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Accounting: Harvard Referencing

Resources for studying Accounting at Box Hill Institute.


How to cite something while you’re writing

Work the author’s surname or organisation’s name, the year of publication and the page number into the paragraph you are writing. The purpose is to give basic details so your reader can get more information from the list at the end.

Example 1: It has been proven that mice have four legs (Jones, 1999, p12).

Example 2: Jones (1999, p12) has proven that mice have four legs.

Example 3: In his 1999 text, Jones states that mice have four legs (p12).

Note that page numbers are only necessary for in text citations when direct quotes or precise information are used.

Article from a database

Surname, Initials. Year, ‘Article title in inverted commas’, Journal title in italics, volume or issue of publication as listed on the Journal or database record, page number, Retrieved: Date you accessed it, From: name of database you used to find the article.


Williams, K. 2009, 'IMA issues new definition of management accounting', Strategic Finance, vol. 90, no. 7, p. 23, Retrieved: January 16, 2009, from ProQuest: ABI/INFORM Select, Article 1626514111.


RefWorks will take and store snapshots of the citation from the resources you find. It's quick and easy once you've had some practice.

Click on the Using Refworks: an introduction link below and go to the RW + InfoTrac tab for information on how to import articles from the Gale: Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Collection.

Referencing for Assignments

Most assignments require you to list the sources you have used for researching a topic. Listing resources correctly is called referencing, citing (citation) or compiling a bibliography. The most common style used at Box Hill Institute is the Harvard Referencing Style. However, it is best to ask your teacher or teaching centre which style they prefer.

Referencing usually involves two elements: a citation in the main text indicating where a quote or idea has come from, and a list of all resources used at the end of the assignment.

Assignments will often require you to use a combination of books, videos, DVDs, websites, magazines or periodicals, articles from databases, newspapers and other resources. Every item used, regardless of format, must be acknowledged.

How to do the list at the end

List items alphabetically, with a space between each item.

In general, the type of information, and the order that it is presented in is as follows: author - date- title of work - publishing details. However, the exact format depends on the type of resource. The boxes below explain the format for some of the most common resource types.


Single Author

Surname, Initials. Year, Title in italics, Edition (if not the first), Publisher’s name, Place of publication.


Irvine, J. 2002, Financial accounting, McGraw-Hill, Sydney.

Two authors

Surname, Initials & Surname, Initials. Year, Title in italics, Edition (if not the first), Publisher’s name, Place of publication.


Fleay, D. & Poustie, N. 2004, TAFE accounting: financial applications, 2nd edn, Thomson Learning, Southbank, Vic.

Edited book

Surname, Initials. (ed.) Year, Title in italics, Edition (if not the first), Publisher’s name, Place of publication.


Bell, A. (ed.) 1990, Introductory accounting and finance, Nelson, South Melbourne.

Chapter of an edited book

Surname, Initials. (of the author of the chapter) Year, ‘Chapter title’, in Book title, Edition (if not the first), Editor, Publisher, Place of publication, pp.


Nugent, J. B. & Yotopoulos, P.A. 1984, 'What has orthodox development economics learned from recent experiences?', in C.K. Wilber (ed.) The political economy of development and underdevelopment, 3rd edn, Random House, New York.

Video or DVD

Title in italics, Year [videorecording or DVD], Publisher’s name, Place of publication.


Financial reporting for business, 2008 [DVD], Video Education Australasia, Vic.

Subject Guide

Why reference?

Failing to reference the resources you have used to complete an assignment can get you penalised by your teacher, your teaching centre and the law. Claiming the work of others as your own (by quoting from books, websites or other sources without acknowledging them by in-text citation and a reference list) is a breach of copyright law called plagiarism. Referencing correctly is a way of showing your teacher what is your work and what is supporting material drawn from another source.


Author/organisation’s name, Year, Page title in italics, Retrieved: date accessed it, from: specific website address (best to copy and paste to ensure accuracy.)


New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, 2009, Accounting terminology guide, Retrieved: March 21, 2009 from

If there’s no date?

Put [n.d.] where you would usually put the year. (This applies to all forms of resource where a date cannot be found.)

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