Due Date: 14-Apr-2019
Return Date: 09-May-2019
Submission method options: Alternative submission method
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The regulatory environment and financial reporting
You are employed in a large accounting firm which specialises in preparing general purpose financial reports for large companies that are listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). As the training manager, one of your key tasks is to prepare a newsletter for staff involved in the preparation of the above financial reports. The purpose of the newsletter is to alert staff to changes and developments that may impact their work, and provide enough information about these changes/developments to satisfy the following:
for staff to understand the nature of the change/development and its potential impact (so staff can decide whether they need to investigate further given the nature of their own work);
provide directions to staff of where they can access further information on the change/development if they wish to (including website links where appropriate).
Prepare a 2 page newsletter that identifies and summarises changes and developments in the financial reporting environment for the period from 1 December 2018 to 31 March 2019, inclusive.
Detailed guidelines for completing this task:
1. Identification of changes and developments
This will involve extensive research on a number of sources over the required period. You will need to identify and consider a range of developments/changes such as:
technical issues: for example the issue of new accounting standards, amendments to accounting standards, updates on AASB or IASB projects in progress, amendments to ASX listing rules.
regulation and monitoring of financial reporting: for example ASIC reviews on financial reporting.
political influences or other potential developments. ‘Political’ does not only mean action from politicians – it would also include lobbying/actions by other groups to promote their own interests – for example there may be articles about companies, or particular interest groups such as Group of 100, saying that if certain accounting standards are introduced this will disadvantage or have a negative impact.
You will need to consider both local (Australian) and international sources and developments.
The restriction of a 2 page newsletter means that you need to use your own judgment as to whether to include information about specific changes and developments, and how much information to include. It is not intended that you provide complete details of changes/developments (although you may consider in particular cases that more detail is needed).
Given the target audience, it is assumed that they have a working knowledge of common terms and abbreviations (such as AASB, IASB), so abbreviations may be used.
What not to consider?
You need to take care that the developments and the changes considered and included in the newsletter are relevant to the objective, in particular that they relate directly to the preparation of general purpose financial reports for large companies listed on the ASX. The newsletter should not consider areas only indirectly related to the preparation of financial reports such as (this is not an exhaustive list):
other disclosures by listed companies such as: industry disclosures required by peak organisations, and voluntary disclosures in the area of corporate social responsibility or integrated accounting.
2. Potential sources
Given the scope of the potential influences on financial reporting, you will need to research a range of sources. Below is a list of sources that may be of interest. Note that this list is not exhaustive, students should search for sources outside of these. Students should not rely on any one type of source, but a range of sources from each category, i.e. do not just look at websites, also check journals, newspapers etc. Examples of possible information sources include:
(a) Websites such as those of:
Australian Accounting Standards Board
Financial Reporting Council
Australian Securities and Investment Commission
Australian Securities Exchange
International Federation of Accountants
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
International Accounting Standards Board
Websites of large accounting firms
(b) Professional publications:
In the Black (CPA)
3. Format and presentation
The following are to be observed for your newsletter preparation.
The top of the newsletter must include the title (you need to decide what to call your newsletter) and details of the period the newsletter is considering.
The newsletter should not read as one continuous ‘essay’. It must include hea…