation of capital markets, how firms raise capital, the role of risk in determining investment returns and be able to calculate a firm’s cost of capital,

be able to calculate stock prices using the dividend growth model, understand the importance of diversification and the role of systematic risk.

Outline Syllabus

Introduction to Finance

Introduction to Capital Markets and Some lessons from the Capital Market History

Discounted Cash Flow Valuations

Interest rates and Bond Valuations

Equity Markets and Stock Valuations

Net present Value and Other investment Criteria

Making capital investment decisions

Risk and Return

Cost of Capital

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework:  25%
  • Exam:  75%

AC.F263M: Introduction to Finance

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS credits
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics.
    • May not be combined with AC.F 263M: Introduction to Finance

Course Description

This course, which runs in both the Michaelmas and Lent terms, provides an introduction to finance for non-specialists. The course aims to develop a basic understanding of financial environment and the importance of capital markets, to introduce the basic concepts of business valuation and provide an overview of relationship between risk and return. It assumes no previous knowledge of finance.

The key objectives of Ac.F263 are to develop a to understand financial concepts including the time value of money and to use them to value stocks and bond, to understand and apply net present value (NPV) and other criteria used in investment decision-making, to provide a basic understanding of financial markets and the trade-off between risk and return. Ac.F 263 cannot be taken by students who have previously studied Introductory Finance.

Educational Aims

By the end of the course, students should:

be able to explain the goals of financial management and understand conflicts which may arise between owners and managers,

be able to compute the present value, future value and rate of return of investments and compare criteria used to make investment decisions,

understand differences between types of bonds, the determinants of bond yields and the impact of inflation and interest rates on bond prices,

have an overview of the operation of capital markets, how firms raise capital, the role of risk in determining investment returns and be able to calculate a firm’s cost of capital,

be able to calculate stock prices using the dividend growth model, understand the importance of diversification and the role of systematic risk.

Outline Syllabus

Introduction to Finance

Introduction to Capital Markets and Some lessons from the Capital Market History

Discounted Cash Flow Valuations

Interest rates and Bond Valuations

Equity Markets and Stock Valuations

Net present Value and Other investment Criteria

Making capital investment decisions

Risk and Return

Cost of Capital

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework:  25%
  • Exam:  75%

AC.F301: Financial Accounting I

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics.
    • Knowledge of financial reporting issues, such as that provided by an intermediate financial accounting courses such as Ac.F212, is assumed.

Course Description

This module deals with accounting for complex entities, addressing concepts, issues and techniques. It examines accounting for business combinations, goodwill and strategic investments, and other aspects of consolidation, foreign currency translation, segment reporting, and accounting for financial instruments, all within the context of modern accounting theory.

Educational Aims

After completing the course, students should:

  • Understand the concepts underpinning the main areas in group financial reporting and accounting for financial instruments.
  • Have an overview of the relevant UK and international accounting standards and legal framework relating to the area, and an overall perspective of developments in and changes caused by international standards.
  • Be able to carry out basic technical procedures relating to acquisition and merger accounting and equity accounting, including accounting for fair value adjustments, goodwill, and foreign currency translation.

Whilst the main focus is on consolidated statements of financial position, students should also be able to

  • Prepare simpler consolidated comprehensive income statements and consolidated statements of changes in equity.  
  • Be able to interpret the meaning and composition of accounting numbers in consolidated financial statements and analyse the effects of changes in underlying data on them.
  • Be able to discuss in written form some of the major academic areas of debate and empirical work relating to consolidated financial reporting and accounting for financial instruments.
  • Understand how underlying financial and business objectives can affect accounting choices in group accounting.

Outline Syllabus

  • Introduction
  • Accounting for business combinations
  • Accounting for strategic investments - subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures
  • Fair values and goodwill
  • Intra group transactions and distributions
  • Foreign Currency Translation
  • Consolidated performance statements: the consolidated statement of comprehensice income and consolidated statement of changes in equity
  • Acquisitions in stages – criteria for consolidation
  • Accounting for financial instruments and hedging: foreign currency aspects
  • A final look at group reporting – the contribution of segmental reporting

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F302: Corporate Finance

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics;
    • Intermediate finance (equivalent to Ac.F214 ) and an understanding of the structure of the UK and/or US financial system and of the theory of finance comparable to Ac.F214 above.

