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Financial reporting and analysis

This module examines the financial reporting of companies, and how such reporting can be analysed to evaluate performance.

A basic prior knowledge of accounting is assumed: students learn how accounts are constructed and analysed, then examine the impact of various issues on the reported numbers. These include the reporting of tangible and intangible assets; continued and discontinued operations, historic costs vs fair value accounting and business combinations.

The module takes a global perspective and refers largely to the regulatory regime of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

Topics covered

  • Introduction to Financial Reporting
  • Introduction to Financial Statements and Other Financial Reporting Topics
  • The Balance Sheet and the Shareholder Equity
  • Income Statements and Reported Income (Earnings) Quality
  • Property Plant and Equipment
  • Intangible Assets and Fair Value Accounting
  • Liquidity of Short-Term Assets Related Debt-Paying Ability
  • Financial Ratio Analysis
  • The Financial Statements of Special Industries: Banks, Utilities, Oil & Gas, Transportation, Insurance and Real Estate Companies
  • Group Accounts and Business Combinations

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • Comprehend the theory and practices of corporate financial reporting
  • Use financial reporting theory and practices to analyse the performance of a company
  • Design appropriate business policies and strategies to meet stakeholder and shareholder needs in the light of the recent changes in Financial Reporting
  • Identify and evaluate financial statements
  • Explain the reasoning behind the rules underpinning corporate financial reporting and the history of their development
  • Describe how the rules of corporate financial reporting effect the application of standards
  • Identify assumptions, evaluate statements in terms of evidence, to detect false logic or reasoning, to identify implicit values, and to define terms adequately and to generalize appropriately
  • Create, evaluate and access a range of different outcomes and the ability to justify the chosen outcome.
  • Numeracy and active quantitative problem solving and decision making skills (including data analysis, interpretation and extrapolation)
  • The ability to interpret information based on scientific analysis
  • Research skills into financial reporting issues
  • Effective communication skills
  • Time management skills (including effective self-management in terms of time, planning and behaviour, motivation, self-starting, individual initiative and enterprise)
  • Digital and information literacy skills

Assessment

This module is assessed by:

Coursework (30% weighting):

  • There is one item of coursework for this module which contributes to the final assessment mark forthis module:
  • Coursework: a written essay of a maximum of 2,000 or 2,500 words (deadline – weeks 9-12) The coursework is designed to check student progress, extend and reinforce concepts covered and also test individual performance.

Examination (70% weighting):

  • The final piece of assessment will be an unseen written examination of 2 hours’ duration.

Essential reading

The following is provided as part of the course materials after you register:

  • Charles H. Gibson, Financial Statement Analysis, International Edition, Cengage, 2012
  • John Dunn, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Wiley, 2010

Module author

Dr Nicholas Tsitsianis, module leader

Dr Nicholas Tsitsianis

BSc, MSc, PhD, Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Dr Tsitsianis is Senior Lecturer in Accounting at the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary. He entered academia in 1998 to become an established researcher and to make an effective contribution to teaching practice and the learning experience of students. His work is published in internationally recognised peer-reviewed journals and has been selected for the University’s Research Excellence Framework submission in 2008 and 2014.

He receives excellent teaching evaluation reviews based on teaching methods and enthusiasm for enhancing the student learning experience. He has also successfully developed a series of well-received modules.