Recent Question/Assignment

BAO 3309 Advanced Financial Accounting

Individual assignment

Assessment Weight: 20%

Due Date: (TBA by local lecturer)

Research Essay: Corporate sustainability reporting

Word limit: 2500 words (excluding abstracts and references)


1. Provide a summary of the purpose of Corporate Sustainability Reporting by referring to the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Framework (G3.1)

2. Critique systems oriented theories that you have learnt in this subject (See Deegan, 2014, Financial Accounting Theory, 4th edition, Chapter 8) and the literature about the empirical application of the these theories (see Referencing and Style Item 2.2 on page 2) in explaining the motivators for corporate voluntary sustainability reporting practice

3. Identify two multinational companies from the Global 500 in 2013 (available at and compare their reporting on economic, environmental and social aspects in their annual reports and standalone sustainability reports for the reporting year 2012

4. Discuss how legitimacy is managed through reporting by the two companies (in Item 3 above) from the perspectives of systems oriented theories


1. Global Reporting Initiative website
2. Global 500 companies in 2013
3. Deegan, C. Financial Accounting Theory, 3rd Ed, McGraw Hill 2009 4. VU library

Assignment coversheet is available at Webct.

See next page for further information

The following matters should be given particular attention:

1. Submission of your assignment

1.1 Submission of this assignment by due date (as advised by the local lecturer) is compulsory for successful completion of the subject. The identical electronic copy must be submitted through WebCT Turnitin by due date. The printed copy along with a Turnitin Similarity Report (less than 25% similarity required) can be submitted to your lecturer at the conclusion of the lecture you normally attend.
1.2 The printed copy must be the identical version of the electronic copy submitted through Turnitin at Webct. Inconsistent version of the printed copy and the electronic copy will result in a Fail grade (Note: If you cannot submit your assignment through Turnitin due to a technical problem then email your assignment before the due date to your local lecturer immediately. You cannot withdraw an assignment from Turnitin after the due date).
1.3 Late submission without extension approval from the Unit Coordinators and local lecturers will be penalised 2 (out of 20) marks per day. Do not submit any assessable task by slipping it under the door of your lecturer’s or tutor’s office.
1.4 No Extension will be granted unless supported by appropriate documentation prior to the due date. An application for an extension must be in writing and must use the appropriate form
1.5 Students are responsible to protect their work and save data by making necessary backup. Loss of data due to a computer or storage devices problems will not be considered a valid reason for an extension

2. Referencing and style

2.1 Assignment must be typed using Word document and double-spaced with a normal margin (i.e. 3cm)
2.2 Evidence of extensive research beyond the prescribed texts is required. Students should refer to journals such as Accounting Forum, Business Strategy & the Environment (John Wiley & Sons, Inc), The International Journal of Accounting, Journal of Business Ethics which are available on the electronic journals webpage of the VU library website at
2.3 The required referencing style is Harvard (Please visit VU library for examples of Harvard Referencing Style at Essays not using the required referencing style or not showing in-text and end of text references will be returned unmarked

2.4 Avoid Plagiarism

Academic Honesty and Preventing Plagiarism Policy states plagiarism as

‘The practice that involves use of another person’s intellectual output and presenting it (without appropriate acknowledgement) as one’s own’.

Examples of Plagiarism:

• Word-for-word copying of sentences/paragraphs in an assignment without acknowledgement or with insufficient or improper acknowledgement;
• Downloading essays or assignments from the web and presenting these for assessment;
• Presenting another student’s work or research data as the student’s work;
• Copying out parts of any text without acknowledging the source(s). This may be written text, structures within texts, diagrams, formulae, sound files, still photographs, audio-visual material (sound and image files), graphics/animations/multimedia objects, other computer based material, mathematical proofs, art objects, products and others. This can be done as verbatim copying or paraphrasing.
• The use of someone else’s concepts, experimental results, experimental conclusions or conclusions drawn from analysing evidence or arguments without acknowledging the originator of the idea(s) or conclusion(s).

Students are responsible for:

• Understanding and respecting the University’s policies and procedures regarding plagiarism, collusion, and other forms of academic misconduct and as such should only submit work for correction or academic credit that is their own or that properly acknowledges the ideas, interpretations, words or creative works of others;
• Avoiding the lending or making accessible original work to others;
• Being clear about the appropriate referencing rules that are applicable to their field of study;
• Refusing to be a party to another student’s efforts to undermine the academic integrity of the University.
• Seeking assistance with their learning and assessment tasks if they are unsure of appropriate forms of acknowledgement.

Assignment Marking Sheet

Student Name………………………………………..Student No……………….

Part 1 Total of 15 marks Marks
Quality in summarising corporate sustainability reporting 15
Part 2 Total of 25 marks
Quality in the survey of relevant literature, which should be demonstrating ability to understand and
synthesise complex ideas, and demonstrates an appropriate application of the literature to the research assignment 10
Quality in the critical review of identified system-
oriented theories (e.g. legitimacy theory, stakeholder theory, and institutional theory) 15
Part 3 Total of 25 marks Marks
Overview of each company (with the inclusion of
website link to the annual report and sustainability report of identified companies 5
Quality in analysing the similarities and differences
in terms of reporting content between the two companies 10
Quality in analysing the similarities and differences
in terms of the way that each company portrays itself (i.e. how company present themselves, e.g. positive, negative or neutral image) 10
Part 4 Total of 25 marks Marks
Demonstrate capability of understanding the concept
of ‘legitimacy’ from system oriented theoretical perspectives (e.g. legitimacy theory, stakeholder theory and institutional theory) 10
Demonstrate capability of justifying the use of
system oriented theories in explaining CSR reporting 15
Presentation Total of 10 marks Marks
• The presentation of the results, which should be clear, concise and accompanied by
expository text accessible to the reader
• The presentation of the entire assignment, which should be written in English of an appropriate academic register and of a format and standard of presentation acceptable to business study 10
Total marks 100 /100
Total mark out of 100 reduced to a mark out of 20 20 /20