Course Description

This course equips students with the knowledge to apply the techniques that have been developed in corporate finance to real world situations. It builds on and extends the concepts covered in the basic financial management courses. The major topics covered include capital budgeting, capital structure, corporate valuation, corporate restructuring, merger and acquisitions, dividend policies, and application of options in Corporate Finance.

Educational Aims

The core objectives of AcF 302 are:

To deepen the understanding of traditional corporate finance paradigms.

To extend the Modigliani and Miller theory of capital structure by incorporating taxes and bankruptcy costs.

To provide an overview of more applied topics in corporate finance, such as leasing, issuing new securities, and corporate payout policy.

To show how option pricing models can be applied to a number of corporate finance problems

Outline Syllabus

Financing Decisions and Efficient Markets, Types of Long-Term Financing

Capital Structure

Limits to the Use of Debt

Valuation and Capital Budgeting for the Levered Firm

Equity Financing and short term financing

Debt Financing and Leasing

Corporate payout policy

Options, Extensions and Applications of options

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F303: Advanced Management Accounting

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics
    • Intermediate Management Accounting (equivalent to Ac.F213).

Course Description

Aiming to extend your understanding of management accounting, this module focuses on both specialised techniques and the particular contexts in which they might be applied.

In addition to introducing and explaining the use of quantitative methods such as simple and multiple regression, it covers topics such as advanced activity-based costing and customer profitability analysis, pricing for profitability, and flexible and activity-based budgeting.

Educational Aims

The topics covered include advanced activity-based costing, transfer pricing and management control systems as well as regression analysis and the appropriate selection of management performance indicators.  The course will also examine the role of management accounting information in decision-making, including the identification of relevant costs and the use of investment centres as well as techniques for evaluating alternative capital investment decisions. 

The course will employ examples from contrasting industries, with a particular focus on how the application of management accounting differs between service industries and manufacturing industries.  It will also introduce students to the range of careers in management accounting and to the work of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) as a professional body.

Outline Syllabus

  • Advanced management accounting – An introduction    
  • Advanced activity-based costing (ABC) and activity-based management (ABM)
  • Cost behaviour and estimation
  • Management Accounting for Decision Making
  • Control systems, budgeting and beyond...
  • Allocating support service costs and transfer pricing
  • Quality and costs of quality
  • Strategic and Environmental management accounting

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F304: Bond Markets

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics
    • Intermediate Finance (equivalent to Ac.214).

Course Description

The aim of the course is to develop an intellectual and practical understanding of the organisation and structure of bond markets, the main problems and issues relevant in the management of interest rate risk and the principles governing the valuation of fixed income securities and their derivatives.

Educational Aims

Intellectual and practical understanding of the organization and structure of debt markets, issues relevant in the management of interest rate risk and principles governing the valuation of fixed income securities and their derivatives.

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • understand features of debt securities
  • understand risks associatd with investing in bonds
  • know bond sectors and instruments
  • understand yield spreads
  • proceed with basic valuation of simple debt securities
  • compute different yield measures, spot rates and forward rates
  • measure interest rate risk using term structure and volatillity of interest rates
  • proceed with basic valuation of typical bonds with embedded options
  • proceed with valuation of elementary interest rate derivative instruments
  • understand securitization
  • know about recent developments in bond markets

Outline Syllabus

  • Features of debt securities
  • Risks associated with investing in bonds
  • Overview of bond sectors and instruments.
  • Understanding yield spreads
  • Introduction to the valuation of debt securities.
  • Yield measures, spot rates and forward rates
  • Introduction to the measurement of interest rate risk
  • Term structure and volatility of interest rates
  • Valuing bonds with embedded options
  • Interest rate derivative instruments

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F305: International Financial and Risk Management

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics
    • Intermediate Finance (equivalent to Ac.F214) including portfolio diversification.

Course Description

This course provides knowledge that is important to those concerned with financial management in a multinational setting. Areas covered include: a) the relationships between exchange rates, interest rates and inflation rates; b) forward, futures and option markets; c) corporate exchange-rate risk management.

