ACC1701 / ACC1002 Accounting for Decision Makers

Module: ACC1701 / ACC1002 Accounting for Decision Makers

Semester taken: AY 2018/19 Semester 1

Lecturer: Ms Tan Wee Szu

Tutor: Ms Fan Manyi

Textbook: John J. Wild, Winston Kwok, Ken W. Shaw and Barbara Chiappetta, Financial Accounting: Information for Decisions (3rd Ed), 2017

What it is about

This module teaches the basic fundamental accounting principles and mainly covers the preparation of the 4 financial statements with some brief introduction to the various components that make up parts of the different financial statements. You will learn about the accounting equation (Assets = Liabilities + Equity) and the many components that make up this equation in this module.

Assessment components

  • 55% - Final Examination: 2-hour closed-book exam (3-4 open ended questions).

  • 25% - Mid-Term Test: 1-hour closed-book test (30 MCQs).

  • 20% - Class Participation


This module was the first module that exposed me to the business world, as it covered many aspects about how a company reports the resources that it has (assets, liabilities and shareholders’ equity). I felt that the pace of the lectures were rather comfortable, though it can get quite fast if you are unable to keep up to the sheer amount of content being thrown at you during the lectures.


The lecturer is very engaging as she used to work as an accountant in one of the Big 6 firms (yes, this was long ago) and often provides many real life examples and scenarios for you to better understand how the accounting concepts are being applied in the working world. The module is taught from the big picture first (the different financial statements) before diving into the various components that make up these financial statements. So, you should also be constantly referring back to the financial statements when doing your revision to get a better understanding of how things come to play in the bigger picture.

The lecture notes provided are very comprehensive (and contains some blanks in them for you to fill in during the lecture) and I strongly recommend printing them instead of reading off your laptop. The lectures are not webcasted, so it is advisable to attend all lectures or risk being unable to understand certain concepts that have been thoroughly explained during the lecture. Most lectures are about 1 hour 35 minutes long.


The tutorials are 1 hour long, once a week. During tutorial, the tutor will do a revision of the topic that was taught during the last lecture before asking a group (about 3 to 4 students per group) to come up to present their answers for the tutorial questions. The questions are from the textbook, but your tutor may provide a scanned copy of the questions for you in case you don’t have the textbook.

The tutor I got was a PhD student and was extremely helpful in answering any questions that you might have. However, the class I got was oversubscribed and lessons were held in a rather cramped setting. This perhaps put me at a disadvantage especially in class participation.

Mid-term test

The mid-term test is a 30 MCQs closed-book test and is a very good indicator of how much you know of accounting at that point in time. The questions are very doable and if you paid attention to lecture, you would be able to answer some of the questions that the lecturer would have briefly mentioned about during lecture time. No tricks involved in this test, just revise sufficiently before the test and have a good understanding of the concepts taught.

If you need particular topics to focus on, you should definitely focus on the more theory-heavy topics such as the Internal Control System. MCQ-based tests usually focus on testing your knowledge in the theory behind the accounting principles.


The final examination is an closed-book, open-ended test of about 3-4 questions (mine was 4 questions). The focus of this exam was less on the theory (covered in the mid-term test) and more on how to write the different financial statements. All 4 financial statements will be tested, so make sure you know exactly the format of writing those statements and how to derive the different components of the statement based on the information provided to you in the question.

My advice is to grind practices, especially in the cash flow statement. The cash flow statement is the hardest statement to understand and it is taught only in the second last lecture, which leaves very little time to fully understand it and is a very good way to differentiate between the A and B students. During the exam, it would be good to do the last question on cash flow statement first before attempting the rest of the questions, as it is the only question that you are able to check your answers on the spot and provides a much needed confidence boost for you to do the rest of the paper.

2 hours should be just enough time for you to finish the paper, but may not leave enough time for you to check your answers. So, manage your time properly during the paper.

Other information

Assignment workload: There is only 1 tutorial per week and no projects except for the group presentation of the tutorial answers when it is eventually your group’s turn to present. Try to obtain the answers to the questions beforehand so that you do not present wrong answers to the class.

Project workload: No projects.

Readings: Moderate. I felt that sometimes reading the textbook helped in understanding the concepts taught in the lecture better.

Recommended if: A compulsory module for both business and accounting students. Non-business students will take ACC1701X which covers the same content but is slightly easier in the final exams.

Rating: 4.0/5. Accounting is a very fun topic and the satisfaction you get when you balance your financial statements is simply, ohhh~. The module being a little more math-oriented really helped me as a Computing student.

Expected grade: A

Actual grade: A- (I thought I did really well for finals, but it is likely that my class participation tanked)

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