APPENDIX 2: COMPETENCE AREAS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES IN DETAIL

Competence area 1: Accounting systems and processes

This area covers the form and function of financial statements and how financial transactions are recorded.

Learning outcomes

At a minimum, graduates are expected to be able to:

  • explain different business structures
  • explain the purpose of financial statements
  • record transactions to illustrate the activities of different types of businesses
  • explain and apply the accounting treatment for basic business transactions for different types of businesses (including double-entry bookkeeping)
  • use accounting software to record business transactions
  • prepare and interpret financial reports

Competence area 2: Financial accounting and reporting

This area covers the theoretical principles underlying accounting practice and their application to the preparation and analysis of financial statements.

Learning outcomes

At a minimum, graduates are expected to be able to:
  • explain the regulatory environment for financial reporting 
  • explain the role and purpose of accounting standards
  • prepare general purpose financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or other relevant, national standards
  • discuss the theoretical principles underlying accounting practice
  • discuss current national and international developments in financial reporting

Competence area 3: Audit and assurance

This topic covers the nature and purpose of audit and assurance and the regulatory and professional environment in which it operates. The area includes an understanding of the role of auditing standards, and their application to the audit process.

Learning outcomes

At a minimum, graduates are expected to be able to:
  • identify and explain the nature and purpose of auditing
  • explain the regulatory and professional requirements of auditors
  • discuss the audit and assurance process and the role of auditing standards

Competence are 4: Business law

This area covers general legal knowledge relating to the business environment, and an understanding of the responsibilities and risks.

Learning outcomes

At a minimum, graduates are expected to be able to:
  • explain the national legal system and identify the sources of law
  • discuss the commercial legal responsibilities and risks of doing business 
  • explain the legal regulation of companies including the significance of the concept of separate legal entity
  • explain the key features and purpose of contract law

Competence area 5: Economics

This area covers the fundamental concepts of microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Learning outcomes

At a minimum, graduates are expected to be able to:
  • identify and explain economic systems and the concept of resource allocation
  • identify and explain the role of individuals and businesses in markets
  • discuss the implementation and impact of economic policy
  • recognise regulatory and political environments and how they impact on business

Competence area 6: Finance and financial management

This topic covers fundamental concepts and application of business finance and treasury.

Learning outcomes

At a minimum, graduates are expected to be able to:

  • apply the mathematics of finance
  • describe the role of the finance and treasury function in an organisation
  • discuss how organisations are financed
  • explain the theory of capital markets
  • discuss how organisations make investment and distribution decisions
  • identify and explain basic financial risks and risk management concepts

Competence area 7: Management accounting

This area covers an understanding of budgeting, product and service costing, control and performance evaluation, and strategic management accounting.

Learning outcomes

At a minimum, graduates are expected to be able to:
  • explain the role and purpose of management accounting
  • demonstrate an understanding of the budgeting process and its role in the management of organisations
  • prepare budgets and forecasts for management purposes
  • use costing information for business planning and control
  • apply the principles and procedures involved in managing working capital
  • evaluate the performance of an organisation
  • prepare reports to support management decision making 
  • describe types of organisational structures including concepts for authority delegation and control

Competence area 8: Quantitative methods

This area covers the basic data collection, analysis and interpretation of business data.

Learning outcomes

At a minimum, graduates are expected to be able to:
  • explain the role of statistical analysis for decision making
  • identify and apply commonly used techniques for data collection and analysis
  • review statistical data including hypothesis testing
  • interpret the results of data analysis

Competence area 9: Taxation

This area covers the fundamentals of the taxation system and its administration.

Learning outcomes

At a minimum, graduates are expected to be able to:
  • identify the sources of taxation law and the framework in which taxation is administered 
  • identify various types of taxation including income tax, consumption taxes, and taxes on capital
  • identify and apply the fundamentals of calculating the taxable income and tax payable for individuals and entities

Information technology across the curriculum

This topic covers the design of computer-based accounting information systems and their application to solve business problems. Accounting information systems and information technology are important elements in the development of new accounting and business professionals. It is expected that higher education providers will incorporate the use of systems and technology in accredited programs, with an emphasis on:

  • systems documentation techniques
  • business processes and systems documentation
  • systems design, implementation, and operation
  • information systems controls for system development
  • enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems 
  • database management systems, database design, relational databases
  • auditing computer-based systems and the use of auditing support systems
  • computer fraud 
  • using big data in organisations and auditing.
This competency area could be integrated across the curriculum or offered as a separate subject.

Ethics and professional values across the curriculum

An understanding of ethical and professional values and attitudes are important elements in the development of accounting professionals. It is expected that higher education providers will pay attention in their programs to the fundamental ethical values of integrity, objectivity, and confidentiality, as well as professional competence and due care.

Whilst a separate unit of study addressing these issues would clearly be helpful, this is not considered to be essential. However, it is expected that reference to ethical values and principles and their applicability to the accounting profession will be included throughout the curriculum. This is also expected in those cases where there is a separate unit dealing primarily with ethical topics. Independence of thought, and appropriate degree of professional scepticism, and recognition of a responsibility to act in the public interest are also important aspects of an ethical approach

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