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FIT9004 or FIT9017 or CSE9000 or BUS9520
Basic descriptive and inferential statistics, some financial accounting and basic business finance knowledge.

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Vincent Lee

Contact hours: Tuesday 4-6 pm at H1.26



Vincent Lee

Contact hours: Tuesday: 6:00-8:00pm

Kevin Liao

Contact hours: Tuesday 6:00-8:00pm; Wednesday 10:00am-12:00pm; and 2:00-4:00pm

Academic Overview

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will:

  • understand the core foundations of finance, as appropriate to key financial analysis and decision making;
  • understand the core technologies that support financial analysis and decision making;
  • understand quantitative techniques supporting financial analysis and decision making;
  • be able to apply the technologies and techniques studied to solving financial issues;
  • be able to analyse financial solution requirements and select appropriate technical and quantitative decision aids;
  • be able to interpret outputs from quantitative and technology based finance tools to aid in decision making.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

Examination (3 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assessment of financial health with spreadsheet tool 15% 4:00 pm Friday 19 August 2011
Finanical Investment Analysis using AHP based Expert Choice 11.5 software 25% 4:00 pm Thursday 13 October 2011
Examination 1 60 % To be advised

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Interviews
  • Quiz results
  • Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Examination material or equipment

Scientific and/or financial calculators

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0 Register for lab/tute, form team (3 or 4 members) for group assignment No formal assessment and activities are undertaken in Week 0
1 Characteristics, components and functions of IT systems for financial decisions Tutorial class begins from week 2
2 Firm financial health, financial information sources and knowledge creation and transformation  
3 Analysis of firm financial health-computation of financial ratios and interpretation of financial statements  
4 Risk-return, and formation of financial asset portfolios Assessment Task 1: Assessment of financial health with spreadsheet tool due 4pm Friday 19 August 2011
5 Analysis and evaluation of firm's cash flow (NPV, MIRR/IRR) Group assignment (Assessment Task 2)
6 Multicriteria decision support framework (AHP)  
7 Financial knowledge representation using fuzzy logic, expert sysetm and application example  
8 Fuzzy AHP system, adaptive AHP and ANP framework for interdependencies  
9 Financial clustering/classifications methods (ANN-SOM)  
10 Fuzzy-Neuro inference system for financial markets  
11 Intelligent multiagent-based techniques/tools for financial variable forecasting Group assignment (assessment task 2) due at 4:00 pm on Thursday 13 October 2011
12 Current issues on IT for financial decision  
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
  • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit

Assessment Tasks


Tutorial attendance will attract 5% weight towards the overall unit grade.

  • Assessment task 1
    Assessment of financial health with spreadsheet tool
    This is an individual assignment. Students are required to download from the annual report of a set of selected firm in a given industry. Students will learn how financial ratios given in the financial statement in a firm's annual report are computed and should be interpreted based on the text information given in the annual reports. The deliverables include a report with a spreadsheet model (Microsoft Excel).
    Criteria for assessment:

    Laboratory demonstration with oral presentation.  

    A written report discussing the questions to be answered which will be assessed based on:

    • demonstration the working of the spreadsheet/mathematical model (30%);
    • Interpretation of the numerical results and sensitivity analysis (40%);
    • software system and financial model flexibilility (ease of use, etc) (30%).
    Due date:
    4:00 pm Friday 19 August 2011
    Upload assignment 1 with signed cover of FIT assignment coversheet to FIT5159 - unit moodle assignment 1 submission site.
  • Assessment task 2
    Finanical Investment Analysis using AHP based Expert Choice 11.5 software
    To learn the design and empirical test of a “Decision Support System”, based on AHP framework, which can be used for the selection of stocks (financial assets) and the associated investment decision analysis. At the completion of this assignment, students should learn
    • The innovative use of Expert Choice 11.5 software for designing a decision support system of financial decision analysis;
    • Formulate the stock selection and investment analysis problem for a given industry in competitive financial capital markets;
    • Demonstrate on the use of financial analytics and the choice of associated criteria and justifications; and
    • Preparation of a group report using the following headings: 1) Introduction (background and motivation); 2) stock selection problem formulation using AHP framework; 3) using Expert Choice software to establish the goals, sub-goals, weights for each intrinsic, extrinsic, and criteria and relative priorities.
    • Demonstrate the understanding of the limitations of AHP and the need to represent investment criteria using fuzzy logic and Analytic Network processing framework where applicable.  

    Each Group of students is to apply the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)-based decision support system to explore investor behaviour, extrinsic and intrinsic factors in the evaluation, selection and ranking of three or four listed alternative stocks in ASX for one of the five industries: 1) telecommunication; 2) mining; 3) retail; 4) energy, oil and gas; and 5) property. The evaluation framework facilitates the selection of stock/firm and their investment analysis using multi-criterion decision-making criteria discussed in lectures 6 to 8. The pair-wise comparison procedure should be based on appropriate criteria (at least two criteria for each class of investor behaviour/objectives, intrinsic and extrinsic factors.) The framework captures individual behaviour and perceptions in a changing environment, in the form of judgments of investment criteria and stock alternatives arising from experience. The present perceptive and intuitive evaluation approach has managerial implications because it represents a useful addition to asset selection and investment analysis.

    The deliverables will be a group report comprising information that is to be complied with the assessment criteria stated. Students must indicate their contribution % to the group work.
    Criteria for assessment:

    This group assignment will be graded according to the following criteria:

    • Introduction and related literature review – 20%
    • Technical content (calculation and criteria selection; hierarchy construction, priorities ranking, consistency verification, result tables and graphs ) – 30%
    • Results discussion (justifications of results reported in tables and graphs in figures) – 30%
    • References – 10%  (at least 6 to 10 related published papers/technical reports must be read and cited)
    • Conclusion and articulation of issues for follow up investigation – 10%
    Due date:
    4:00 pm Thursday 13 October 2011


  • Examination 1
    60 %
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
    Scientific and/or Financial calculators without prior programming. 
    Multiple choice questions plus computation and discussion questions. All materials (tutorials, readings, lecture notes/slides) are examinable.

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Resubmission of assignments

Unless otherwise special permission is granted by the Chief Examiner of FIT5159, no resubmission after due date will be granted.

Referencing requirements

Textbook book chapters, reading articles and lecture slides will be specified for each lecture.

Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis

All reading materials, lecture slides and tutorial/assignment notes other than textbook chapters will be posted on FIT5159-S2_2011 unit moodle website prior to each week lecture. Students are requested to do prior readings before the classes.

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