Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module BUSI56515: Financial Systems, Reports and Statements

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI56515: Financial Systems, Reports and Statements

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap
Tied to N1KF12
Tied to N1KD12
Tied to N1KF14
Tied to N1KD14


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop the specialist knowledge and skills needed to prepare and interpret financial statements and management reports.


  • Strategy, planning and finance;
  • Differentiating financial and management accounts: review of traditional financial statements and management reports;
  • Accounting systems; account codes; book-keeping;
  • The Statutory and Management Profit and Loss Accounts;
  • Analysing Sales;
  • Gross Profit and Gross Margins;
  • Depreciation;
  • Fixed Assets;
  • Working Capital;
  • Debt and Equity Funding;
  • Linking double-entry bookkeeping, the profit and loss account and the balance sheet;
  • The Cash Flow Statements and Forecasts;
  • Cash Flow Problems;
  • The Working Capital cycle;
  • The Difference Between Cash and Profit

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should:
  • Have a critical appreciation of the importance of financial information to a business.
  • Be able to identify the 3 main areas of the balance sheet - fixed assets, working capital and funding.
  • Have a critical awareness of the key features within an accounting system and the distinction between financial and management accounting.
  • Have a critical perspective on the importance of the chart of accounts, the accurate recording of information within this and the careful design of management reports to reflect the needs of the business.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should:
  • Have developed communication skills in accounting jargon and calculations associated with financial statements.
  • Be able to analyse the key components of working capital and their role in cash flow management.
  • Recognise the value of a cash flow forecast and the identification of discretionary and non-discretionary spending and the impacts of irregular inflows and outflows of cash.
  • Be able to construct a balance sheet and cash flow forecast.
Key Skills:
    Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures and seminars, supported by guided reading, will be used to introduce and explore the key concepts and theories.
  • Case studies and groups exercises will help them develop their own synthesised models. the assignments and mentor support will then help them adapt and apply these to the specific needs of their own organisation.
  • Financial exercises used both during the seminars and given out for student practice post seminar help practice and develop the technical skills inherent in Enterprise Management Accounting and control Systems.
  • Progressive completion of the Learning Log allows progress towards achieving learning objectives to be monitored throughout. The Learning Log provides a framework for reflection and further discussion with mentors (dedicated Associates of the Foundation for SME Development) and module tutors that is then incorporated within the final Presentation.
  • The summative assignment will require the student to analyse their existing financial systems. They will look at this from and "Input-Transformation-Output" perspective and they will chart the financial information flows and identify any issues with regard to timeliness and accuracy of that information. they will also identify the users and potential users of the information both inside and outside the organisation in the business and appreciate the difficulties they have in satisfying their divergent needs. this assignment allows students to consider the practical application of the subject covered.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 2 In a 2 consecutive one day sessions 18
Tutorials 1 Once 5 hours 5
Mentor vists 1 Once 5 hours 5
Visit by students to the place fo work of another student 1 Once 5 hours 5
Preparation & Reading 117
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2,500 words (Max.). 100%

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University