Capital markets require information in order to function effectively, for example in the valuation of firm shares and other financial securities. An important element of the available information, for example, concerns financial performance. However, the process of measuring a firm’s financial performance is inherently subjective. For example, the measurement of profit (earnings) is dependent on a variety of estimates surrounding the recognition and quantification of revenues and expenses and the recognition and valuation of assets and liabilities. Furthermore, firm managers and accountants have to make choices of equally acceptable accounting policies subject to a number of economic incentives of both the internal and external economic agents of a firm.
In the context in which financial reports are prepared, the outcome of the reporting process is essentially a trade-off between multiple incentives, for example, of the information preparers and the needs of other economic agents external to the firm concerned. This can be a problem because external economic agents may not be able to directly observe the processes, judgements and incentives facing information preparers. Therefore, this module will provide you with the opportunity to learn how to evaluate the extent to which financial accounting and reporting processes produce relevant information. You will learn the incentives facing firms, managers and accountants in providing financial accounting and other related information to external users, and the techniques and procedures that external users may employ in processing the information.
Prerequisites: MANG1001 and (ECON1001 or ECON1003 or ECON1009)