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Business Accounting


Admission requirements



Accounting is the process of identifying, measuring and communicating information to permit informed judgments and decisions by users of the information. Accounting mirrors economic reality. Accounting is the lingua franca of the financial world and impacts all aspects of management and financial decision making. Lawyers are faced with matters of business administration and business decision making and will be confronted with concepts of accounting. Business accounting is divided into financial accounting and management accounting.

Financial accounting deals with the annual report, the Statement of Financial Position (balance sheet), the Income Statement (profit and loss account) and the Statement of Cash Flows. Financial accounting refers to information describing the resources, claims, and activities of an economic entity. Financial accounting information is designed primarily to assist investors and creditors including banks in deciding where to invest their scarce investment resources.

Management accounting deals with cost classifications, full costing and the relationship between costs of production, volume of sales and profit. Management accounting involves the development and interpretation of accounting information intended specifically to assist management in managing and controlling the business.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course

  • Describe the role, function and usefulness of accounting in general

  • Describe the basic concepts of financial accounting and management accounting;

  • Recognise specific financial accounting and management accounting similarities and differences;

  • Apply financial accounting and management accounting cases and methods in simplified descriptions of real-world situations;

  • Identify from real world cases the accounting relevant data to draw conclusions;

  • Able to perform and report a financial statement analysis;

  • Demonstrate a critical and independent view when confronted with financial and managerial accounting issues, to reach his or her own conclusions, and present or 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.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 7

  • Names of lecturers: Drs. P.N. van Berkel

  • Required preparation by students: reading literature


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 7

  • Names of instructors: Drs. P.N. van Berkel

  • 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

Examination form(s)
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. Written final exam, online (70%)

Examination form (for the exam and the retake):

  • Midterm test and presentations: maximum 30 points

  • Written 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 examination syllabus 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), on the condition that this course is included in the compulsory components of the degree program. 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, most recent (ninth or tenth) edition, 2016, Pearson.

Course information guide:

  • Course information guide (Brightspace)


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.
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.

Contact information

  • Coördinator: drs. P.N. van Berkel;

  • Work address: Steenschuur 25, Leiden;

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

  • Telephone number 071 - 527 2727;

  • 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: