MSc International Business: International Finance and Accounting
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MSc International Business: International Finance and Accounting

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Programme Title MSc International Business
Module Title International Finance and Accounting
Module Code 24257
Assignment Title Individual assignment
Level LM
Weighting 50% (25% accounting / 25% finance)
Lecturers Wafa Ben Khaled (Accounting) and Tianshu Zhao (Finance)
Hand Out Date Click here to enter a date.
Due Date & Time 12/01/2021 12pm
Feedback Post Date 03/02/2021
Assignment Format Essay
Assignment Length 1000 words (500 for each question)
Submission Format   Online Individual



Accounting: Critically explain how a company can analyse and adjust its profitability. 500 words

Finance: How could the financing policy of the firm affect the return on equity of the firm?


Notes on the task:

  • Accounting question requires you to present your answer in an essay format. No calculation is needed but you can use example if you think it is relevant. Keep in mind that you are limited to 500 words. You should use the elements of the module to answer the question in an analytical way (≠ descriptive).
  • Finance question requires you to present the essay using both mathematical decomposition of return on equity (ROE) and present textual argument based on the components of the decomposition. You need to incorporate the knowledge you learn during the module to justify the argument.




Module Learning Outcomes:

In this assessment the following learning outcomes will be covered:

LO 1. Understand the financial statement of the corporate and conduct the basic analysis of financial performance
LO 2. How the cost of debt is measured in the financial statement of the firm and the component of the cost of debt (inflation, risk-free rate of return and default risk premium)

LO3: The impact of financial leverage from the cost-benefit trade-off perspective on return on total assets


Grading Criteria:


  • Critical thinking
  • Identification of the key elements of the profitability in the financial statements
  • Identification of the key calculations to analyse the profitability
  • Ability to understand the information inside the financial statement
  • Ability to be analytical
  • Quality of the writing



     40% mark will be attributable to the decomposition of return on equity. 60% will relate to the discussion regarding the cost and the benefit of financial leverage and the implication of financial leverage for the return on equity. With respect to the 40%, students should be able to use the Dupont decomposition to show that The ROE can be decomposed into the sum of return on business assets and the product of spread and financial leverage. In the case where the spread is positive, i.e the return on business assets is larger than the interest expense after tax on debt (i.e. effective interest rate), the increase in debt in the firm’s capital structure will lead to the increase in ROE, while keeping all other factors the same. Regarding the 60%, 1).students should continue discussing the cost and benefit of debt from its impact on return on business assets (ROA) and on the cost of debt perspective (with respect to the trading off theory).  Student should be able to talk about the required rate of return of debt allowing for default risk premium via the discussion of financial ratio reflecting the liquidity risk. Good student could be able to combine the knowledge of accounting financial statement analysis of the investment policy with the discussion of the return on business assets as well.


Feedback to Students:

Both Summative and Formative feedback is given to encourage students to reflect on their learning that feed forward into following assessment tasks. The preparation for all assessment tasks will be supported by formative feedback within the tutorials/seminars. Written feedback is provided as appropriate.  Please be aware to use the browser and not the Canvas App as you may not be able to view all comments.


It is your responsibility to ensure that you understand correct referencing practices. You are expected to use appropriate references and keep carefully detailed notes of all your information sources, including any material downloaded from the Internet. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are not vulnerable to any alleged breaches of the assessment regulations. More information is available at https://intranet.birmingh






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