Educational Aims

  • To describe the structure of the international monetary system.
  • To analyse the relationships between interest rates, inflation rates and exchange rates.
  • To explain the main determinants of exchange rate movements and their interaction.
  • To deepen the understanding of derivatives valuation by applying basic concepts to foreign exchange futures, options and other related instruments.
  • To explain the use of foreign exchange derivatives in the context of corporation risk management.
  • To analyse the relationships between other risk factors, e.g. equity price risk, credit risk and liquidity risk.
  • To provide guidelines for corporate financial decision making in an international context.

Outline Syllabus

  • International Finance: Institutional Background:  Money; Balance of Payments; Exchange Rate Regimes
  • Spot Markets for Foreign Currency 
  • Understanding Forward Exchange Rates for Currency
  • Using Forward Contracts for International Financial Management
  • The Markets for Currency Futures and Swaps
  • Currency Options
  • Rationales for Corporate Hedging and Measuring Exposure
  • Cost of International Capital / the International CAPM
  • International Capital Budgeting

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F306: Taxation

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics
    • Introductory accounting and finance (equivalent to Ac.F100)

Course Description

This module gives you an understanding of the economic and social impact of taxation and how these impacts influence the formation of tax policy. It covers the basic principles of UK income tax, corporation tax and other taxes, and teaches you the skills needed to perform basic tax computations.

Educational Aims

On successful completion of the course, students should have: 

  • A basic understanding of the history and development of the UK tax system.
  • An understanding of the political and legislative framework in which the UK tax system operates, including a knowledge of the UK legislative process, the administrative structure of UK tax compliance and a knowledge of how the EU and other multilateral agencies impact UK fiscal  policy.
  • An understanding of the economic and social impact of taxation and how these impacts influence the formation of tax policy
  • An understanding of the basic principles of UK Income tax, Corporation Tax and Value Added Tax.
  • A knowledge of the basic principles of Case Law in supplementing primary legislation.
  • The ability to perform basic computations of income tax and corporation tax liability.
  • A brief understanding of other UK taxes; Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax.

Outline Syllabus

  • Objectives of taxation and the choice of tax bases, desirable characteristics of a "good' tax
  • Personal income tax computation including employment income implications of residency and domicile
  • Tax rules v Accounting rules and Adjustment of profit, Basis Periods
  • Capital allowances and  Trading losses
  • Capital Gains Tax - basic principles and computation
  • Capital Gains Tax Reliefs,
  • Introduction to Inheritance tax
  • Corporation tax- computations and principles
  • Corporation tax loss relief and tax implications or groups of companies - International aspects
  • VAT - Introduction to basic principles of liability and the impact of registration of business

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F307: Issues in Auditing

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics.
    • Knowledge of auditing, such as that provided by Ac.F211, is assumed.

Course Description

This module examines the economic rationale for auditing and the structure of the auditing industry. Fundamental issues involved in auditing financial statements and financial information systems are examined. Theories and issue such as audit risk, agency theory, independence and auditor liability, as well as the ethical demands on auditors, are covered.

Educational Aims

The objectives of this course are to build upon the foundations laid by the pre-requisite course Ac.F 211 "Accounting Information Systems and Auditing" and thus extend participants' knowledge of the environment, function, scope and methods of auditing. The course also provides an opportunity to reflect upon important issues facing the auditing profession and, by extension, the accounting and financial worlds today. Via both lectures and seminars, contextual material is provided and conceptual bases for understanding the audit function are offered, as is the opportunity to explore the interaction of these. 

Outline Syllabus

  • The audit process
  • Conceptualising the audit process
  • The market for audit (and other) services
  • The digital world
  • Recent changes affecting auditors
  • Professionalism, Ethics and Independence
  • The expectations gap
  • Audit reporting
  • Auditor Liability
  • Overview: The Auditing Profession – Quo vadis?

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F308: Financial Statement Analysis

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics
    • Introductory Accounting and Finance (equivalent to AcF100 or (AcF261 and AcF263)).

Course Description

This module covers techniques and literature relating to the question of how markets use accounting information. The topics it introduces include the use of accounting numbers in the valuation of businesses, the properties of accounting ratios, accounting quality analysis, prediction of financial distress, relationships between share prices and accounting numbers.

Educational Aims

This course intends to provide you with:

  • Financial statement analysis skills and techniques for deriving inferences from financial statements and related information.
  • A framework for business valuation using financial statement data and other information.
  • Insights into the usefulness and the limitations of financial statement analysis as applied in different decision contexts (e.g., investment decisions, lending decisions, etc.)
  • An understanding of how incentives facing the producers and users of financial statement disclosures affect the content of these disclosures and the inferences they convey.

Outline Syllabus

  • Introduction and Strategy analysis
  • Accounting analysis
  • Financial analysis
  • Valuation
  • Credit analysis and distress prediction

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F311: Financial Accounting II

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics.
    • Knowledge of financial reporting issues, such as that provided by an intermediate financila accounting course such as Ac.F212, is assumed.

Course Description

This module develops your ability to critically evaluate advanced financial accounting issues, placing this within the international accounting context.  It focuses on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), with appropriate and relevant comparisons to US GAAP.

Other topics covered include the accounting treatments of taxation, leases, pensions, provisions and contingent liabilities. The module also looks at empirical research on issues of relevance to accounting practitioners and accounting regulators.

Educational Aims

After following the course students should be able to:  

  • Formulate and evaluate accounting and reporting policies appropriate to a range of scenarios examined on the course.
  • Explain how different methods of recognising and measuring assets and liabilities can affect reported financial performance.
  • Understand how different bases for recognising, measuring and classifying financial assets and financial liabilities can impact upon reported performance and position.
  • Explain how different methods of providing remuneration for employees may impact upon reported performance and position.
  • Apply, explain and appraise accounting standards that relate to employee remuneration including: different forms of short-term and long-term employee compensation; retirement benefits; and share-based payment.
  • Understand how current and deferred tax is recognised and appraise accounting standards that relate to current tax and deferred tax.
  • Explain the impact of accounting principles and bases on measurement in corporate reporting including fair value measurement.
  • Evaluate alternative accounting treatments, using relevant accounting concepts to analyse choices in accounting methods.
  • Communicate their understanding of the academic perspectives of reporting issues covered on the course.

Outline Syllabus

  • Introduction to course - Objectives of Financial Reporting; Convergence IFRS and US GAAP
  • Accounting for current tax and deferred tax
  • Reporting the substance of transactions; Off balance sheet financing; Accounting for leases
  • Pension accounting; Accounting treatment and terminology
  • Provisions and contingent liabilities; Post-balance sheet events; Related parties
  • Accounting for sharebased payments
  • Accounting for financial instruments
  • Fair value measurement - Fair value vs. historical cost - Mixed measurement attributes in financial assets - Economic consequences of accounting choice
  • Earnings per share and complex financial instruments
  • Related party transactions
  • Future directions  

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 25%
  • Exam: 75%

AC.F317: Strategic Management Control

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics 
    • Intermediate Management Accounting (equivalent to Ac.F213).

Course Description

Designed around a series of case studies, this module introduces the managerial use of accounting information in overall organisational control. Topics covered include the contingency view of management control, budgetary planning and control, measuring investment centre performance, transfer pricing, motivation and rewards, and designing compensation systems.

Educational Aims

This course is designed to introduce students to the managerial use of accounting information to implement strategy and control activities within business organisations. It represents part of the management accounting stream of study and requires prior study of basic management accounting. The purpose of the course is to broaden students' perspectives from viewing management accounting as being a purely technical activity to understanding how it contributes to the design and use of management control systems (MCS). It is intended to develop students' ability to understand the role of accounting (and other) information in helping managers to control the activities they are responsible for.

Outline Syllabus

  • Introduction to management control
  • Understanding strategy
  • Strategy and the contingency view of management control
  • Budgetary planning and control
  • Measuring investment centre performance
  • Implementing strategy through performance measurement
  • Transfer pricing
  • Motivation and rewards
  • Designing compensation systems

Assessment Proportions

  • Exam: 75%
  • Coursework: 25%

AC.F318: Professional Ethics

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics,
    • Intermediate Financial Accounting (equivalent to Ac.F212) or Intermediate Finance (equivalent to Ac.F214).

