Accounting (ACCT) 453

Financial Accounting Theory (Revision 8)

ACCT 453 course cover

Revision 8 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online or grouped study.**

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies
(Business and Administrative Studies)

Prerequisites: ACCT 352 and FNCE 370.

Faculty: Faculty of Business

ACCT 453 is not available for challenge.

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**Note:Students registering in grouped study, or grouped study international mode are advised that there may be some differences in the evaluation and course materials information indicated below. To obtain the most up-to-date information, contact the Faculty of Business Student Support Centre at 1-800-468-6531.


This course explores some of the theoretical issues that underlie the discipline of financial accounting and some of the practical consequences of these issues. The course draws on related fields of study, particularly economics and finance, to examine the efficient markets hypothesis and its implications for financial reporting. Applications of the present value model in accounting, agency theory and its implications for financial reporting, the accounting standard-setting process, and the economic consequences of accounting decisions are also discussed.


ACCT 453 consists of ten lessons:

Lesson 1: Accounting under Ideal Conditions

Lesson 2: Decision Usefulness Approach to Financial Reporting

Lesson 3: Efficient Securities Markets

Lesson 4: The Information Approach to Decision Usefulness

Lesson 5: The Measurement Approach to Decision Usefulness

Lesson 6: Economic Consequences and Positive Accounting Theory

Lesson 7: An Analysis of Conflict

Lesson 8: Conflict Between Contracting Parties

Lesson 9: Standard Setting: Economic Issues

Lesson 10: Standard Setting: Political Issues


To receive credit for ACCT 453, you must complete and submit two written assignments and a research paper; you must also write a midterm and a final examination. Your final grade is determined by a weighted average of the grades you receive on these activities. To receive credit for this course, you must achieve a minimum grade of “D” (50 percent) on the final examination and an overall grade of at least a “D” (50 percent) for the entire course. The weightings for each assignment and the exam are as follows:

Assign 1 Assign 2 Research Paper Midterm Exam Final Exam Total
2.5% 2.5% 15% 30% 50% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Note: Students planning to transfer this course to a Professional Accounting designation (i.e., CMA, CGA, CA) are advised that they will be required to achieve a grade higher than the minimum passing grade. See the Professional Accounting Designation Web site for details.

Course Materials


Scott, W. R. (2012). Financial Accounting Theory (6th ed.). Toronto: Pearson Education Canada. ISBN: 978-0-13-511915-0

Other Materials

All other materials are available online. These include the CICA Handbook and the CGA Ethics Readings Handbook.

Students must have access to a computer with Internet Explorer in order to view the CGA Ethics Readings Handbook.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 8, August 03, 2012.

View previous syllabus

Updated July 07 2014 by Student & Academic Services