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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 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 relevant data to draw conclusions; 6. Able to perform and report a financial statement analysis; 7. 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; 8. Apply different techniques of capital investment decision making; 9. Present and discuss a scientific accounting research paper.

Achievement levels The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course: 1. A general insight of the main concepts of financial accounting and management accounting involved, including capital investment making techniques; 2. A general analytical and practical skill to apply financial accounting and management accounting in practice; 3. Knowledge and experience of financial analysis; 4. Introduction in accounting research.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 7

  • Name of lecturer: to be announced

  • Required preparation by students: preparing the assigned chapters


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 7

  • Name of instructor: to be announced

  • 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 paper about accounting.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)
Partial exams a. Multiple choice tests b. Presentations in groups consisting of the analysis of an annual report and of an accounting paper
Final test c. Written exam

  • Examination form (for the exam and the retake)

  • Partial exams a: two multiple choice tests: 5 points each, maximum 10 points

  • Partial exams b: two presentations: 5 points each, maximum 10 points

  • Final test c: written exam: maximum 80 points

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has not passed the course by the end of the academic year, partial grades for the partial exams and the final test are no longer valid.

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. Please contact the Student Administration Office (OIC) for more information.

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.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials Literature:

  • McLaney E. and P. Atrill, Accounting and Finance: an Introduction, 9/e Pearson

Course information guide:

  • Course information guide (Blackboard)


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. You can register for seminars 28 days (i.e. early January) before the start of the course. Registrations closes 6 days before the start of the course. If you have any questions, please contact your education administration office (link: education administration office).

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: Drs. P.N. van Berkel;

  • Work address: Steenschuur 25, Leiden;

  • Contact after an appointment with the Secretariat 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 - 17.00 h;

  • Telephone number secretariat: 071 527 7851;

  • Email: