Corporate Governance and Accountability (ACCT6120)


Corporate governance has been defined as 'the system by which companies are directed and controlled' (Cadbury 1992). As the capstone unit for the MPAcc this unit assures the learning from prior management, audit, financial reporting and analysis accounting units by exploring how accounting information is used (and at time abused) in enabling the accountability through which the governance of the corporation is affected.  The course will introduce students to some of the core theories which are drawn upon to understand corporate governance; agency, stakeholder, stewardship and transaction cost theories. It will then explore the key relationships and practices upon which effective governance depends; relationships between a CEO and chairman, executive and non-executive directors, the board and its risk, audit, remuneration and nominations sub-committees, board members and their external auditors and other advisors, and relationships between the board, financial analysts,  investors and shareholders.  Whilst these issues will be explored in relation to the Anglo-American system of corporate governance which privileges the interests of shareholders, the course will also explore alternative stakeholder systems of corporate governance in Germany and Japan, as well as the development of governance frameworks and institutions in the transitional economies of Russia and China. Wider issues of corporate social responsibility in relation to the globalisation of product and capital markets will also be examined.

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Further unit of study information


1x 3hr seminar per week


Essay (25%), group case study (25%), and exam (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge


Assumed knowledge: CLAW5001

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Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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