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ACC03032 Contemporary Issues In Accounting Theory

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ACC03032 Contemporary Issues In Accounting Theory

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Course Code: ACC03032
University: Southern Cross University

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Country: Australia


Ideally, throughout the session you will undertake some wider reading regarding ACC03032 (that is, read more widely than your text, study guide and set readings). This assignment offers some incentive to do so, at least for a couple of topics.
For EACH of your two chosen topics, choose an article you believe is relevant to that topic. Your article needs to have been published during 2016 – 2017 (that is anytime between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2017). “Relevant” is explained in #2 below.
Once you have chosen your article you need to identify it so it is NOT chosen by another student. You will do this by RESERVING or NOMINATING it as “yours” on the relevant Topic DF by adding the following details in the SUBJECT line of your DF post:

Author names;
Name of the source of your article;
Date & issue details (as applicable).

Here are two fictional (made-up) examples:
Your post needs to explain how your chosen & identified article is of relevance to your chosen topic that will have been covered in ACC03032 by that time and will also include a personal reflection.

Your explanation for relevance needs to provide examples from the article to illustrate theories and/or principles from your chosen Topic. It is important to provide evidence (facts) from the articles to support any opinion and arguments you express; perhaps facts illustrate certain terms you learn in a topic (even an earlier topic); maybe you recognise that the findings are only applicable in a certain context; or the interpretation of the facts illustrate a certain theoretical lens (or approach). This DOES NOT mean summarise the article, summarise the topic or define the theories.
Your personal reflection part for each contribution needs to explain what you found to be the aspect of your chosen topic that created the most reaction from you (biggest impact on your learning … something you realised or now feel you understand more clearly). For example, you may not have thought about the issue before; you may have observed behaviour related to the matter before and that was important to you; you may have related the issue to a current development in the world – current affairs, your employment or business, etc. This is subjective and personal reflection that will differ from student to student (maximum 200 words). This DOES NOT mean making recommendations about what you think the authors might have said/done.
Please include a link (URL) to the article or attach a PDF copy in your post & the full reference.

In assessing Assignment 1, the marker will take into account your performance in the following areas:

logical coherence of discussion (unintelligible discussion will receive no marks)
extent of insight provided (in the personal reflection and comments this will be personal insight; in comment regarding the article this will be insight into the way the article illustrates theories from the relevant topic … NOT summaries of the article or topic or definitions of the theories … you only have 500 words!)
structure/organisation of content (you only need two sections, or they can be integrated )
conciseness and clarity (500 words is not very much and is to foster this)
level of understanding of course concepts
extent of evidence presented in support of your opinion (using examples from the article to illustrate Topic theories … you do not need to refer to additional articles or references).

Choose an article published during 2016 – 2017 that has not already been reserved on the relevant Topic DF?
Accurately indicate author(s), source, issue/date in the Subject line of your post
Provide a full citation (reference) to the article at the end of your post?
Provide a working url at the end of your post (or attach a copy of the article – copyright permitted)?
Explain how the article illustrates (provides examples of) one or more theories from your chosen topic?
Reflect on how the article has helped your understanding of your chosen Topic?
Summarise the article?
Summarise the Topic?
Define the theories (from the Topic) without any examples from the article?


The Difference Between Positive and Normative Economics
In contemporary accounting practice, there has been a heated debate on whether to adopt positive or normative accounting practices during the preparation of financial statements. This debate has created differences in the way certain accounting transactions are treated. For instance, the normative theory is based on the principle that accountants or preparers of accounting records should be subjective and value-based. Proponents for Positive accounting theory, on the other hand, believe that accountants and preparers of financial statements should be objective and facts based (Neto et al., 2010). The distinction between positive and normative accounting is therefore far wide. Financial statements prepared under the normative approach have been accused of being opinion-based and therefore cannot be attested to. This has left the positive accounting approach being viewed as a better option as the statements prepared under such approach are perceived to be value-based, hold facts and can be tested to prove or disprove their accuracy.
The author of this article uses an example of the role of the government in providing healthcare services to describe the difference between the positive and the normative accounting approaches. The author acknowledges that whereas it is the role of the government to provide healthcare to all its citizens, there is no way to prove if indeed the government is providing healthcare since the statement ”should have been used (FONTINELLE, 2018). Based on this context, we can, therefore, say that the government’s role in safeguarding the citizen’s lives is based on opinions and not facts. Positive norms should be used to bring more facts such as ”the government pays a certain amount for healthcare” on behalf of the citizens.
In another context, a statement like ”the government provided healthcare to the citizens in the financial year 2017-2018 a situation which increased public expenditure”, is more positive as it can be proved or disapproved by looking at the figures of the funds that were spent on healthcare. The two situations drive us into an economic situation where there have been disagreements over the way public finance policies have been structured (Cummings and Chand, 2008). Some economists have accused the normative approach of being opinionated as opposed to base on facts. Proponents for positive approach have been championing for a situation where there are better decision-making policies being structured to see that decision are made based on figures and facts.
To sum up, I would like to concur with the prepositions made by the author regarding the differences between normative and positive accounting/ economics approaches. As discussed above, the normative accounting approach tends to make use of opinions, assumptions and general knowledge to arrive at conclusions as opposed to the positive approach which is based on facts and figures. In my opinion, therefore, I would propose the adoption of the positive accounting approach as opposed to the normative approach. If adopted, the positive accounting/economic approach can lead to better decision making as policies will be made based on facts rather than opinions.
Cummings, L. and Chand, P. (2008). Financial accounting theory and practice. North Ryde, N.S.W.: McGraw-Hill Australia.
FONTINELLE, A. (2018). What is the difference between positive and normative economics?. [online] Investopedia. Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/12/difference-between-positive-normative-economics.asp [Accessed 9 Dec. 2018].
Neto, O., Cardoso, R., Oyadomari, J. and Riccio, E. (2010). The use of positive and normative approaches in Brazil and US accounting research: a comparative analysis based on the papers published in The Accounting Review and the Revista de Contabilidade & Financas (Accounting & Finance Journal) – 1989 to 2008. International Journal of Economics and Accounting, 1(4), p.316.

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