INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING AND REPORTING (AFE6012-B)
Assessed Group Coursework 2019-20
Assessed Group Coursework Brief – The Group Project Report
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Between a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 students per group
Weighted 30% of the total assessment
Title: Segment disclosures are widely regarded as some of the most useful disclosures in financial reports because of the extent to which they disaggregate financial information into meaningful and often revealing groups. Discuss
The project report (maximum 2,000 words, excluding the one to two-page summary requested) should address the following:
- Discuss the objectives of segmental information and the requirements for the disclosure of segmental information in annual reports. (20%)
- Obtain the most recent annual reports for four FTSE 100 companies of your choice (note: you need to make sure the companies chosen have more than one operational segment and thus have meaningful segment notes for analysis). Examine the segmental disclosures provided in the segment notes of the annual reports by the selected four companies and comment on the following:
- Based on extracts from the segment notes,
- how much and what segmental information is provided in the segment notes?
- discuss whether the companies are in compliance with the relevant accounting standard, and
- discuss the similarities and differences between their disclosure practices.
- What factors could potentially help to explain the differences/similarities in the segmental disclosure practices of the selected companies?
- What the segmental disclosures indicate about the relative performance of the segments within each of those companies?
- Comment on whether the information is useful and sufficient to allow shareholders to make informed investment decisions.
- Discuss the implications of your analysis and findings, such as policy implications.(80%)
Creativity in content and presentation will be rewarded.
- a one to two-page summary including details of attendance at meetings, and the contribution of each member of the group, and the reflective learning that has taken place. The summary should be included at the end of the report after the appendix section and does NOT count towards the final word count of the group report.
- A cover page clearly listing the group number (each group will be allocated a group number by our module administrator), names of group members and their UB numbers.
The report should include:
- An executive summary (preferably at the beginning of the report!);
- Given the word count limit, for this module only, the executive summary does NOT count towards the final word count of the group report. But the executive summary should NOT exceed 1.5 pages.
- Graphical illustration, where appropriate (graphs and tables count a nominal one word for word-count purposes);
- A bibliography of sources of information and theoretical material used. It is essential to give acknowledgement of any external sources, making it clear whether the reference is being directly quoted or indirectly consulted. Not to do this may constitute plagiarism, which is considered a serious offence against academic integrity – and against which the official sanctions are severe! Further information on referencing and plagiarism can be found in Section 7 of the module handbook on page 14.
A few points that need to be taken into consideration:
- Whist key figures, summary/comparison tables and extracts of segmental and/or financial information can be included in the main body of the report to assist the illustration and discussion, other supporting materials such as tables of financial figures, operating segment related calculations, segment notes of the chosen companies, etc. can be relegated to appendices. The appendices should be appropriately referred to in the body of the report.
Please note: materials included in the appendices but were not mentioned/referred to in the main body of the report could be considered as irrelevant information.
- Penalties WILL be imposed on groups who exceed the allowed word-count.
- Please note that you are NOT being asked to produce a marketing or strategic analysis of the chosen companies – and you will not receive credit for doing so! Neither will credit be given for extensive sections of background material.
- The PRINCIPAL FOCUS of the report should be on the examination of segment reporting practices of the 4 chosen companies and evaluation of their effectiveness. Your work should focus on at least the mandatorily required segment reports and can also expand to other sections of the corporate annual report (e.g. parts of the operating and financial review that are segment based).
- Creativity in content and presentation will be rewarded.
- The report also needs to include a one to two page summary including details of attendance at meetings, and the contribution of each member of the group, and the reflective learning that has taken place. The summary should be included at the end of the report after the appendixes, and does not count towards the final word count.
Establishment of Assignment Groups
- This group assignment is to be completed by groups of a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 6
- The establishment of the groups should occur online on Canvas in the first TWO weeks of teaching and these should be self-selected. By 3pm on Friday 4 October 2019.
Assessment Criteria & Marking Guideline for Written Report
For the group assignment, all reports must be completed and submitted electronically via Canvas.
Any work received after the deadline given will be awarded a mark of zero (0%). Any student with extenuating circumstances such as illness which may prevent them from meeting the given date must notify the module co-ordinator formally in writing as well as notifying the undergraduate programme office prior to the submission deadline. Each member of the group will receive the group mark unless there is clear evidence that a member has not delivered the agreed work. Where this is the case, the module co-ordinator should be informed well before the submission of the report and the case shall be investigated.
