Accounting for Commercial Lawyers

Subject LAWS70140 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available

This subject focuses on the fundamentals of accounting and financial reports. It is designed for students with limited accounting experience and is not recommended for students who have previously completed undergraduate or postgraduate accounting studies.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces the fundamentals of Accounting and Financial Statement interpretation within the context of Government and commercial environments. Commencing with an examination of the principal financial statements the subject navigates the nature and types of transactions undertaken by organisations and how these transactions are recorded and reported. In the second half of the semester the subject addresses the key techniques for deeply assessing the financial performance, funding capacity and solvency of organisations. Finally the subject concludes with an examination of the accounting policy choices organisations may use to present their financial statements in the best possible light.


Principal topics will include:

  • The purpose of accounting
  • Accounting reports and analysis
  • Financial statement ratios
  • Financial statement disclosures
  • Financial statement manipulation
  • Accounting reports and business failures
  • The limitations of accounting information.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject should have:

  • A knowledge of accounting concepts relating to the preparation of the Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement
  • The ability to effectively interpret financial reports and supporting notes
  • The ability to calculate and interpret financial reporting ratios
  • The ability to understand accounting issues in commercial transactions
  • An awareness of the limitations of financial reports.

  • Take-home examination (100%) (13 – 16 June)
  • 10,000 word research paper (100%) (16 June) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator
Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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