Life of a NUS Business (Acc) Student: AY 17/18 Semester 1

because it’s rare that I even take a group picture nowadays

Happy 2018! 2nd last time I will ever write a module review here, as it has been a habit to get these out as soon as possible before the new semester starts. 3 years ago, it was a decision to start writing up all these to help online wanderers have some information about Business (Accountancy) modules. iIf one person benefitted from reading; then I am a happy man. Looking at how views spike up every time it is time to bid for modules, such information really can be important in making the right decisions.

3 modules + FSP for this semester; did contemplate overloading to make the last semester a more relaxing one; but in the end I just decided to go towards the conventional route. Needed to bid for 2 modules so I decided to just clear my 2 4k modules. On hindsight, I should have spread out my core accounting modules the previous semester by dropping 1 of them. It really is a tricky task to have the perfect module planning (from summer schools, exchange to taking modules which are only offered in a certain semester); perhaps I will do one summarising everything when I’m officially done with university hahaha we shall see.

ACC3619 Integrated Perspectives in Business & Accounting

This is called the ‘capstone’ module among our accounting core modules as the pre-requisite is to have completed or concurrently taking all the other accounting core modules. This module is relatively new and it served to prepare the

For AY16/17 Semester 2, the module coordinator was Prof Stephen Lynn and feedback wasn’t too positive due to the horrendous timing of the modules (6-9pm), and for my semester (AY17/18 Semester 1), we have module coordinators, Prof Tan and Prof Ho. The bulk of the module came from the group project (30%) and finals (50%). A company would be assigned to your project group, where each member has to do an individual presentation (10%). The last 10% consists of class participation, which is just asking questions during the individual presentations. The twist is this: There are 5 weeks in total, and you wouldn’t know whether you have to present. So if you are the last presenter for your group, you would have essentially prepared 5 presentations… which is totally overload. I understood the idea of the profs was to ensure that the whole group understood the whole project instead of just his/her own part, but it isn’t feasible from a student’s perspective to be preparing presentation after presentation.. like hello we still have other modules to study… I was also dabao-ing my lunch into class while watching the presentations. Yeahhhhh as usual no one really paid attention to the presentations HAHAHA.

The format for finals was kinda interesting; the profs will release the company which will be tested during the final 2 weeks prior to the actual date of exam (which falls on the last day of finals blehhhhh) and it is open book so it became a war of preparing the proper notes to copy in the exam. Previous semester was DBS while this semester was an e-commerce company called YuuZoo. The format of the final was similar to the previous semester, so those who are taking this module, go to the exam paper database and looked at the questions!

tl;dr: Idea of the module is there, but it really adds zero value to what we have already learnt in previous modules. Personally, I would have liked it to be more geared towards perhaps SQP preparation? I would suggest future module coordinators to review the format of the whole module because it hasn’t fully worked out yet.

Final Grade: B-

ACC4613 Forensic Accounting

There were 2 different sectional timings opened for the module; 9am and 1pm. You could get the module at 1 point if you took the morning slot, or pay an additional 900 points to get the afternoon slot instead like yours truly LOL. I wasn’t planning on pursuing the finance specialisation so I didn’t really care about spending points in the G account. This module is very popular among the 4k accounting modules which can be taken, content was very interesting as it involved studying of financial crimes such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

The module coordinator was Dr Larry Lam, a professor with many years of working experience in the related field and also with a nice mixed American accent HAHAHA (you could say that he is the MYT of forensic accounting). Course assessment got revised halfway into the course and is as follows: 10% data analytics in-class assignment, 20% quiz, 30% class participation and 40% group project/presentation. Although I had friends who were in the same sectional, I ended up grouping with a bunch of acquaintances who were pretty badass as it was a group that I just had to chip in my part and nothing more. The quiz happened in Week 12 and it was just MCQ AND open book, so there isn’t much to prepare. It turned out that many of us did really well so I would say this is a very good module to take as a 4k accounting module. Do take note that this module is only offered in Semester 1, so do your module planning accordingly!

