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Critically evaluate whether it is possible for financial information to ever be neutral

Length: 2,500 words (guide) Submission method options Alternative submission method Task Question 1 - 4 marks (750 words) Conceptual frameworks have identified a number of qualitative criteria that financial information should possess if it is to be useful to decision making. The AASB framework Chapter 3 QC12-16 for example makes reference to ‘faithful representation’, with neutrality being one of the key components of ‘faithful representation’. Critically evaluate whether it is possible for financial information to ever be neutral and/or representationally faithful. In your discussion you should consider why standard setters might want to make reference to representational faithfulness within conceptual frameworks. Question 2 - 4 marks (750 words) Identify the weaknesses of historical cost accounting. In light of these weaknesses, why do you think historical cost accounting remains the most popular method of accounting measurement? In your answer you will need to discuss the merits or otherwise of the main alternatives to historical cost accounting. Question 3 - 4 marks (750 words) The Conceptual Framework Chapter 1 OB2 states that "the objective of general purpose financial reporting is to provide financial information about the reporting entity that is useful to existing and potential investors, lenders and other creditors in making decisions about providing resources to the entity" Does the identification of these particular users have implications for the measurement basis chosen by the IASB? In your response you will need to consider whether fair values or historical costs will be more relevant to the users identified within the conceptual framework. Academic Writing and Referencing - 3 marks Content assessed: Conceptual framework, measurement and normative theories. Key generic skills: Research, critical thinking and written communication. Rationale This assignment has been designed to assess your ability to: communicate your understanding of the relevant topics; be able to critically evaluate attempts to develop and apply a conceptual framework (SLO1); be able to critically appraise the objectives of accounting and relate them to the various concepts of accounting discussed in earlier subjects (SLO2); and be able to analyse the possible usefulness of alternative measurement systems to historical cost (SLO3). Marking criteria Question 1: High Distinction Distinction Credit Pass Critical evaluation of qualitative characteristics of accounting including considerations of potential motivations of standard setters in using the term 'representational faithfulness'. (SLO1) Response provides a deep and thoughtful critical evaluation of conceptual frameworks including a well considered appraisal of the motivations of standard setters. Response provides a thorough critical evaluation of conceptual frameworks while also drawing on the motivations of standard setters as part of the analysis. Response provides a clear evaluation of conceptual frameworks which also takes into consideration the motivations of standard setters. Response attempts to critically evaluate conceptual framework but some essential perspectives may be absent. The consideration of motivations of standard setters may be relatively simplistic or one dimensional. 2 Critical Capacity and use of Source Material: Does the response demonstrate any analysis of conceptual frameworks and the motivations of standard setters? Is the critical discussion supported by reference to appropriate sources? Critical analysis draws on source material as well as the students own thoughts. A well communicated and supported conclusion is reached. Critical analysis draws on source material as well as the students own thoughts. The conclusion demonstrates a high level of understanding. Clear analysis and evaluation that draws on a variety of source material. The conclusion demonstrates a solid understanding of the topic. Some evidence of basic critical thought that is based primarily on only one source. A simplistic but clear conclusion is reached. 2 Question 2: High Distinction Distinction Credit Pass Identification of weaknesses of historical cost. Description and evaluation of alternatives to historical cost. (SLO 3) Exemplary identification of all of the weaknesses of HCA. Evaluation of the alternatives and underlying assumptions thoroughly articulated. A high level of understanding demonstrated. Thorough identification of all of the weaknesses of HCA. Discussion of alternatives includes use of examples to provide a thorough critical evaluation which includes an appraisal of underlying assumptions. Clear description/identification of most of the weaknesses of HCA. Discussion of alternatives includes use of examples to provide a clear critical evaluation which includes some consideration of underlying assumptions. Attempt made at description/identification of weaknesses of HCA. Articulation of the alternatives theories may lack some clarity. Underlying assumptions identified but not evaluated. 