GRA 6229 Ethics, Governance and Responsibility for Auditors

GRA 6229 Ethics, Governance and Responsibility for Auditors

Course code: 
GRA 6229
Department: 
Law and Governance
Credits: 
6
Course coordinator: 
Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen
Product category: 
Master
Portfolio: 
Master of Accounting and Auditing
Semester: 
2017 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Teaching language: 
Norwegian/English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

Today’s society faces large social and environmental challenges. In the business world employees are facing ethical dilemmas which are increasingly complex due to internationalization and different cultural settings.

Knowledge of basic ethical and moral perspectives is crucial for auditors to analyze ethical situations and alternative possible actions. Good corporate governance is built on ethical awareness, implementation and follow-up, and ensures that the company fulfills its goals with regard to different stakeholders, such as managers, shareholders and boards of directors. Developing and implementing company codes of conduct, anti-corruption measures and environmental impact assessments are examples of good governance.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the responsibility of enterprises for their impact on society, covering how companies deal with environmental and social issues internally and externally. Some of these issues are based on regulations, while others are based on norms and soft laws. Different tools for management of the challenges and opportunities are available, nationally and internationally. Auditors need to be aware of these tools, and know how to apply them, to ensure transparency and reporting in line with the company’s responsibilities.

The course will provide students with knowledge of decision support models that can be applied to developing and reporting on companies’ levels of governance, responsibility and sustainability from a practical perspective to fulfill auditors’ responsibilities.

The course will be interactive and based on literature, lectures, cases and group discussions.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The course is designed to provide:

  • Knowledge about key ethical theories and moral frameworks
  • Knowledge about ethical standards for auditors
  • Knowledge of corporate govenance and what it entails
  • Knowledge about the concept of corporate responsibility and key sustainability tools
  • Knowledge about the concept of corruption, development, dilemmas and responsibility
  • Knowledge about accounting for social responsible investment and impact assessment
Learning outcomes - Skills

The course is designed to provide abilities to:

  • Analyze different accounting related situations from an ethical point of view
  • Assess corporate governance with respect to different stakeholders
  • Develop and implement a corporate social responsibility program in a company
  • Develop and implement good governance standards – including company code of conduct
  • Report on extra-financial information
  • Communicate with media in critical situations
Learning Outcome - Reflection

After the course the students should have the ability to:

  • Make independent and well reflected decisions on issues addressed in the course
  • Recognize opportunities and challenges in the field
  • Share, communicate and supervise others in the field
Course content

Key topics addressed in each 3-hour sessions (the order of topics might be changed)

  • Ethics and moral – theory, analysis and practice. Ethics and accounting cases.
  • Ethical guidelines for accountants – dilemma training
  • Corporate governance standards and regulations.
  • Corporate governance: principles and policies, objectives and structure, practice and implementation, and follow-up and evaluation. Stakeholder management.
  • Corporate social responsibility and sustainability, theory and different practical tools like Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), UN Global Compact (UNGC) and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  • Extra financial reporting – how to develop CSR/sustainability program and reports. Integrated reporting (IIRC) and Greenhouse gas accounting (GHG)
  • Code of conduct – how to develop and implement code of conduct
  • Corruption – what is corruption and how to avoid and deal with it, whistleblowing schemes
  • Social return on investment (SROI), how to account for social impact of activities. Social responsible investment (SRI) – what is responsible and what is irresponsible investment. Different approaches, including the Government Pension Fund Global – ethical guidelines
  • Impact investing and accounting approaches (environmental and social issues)
  • How to deal with media – including crisis management, principles and training
Learning process and requirements to students

The course will be taught through lectures, guest lectures, groupwork and presentations.

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on itslearning or text book.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Qualifications

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA62291
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
Examination when next scheduled course
100Yes3 Hour(s)
  • Bilingual dictionary
Individual
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:100
Invigilation:Yes
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Comment:
Exam code: GRA62291
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Exam organisation: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
100
Talis literature

Obligatorisk/Compulsory

Book
Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote
Gulden, Bror Petter; Den Norske revisorforening 2014 Etikk, moral og revisjon: teori, analyse og handlingsvalg 3. utg Den norske revisorforening 218 sider
Chapter
Authors/Editors År Tittel Journal Edition Publisher StudentNote
Bøhren, Øyvind cop. 2011 Eierne, styret og ledelsen: corporate governance i Norge Eierne, styret og ledelsen: corporate governance i Norge Fagbokforl Kapittel 1 (35 s.)
Document
Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote
Ditlev-Simonsen, Caroline Introduction to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) 26 sider
Den norske Revisorforeningens regler om etikk 54 sider
Norsk anbefaling for eierstyring og selskapsledelse - NUES 2014 54 sider
Tybout and Roehm Let the Response Fit the Scandal, 2009 6 sider
During the course additional readings and slides will be posted on itslearning. This material is compulsory and the issues might be part of the exam. The syllabus will not exceed 600 pages (100 pages per ECTS).
2014 Ready to report? Introducing sustainability reporting for SMEs Global Reporting Initiative 20 s.
2015 Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) information United Nations 35 s.
2016 Oslo Børs veiledning om rapportering av samfunnsansvar Oslo Børs 13 s.

No importance set

No type set
Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote

Notes to students:

Will be provided on itslearning.