International Financial Accounting (BUS238)


The aim of the coursework is to demonstrate understanding of current issues in accounting by discussing the recent debate related to fair value accounting in time of financial turmoil. The following issues are to be dealt with:

i. Discuss the difference between historical cost accounting and fair value accounting, in general and as defined under US GAAP and IFRS.

ii. Discuss advantages and disadvantages with fair value accounting and historical cost accounting in the light of the development on the financial markets in the latter part 2008.

iii. Discuss which measurement basis you think is the most appropriate. The suggested readings (this is not an exhaustive list but a starting point to help you find more material to read and use): Penman, S.H. (2007). “Financial reporting quality: is fair value a plus or a minus?” Accounting and Business Research Special Issue: international Accounting Policy Forum, 33-44. Laux, C. and C. Leuz. (2009). “The crisis of fair-value accounting: Making sense of the recent debate.” Accounting, Organizations and Society, 34: 826-834. There is a 2,000-word limit to the essay. It will require students to research the topic and apply their knowledge to the specific question.