Course Outline

ACC320 Contemporary Accounting Issues

Course Coordinator:Leanda Garvie ( School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


In Contemporary Accounting Issues you gain a deeper understanding of accounting in today's complex business world. This will include community consciousness as you recognise the important role accounting plays in the relationship between business, the environment and society. You will be empowered to become a future business leader as you extend your knowledge of contemporary accounting issues, such as regulation and standard setting, sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals, and the efficient operation of capital markets. You will also extend your communication skills to present a clear, coherent and independent exposition as you apply established theories to those issues.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Recorded online delivery of learning material. 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Live and scheduled face to face workshops. 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Learning materials – Recorded online delivery of learning material 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Live, online Workshops (Recorded). 2hrs Week 1 10 times

Course Topics

  • Accounting theory construction
  • Standard setting and theories of regulation
  • Sustainability and corporate social responsibility
  • Accounting measurement systems
  • Contemporary accounting issue
  • Theories in accounting
  • Earnings management
  • Products of the accounting system
  • Capital market research
  • Behavioural accounting research

What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
1 Apply theoretical frameworks to a contemporary accounting issue. Empowered
PC3, PC3.1
2 Demonstrate advanced written communication skills in a business context. Empowered
PC1, PC1.1
3 Explain and interpret contemporary commerce-related knowledge and theory. Knowledgeable
PC3, PC3.1
4 Describe economic, social and environmental sustainability issues concerning commerce-related practices, and make connections to the SDG's. Sustainability-focussed
PC4, PC4.1

* Competencies by Professional Body

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
PC1 Communication
PC1.1 Written Communication
PC3 Creative and Critical Thinking
PC3.1 Problem Solving
PC4 Community Consciousness
PC4.1 Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.




Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

You will have a general knowledge of accounting principles and practice.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Formative feedback will be provided through weekly workshop discussion from Week 1. Online feedback to student responses will be provided on the Canvas Discussion page.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Examination - not Centrally Scheduled Individual 20%
1 hour plus half hour to manage online/technology functions
Week 5 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Literature Review (or component) Individual 30%
1,500 words
Week 9 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 50%
2 hours
Exam Period Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Mid-semester examination
Demonstrate your understanding of the role of accounting theory and apply it to specific contemporary accounting issues. This task will  assess the role of accounting in achieving a more sustainable future, particularly environmental and climate change accounting (Sustainable Development Goal 12: Climate action).
Product: Examination - not Centrally Scheduled
This is an individual assessment, comprising short, written response questions. It will be conducted online.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
The accuracy of your interpretation and application of accounting theory.
1 3 4
All - Assessment Task 2:Research Proposal
Demonstrate your ability to apply theoretical frameworks to a contemporary accounting issue.
Product: Literature Review (or component)
This is an individual assessment. You will apply a theoretical framework to a contemporary business context. Further details are provided on Canvas.This task is being used for measuring assurance of learning towards Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation. The following Program Competency will be assessed:PC1.1 - Demonstrate effective written communication skills in a business context.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Identification of a clear accounting issue and hypothesis
1 3
Organisation and structure of written content
Capacity to develop and articulate informed arguments
1 2 3
Referencing of sources of information used within the body of the document and in a reference list, using Harvard referencing style
Accuracy and presentation of written work including English expression, discipline-based vocabulary, grammar, spelling and punctuation
All - Assessment Task 3:Final examination
To demonstrate your understanding of the role of accounting theory, generally, and to apply specific theory to accounting issues
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
This is an individual assessment - comprising short and long-answer questions. This assessment task is an online, open-book and invigilated exam. You will need to take the exam on Canvas at a specific time and date scheduled by the University, while also attending a live Zoom session and sharing your screen for invigilation purposes
No. Learning Outcome assessed
The accuracy of your interpretation and application of accounting theory
1 2 3 4

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Rankin et al 2023 Contemporary Issues in Accounting 3rd edn Wiley

Specific requirements

Access to a computer with an internet connection, either on-campus or at home.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

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