BMAN71291 International Accounting Practice and Regulation

BMAN71291 International Accounting Practice and Regulation 2020-21


Seminar Assignment Tasks

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Seminar 1 – 26 Oct 2020 – The Big Ideas Behind International Accounting


Study the following material available on Blackboard:


  • Course outline
  • Short lecture: Introduction to the course (found in the item ‘Welcome Page’)
  • Coursework material (essay guidelines word file, slides, and video / note taking and essay writing slides and video. Note: there are 2 videos to watch here)
  • Case 1-2 Vanguard International Growth Fund. On p.19 of Doupnik et al. (2020). A copy of the case is provided on blackboard (found in the folder ‘Seminars’ in 3 photos). A folder with links about accessing the e-books is also provided on blackboard.


In the seminar, we will discuss the course structure and assignment. We will also discuss the questions on p.21 of Doupnik et al. (2020). I suggest you prepare some draft answers to these questions before the seminar. In the seminar, I will also address any queries you are currently having about our course.


Seminar 2 – 2 Nov 2020 – Accounting Diversity and Harmonisation


  1. Read the following paper:


Walker, M. (2010). Accounting for varieties of capitalism: The case against a single set of global accounting standards. The British Accounting Review, 42(3), 137-152.


and prepare answers to the following questions:


  1. What does the author mean by ‘varieties of capitalism’?
  2. Why / how is a single set of global accounting standards considered problematic for different forms of capitalism?
  3. Why/ how do you think IFRS have managed to escape such criticisms and gain more prominence / popularity over time? Note that the paper was written shortly after the 2008 credit crisis. Do you think any of the arguments raised in the paper would be different today?
  4. What could be alternative ways of designing accounting standards? Do you agree with the author’s suggestion for at least two sets of accounting standards?
  5. What surprised you most from the paper?
  6. How might the paper be useful to you for your essay writing? How do ideas about stock market based globalisation connect to financialisation?
  7. What can you take away from the paper that will be useful to you when you become a practitioner?


  1. Study case 2-1 The Impact of Culture on Conservatism. On p.58 of Doupnik et al. (2020) and prepare answers to the requirements on p.58 and p. 59.


  1. Prepare answers to Question 6 on p.99 and Question 11 on p.100 of Doupnik et al. (2020).


Seminar 3 – 9 Nov 2020 – Regulation of Accounting: Structures & Frameworks


  1. Read the following paper:


Samsonova-Taddei, A., and Humphrey, C. (2014). Transnationalism and the transforming roles of professional accountancy bodies: Towards a research agenda, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 27(6), 903-932.


and prepare answers to the following questions:


  1. How have professional accounting associations exploited opportunities presented by the transnational regulatory arena?
  2. Do you think accounting professional bodies pursue the public interest?
  3. Has the professional accounting association in your home country followed a tendency of homogeneity or of heterogeneity towards global regulatory arrangements?
  4. How has reading the paper influenced your thinking about a potential career in accountancy?


  1. Read the following report:


ICAEW (2016). Incentives and institutions in accounting: thinking beyond standards.


and prepare answers to the following questions:


  1. What two factors affect accounting outcomes in addition to accounting standards?
  2. How do institutional changes involved in globalisation affect accounting?
  3. How do the findings of the report change the way we understand how accounting works / the importance of IFRS in determining accounting outcomes?


Seminar 4 – 16 Nov – Conceptual Frameworks for Financial Reporting


  1. Read the following paper:


Zhang, Y., and Andrew, J. (2014). Financialisation and the conceptual framework. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 25(1), 17-26.


and prepare answers to the following questions:


  1. How do the authors define financialisation?
  2. How do the changes in the conceptual framework, as identified in the paper, reflect financialisation?
  3. Can you identify any other changes reflecting financialisation that we talked about in our lecture?
  4. Do you agree with the authors’ contention that these changes provide coherence and legitimacy to the key ideas of financialisation?
  5. How do you think financialised ideas in conceptual frameworks affect accounting practice?
  6. Do you think standard setters have financialised the conceptual framework intentionally?


  1. Study the following 5 FT articles and prepare answers to the following questions. The articles are available on Blackboard under week 4 material:


Ford, J., & Marriage, M. (2018). The big flaw: auditing in crisis. Financial Times, 1 August.


