Courses & Units

Contemporary Accounting Perspectives and Research BFA715


Accounting Perspectives and Research exposes you to research within the field of Accounting and to the underlying theories and other influences that have played an important role in shaping accounting practice. Further, the unit considers emerging issues currently being addressed by researchers. In this way, the unit will give you an understanding of the historical and contemporary issues that have influenced the development of accounting practice, accounting regulation and accounting thought.
Over time, accounting theory has focused on three main approaches or viewpoints. These are the descriptive (positive), normative and critical viewpoints. Using these theoretical points of view, this unit will help you examine current issues such as social and environmental accountability, the ethical and global dimensions of accounting, Conceptual Framework projects and the political context within which accounting policy decisions are made.
In this unit you will also be exposed to the research process, and learn skills relevant to engaging a research project.
We present a theoretical framework for examining accounting issues and practices and a chance for you to develop high-level critical and analytical skills. This will help you present arguments and opinions on a broad range of accounting issues, with some authority.
Knowing about historical and contemporary issues will also give you a foundation for understanding the rationale (main reasons) for current accounting policies and practices, and the directions in which accounting policies are likely to develop. Finally the intent is to introduce you to the world of accounting research to better prepare you for the changes that the profession will inevitably need to be a part of.


Unit name Contemporary Accounting Perspectives and Research
Unit code BFA715
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Business & Economics
Tasmanian School of Business and Economics
Discipline Accounting
Coordinator Associate Professor Trevor Wilmshurst
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Postgraduate


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Hobart Semester 2 On-Campus International Domestic
Launceston Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Online Semester 1 Off-Campus International Domestic
Online Semester 2 Off-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023
Semester 2 10/7/2023 8/8/2023 28/8/2023 15/10/2023

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate the application of research methods in accounting practice.
  • Elaborate on the application of contemporary accounting theory to accounting researchers and practitioners.
  • Hypothesise sustainable accounting solution(s) to an accounting research problem in a large-scale organisation.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
080101 $1,892.00 $1,482.00 not applicable $2,837.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.


Teaching Pattern

4 x 3-hour workshops (in addition a 1-hour orientation workshop will held in week 1)

Weekly pre-recorded lectures on MyLO

AssessmentResearch Pitch (25%)|Online invigilated test (30%)|Research Proposal (45%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



You will need the following text [available from the Co-op Bookshop]:

Deegan, C 2014,  Financial Accounting Theory, 4th Edition.  McGraw-Hill Education. (Available from the Co-op Bookshop.)

Smith, M., 2017, Research Methods in Accounting, 4th Edition.  SAGE Publishing.

Additional readings will be provided to you via MyLO.

Please note that reading lecture slides is not a substitute for detailed reading of the text book and other materials.  Lecture slides are primarily presentation aids; however they may also be very useful as a framework for structuring the notes you take during class and your independent study.


If you wish to supplement your reading, and/or obtain texts for Assessment task preparation, you may find the following suggestions useful:

Brooks, L J & Dunn P  2014,  Business & Professional Ethics for Directors, Executives & Accountants 3rd Edn, Thomson Learning, Ohio, USA.

Gaffiken, M & Aitken, M  2013, The Development of Accounting Theory (RLE Accounting):  Significant Contributors to Accounting Thought in the 20th Century,  Routledge

Neville, C 2007, The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism, McGraw Hill Open University Press, Maidenhead, Berkshire 

Rankin, M,  Stanton, P,  McGowan, S,  Ferlauto, K & Tilling, M  2012,   Contemporary Issues in Accounting,  John Wiley & Sons.

Schroeder, R G Clarke, M W, and Cathey, J M 2013,  Financial Accounting Theory and Analysis:  Text and Cases  11th ed,  John Wiley & Sons.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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