AC203-Business Finance

Module Provider: Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: AC105A Introductory International Financial Accounting A and AC105B Introductory International Financial Accounting B or AC101 Introduction to Accounting or AC110 Introduction to Accounting and AC109 Introduction to Business
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Yang Liu

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces the theory and practise of business finance.

This module is delivered at University of Reading and Beijing Institute of Technology.


This module introduces the role and purpose of the financial management function within a business. It aims to explain the nature and purpose of financial management and to discuss the objectives of financial management decision-making. The module explores the theory and practice of financing decisions. The module aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills of financial management, assessing the working capital needs of a business and the ways in which the elements of working capital may be managed.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

1. Discuss the role and purpose of financial management.

2. Explain the role of financial markets and institutions and identify the main sources of finance available to a business.

3. Consider the need to budget for capital projects and use the techniques of ARR, NPV, IRR and payback to appraise projects.

4. Analyse financial statements to asse ss financing needs.

5. Explain the need for financial restructuring at various stages of the business lifecycle.

6. Prepare forecast financial statements to assess financing needs.

7. Introduce business and share valuation and set out the main components of a business plan.

8. Evaluate the overall management of working capital.

9. Apply and evaluate various techniques used in the management of inv entory, debtors, short-term funds, cash and current liabilities.

Additional outcomes:

Structured activities are designed to develop independent learning skills. Students are encouraged to develop additional IT skills by use of relevant web resources and communication techniques, including Blackboard.


Outline content:

1. Nature and purpose of financial management

2. The business finance environment

3. Introduction to financial objectives and the capital markets

4. Sources of finance: equity

5. Sources of finance: debt

6. Forecasting, business valuation models and business planning

7. Management of working capital

8. Management of individual elements of current assets a nd current liabilities

9. Capital investment appraisal

10. Financial statement analysis and interpretation 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures of two hours per week will be used for the exposition of the major concepts, principles and techniques under consideration. Workshops of two hours duration will be used for problem solving and discussions based on current issues.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 2
Seminars 14
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 40
    Exam revision/preparation 30
    Advance preparation for classes 16
    Preparation for tutorials 32
    Revision and preparation 20
    Reflection 26
Total hours by term 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 80
Class test administered by School 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 2-hour unseen written exam

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Two 45-minute closed book unseen multiple choice question tests attempted under exam conditions during weeks 7 and 11 of the Spring Term (each contributing 10% of the total module mark).

Formative assessment methods:

Formative assessments are available in the class for all weeks of the module to enable students to gain the necessary practice.

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A weighted average mark of coursework and examination of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment is by examination only in August of the same year.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Required text books -  £50.99 - Business Finance-theory and Practice, by  Eddie McLaney, 11th E, ISBN-13: 9781292134406

The following makes of calculator are permitted in exams and class tests: Casio FX-83GTPLUS or Casio FX-85GTPLUS - Approximately £15

Last updated: 8 April 2021


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