Accounting, Business and Society: The Multi-faceted Role of Accounting

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5 weeks long, 7-8 hours worth of material


Course Overview:

Accounting professionals are open up for more tasks and duties that require their professional skills and knowledge nowadays, and yet not exerting their expertise just the way it used to be. Without bogging you down with the mechanics of accounting, this course provides an overview of the multi-faceted role of accounting in business and social contexts.

You will get to know the essential of businesses and how they must work around the notions of ethics, the corporate governance (CG) framework and how accountants function as one of the key players in the practices. An thriving area of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is also discussed.

An illustrative approach will be adopted and you will be surprised by how closely accounting is related to things happening around you in your daily lives.

By the end of the course, you are able to:

• Describe the accounting process and different forms of business entities

• Explain the regulatory framework of accounting profession, and how the profession can serve information needs of stakeholders of different forms of business entities

• Describe the broad framework of ethics, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility, and their interrelationships

• Demonstrate the knowledge and respect of ethical behaviour of individuals, businesses, and professionals including accountants in particular

• Explain what are good governance practices and how accounting contributes to such, for both performance and conformance purposes

• Identify good or bad corporate governance and CSR practices of businesses, by making reference to real-life incidents


  • Accounting and Business
    • Welcome to the first module of this course! In this module, You will learn (1) what accounting is and (2) how it contributes to the health and growth of a business and, in turn, the society. Furthermore, you will come across (3) the various forms of business setups and (4) how limited liability companies become the mainstream business concerns for corporate governance practices.
  • The Accounting Profession and Roles of Accountants
    • We often hear that accounting is essential for businesses for various reasons, and that as a profession, accountants are looked upon to for protecting financial interests of stakeholders.In the second module, you are going to learn the institutional and regulatory frameworks of accounting professionals, that give accountants the creditability in their work, and brings the professionalism that they command. In addition, I shall show you not only the mainstream practices of accounting (1) Financial Reporting and (2) Auditing, but also other services that accounting professionals provide.
  • Ethics and Accounting Profession
    • From the previous modules, you have fully understood how accounting can help businesses perform for the betterment of society. Society may also demand businesses to be operated by conforming to his expectations by using accounting. Yet, the most crucial factor for success in the above is the quality of all parties concerned in regard to understanding the roles and also performing them faithfully. This quality is primarily founded on the notions of ethics. In this module, you will learn the notions of ethics. How it serves as the foundation for proper conduct of individuals, businesses and also professionals like accountants. You will have an opportunity to practice how to make ethical decisions using a classical case in this module.
  • Corporate Governance (CG) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
    • Ethical decisions made by companies are assured by way of corporate governance practices.

      In this module, I shall elaborate on the concept of corporate governance (CG), its latest development, and how the Board and corporate governance professionals like accountants function as key players in the practices. I shall also cover Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which is a thriving area of companies’ practice.
  • Corporate Governance Case Study and Guest Interview
    • The Enron Case is one of the biggest corporate scandals in recent years. Enron turned from an acclaimed company into the most infamous company in the world overnight. There were a number of corporate governance issues, leading to the scandal. In this module, let us now take a look at the case, as to how it happened and how he changed the world of corporate governance practices in his aftermath. To conclude the course, I invited an accounting practitioner for an interview and discuss the multi-faceted role of accounting professionals in the new era.

Taught by

Dennis Chan Suk Sun