Accounting Ethics: Moral Choice in Accounting Practice

RRR12 Accounting Ethics: Moral Choice in Accounting Practice

  • Topics

    Topics

    What is a "virtuous accountant" in professional practice? How does one recognize and resolve moral dilemmas in business settings? What happens when complicated circumstances make it difficult to "play by the rules"? These are the kind of questions to be treated in this course of accounting ethics.

    As students gain technical competence in applying the principles of accounting to clarify economic transactions and report financial information, they must also develop analytical skills to recognize and resolve ethical dilemmas. Given rapid changes in the marketplace, new communication technologies and creative business practices, accountants face complex situations that challenge their judgments and make it difficult to act with integrity and for the public good.

    The course teaches the ethical standards of accounting practice and introduces students to the intellectual principles of ethical decision making as these have been developed in the history of moral philosophy and communication theory. They will gain insight into the processes of thinking about moral problems, ethical conduct, and professional duty.

    Through lecture, reading, and case study analysis, students will resolve moral dilemmas and learn to give reasoned explanations for their decisions. They will study recent business scandals, identify accountants' responsibilities for addressing unethical corporate practices, and discuss the role of accountants for maintaining public trust in business and protecting interested parties from misinformation, deception and fraud. Work with case studies of accounting ethics issues is a central learning tool in the course, and much time will be dedicated to practical, real-world cases.

    Students should gain an understanding of the ethics of the profession and the importance of making values-based decisions in the performance of accounting duties.

    The course is suitable for students who will work in accounting and auditing, as well as for those who will work in management, where insight into technical and ethical aspects of accounting and auditing is essential.

    The course does not assume detailed prior knowledge of accounting.

    Topics

    • What is accounting ethics?
    • Contemporary business scandals in the United States and Europe
    • Moral dilemmas and ethical decision making
    • Ethical theory (utilitarian ethics, deontological ethics, virtue ethics, social contracts)
    • Accounting standards
    • Ethical issues in accounting and auditing (Fraudulent financial reporting, misappropriation of assets, professional ethics code violations)
    • Codes of ethics and professional ethics
    • Stakeholder analysis in accounting and auditing
    • Conflicts of interest in professional practice
    • Accountants and public service
    • Will new rules and regulation improve accounting ethics?

     

     

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    At the completion of the course, students will be able to:

    - Recognize and resolve moral dilemmas in business settings

    - Use analytical skills to analyze ethical dilemmas

    - Apply the principles of ethical decision making as developed in the history of moral philosophy

    - Resolve ethical dilemmas and learn to give reasoned explanations for their decisions

    - Understand the ethics of the accounting profession and the importance of making value-based decisions in the performance of accounting duties

  • Teaching

    Teaching

     Lectures and case study analysis.

  • Required prerequisites

    Required prerequisites

     None.

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    Credit reduction due to overlap

    Overlap with VOA039

  • Requirements for course approval

    Requirements for course approval

    There are two requirements to be eligible to take the final exam in the course:

    • Students are required to submit 80% of the problem assignments on the day they are assigned for discussion and receive a passing grade on the assignments (pass/fail).
    • Students are required to submit the course essay by the third week of class and receive a passing grade on the essay (pass/fail).

  • Assessment

    Assessment

    Four hour exam. Exam can be written in English or Norwegian.

    No exam offered in the spring semester 2018

  • Grading Scale

    Grading Scale

    Grading scale A - F

  • Computer tools

    Computer tools

    None.

    Its learning will be used to distribute course information and handouts.

  • Semester

    Semester

    Spring. Not offered spring 2018

  • Literature

    Literature

    Stuart, Iris Stuart, Bruce Stuart, and Lars Jacob Tynes Pedersen: Accounting Ethics (2013).

Overview

ECTS Credits
7.5
Teaching language
English
Semester
Spring

Course responsible

Iris Stuart, Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law