Final Grade: A+ (Yays to yet another A+ in my NUS life)

ACC4615 Advanced Assurance & Attestation

I was contemplating this versus internal audit, and I figured that given how I did 2 audit internships and I actually do enjoy audit, I shall try this module and hope for the best. The module coordinator is Prof Tan Wee Cheng, whom may have taken taught some ACC3603 before. Prof Tan teaches half of the semester, which includes the more abstract content such as FV Audit, forensic accounting; while Prof Alima (which is her first time teaching in a university setting) teaches the other half which is the more technical stuff, such as materiality and group audit.

Course assessment is 15% class participation, 15% tutorial presentation, 30% group project & 40% finals. I was “in charge of my own destiny” as I formed my initial group of 3 and had 2 late additions. Group project is similar to ACC3616, where you do your own research on a certain case and write up your own case along with teaching notes. Our group had this zai double-degree law and accountancy guy and I got an A+ for the project. However, it turned out everyone did quite well for the project, as well as the tutorial presentation AND class participation. In the end the deciding factor lies on the finals, which was an electronic paper and open book (first e-exam in NUS yay~). Yours truly quite competitive and played a typing speed test to warm up the hands HAHAHA.

Again, what audit is in real life is not exactly the same as you learn in theory, but you learn to appreciate the various SSAs that we learnt in each topic.

Final Grade: A

FSP4003 Field Service Project

Grading for FSP is as follows: 45% Final Report, 25% Final Presentation, 10% Peer Review, 20% Learning Journal. I was mentally ready to do this with randoms, but L linked me up with a group of 3 and we were assigned to a hospital as our client for FSP, along with an adjunct professor who was taking FSP for the first time. As accountancy students, you will most likely find yourselves doing something non-accounting related for your FSP. Our group ended up with a project which falls under “Market Research”, but it ended up involving some form of modelling as well.

The journey to completing this FSP was anything but smooth. The supposed deadline for report submission was the first Monday of recess week, but as all Business students know, Week 13 is hell week for most of us so we literally rushed up more than half the report in the span of 3-4 days. I had presentation a few days before audit finals as well, but the COO was very relaxed and we were able to present while sitting down ROFL (imagine a 25% presentation being given while sitting).

The only advice I would give is that if possible, find your own professor because you would want one who views you in a positive light. No complains about the grade I got; felt it was a fair grade given the circumstances. Yes an A would be perfect given how it is 8MCs worth, but one shall not be greedy and be contented.

Final Grade: A-


CAP (for Y4S1): 4.4

Overall CAP (till Y3S2): (Yes, 4 flat…)

so ugly

What a comeback, like wow. Might have made dean’s list if 3619 came out a lot better; but whatever happens, happens. By far the best semester in NUS by a humongous margin. I wouldn’t say that I put in much more effort this semester compared to the previous semester, I still feel like I was putting in 70-80% effort, since I knew I could effectively not care LOL. Maybe that explains my lack of excitement seeing results this semester. The biggest change had to be in the mental state of mines, and a change in mentality really reflected well in the quality of work. Now the CAP is really in a precarious situation, so in short no fooling around in the last semester. Maybe the “excitement” will come in next semester when stakes are extremely high.

No calculation required; all B+ next semester would be sufficient. However looking back at my accounting core modules, holy shit I didn’t know I was so awful in them. It ended up very ironic that I did well in my 4k modules but failed atrociously in the 3k modules (I average a B in those 8 modules). Did I really enrol into the wrong course? Am I bad in higher level accounting? Or are my peers really just that good that I’m left drowning in the bell curve? Nonetheless, one good semester really can change the momentum of your student life, so I just need to ride this consistency into the last semester. Last semester, best semester; Let’s get at it.

P.S FXXK LAW I still hate you oh my fucking goodness…

cheers to starting 2018 well~!


Life of a NUS Business (Acc) Student: AY 16/17 Semester 2

P.S. I didn’t intend to finish this post so fast but I felt it would be good to release it as early as possible so that others could read it before the semester starts. I started on this post 1 month ago but edited accordingly so as to give an accurate reflection of the semester not clouded too much by emotions. Sorry no pictures again, didn’t take much photos throughout the semester.

Year 3 done & dusted! After a semester of exchange, the brain has been inactive but re-activated  as this semester is by far the most academically challenging. Okay I always say it’s the hardest semester ever LOL… but this semester was particularly challenging because it was just content overload everywhere and I didn’t manage my time well. Took all core modules this semester, 4 of which were the ACC3k modules so I’m left with ACC3619 for the last year.

It didn’t feel good at all to be back from an environment which was entirely stress free, to one where you constantly have to worry about deadlines every week. All my modules this semester were pre-assigned to me and I had a 3 day work week, which was nice but I found myself still being in school for all days of the week due to projects or CCA. On hindsight, maybe I should have dropped 1 of the accounting cores as the level of content from exchange to now was just BOOMZ. The mindset and lifestyle underwent a drastic change, so I was just glad the semester was over and move on from a clean state in the next and final year of the student journey.

Because I’ll take a picture in front of this sign during my last semester HAHAHA

ACC3604 Corporate & Securities Law

The only module for the semester that I liked the professor, Senior Lecturer Julie Huan. The module mainly focuses on company law, so your bread and butter here is the Companies Act and it will be good if you can get a hard copy of the act (you will need it for finals).

Course assessment consists of 20% class/forum participation, 30% group presentations & 50% finals. For group presentations, each group will present 2 times and you will have to do a report along with the presentation as well. Preparation for class discussions can be exhausting and time consuming, so this isn’t a straightforward course as there is no fixed answer. Although some questions in the class discussions are the same as previous years, Prof Huan will be able to tell if you just copy and paste so it is best if you are able to create your own original content for your assignment. If only it was as easy as it seems, as you are up against a professor with plenty of years of experience both as a professor and a practicing lawyer.

I didn’t do well for biz law back then, so I kinda have a mental block that I couldn’t do well in a similar module. I didn’t class part here AT ALL, as discussions were too high level that I couldn’t contribute anything substantial. Even reading up on cases and reading the act didn’t help me in my preparation for seminars. Given how well I did for class participation back as a Year 1 for corporate law, I knew that I screwed up quite a bit in finals that I didn’t achieve my desired grades. This setback probably shows that I just suck at writing law essays, because honestly I thought I answered well for the questions in the finals. Well, apparently not and not even fucking close LOL. 

Final Grade: C 

ACC3606 Advanced Corporate Accounting & Reporting

Better known as the hardest accounting module you will ever take in NUS, because it wouldn’t be as simple as just a few accounting entries. The module was taught by 2 professors, Adjunct A/P Sardool Singh and one who shan’t be named. 2 group projects, class participation and 1 shit in your pants finals which constitutes of 60% of your total grade. You are allowed 1 cheat sheet for the finals, so know what you want to include and squeeze all you can onto that paper.

A/P Sardool took topics such as accounting for financing instruments, FOREX, etc. He is a very knowledgeable professor so I would recommend being super attentive to his teaching. Like I mentioned, this module is hard so having a prof which is able to break it down to understandable parts is a major plus. The first project is on heavy application of recently revised FRS, so unlike the other project no one knows the correct answer as everything is subjective.

The second group project on consolidation is just lifted questions from the textbook. The questions usually have similar formats so if you have friends who took this module before, ask them for their answers so you can check if you are on the right track. This half of the module was particularly challenging because the professor taught it in a different manner when doing journal entries is the normal method. Everyone wasted a lot of time having to learn back the normal method because no one could understand what he was doing. The module is already hard enough, so why not make it harder? THANKS NUS roflmao.

The scary thing is that in reality, these accounting entries are way complicated than what we study in theory (which we are dying already). Like any accounting modules that involves heavy calculation, practice makes perfect! Try your best to understand how each accounting entry works to make the most out of the practices. Don’t be surprised that you will spending the most time on this module because it is that difficult.

Final Grade: B

ACC3614 Valuation

The “least accounting” module out of the 4 accounting cores I took during the semester, you won’t be going through any journal entries and more of calculations. Those who took higher level finance modules (especially FIN3001) in NUS would have a small advantage in understanding the concepts. The things you will be learning are just valuation of various financial instruments and REITs (the topic of REIT is solely for project).

