MA501 - Foundations of Accounting

Credit Points: 15 credit points

Workload: 36 hours

Prerequisite: N/A

Co-requisite: N/A

Aims & Objectives

This is a Year 1, Core Unit in the Master of Professional Accounting. For Course Learning Outcomes and further information relating to Master of Professional Accounting program please visit our website:

Foundations of Accounting introduces students to the role of accounting information in business and also in society more broadly. This unit covers the basic principles underlying the preparation of financial information and its use in decision-making by various user groups including managers, shareholders, lenders, investment analysts, etc. 
This unit will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to Financial Accounting 
  • Measuring and Evaluating Financial Statements 
  • Record Keeping under the double entry system 
  • Accrual Accounting adjusting entries 
  • Special Journals 
  • Internal control and cash 
  • Inventory 
  • Non-Current Assets 
  • Cash Flow Statements 
  • Accounting for Partnerships

Learning Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes

The Course learning outcomes applicable to this unit are listed on the Melbourne Institute of Technology’s website:  

Unit Learning Outcome

At the completion of this unit students should be able to:
a. Demonstrate technical skills in recording financial information. 
b. Analyse and record accounting transactions and events. 
c. Generate financial statements consistent with the conceptual framework and accounting standards. 
d. Evaluate and compare the merits of accrual and cash accounting. 
e. Prepare special journals as they relate to cash and the periodic and perpetual inventory recording systems. 
f. Explain the impact of a partnership business structure on financial statements. 
g. Demonstrate effective individual technical skills in the construction of accounting records and financial statements for a unique business; and demonstrate in individual summative assessment tasks the acquisition of a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the topics covered by the unit.


Assessment Task Due Date A B Unit Learning Outcomes
1. Contribution and Participation Weeks 1 -12 - 6% a-g
2. Formative Assessment Week 3 - 4% a
3. Assignment [Individual] No. 1 Week 6 - 20% a,b,c
4. Assignment [Individual] No. 2 (Perdisco Practice Set – Part 1 and Part 2 Manual Accounting) Week 11 20% - a-c,g
5. Case Study Analysis [Individual] (3 hours) TBA - 50% a-g
TOTALS   20% 80% 100%

Task Type: Type A: unsupervised, Type B: supervised.

Contribution and Participation (6%)

This unit has class participation as an assessment. The assessment task and marking rubric will follow the Guidelines on Assessing Class Participation ( Further details will be provided in the assessment specification on the type of assessment tasks and the marking rubrics.

Teaching Methods

NOTE: All School of Business units 3-hour workshops Flipped Classroom Mode.

Textbook and Reference Materials

Note: Students are required to purchase the prescribed textbook and have it available each week in class.

Copies of the textbook are available in the MIT Library.

Prescribed Text Book

  • Trotman, K., Gibbins, M., Carson, E., (2019), Financial Accounting: An Integrated Approach, (7th ed.) ISBN 9780170349680, Cengage Learning, Australia.

Other recommended references

  • Trotman, K., Gibbins, M., Carson, E., (2016), Financial Accounting: An Integrated Approach, (6th ed.) ISBN 9780170349680, Cengage Learning, Australia.
  • Birt, J., Chalmers K., Maloney, S., Brooks, A. and Oliver, J. (2016), Accounting: Business Reporting for Decision Making, 6th edition. Wiley, Australia.
  • Clarke, E.A., Wilson, Y., and Wilsom, M. (2019). Accounting: An Introduction to Principles and Practice, 9th ed. ISBN 9780170403832. Cengage Learning Australia
  • Cunningham, B., Nikolai-HCP, L., Bazley, J., Kavanagh, M. & Simmons, S. (2018). Accounting: Information for Business Decisions. 3rd ed. Cengage Learning Australia
  • Gary A. Porte and Curtis L. Norton, (2017), Financial Accounting: The Impact on Decision Makers, 10th edition. Cengage Learning, US. 
  • Nobles, Mattison, Matsumura, Best, Fraser, Tan, Willett (2016), Horngren's Financial Accounting, 8th edition. Pearson, Australia 

Journal articles

  • Chychyla, R., Leone, A. J., & Minutti-Meza, M. (2018). Complexity of financial reporting standards and accounting expertise. Journal of Accounting and Economics, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 28 September 2018.
  • Hoitash, R., & Hoitash, U. (2017). Measuring accounting reporting complexity with XBRL. The Accounting Review, 93(1), 259-287.
  • Habib, A., Ranasinghe, D., & Huang, H. J. (2018). A literature survey of financial reporting in private firms. Research in Accounting Regulation, 30(1), 31-37.
  • La Torre, M., Sabelfeld, S., Blomkvist, M., Tarquinio, L., & Dumay, J. (2018). Harmonising non-financial reporting regulation in Europe: Practical forces and projections for future research. Meditari Accountancy Research
  • Ochieng, P, O. (2019), Profit or loss? On the determinants of net income of United States college football programs, Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Science, Available at:

Accounting standards

Check the unit Moodle page for additional recommended readings throughout the trimester.

The Referencing style for this unit is APA: See the MIT Library Referencing webpage: and the Unit Moodle page for additional referencing support material and weblinks.

Graduate Attributes

MIT is committed to ensure the course is current, practical and relevant so that graduates are “work ready” and equipped for life-long learning. In order to accomplish this, the MIT Graduate Attributes identify the required knowledge, skills and attributes that prepare students for the industry.
The level to which Graduate Attributes covered in this unit are as follows:

Ability to communicate Independent and Lifelong Learning Ethics Analytical and Problem Solving Cultural and Global Awareness Team work Specialist knowledge of a field of study


Levels of attainment Extent covered
The attribute is covered by theory and practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students always play an active role, e.g. workshops, lab submissions, assignments, demonstrations, tests, examinations.
The attribute is covered by theory or practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students mostly play an active role, e.g. discussions, reading, intepreting documents, tests, examinations.
The attribute is discussed in theory or practice; it is addressed by assessed activities in which the students may play an active role, e.g. lectures and discussions, reading, interpretation, workshops, presentations.
The attribute is presented as a side issue in theory or practice; it is not specifically assessed, but it is addressed by activities such as lectures or tutorials.
The attribute is not considered, there is no theory or practice or activities associated with this attribute.