UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSIN6004: Accounting for Business


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This is a past version of this module for MSIN6004 16/17.
Click here for the current version.
Taught by
Barry McCarthy
None; Prior accounting studies are not presumed
1st, 2nd 3rd, 4th year undergraduates from all departments
MSIN6004 in term 1 and MSIN1004 in term 2
Delivery method
2-hour lecture (x 10 weeks) and 1-hour seminar (9 weeks)
70% final unseen 3-hour examination; 30% coursework components

Course overview

This is a module for students looking to gain an introductory level orientation to some core accounting principles and their applications both internal and external to a business organisation. It aims to provide students with a good grounding and appreciation of the financial accounting essentials that any analyst, manager or business owner should possess.

Financial Accounting is concerned with accounting for financial transactions and activities of a business, and building the financial story through the subsequent construction and publication of key financial statements: Balance Sheets, Income Statements, and Cash Flow Statements. We also analyse and interpret these statements to gain some insight into financial health and performance – something core for managers and interested stakeholders would find useful too! We also cover some core aspects of corporate governance which are important ingredients of good management. This focus also covers ideas to help in financial decision making,

The module team provides great support through an integrated interactive learning package including active Moodle usage, self-assessment quizzes, mini videos, podcasts and more!

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, a student will be able to:

  • Understand why it is important for commercial businesses, and in particular limited companies, to account for the financial value of transactions, events and activities
  • Understand the conceptual framework underpinning financial accounting systems
  • Identify and explore a range of selected issues and challenges within financial reporting
  • Be able to record the financial value of transactions, events and activities in financial accounting systems
  • Be able to construct key financial statements and recognize their strengths and weaknesses
  • Calculate and interpret financial ratios for a range of users of financial information.

Topics covered

  • Financial frameworks for financial statements
  • Double entry bookkeeping
  • The trial balance and adjustments
  • Accounting for limited companies
  • Cash flow statements for publication
  • Financial analysis through ratios
  • Financial reporting issues (including selected issues in corporate governance)

Assessment summary

70% is based on the result of an unseen 3-hour examination paper in the Summer Term. 30% is based on coursework: comprising an individual assessment (10%) and one group-based assignment (20%).

Essential reading

Financial Accounting for Decision Makers, 8th Ed, by Atrill & McLaney, Pearson, ISBN 9781292099040

Any additional readings will be provided via Moodle.

Past versions of this module

MSIN0004 18/19

MSIN6004 17/18

MSIN6004 16/17

Last updated Friday, 27 September 2019