The module was split into 2 parts, the first half is taught by “he who shan’t be named” yet again and the second half by Dr Lin Yupeng. Mid-terms were just wtf; the best analogy to describe it is imagine yourself being taught how to fish, but the test gives you the fish and ask you to cook in different ways (LOL okay that’s a terrible analogy). Finals were more straightforward though, Prof Lin recycles questions from past-year papers; meaning he just changes the values in the questions. Each exam was 30% and allows you to take two A4 cheatsheets into the exam venue, so there isn’t a need to memorize formulas as it is more of test of applications. Quizzes are recycled as well and open-book, so just print out those from previous semesters.

Final Grade: B

ACC3616 Corporate Governance & Risk Management

The “fluff” module for the semester; where it is possible to smoke your way through everything. Yet another module where 2 professors taught 6 weeks each; A/P Mak Yuen Teen for the first half and Mr Paul Gween for the second half. A/P Mak is a well-known figure in the CG industry so you shouldn’t try to smoke him during tutorial presentation and your written reports. There isn’t much avenue to class part so it shouldn’t be a difference maker. Instead of the usual FRS accounting policies you read, you study frameworks and guidelines which you will use to apply on various cases. Through the module, you will understand more about how board of directors work, along with certain key areas such as the various committees and remuneration structure. Course assessment is straightforward: 10% tutorial presentation, 10% class participation, 30% group project and 50% finals.

Not much variance in the marks given for the CA components except for finals. Finals are open book so if you have the time (which I didn’t whoops), it would be advantageous if you are able to write up your own notes as the notes provided are “everywhere”. You will face the problem of not being able to complete the paper, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the various cases and frameworks so when you read a question, you instantly know where to flip and copy down.

Final Grade: B+

BSP2005 Asian Business Environment

The only module I took this semester which had the old 2 hour lecture 1 hour tutorial format. Me & JQ bidded the same tutorial slots but got assigned different timings, so I didn’t know anyone in the tutorial and got grouped with 2 random students. Our group had to do the first group presentation and I was still in “sobs I want to go back exchange” mode, needless to say it didn’t turn out good. The only positive outlook presenting first was that I had one less thing to worry about when the term progresses.

Course assessment includes 5% in lecture polls, 25% weekly online quizzes, 20% group presentation, 20% class participation, 30% finals. You just need to attend lectures or be online during the lecture timings to get that 5%, and everyone will be comparing answers for the online quizzes, so you would see little to no variance in those 30%. The professor will release all the grades of the CA components so you will know where you stand before the finals.

Finals are just mehhh because it is mainly off the readings and every week you have around 2-4 readings to read. Granted you will have to read them anyway to complete the quiz, but there was no guidelines on things to note during the readings and there was no direction given so have fun reading 100 pages worth of readings… That was the thing I hated the most about the module; the fact that they didn’t give us any learning objectives which could have facilitated understanding.

Never liked the format and content of the module. Although there were some interesting guest lecturers, I found it a burden to study for this module due to the lack of direction. Those matriculating in 2017 and after, CONGRATS you don’t have to worry about this module because it’s not in your new revised curriculum.

Final Grade: C+


CAP (for Y3S2): 3.1

Overall CAP (till Y3S2): 3.89

Initial thoughts were: “You got to be fxxking kidding me.” Completely shitty semester, omfg my heart totally sank into the bottomless pit and it felt absolutely sick to the stomach. I expected myself to not do very well this semester, but NOT THAT HORRENDOUS. Oh my fxxking goodness that C for corp law is just absolutely filthy to the CAP. I even had to check the school website to see if C was a pass for the module lmao. Shows the importance of consistency; as 1 bad semester can really screw you up. The fact that my “base” wasn’t stable due to the many SUs over the semester made the drop even worse. What a complete meltdown sobs. 

I did my own calculations on how much I need to score to maintain getting second upper; borderline Bs would be able to achieve that goal but oh man the C absolutely killed the CAP. I wasn’t even mad at the C+ because I really disliked the module. Time to go find easy UEs and score high grades to pull it back up, and I won’t be pursuing the finance specialization because it isn’t viable for me to continue taking 3k fin modules. Crossing fingers for more As in the last year and a good FSP journey because it would be quite a bit to pull the CAP back. Time to go full super saiyan close mugger mode? LOL worst timing ever to receive this wake-up call but less ranting, more putting in of effort.

FXXK LAW oh my goodness gracious…