Course Description

This module includes the role that governance plays in the management of a business and the evolution of good governance practice, the nature of professional ethics and its significance in the business environment, ethical dilemmas in business, the content of professional ethics codes and the content of regulatory governance frameworks.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:-

  • Give students a comprehensive understanding of core ethical theories and how they underpin the ethical codes of practice for individuals, organisations and professional bodies
  • Develop students’ knowledge of the multiple forms that codes of conduct can take and how their legal status, level of operation and ways of influencing professional behaviour can vary
  • Equip students with the skills to analyse, interpret and construct a stakeholder view of corporate social responsibility activities within an organisation
  • Give students an understanding of social reporting, triple bottom line accounting and the multiple regulatory and advisory bodies and stock market indices that are interested in such forms of reporting and corporate activity
  • Provide students with an insight into the historical development of corporate governance in the UK, and an understanding of how the Financial Reporting Council develop, use and enforce their ethical codes
  • Give students a good knowledge of the two most important codes of conduct relevant to financial professionals – published by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), and by the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute (CFA).

Outline Syllabus

  • The role that governance plays in the management of a business and the evolution of good governance practice.
  • The nature of professional ethics and its significnance in the business environment.
  • Ethical dilemmas in business
  • Content of professional ethics codes
  • Content of regulatory governance framework
  • Topics in professional ethics and governance - e.g. effects of globalisation, unethical behavious and its consequences.

Assessment Proportions

  • Exam: 75%
  • Coursework: 25%

AC.F321: Investments

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • High school mathematics
    • Intermediate Finance (equivalent to Ac.F214).

Course Description

This module covers the fundamental concepts and techniques of modern investment theory and practice. Topics include security analysis, equity and bond portfolio management, asset allocation, performance evaluation, estimation of risk measures and hedging. There is also an emphasis on some of the practical issues in portfolio management.

Educational Aims

The aim of this course is to equip students with the tools necessary to enable them to make the core investment management decisions that managers face on a daily basis as well as the knowledge as to where they can find the information necessary to apply those tools.

This course is an introduction to investment analysis, with emphasis on the pricing of equity securities, which has Ac.F 214 M or L as its pre-requisite. This course covers fundamental concepts and key issues in asset pricing; modern portfolio theory and its applications; equilibrium theories of asset pricing; portfolio performance evaluation; mutual funds and hedge funds. It provides an entry point to advanced-level subjects and foundational knowledge on the valuation and arbitrage of investment assets

Outline Syllabus

  • Risk Aversion and Capital Allocation
  • Modern Portfolio Theory
  • Capital Asset Pricing Model
  • Index Models
  • Arbitrage Pricing Theory and Multifactor Models
  • Efficient Market Hypothesis
  • Empirical Analysis of Security Returns
  • Mutual Funds, Closed-end Funds and ETFs
  • Portfolio Performance Evaluation
  • Hedge Funds: History, Characteristics and Strategies

Assessment Proportions

  • Exam: 75%
  • Coursework: 25%

AC.F324: Quantitative Finance

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term Only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites:
    • Advanced mathematics  (refer to course director)
    • Intermediate Finance (equivalent to Ac.F214).

Course Description

This course describes time series models for financial market prices and shows how these models can be applied by banks and investors. It covers random walk tests and forecasting price volatility for stocks and foreign exchange.

Educational Aims

  • To explain how econometric methods can be used to learn about the future behaviour of the prices of financial assets by using the information in the history of asset prices and in the prices of derivative securities.
  • To provide students with practical experience of analysing market prices.

Outline Syllabus

  • Random variables and stochastic processes
  • Statistical characteristics of returns from financial assets
  • Expected returns using time series information
  • Modelling changes in volatility using time series information
  • High-frequency analysis of market prices
  • Volatility expectations implied by options prices
  • Probability distributions implied by options prices

Assessment Proportions

  • Exam: 75%
  • Coursework: 25%