MA601 - Theory and Current Issues in Accounting

Credit Points: 15 credit points

Workload: 36 hours

Prerequisite: MA511 Financial Accounting and Reporting

Co-requisite: N/A

Aims & Objectives

This is a Year 2, 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:

This unit enables students to explain why particular accounting procedures and policies are adopted and why management makes particular accounting choices. This subject also provides students with the capability to enter debates on trends within financial reporting and accounting. It presents the conceptual framework and, importantly, enables students to critically evaluate accounting practices with a social and ethical perspective.

This unit will cover the following topics:

  • Institutional Arrangements for Setting Accounting Standards
  • Accounting for Leases
  • Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting
  • Conceptual Framework Recognition and Measurement of the Elements of the Financial Statements
  • Revenue Recognition Issues
  • Accounting for the Extractive Industry
  • Presentation of Statements of Financial Position
  • Foreign Currency Transaction
  • Earnings per Share and Book Value per share

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 will be able to: 
a. Explain, describe and demonstrate mastery of the financial accounting standard setting process of Australia.
b. Critically analyse and interpret current issues and developments in accounting theory and financial reporting.
c. Evaluate different accounting theories and their implications in policy choice by managers.
d. Synthesize the complex elements of the Conceptual Framework and apply them to accounting activities.
e. Apply their knowledge to identify strategies to meet accounting issues and problems in new situations.
f. Develop an ethical and social perspective on the use of accounting information.


Assessment Task Due Date A B Unit Learning Outcomes
1. Contribution and Participation Weeks 1-12 - 6% a-f
2. Formative Assessment Week 3 - 4% a
3. Assignment [Individual] Week 6 20% - a,b
4. Assignment [Group] Week 10 20% - c,d,e
5. Case Study Analysis [Individual] (3 hours) TBA - 50% b-f
TOTALS   40% 60% 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

  • Henderson, S., Peirson, G., Herbohn, K., Artiach, T. and Howieson, B. (2017). Issues in Financial Accounting (16th ed.). Pearson Higher Education AU. 

Other recommended texts

  • Deegan, C. (2020.) Australian Financial Accounting (9th ed.). Sydney: McGraw Hill.
  • Leo, K., Knapp, J., McGowan, S. and Sweeting, J. (2018.) Company Accounting (11th ed.). John Wiley Milton Queensland. 
  • Loftus, J., Leo, K., Daniliuc, S., Boys, N., Luke, B., Ang, H. and Byrnes, K. (2020.) Financial Reporting (3nd ed.). John Wiley, Milton Queensland. 
  • Trotman, K., Carson, E. and Gibbins, M. (2019). Financial Accounting:  An Integrated Approach (7th ed.). Cengage; Learning, South Melbourne.
  • CPA Accounting Handbook 2021 (or earlier). Sydney: Pearson Australia.

Journal Articles

  • Van Kints, R. R., & Spoor, L. L. (2019). Leases on balance, a level playing field?. Advances in Accounting, 44, 3-9.
  • Agyekum, A. A. B. and Singh, R. P. (2018) How Technology is Changing Accounting Processes: Institutional Theory and Legitimacy Theory Perspective, Journal of Accounting & Finance, 18 (7):11-23. 
  • Frankel, R.M. and Sun, Y. (2018). Predicting Accruals Based on Cash-Flow Properties, The Accounting Review, 93 (5):165-186.
  • Glaum, M., Landsman, W.R. and Wyrwa, S. (2018). Goodwill Impairment: The Effects of Public Enforcement and Monitoring by Institutional Investors, The Accounting Review, 93 (6): 149-180.
  • Hewadulige, J., Abayadeera, N., Ali, M.J., Mather, P. (2019) Development of Accounting and reporting practices in Sri Lanka- An exploratory investigation. International Journal of Accounting, 54(2) pp 1-36.
  • Huang, X., Sudha, K. and Lin, P. (2018). Tone Analysis and Earnings Management, Journal of Accounting & Finance, 18(8):46-61. 
  • Katselasa, D. and Rosov, S. (2018). Adoption of international financial reporting standards and the cost of adverse selection, Accounting and Finance, 58: 1141–1168.
  • Lina, K.Z., Chenga, S. and Zhang, F. (2017). Corporate Social Responsibility, Institutional Environments, and Tax Avoidance: Evidence from a Subnational Comparison in China, The International Journal of Accounting, 52 (4):303-318.

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.