ACCTN301-19A (HAM)

Capstone in Accounting

15 Points

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Division of Management
School of Accounting, Finance and Economics


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Paper Description

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The objective of this paper is to help students develop critical thinking and sound analytical skills about the past, present and future of accounting theory and practice. Various approaches to the development of theory in general and accounting theory in particular will be critically examined and different schools of thought in the field of accounting research will be covered. The paper also aims to make students familiar with theoretical and practical issues, and controversies in accounting.
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Paper Structure

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This course has four hour class contact sessions per week.
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Learning Outcomes

    Students should be able to develop critical thinking about the past present and future of accounting theory.

    They should also be able to develop sound analytical skills about the past, present & future of accounting theory and practice.

    This paper also aims to make students familiar with theoretical and practical issues in accounting along with controversies in accounting.

    Linked to the following assessments:
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The format for the sessions will typically be two hours of formal class (all together followed by splitting into two concurrent tutorial streams.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 40:60. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 60% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 40:60 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 60% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Test
3 Apr 2019
4:00 PM
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
2. Essay
29 Apr 2019
8:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Tutorial Work
  • Hand-in: In Tutorial
4. Exam
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Davey H.  (Ed) (2015).Current Issues in Accounting, South Melbourne: Cengage Learning.

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Recommended Readings

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Please note that a number of books are relevant to both the weekly topics and to the essay topics are held at the library under High Demand.


Kaler, J.(2003). Differentiating stakeholder theories.Journal of Business Ethics, 46(1), 71-83. 10.1023/a:1024794710899Kaler, J.(2006). Evaluating stakeholder theory. Journal of Business Ethics, 69(3), 249-268. 10.1007/s10551-006-9089-2

Donaldson, T., & Preston, L. E. (1995).The stakeholder theory of the corporation: Concepts, evidence, and implications. The Academy of Management Review, 20(1), 65-91.


Hill, C. W. L., & Jones, T. M. (1992). Stakeholder-agency theory. Journal of Management Studies, 29(2), 131-154.

Emerson Wagner Mainardes, Helena Alves, Mario Raposo, (2011) "Stakeholder theory: issues to resolve", Management Decision, 49(2), pp.226 - 252


Goldberg, L.(1971). The Development of Accounting. In C. Gibson & G. Meredith & R. Peterson (Eds.), Accounting Concepts (pp. 4-37).

Littleton, A.(1968). The antecedents of double entry bookkeeping. In M. Charfields (Ed.), Contemporary Studies in the Evolution of Accounting Thought (pp. 21-29). Belmont: Dickenson.


Gleeson-White, Jane. (2011) Double entry: How the merchants of Venice shaped the modern world – and how their invention could make or break the planet.
University Library record or Kindle version from

Carmona, S. & Ezzamel, M.(2007) Accounting and accountability in ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 20(2) 177-209


Chua, W.(1986). Radical developments in accounting thought. The Accounting Review, October, 601-632.

Watts, R. L., & Zimmerman, J. L. (1978). Towards a positive theory of the determination of accounting standards. The Accounting Review, January, 112-134.

Wells, M.(1976). A Revolution in Accounting Thought? The Accounting Review, July, 471-482


Baker, C. R., & Bettner, M. S.(1997). Interpretive and critical research in accounting: a commentary on its absence from mainstream accounting research. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 8, 292-310.

Hines, R.(1988). Popper's methodology of Falsificationism and accounting research. The Accounting Review, 63(4), 657-662.


External Reporting Board. (2012). Website. Retrieved from

George J Benston, Michael Bromwich, Alfred Wagenhofer. (2006). Principles- Versus Rules-Based Accounting Standards: The FASB's Standard Setting Strategy. Abacus, 42(2), 165.

Jennifer Francis, Katherine Schipper. (1999). Have financial statements lost their relevance? Journal of Accounting Research, 37(2), 319-352.


Christopher W Nobes. (2005). Rules-Based Standards and the Lack of Principles in Accounting. Accounting Horizons, 19(1), 25-34.

Hlaciuc, E., Mihalciuc, C. C., Cibotariu, I. S., & Apetri, A. N. (2009). Some issues about the transition from U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Annales Universitatis Apulensis: Series Oeconomica, 11(1), 275–289.

Benston, G. J., Carmichael, D. R., Demski, J. S., Dharan, B. G., Jamal, K., Laux, R., & Vrana, G.(2007). The FASB’s conceptual framework for financial reporting: A critical analysis. Accounting Horizons, 21(2), 229–238.


Hooper, K., Kearins, K., & Green, R. (2005). Knowing “the price of everything and the value of nothing”: accounting for heritage assets. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 18(3), 410-433. 10.1108/09513570510600765

Seetharaman, A., Balachandran, M., & Saravanan, A. S. (2004). Accounting treatment of goodwill: yesterday, today and tomorrow: problems and prospects in the international perspective. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 5(1), 131-152


Cascini, K. T., & DelFavero, A.(2011). An evaluation of the implementation of fair value accounting: Impact on financial reporting. Journal of Business & Economics Research, 9(1), 1–16.


Hall, T. (2002). NZ telco in accounts inquiry., N.A-N/A

Kamnikar, J. A. C. P. A., Kamnikar, E. G. C. P. A., & Burrowes, A.(2012). One size does not fit all. Journal of Accountancy, 213(1), 46-49,10,12.

Warren, K.(2005). Converting to international accounting standards. Chartered Accountants Journal, 84(6), 18-21

Tweedie, David.The Way Forward: International Accounting Standards [online]. Australian Chief Executive: Official Journal of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, May 2006: 28-31.


Sivakumar, V.(2003). The accounting profession's code of ethics: Is it a code of ethics or a code of quality assurance?. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 14(4), 483-503. 10.1016/s1045-2354(02)00138-7

Scholtens, B & Dam, L.(2007) Cultural values and international differences in business ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 75: 273-284.


Hooks, J., & van Staden, C. J.(2011). Evaluating environmental disclosures: The relationship between quality and extent measures. The British Accounting Review, 43(3), 200-213. 10.1016/, M. J., & Grubnic, S.(2011). Climate change accounting research: keeping it interesting and different. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 24(8), 948-977. 10.1108/09513571111184715

Woods, M. (2003). The global reporting initiative. The CPA Journal, 73(6), 60-65

YOUTUBE VIDEO LINKSThe structure of scientific revolutions (Pt 1, 2 & 3)

Introduction to Epistemology

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Other Resources

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A number of readings are available via paper resources (in Moodle).

A substantial number of texts and other materials are on desk copy. If you wish for any others to be added please see me well before key dates with the FULL details and they will be added to the list.
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Online Support

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If you require online support for Moodle please email helpdesk at
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Four hour class contact sessions per week, as this is a 15 point course your total commitment for the course should be in the region of 200 hours.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite papers: ACCT202 or ACCTN202




Restricted papers: ACCT301, ACCT401

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