This assessment is an individual piece of work. Students are required to prepare a research proposal on an accounting and finance related topic. Please see below for details.
Details of the task
While FASB and IASB choose not to address non-recurring items under their conversion project, they had significantly different views on the importance of a standard in this area. Thus, in their Discussion Paper “Preliminary Views on Financial Statement Presentation” (2008), while IASB did not support including this information in the reconciliation schedule because there is no notion of unusual or infrequent events or transactions in IFRSs, the FASB view was that each entity should disclose information about unusual or infrequent events or transactions to improve users’ understanding about components within a line item that are less persistent and more subjective than the rest of the components in that line item.
We need to learn which view is correct. In this assignment, students are invited to propose a research in the field of accounting and finance that investigates the disclosure of non-recurring items.
The proposed research could be on any topic, of any nature and could employ any methodologies. The criteria are:
1. The proposed research needs to address the impact of the flexibility n reporting non-recurring items under IAS 1 upon firms’ and investors’ behaviour. The followings are some examples (it is by no means an exhaustive list):
a. Whether UK investors trade on earnings before non-recurring items.
b. Whether Credit rating agencies respond to earnings before non-recurring items.
c. Why companies voluntary disclose earnings before non-recurring items.
d. Whether companies use non-recurring items to mislead investors (through the classification shifting).
e. Whether board of directors and audit committee mitigate classification shifting.
f. Whether external auditor quality impact the level of classification shifting.
2. The proposed research needs to have the potentials to contribute meaningfully to our general knowledge and/or policy-making.
Students are encouraged to consult with the module leader about the appropriateness of the chosen topic at the early stage of the process (although it is not compulsory).
In the proposal, the following elements need to be covered:
1. Executive summary
2. Problem statement
3. Research objectives
4. 2-4 research questions and/or research hypotheses
5. A review of the relevant literature
6. The importance of the proposed research
7. The proposed research design, method of data collection and analysis
Special note: You need to pay special attention to making proper referencing. The use of others’ ideas, such as an expert’s opinion published on a news article or website, needs to be appropriately cited. The sources to all data used in the report must be clearly identified. Failure to do so may be regarded as plagiarism and would imply severe consequences. Please refer to the Referencing section below for more information and advice. The use of appendices is discouraged; instead please make use of in-text tables, figures, charts… and make reference to them where and when appropriate.
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