Urrent Issues in Management and Financial Accounting

Assignment Title

Financial accounting has become increasingly standardised and harmonized across organisations in different industries, while management accounting continues to be highly variable. For example, organisations within the same industry can choose whether they implement a range of management accounting techniques.

To what extent do these two approaches reflect the different purpose and role of financial and management accounting?
To what extent do these two approaches help or hinder an organisations current or future shareholders?”

Submission Guidelines

1. Wordcount excludes bibliography, footnotes, appendices, diagrams. There will be a 10% penalty for work that overor under-exceeds the limit by 10% (wordcount to be included on first page).
2. Your work should be spaced by 1.5 lines. Use Arial or Times New Roman font size 12.
3. A good answer will:
- analyse the above statement within the context of recent accounting research (say, the last ten years)
- consider other (if any) perspectives
- reach a valid conclusion
- make wide use of contemporary research and reference it properly
- take a mainly analytical approach to the material (ie. a largely descriptive piece of work will not receive good marks)
4. Your work is at risk of failing for the following reasons:
- the question is not answered properly or in full
- over-reliance on textbooks
- use of websites
- insufficient use of good-quality journals for the final essay (approximately 15-25)
- poorly thought out arguments, badly presented and/or structured
5. Tips for success:
- you will need to write and re-write. Your first few drafts will almost certainly not be of a sufficiently high standard to pass. Be prepared to write far more than you will end up using order to end up with a good quality piece of work
- Don t use the first person (  I ). This is an exercise in your ability to synthesise material from various sources and evaluate them in relation to the question. Your personal opinion is not required!
- Use the spell-checker and grammar-checker before you submit.
- Don t waste time using fancy graphics. They will not earn you any additional marks, and will not compensate you for a poorly answered question.
- Make sure that you have answered the question in full.

Guide Assignment Criteria

First 70+ Clear structure, and critical analysis and evaluation. A thorough understanding of the key concepts in the study. Addresses the questions asked.
Good flow and clear writing style.
Excellently communicated

Upper Second Sound structure, critical analysis and evaluation
50%-69% Fluent use of concepts
Addresses the question
Evidence of background reading
Clear communication

Lower Second Structured and evidence of understanding
50%-59% Addresses most aspects of the question
Some evidence of background reading fully referenced
Most material relevant to the question
Communicated in a satisfactory manner.

Third Poor structure but an understanding of the basics evident
40%-49% Too descriptive an approach  lacking relevant analysis
Too little evidence of background research
Communication meets assessment requirements

Fail Lacking structure
39% Does not address the assignment s requirements
Little evidence of reading
Poorly communicated presentation

Appendix A

Evidence of source material cited

In addition to full Harvard-style referencing throughout the document, the following details must be provided in the bibliography after each source as follows:

1. For each journal article or similar reference accessed through an electronic data base: the full Internet address and date(s) accessed.

2. For books, monographs, and journal articles read in hard copy: the name of the library from which the material was obtained and, where available, the full Library classification number where it is shelved. Such a number is always available for books and monographs in academic libraries and must be given.

3. For books or other information purchased or obtained by the student: full details of how/when acquired.

Review of submissions and tips for improving final paper

In general, the initial study was answered quite well. Those of you who received a high mark for this will need to think carefully how to maintain this standard in the full essay. Those of you who did poorly should take this opportunity to consider how to improve your work.

Answering the question:
Some students answered a different question to the one set!
- the topic was about the issue of harmonisation of FA v variability of MA  it was NOT about the differences between MA and FA, or about the use of MA and FA in different organisations, or about the role of accountants, or about how FA and MA benefit shareholders, or about how FA became harmonised.
- there were TWO questions, one on the issue of harmonisation v variability and one on the implications for shareholders  many students answered just one.
- some students chose to challenge the question, by discussing the extent to which FA is actually harmonised. This would have been appropriate if the essay title had concluded with the word  discuss the above statement , but there were two questions that needed to be answered. If you used several pages challenging the statement given in the essay title, then this left you less space to answer the questions that were actually set.
- A number of students forgot that shareholders do not actually see MA information&
- Important  in the full essay, you will need to draw conclusions from your work. Make sure that these are an accurate and complete summary of what you have written. A weak conclusion will reduce the overall quality and mark awarded.

- Make sure that your articles have some elements/themes in common. If you use one article on MA in China and another article on FA in Germany, it is difficult to produce a meaningful piece of work.
- Integration of articles (rather than a separate summary of each article) was done very well on the whole. This will be harder to maintain in a longer essay, but is very important in producing a readable and well-structured piece of work, and many of you have made a good start.
- Beware of using too many quotes  the essay then becomes no more than a cut-and-paste of different quotations, making it difficult to read and generally lacking coherence. It is very tempting to include quotes, particularly when they are well-written and express perfectly the point that you want to make. However, they don t really demonstrate very much, other than your ability to type! There is also an increased risk that long quotes are likely to include irrelevant information. If you are aiming for a high mark, then you should use no more than just a few very well-chosen quotes in the whole essay, where they clearly add something in addition to your own paraphrased work.

- As this study is worth only 10% of the total assessment for the course, we did not run the submissions through the Turnitin software. However, quite a few of them contained sections or sentences that looked suspiciously professional and of a much higher standard than is possible by students. About 60 students used Turnitin to check their submissions against the plagiarism software. For the full study, you should all aim to do this. We will be running all submissions ourselves. If you are found to have plagiarised in the full essay then we will also run this initial study through the software. In this situation, it is highly likely that you will fail both ACCO 1114 and ACCO 1115.
- Some students included large sections that did not contain any references (but were clearly their own work). You MUST attribute your sources. There is absolutely no downside to including an appropriate reference alongside your work! Omitting references raises concerns about the quality of the sources that you have used.
- A large number of you do not understand how to use the Harvard system of referencing. This is