2 Critical Capacity and use of Source Material: Does the response demonstrate any critical analysis of historical cost and its alternatives? Is the critical discussion supported by reference to appropriate sources? Response provides a clear, deep and critical analysis of HCA and the usefulness/possible implementation of the alternative theories. Well communicated and supported, relying on a wide variety of source material. Response provides a clear, deep and critical analysis of HCA and the usefulness of the alternative theories that draws on a wide variety of source material as well as the students own thoughts. Response provides a clear critical analysis of HCA and the usefulness of the alternative theories that draws on source material as well as the students own thoughts. Some evidence of basic critical thought in relation to HCA and the various alternatives that is based primarily on only one source. 2 Question 3: High Distinction Distinction Credit Pass Implications of IASB’s identification of certain users within conceptual frameworks on measurement bases considered and evaluated. (SLO2). The implications of the IASB’s identification of certain users on measurement bases deeply and thoroughly considered. The student's perspective is clearly articulated and supported providing an insightful perspective on the issues surrounding financial reporting. The implications of the IASB’s identification of certain users on measurement bases thoughtfully considered. The student's perspective is well articulated and supported providing an interesting perspective on the issues surrounding financial reporting. The implications of the IASB’s identification of certain users on measurement bases considered clearly. The student's perspective is reasonably well articulated and supported providing a clear perspective on the issues surrounding financial reporting. . The implications of the IASB’s identification of certain users on measurement bases considered but perhaps overlooks some key issues. The student's perspective is articulated but lacks clarity and support in places which prevents the response from providing a complete perspective on the issues surrounding financial reporting. 2 Does the response demonstrate any critical evaluation of the issues surrounding users as identified within conceptual framework projects? Are the arguments supported through the use of external sources? Response provides a clear, deep and critical analysis that draws on source material as well as the student's own thoughts. Well communicated and supported. Response provides a clear, deep and critical analysis that draws on source material as well as the student's own thoughts. Response provides a clear analysis and evaluation of the various perspectives that draws on a variety of source material. Some evidence of basic critical thought in relation to the various perspectives that is based primarily on only one source. 2 Academic Writing: Is the answer well written, easy to follow and understand? Accurate use of syntax, spelling and punctuation. A sophisticated vocabulary is appropriately used. Answer is logically structured with arguments coherently developed and supported. Accurate use of syntax, spelling and punctuation; succinct and effective use of vocabulary. Clear expression and structure. Accurate use of syntax, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation. Writing is easy to follow and understand. Mostly accurate syntax, spelling and punctuation, language is simplistic but appropriate. 2 Adherence to referencing guidelines Reference list included with correct adherence to referencing guidelines. Correct in-text referencing is provided. Reference list and in-text referencing performed in accordance with APA guidelines. Reference list and in-text referencing performed largely in accordance with the APA guidelines. Reference list provided, formatted in APA style with minor errors. Some in-text referencing provided with minor errors 1 15 Presentation The following points are a general guide for presenting assessment items. Assessment items should be typed. Use 1.5 spacing. Use a wide left margin. Markers need space to be able to include their comments. Use a standard 12pt font such as Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial. Left- justify body text. Include a separate title page with your name, student number, subject code, assessment number and assessment question. Include class time and tutor’s name if applicable. Number your pages (except the cover page). Use a header or footer with your name and student number on each page. Always keep a copy of your assessments. Both a hard copy and an electronic copy. Most importantly, always use your spelling and grammar checker, but remember that this does not pick up all errors. You must still manually and carefully edit your work. Requirements For this assessment you are required to use APA 6 referencing to acknowledge the sources that you have used in preparing your assessment. Please refer to the CSU referencing guide http://student.csu.edu.au/study/referencing-at-csu. In addition a very useful tool for you to use that demonstrates how to correctly use in text referencing and the correct way to cite the reference in your reference list can be found at https://apps.csu.edu.au/reftool/apa-6 Assignments must be submitted through Turnitin. Further details about submission are provided in Appendix 1.

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