  • How is the abandonment of prudence, the replacement of reliability by representational faithfulness, the neglect of the legal requirement for accounts to show a true and fair view, the impairment of goodwill, the increasing use of fair value accounting linked to the prominence of decision-usefulness as the main objective of financial reports?
  • Do you agree that accounting standards have brought about a tick-boxing mentality for the auditor?
  • Do you think auditors have more responsibility to exercise professional judgement in order to avoid, or at least predict, accounting scandals?


Malmqvist, P. (2018). Effects of fair value are quite easy for an analyst to handle. Financial Times, 6 August.


  • Do you think analysts can ‘see through’ the effects of the use of fair values in financial reports which implies that it has no ‘real’ effect on investment decisions and in effect on capital markets?


Ford, J., & Marriage, M. (2018). A return to prudence: how to restore faith in accounting. Financial Times, 29 August.


  • What is your view on the conflict between IFRS and company law discussed in the article?
  • Do you agree with the justifications for loan loss provisioning under IAS 39 provided by the PwC partner?


Hoogervorst, H. (2018). Do not blame accounting rules for the financial crisis. Financial Times, 3 October.


  • What do you think of the justifications offered for not requiring full lifetime losses for loans?
  • ‘Accounting is highly dependent on the exercise of judgment and is therefore more an art than a science… For accounting standards to do their job properly, we need management to own up to the facts – and auditors, regulators and investors to be vigilant.’ How do you feel reading this by the IASB Chairman?


Myddleton, D. R. (2018). There shouldn’t be any accounting ‘rules’ at all. Financial Times, 16 October.


  • Do you agree with the author’s view? If yes, what are the implications of such a view? If not, what do you see as the value of accounting standards?


  1. Answer the 4 multiple choice questions available on Blackboard under week 4 material. For these you will need to refer to the IASB Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting and the Basis for Conclusions – both documents are available on Blackboard.


Seminar 5 – 23 Nov – International Financial Reporting Standards I: Fair value accounting


  1. Read the following paper:


Power, M. (2010). Fair value accounting, financial economics and the transformation of reliability. Accounting and Business Research, 40(3), 197-210.


and prepare answers to the following questions:


  1. How is financial economics transforming accounting practice and regulation?
  2. What measurement challenges do derivatives present to accountants and standard setters?
  3. How would you explain to a non-accounting expert the ‘de-legalisation’ of the balance sheet (p.205)?
  4. What is your view on the author’s comments that pursuing a closer alignment of accounting and markets is itself paradoxical (p.208)? What does this tell us about standard setters?
  5. How and why is it important that reliability is transformed? Can you make any connections here with the arguments by Erb and Pelger (2015) we studied last week?
  6. What surprised you most from the paper?
  7. How might the paper be useful to you for your essay writing? Do you agree with the author that the financialisation of financial accounting is not absolute (p.209)?


  1. Prepare answers to the multiple choice questions 1-9 on p.139-141 of Doupnik et al. (2020).


Seminar 6 – 30 Nov – International Financial Reporting Standards II: Complex Financial Instruments


Read the Fair Value Controversy at Noble Group case study available on Blackboard under week 6 material.


Prepare answers for the following:


  1. Consider Noble’s business model. Identify sources of risks and profits in the model. Where are the risks reflected in the financial statements?


  1. What is your assessment of Noble’s financial performance? How would you assess the impact of net fair value gains on Noble’s profitability and financial position in 2011-2014? (Hint: refer to the Appendix for accounting on commodity contracts; for impact on profits from Level 3 balances, refer to Exhibit 4).


  1. Do you agree with Iceberg’s concerns that Noble’s fair value gains were overvalued? (Hint: refer to Exhibit 7).


  1. Iceberg blames several stakeholders for ignoring Noble’s aggressive accounting practices. How well did governance and market intermediaries ensure that management implemented and communicated fair value accounting appropriately?


  1. What actions should Noble take, if any, to restore investor confidence in the wake of Iceberg’s allegations?


  1. What did subsequently happen with Noble? (Hint: search the internet / the financial press about this).


  1. How do the takeaways from this case study relate to the key issues we learn from the paper by Pucci and Skærbæk (2020)?

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