International finance and accounting BA3240

Half course

This course half-unit seeks to develop awareness of various aspects of the international financial accounting environment.


Management Accounting (BA2120)

Topics covered

  • International accounting differences
  • The possible causes of international differences in financial reporting
  • International standards and EU laws.
  • The different ways in which countries can adopt IFRS for various purposes, and the different ways in which IFRS financial statements can be prepared by companies. 
  • IFRS
  • Financial reporting in the United States. 
  • Accounting in the world’s largest three economies after the US: China, Japan and Germany. 
  • How users of financial statements cope with international differences in accounting.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module students should be able to:

  • Outline the scale of international differences in financial reporting.
  • Give examples of the differences, and why they are important.
  • Summarise the likely causes of the differences.
  • Explain how countries can be put into groups by similarities of accounting practices.
  • Outline the main players in international harmonisation of accounting, and how successful they have been.
  • Give examples of some IFRS accounting standards and their main instructions.
  • Explain how IFRS options are chosen systematically differently in different countries.
  • Outline the high-level differences between US GAAP and IFRS, giving examples of some detailed differences.
  • Summarise how China, Germany and Japan have been affected by US and IFRS accounting.
  • Explain how international investors might try to cope with accounting differences.


This module is assessed by a two hour unseen written examination.

Essential reading

  • Comparative International Accounting (Nobes C. & Parker R.)