RESEARCH ESSAY INFORMATION Your research essay must be submitted at the beginning of your seminar in week 10. Week 10 commences Monday 27 January at partner locations. Penalties will apply for late submission. The following matters should be given particular attention: 1. Writing assignments must not exceed the word counts indicated. Double space your pages, use a 12-pt Times New Roman font, use 2 cm margins on all four sides of your page. 2. Your essay must include an abstract/synopsis, introduction, essay body that clearly addresses the problem areas, a conclusion and a properly referenced bibliography. (refer to the research essay marking rubric for further guidance) 3. Evidence of extensive research beyond the prescribed text is required. Ensure these are referenced appropriately in your bibliography. Refer to the statement regarding plagiarism. 4. NO extensions will be granted unless supported by appropriate documentation prior to the due date. 5. This assignment must be handed in for successful completion of the course and will count 20 marks towards the final mark. 6. The word count for the research essay is 3000 words. Please refer to the Research Essay Marking Rubric for the specific allocation of word count for each specific section of your research essay (refer point 2 above). 7. Points (fractional marks) have also been allocated to each specific section of your research essay. 8. The research essay is to be conducted in groups of two. Students do not have the option to extend or reduce the size of the group. If the class has an odd number of students then one student must undertake the assignment on their own. RESEARCH ESSAY TOPIC “The degree to which accounting ‘messages’ contained in financial reports are understood and convey the exact meanings which were intended by their senders seems a natural issue of interest. … A fundamental issue in such research is whether expressions of agreement or disagreement with an intended message by sender and receiver do, in fact, lead to distortions in the intended decisions the messages were designed to induce.” Adelberg, A. H., 1979, ‘Methodology for Measuring the Understandability of Financial Report Messages’, Journal of Accounting Research, Vol. 7, No. 2, Autumn 1979, pp. 565-592. 1. With reference to the research describe what you understand by understandability. 2. Discuss understandability in the context of the present IASB framework. 3. Select a company from the Australian Securities Exchange website and download the 2013 annual report. Evaluate how the selected standard affects the understandability of the annual report. 4. Select a standard from the IASB and analyse how it contributes and/or detracts from the decision usefulness of the selected annual report. TUTOR ENGAGEMENT 1. Week 5 – Tutor to advise students just before the test that the research essay is available and over the coming week they should think about forming groups of 2. 2. Week 6 – EMPHASISE TO STUDENTS TO BEGIN THE WORK EARLY. All students to form groups of two. A discussion of the ASX sectors to take place. Students should discuss the selection of a sector and company that interests them. Tutor to record the groups. No groups are to have the same company. Banks are not allowed as they have particular problems. Over the week groups should select a company. 3. Week 7 – Groups are to advise the tutor of the company selected. Tutor to record the company selected by each group ensuring no group has the same company. A discussion of appropriate standards for each sector to take place. Over the week groups should select a standard relevant to the company and sector. Within each sector groups must choose different standards. 4. Week 8 – Tutor to record standards chosen by groups and ensure compliance with the requirement of (2) above. Tutor should stress the importance to groups of beginning the work early and following the marking rubric. ESSAY DUE WEEK 10