Performance in the summative group report is judged against the following criteria:
- Identification and coverage of key issues
- Knowledge of relevant concepts and issues
- Depth of understanding and extent of critical evaluation (including evidence of wider reading)
- Evidence of appropriate analysis
- Ability to synthesize relevant material from a range of sources
- Subject relevance
- Structure and clarity of presentation
- Written communication – spelling and grammar
The above assessment criteria for the written report are in line with the criteria listed in the School of Management feedback criteria for assessed coursework for undergraduate programmes.
Students can expect to be able to receive feedback on their assessed group assignment approximately 4 working weeks after the work is submitted. You will be advised via Canvas announcements and emails (to your University of Bradford email account) when the feedback are released.
A Discussion Board dedicated to issues related to the assignment has been set up on the module Canvas site, and students are encouraged to place their queries and observations on the board where they can be addressed both by fellow-students as well as the course teaching team. If you have a question related to the assignment, it is worth checking, before sending it to the lecturer, to see if your query has already been raised by other course members and an answer posted. Although teaching staff will monitor the discussion boards on a regular basis, it is sensible to advise teaching staff when you post a query to ensure as speedy a response as possible.
Students’ attention is drawn to the consequences of breaching the University’s policies and regulations concerning assessment, including issues relating to plagiarism (plagiarism related issues are also discussed in Section 7 of the module handbook on page14). These may be found on the University website at:
The requirement stated below for work supported by evidence from, and analysis of, appropriate theory and literature requires that your essay be referenced throughout and that it concludes with a reference section indicating the sources you have used. Failure to include references will result in a fail mark.
You must use the Harvard Referencing System. This requires a citation (partial reference) within the text and a list of full references at the end of the assignment.
Harvard is an Author Date system. So, the citation shows the name of the author(s) followed by the year of publication, for example:
Blundel and Ippolito (2008) suggest that cultural diversity is a valuable feature of society.
Cultural diversity can create barriers to effective communication (Blundel and Ippolito 2008).
Direct quotations should be kept to a minimum (see guidance on plagiarism below), but if used, these should be contained within quotation marks, and the page reference of the quote should also be given, along with the author name and date:
“A failure to deal appropriately with cultural differences can also lead to disastrous outcomes for individuals and organizations” (Blundel and Ippolito 2008, p.41).
It is crucial that you produce your full reference list according to the guidance provided in the Effective Learning Service References and Bibliographies Booklet. This shows examples of all the typical sources of your reading that you will want to list, e.g. books, journals, websites etc.
You may be tempted to hand in essays, projects or other pieces of assessed coursework containing work that you know are not completely your own, hoping that the lecturer will not notice. This may be for several reasons such as shortage of time, hoping for a better grade than would be achievable under a particular set of circumstances or perhaps even lack of knowledge regarding how to correctly reference the sources of data/ information used. This is plagiarism. Plagiarism is the presentation of a piece of work as if it were your own, when it is either exactly or substantially the work of another. For example, unacknowledged quotation from books and articles, or the use of substantial portions of these will be classed as plagiarism.
It is inevitable that students will make use of published sources of information in preparing the report and will wish to quote from, or utilize ideas from, these sources. In all cases, it is vital that you correctly reference your sources, in order that you are not guilty of plagiarism (see the referencing section on page 16). As stated previously, information on how to reference appropriately can be found via the Effective Learning Services provided at the School of Management and the References and Bibliographies booklet is available at http://www.bradford.ac.uk/management/media/management/els/restricted/references-and-bibliographies.pdf.
For further information, please contact Martin Sedgley (M.T.Sedgley@bradford.ac.uk).
It is ESSENTIAL that you understand the dangers of plagiarism, as you would be contravening the University regulations and could be subject to disciplinary action, or to failure of the assessment. For further details on plagiarism policy, please refer to: http://www.bradford.ac.uk/legal-and-governance/breaches-appeals-complaints/breaches/information-for-students/.
The Library has information about plagiarism, and how to avoid it: http://www.bradford.ac.uk/library/help/plagiarism/.
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