Financial Accounting

Paper , Order, or Assignment Requirements

Case study

Tony Trainer is working as a journalist in Far North Queensland and understands a little about accounting. Tony recently read an article by Wild (2013) (provided in a separate file), and although it refers to New Zealand, and he found some of the information difficult to understand, he did identify that the way accountants base their definitions, principles and concepts on economic benefits is an issue when dealing with natural assets. With such a reliance on economic benefits, he feels that it is difficult for accountants to integrate “sustainability” into their accounts. He has been thinking of this in terms of the ongoing publicity regarding the coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and believes that he could write a series of articles on it from a variety of perspectives.

Tony is particularly interested in how the term “asset” has been used by the media, various authorities, and the public in terms of the Great Barrier Reef. He is curious as to how people appear to be differentiating “natural assets” from “economic assets” and questions whether accountants should also be identifying the “intangible assets” that he believes must have been recognised when World Heritage listing of the area was achieved in 1981. He is also curious about how sustainability could be integrated by accountants so that it is valued.

He has written to you asking that you write a letter in reply about his issues from an accounting perspective, with particular reference to the Great Barrier Reef.  He will then be able to take that information to the local newspaper to find out if they would be interested in following it up with an interview and a write-up in the newspaper.



Write a letter to Tony, addressing the issues raised above. He is a friend so your writing style does not have to be really formal, but you will need to structure it in a proper letter format.

The article by Wild (2013) has been provided for your information, but please don’t rely on this as your only source. It is just to give you a starting point regarding some different perspectives on accounting for natural assets.

Tony has asked that you provide him with a list of references (in Harvard style) that he will be able to use if the editors of the newspaper agree to go ahead with the article, so you should include any sources you refer to in your letter in this list. However, do not copy slabs of text, or include multiple direct quotes in your letter. It is a letter so it should be written in your own words, using your own interpretations.

Write clearly and concisely. Your letter should not exceed 1,500 words (total), and may be less. Refer to the Assessment Rubric for guidance on how you will be marked.

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