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Financial accounting in context

This module will help you to understand different types of company from their formation, company financial accounting, the regulatory framework in which they operate, and their role in the context of market economies, law and society. You’ll also gain an understanding of corporate governance, corporate responsibility, and sustainability reporting. You’ll learn how to interact with accountants and auditors to understand their duties, and other external stakeholders to understand their information needs. By the end of this module you should be able to prepare basic company financial accounts (including cash flow statements), and interpret the financial statements of a single entity company from the perspective of external stakeholders.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

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Module

Module code
B293
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
30
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
OU SCQF FHEQ
2 8 5
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

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What you will study

You will study two aspects of company financial accounting and reporting.

Accounting technical: understanding, preparing and interpreting company financial statements and reports. You'll learn how to prepare income statements, balance sheets, statements of changes in equity, and cash flow statements for single entity companies. You'll also learn how to interpret financial statements from the perspective of external stakeholders.

Contextual: the economic, legal and social context of companies and company financial accounting. You'll learn about characteristics of market economies and companies, regulation, financial accounting standards, audit and corporate governance, and why business ethics, corporate responsibility, and sustainability reporting are essential for mitigating the deficiencies of corporate governance and financial reporting. You'll also learn about contract law and employment law and their influence on financial accounting.

You will learn

In addition, you will learn about the different legal forms of business entity and differences in regulatory requirements that company law places on private limited companies, public limited companies, and quoted or listed companies.

Vocational relevance

This module supports you in developing cognitive, practical and professional skills, including:
  • reflective learning
  • selecting and analysing information relevant to a particular problem or issue related to financial accounting
  • applying theories and concepts to practical situations
  • framing and addressing questions in relation to financial accounting
  • developing an awareness of ethical dilemmas in accounting and business situations
  • using academic, business and management language appropriately and effectively
  • interpreting, using and presenting numerical information effectively and appropriately
  • searching for and using relevant digital and non-digital information from sources other than the module materials
  • communicating in a professional manner in written work, online and otherwise.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. There will also be four online tutorials and one online day school which you are strongly encouraged to attend.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Future availability

Financial accounting in context starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2019. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2026.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Course work includes:

    2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    Examination
    No residential school


    Entry requirements

    This module assumes that you will have completed Fundamentals of accounting (B124) or equivalent. Therefore, you should already:

    • know and understand the principles of double-entry bookkeeping and how they underpin the balance sheet and the income statement
    • be able to prepare an income statement and balance sheet from trial balance and additional summary information for businesses organised as sole traders.

    The end-of-period adjustments that you need to be able to make include:

    • closing inventory
    • depreciation of non-current assets,
    • accrued and prepaid expenses and accrued and deferred revenues,
    • writing off irrecoverable receivables,
    • increasing or decreasing the allowance for receivables.
    • interest expense and interest payable

    At the start of the module you'll have the chance to review the prerequisite core knowledge and skills. This way, even if you completed an accounting module a while ago, you can refresh your understanding and skills in order to feel confident that you're ready to study this module. In addition to the knowledge and skills above, you'll be required to use a calculator and Excel spreadsheets.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    05 Oct 2019 Mar 2020 -

    Registration now closed

    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2026.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).


    For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time convenient to you.


    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2020. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 17/09/2019.

    What's included

    The module website contains all the study materials. In addition, there is the printed Exam preparation workbook.

    You will need

    A non-programmable calculator.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying B293 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Disability support website.