Issues in Accounting

Module Code ACCU9IS
Semester Autumn
Level 10
Credit Value 20
Module Co-ordinator Dr Colin Dey
Teaching Staff Dr Colin Dey, Professor Lisa Evans
Assessment Part 1 - 20% Presentation, 30% Summaries of readings. Part 2 - 20% Group Presentation & Report, 30% Individual Essay

Module Introduction, aims and objectives

The aim of the module is to assist students in the development of their capacities for inquiry, abstract logical thinking and critical analysis. It introduces students to the wider social, historical, interdisciplinary and critical contexts of accounting, based on themes relating to the specific research expertise of the teaching staff involved in any given year. In autumn 2016 the module will focus on the accounting profession, accounting history, interdisciplinary accounting and corporate social reporting. Part 1 of the course (led by Professor Lisa Evans) will introduce topics in critical and interdisciplinary accounting research and accounting history, covering a variety of themes as well as research approaches. Part 2 (led by Dr Colin Dey) will examine corporate social and environmental accountability and reporting.

The module syllabus covers the following topics: 

  • Interdisciplinary approaches to accounting: a history case study
  • The accounting stereotype
  • The accounting profession - recruitment and glass ceilings
  • The dark side of accounting – slavery, colonialism, the Highland clearances
  • Accounting and popular culture
  • Corporations and their impact on society and the environment
  • Theories of corporate social & environmental reporting
  • Corporate social & environmental reporting practice
  • External social accounts and activism 

Learning outcomes and skill developed

On successful completion of the module students should be able to:

  • Understand different approaches to accounting research
  • Understand and critique critical, historical and interdisciplinary accounting research
  • Evaluate the role of accounting as a political and ideological tool
  • Understand ‘professionalisation’ and ‘the glass ceiling’ in the accounting profession
  • Understand and explore the ‘accountant stereotype’, and its implications
  • Understand what corporate social reporting is and why, if at all, it is important
  • Understand the theoretical foundations for corporate social reporting
  • Understand theoretical critiques of corporate social reporting
  • Evaluate the state of current social reporting practice and its implications for new forms of accounting
  • Evaluate the role of investors and other key stakeholder in influencing the development of corporate social reporting.

Introductory reading

There will be a recommended reading list included in the module outline at the start of semester.

This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester

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