Financial Accounting


Course Objective

This course is the third course in the accounting learning line in the
bachelor programmes Economics and Business Economics; Business
Administration and International Business Administration. In this course
we focus on external financial reporting, in particular by business
enterprises. You learn about key issues in financial reporting from the
perspective of the reporting company, about the regulatory framework of
financial reporting (Bridging theory and Practice - Knowledge). You
learn to apply your knowledge to specific issues derived from reporting
practice (Bridging Theory and Practice - Application). In doing so, you
practice skills such as abstraction and reasoning (Academic and Research

After following this course you can:
- describe and explain the typical features of the regulatory framework
of financial reporting in developed economies;
- describe common accounting practices for a selection of common
transactions and events (e.g. income tax, currency translation,
intangible assets, investments in subsidiaries) discussed in this
- for the selected transactions and events: solve a given issue in the
form of a motivated choice for a specific accounting treatment, journals
entries and/or completed financial statements (balance sheet, income
statement, cash flow statement);
- recognize and explain in a given fragment from published financial
statements how an item or transaction has been accounted for, or explain
the reporting about such accounting in a news media item;
- use and interpret selected regulatory texts to answer questions about
mandatory or optional accounting and reporting practices.

Course Content

External financial reporting in the form of annual or quarterly
financial statements is the basis of communication between a company and
financial stakeholders such as shareholders and other investors. Numbers
from the financial statements such as profit, cash flow and sales
revenue play an important role in financial markets. However, they also
have legal significance, and are important in corporate governance. For
larger enterprises, preparing financial statements is a complex process.
This is not just because it is a challenge to properly represent the
performance and economic position of complex businesses, but also
because there are significant interests at stake. Financial reporting
can go spectacularly wrong, as evidenced by major accounting scandals
that happen from time to time. For that reason, an elaborate
institutional framework of regulations and standards, audit, supervision
and enforcement has been built up around the practice of financial
reporting. This framework consists both of national elements (such as
company law) and international elements (such as International Financial
Reporting Standards).

In this course, you do not just develop your technical 'how' skills
(e.g. preparing consolidated financial statements, or working out the
effects of currency translation on reported numbers) but you also train
yourself to ask the 'why' question. Why does it matter to this company
to account for this transaction in this way? Is there a rule that must
be followed? Or does it have a choice? Who decides? Why is the rule the
way it is? Could it be improved?
Not everybody finds it easy to switch between accounting technique and
the wider context of standards, governance and economic interests in
which this technique is applied, but it is an essential skill for
everybody who works in a professional way with financial reporting,
whether as controller, auditor, financial analyst, manager, investor, or
supervisor. The fact that accounting always plays out in this wider
context is what makes financial reporting a fascinating discipline with
a unique character.

Teaching Methods

Plenary lectures and tutorials.

Method of Assessment

Written exam (individual assessment), optional interim exam (individual


textbook: to be announced.

Selected regulatory texts (public domain or accessible through

Additional Information

Prior knowledge of the contents of this course is assumed in the course
Advanced Financial Reporting in the Master Accounting and Control.

Recommended background knowledge

Accounting I and Accounting II (EBE and BK)
Accounting and Accounting in Multinational Enterprises (IBA)

General Information

Course Code E_EBE2_FAC
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator prof. dr. C. Camfferman RA
Examiner prof. dr. C. Camfferman RA
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: