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Business Accounting


Admission requirements



Accounting is the process of collecting, identifying, measuring and communicating (financial) information to permit informed judgments and decisions by users of the information. The main purpose of accounting is to improve the quality of the decisions made by people using the information. Economic problems are communicated by using the accounting format. Accounting visualizes expenses and revenues. However, accounting is not without biases, subjectivity and manipulations. Accounting is not neutral and has economic consequences. Accounting reflects economic reality. Accounting is the lingua franca of the financial world and affects all aspects of management and financial decision making.

Business lawyers are faced with matters of business administration and business decision making. Therefore, they need a basic understanding of the concepts of accounting. Business accounting is divided into two main parts: financial accounting and management accounting. Financial accounting and management accounting are the pillars of business decision making. Financial accounting is aimed at external users whereas management accounting is aimed at internal users of financial information.

The objective of financial accounting information is to provide financial information about the reporting entity that is useful to existing and potential investors and creditors, including shareholders and banks, in making economic decisions i.e. providing resources to the entity. Financial accounting deals with the annual report. The balance sheet (or Statement of Financial Position), the income statement (or Profit and Loss account), the cash flow statement and themes as measurement of assets and liabilities and accounting conventions are central issues. Financial accounting refers to information describing the assets, liabilities, equity, profit or loss, and activities of a reporting entity.

Management accounting involves the development and interpretation of accounting information intended to assist management in running the business. Management accounting deals with cost classifications, and also with making capital investment decisions.

Special topics in this course are the valuation of start ups and Basel III&IV, which concerns the capital requirements for banks.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
1. Describe the role, function, and usefulness of accounting in general;
2. Describe the basic concepts of financial accounting and management accounting;
3. Recognise specific financial accounting and management accounting similarities and differences;
4. Apply financial accounting and management accounting cases and methods in simplified descriptions of real-world situations;
5. Identify from real-world cases the accounting data to draw conclusions;
6. Able to perform and report a financial statement analysis; and
7. Demonstrate a critical and independent view when confronted with financial accounting and management accounting issues, to reach conclusions, and report the findings.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:

  • A general insight of the main concepts of financial accounting and management accounting involved;

  • A general analytical and practical skill to apply financial accounting and management accounting in practice;

  • Knowledge and experience of financial analysis and investment decision making;

  • Introduction in accounting research.


Check MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 7

  • Name of lecturer: M.P. Mooren

  • Required preparation by students: reading literature


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 7

  • Name of instructor: M.P. Mooren

  • Required preparation by students: in the weekly seminars, students will actively engage in presenting their knowledge. They need to prepare and present study problems from the textbook. During two seminars students have to present their findings about an annual report and a scientific article about accounting.

Assessment method

The final grade of this course consists of the following four mandatory parts
a. One Midterm test (10%)
b. Presentations in groups consisting of an analysis of an annual report (10%)
c. Presentations in groups consisting of an analysis of an accounting paper (10%)
d. Final exam (70%)

Examination form (for the exam and the retake):

  • Midterm test and presentations: maximum 30 points

  • Final exam: maximum 70 points

  • Total: maximum 100 points
    The Midterm test and the presentations cannot be retaken. The points earned on the Midterm test and the presentations will remain valid for the retake of the final exam.
    If a student has not passed the course by the end of the academic year, partial grades for written exam or midterm tests and presentations are no longer valid.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The exam material consists of the required reading (text) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.

Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. and further of the Course and Examination Regulations). Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. To retake a passed exam, students need to ask the Student Administration Office (OIC) for permission. For more information, go to 'course and exam enrollment' > 'permission for retaking a passed exam' on the student website.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials


  • McLaney E. and P. Atrill, Accounting and Finance: an Introduction, 10th edition Pearson, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 14.

  • Relevant newspapers can be beneficial to your learning process. ISBN 978-1-292-31226-2. Pearson

Course information guide:

  • Course information guide (Brightspace)


Registration for courses and exams takes place via MyStudymap. If you do not have access to MyStudymap (guest students), look here (under the Law-tab) for more information on the registration procedure in your situation.

Exchange students have priority and will be registered for the course first. Any remaining seats will be available for students from Leiden University and other Dutch Universities.


  • Coördinator: M.P. Mooren;

  • Work address: Steenschuur 25, Leiden (B2.26);

  • Reachable: Monday till Friday from 09hrs00 till 17hrs00;

  • Telephone number 071 - 527 7851;

  • Email address:


  • Institute: Institute of Tax Law and Economics;

  • Department: Business Studies;

  • Address secretariat: Steenschuur 25, Leiden (B2.26);

  • Office hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.00 - 17.00h;

  • Telephone number secretariat: 071 527 7851;

  • Email: