Financial reporting and analysis
Course:- Finance Basics
Length: 7
Reference No.:- EM1356

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This assignment comprises 30% of total assessment in this unit. The word limit is 3,000 words all-inclusive except for the title page and reference list. Please note that


You are required to review a specific Company called Gunns Limited listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), and operating substantively in Tasmania. Your review is to be based on a historical analysis of that company, the application of accounting standards where applicable, and information derived from the society(s) and info sphere within which that company operates. Whilst information produced by the company over time, through its publication of Annual Financial Statement and Reports, is considered important and should be a key element of your review, you must take into account the limitations of General Purpose Financial Reports (GPFR's) as recognised in the detail you will be studying during Trimester. Therefore your review should include a significant content of information not produced by the company but is available from a wide-range of sources.

Taking the name of this unit into account, Financial Reporting and Analysis (FRA), it is clear that the Financial Reporting component of that name is the GPFR's produced within the Accounting Regulatory Environment (which includes Accounting Standards) and any other information provided by the company from time to time. But effective Analysis of an entity would be incomplete without due regard to external information. Also, understanding that a company Income statement is reporting a past series of economic events over a period of time and a Balance-Sheet is merely an opinion made by a company as to the values of its assets and liabilities at one point in time, then it would be prudent to analyse information and economic events, both within the company and those outside of it. Therefore your review must take into account information over a minimum period of the years 2005 through to the end of 2009, and might also benefit from a brief review of what might have happened subsequent to that period.

You are to write a report that satisfies the following requirements:

  • Your report should demonstrate your understanding of the financial statements of the company over a period of a minimum of 5 years to December 2009, and any influences or impact of the Regulatory Environment on the economic activities of the company and it's reporting. Whilst this part of your report may well be data-based, recording data without interpretation is unlikely to gain high marks. Innovation in thinking about the contents of GPFR's and accompanying notes and statements made by the company from time to time (for example, the ASX is a lucrative source of additional data), and linking such thinking to information external to the company will be well regarded. As would the drawing of conclusions from a widely-derived body of evidence through appropriate referencing.
  • Over a five year period there will be a substantial number of economic issues that the chosen company has had to face. The identification of such issues and how the company has taken regard of them and acted upon them, or not so acted, and how such issues have impacted on the company's financial statements, will also be highly regarded.
  • Whilst your report is based on past events, within the company, and within the society(s) within which it operates, you should also consider the mid-term future of the company from your perspective, and based on how your research has suggested the directions that society and the company might be moving towards. As an example, how well or how badly the company has been impacted by world economic events over a five year period and into the likely future, and in what way and impact  has the company made economic decisions during that time, will influence its future. This section allows for some latitude and innovation of thinking and the drawing of research-based conclusions by the student(s).
  • Good research data and the drawing together of a body of evidence from a wide-range of sources to form opinions are important for this assignment. To encourage students to search widely for pertinent information and act innovatively, we have decided to not limit such research and have excluded your summary reference list from your word-count. What we do expect is that it would be unlikely that your sources are comprehensive enough if they were to be limited to less than 15 appropriate prime reference sources.


Limiting referenced information from a few references only is unlikely to be a high-marking strategy.  Information for this assignment is available from a variety of sources including, but not limited to:

  • The financial statements of the company, including the accompanying notes, and any announcements made by the company as it meets its regulatory obligations of disclosure. A good source of company announcements is its record on the ASX web-site.
  • AIFRS, the Conceptual Framework and Accounting Standards.
  • Information, reports, and commentary made from time to time by the professional accounting bodies, that may have an impact, or potential impact, or should have impacted on the company.
  • Academic published research re issues of importance (for example on Corporate Social Responsibility) that are a commentary on aspects of society or may influence society and in turn may impact the company, or the environment within which it operates.
  • Research and Reports issued by authoritative bodies. For example by the United Nations, the European Union, State and Federal Governments, Professional Bodies, Industry Associations and so forth. Bill and Ben's Blog, as an example, is not appropriate sources of referencing and they, and their use in the report will be ignored by marking staff and not marked.
  • Authoritative reporting by quality newspapers and magazines. Whilst not considered authoritative data in themselves they are useful as a catalyst for further research and the drawing of conclusions.


Your assignment must adhere to the structure that is set out below. Please use the exact headings that are given below, and wherever possible avoid excessive use of sub-headings. Latitude is given in the range of word-count for each section to allow for innovation and flexibility of the student perception of what is important to them. To produce a section of your assignment that is below the allowed word-count range is to probably have limited the amount of information available for staff to mark. To produce a section that is above the allowed word-count range will incur marking penalties. However, in total, word-count must not exceed 3,000 words for sections 2 to 6. Marks will be out of 100 and then scaled back to 30%.

1. Title Page

2. Abstract - 100- to 200 words

3. An Analysis of Financial Statements and Company Announcements - 1,000 to 1,300 words

4. How the Regulatory Environment has impacted the Company Financial Statements - 200 to 300 words

5. The Impact on the Company of Society and the Economic Environment within which the Company Operates - a literary review - 800 to 1,200 words

6. Conclusion - 200 to 500 words

  • Significant economic issues that affected the Company
  • The Company performance in reaction to economic issues
  •  The economic health of the ongoing company into the future

7. References - not less than 15 appropriate prime reference sources

Note: Penalties apply for not adhering to the report structure prescribed above. The Assessor determines the magnitude of the penalty on a case-by-case basis, but they may be significant.

Note: The above structure adds up to 90 marks of the available 100 (scaled back to 30%. There is an additional 10 marks allowed for the assignment assessor to reward Innovation in the collection and intelligent use of information

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