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 unit introduces students to some of the core theories which are drawn upon to understand corporate governance; agency, stakeholder, stewardship and transaction cost theories. It then explores 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 are explored in relation to the Anglo-American system of corporate governance which privileges the interests of shareholders, the unit also explores 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 are also examined. As an integral part of their learning experience and assessment, students are required to develop an internationally focussed case study that is updated as they progress through the range of topics explored in this unit.

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Further unit of study information


1x 3hr seminar per week


online quiz (10%), individual assignment (20%), group assignment (15%) group assignment (10%), final examination (45%)

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Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

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.