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Contemporary Issues in Accounting Theories: CSR

Assignment 1 – Individual research and participation 

Students need to choose 1 topic from Topics below:

Topics 

  1. Corporate social responsibility
  2. Critical accounting theory   (any one of these 2 topics )

(The point is to offer you some flexibility to work around assessments in other units & whatever other commitments you have to manage)

You are required to do two (2) things as an individual student for this Assignment: 

  1. Choose & identify a relevant article for  chosen Topic;
  2. Contribute a 500-word post to a Discussion Forum (DF) explaining the relevance of the article.

Make sure you PAY ATTENTION to the details below about each of these two things

  1. Choose & identify a relevant article for chosen Topic

Choose an article you believe is relevant to that topic. Your article needs to have been published after 1 January 2018. “Relevant” is explained in #2 below.

Details of the aticale needed 

  • Author names;
  • Name of the source of your article;
  • Date & issue details (as applicable).

Here are two fictional (made-up) examples: 

  • Smith and Jones, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 24, Issue 1, 2013, pp.23-47; 
  • Stevens, Australian Financial Review, 2 May 2012, p.4. 
  1. Contribute a 500 word post to a Discussion Forum (DF) explaining the relevance of the article

Your post needs to explain how your chosen & identified article is of relevance to your chosen topic that will have been covered in (Contemporary issues in accounting theory) by that time and will also include a personal reflection

  • Your explanation for relevance needs to provide examples from the article to illustrate theories and/or principles from your chosen Topic (maximum 300 words). It is important to provide evidence (facts) from the articles to support any opinion and arguments you express; perhaps facts illustrate certain terms you learn in a topic (even an earlier topic); maybe you recognise that the findings are only applicable in a certain context; or the interpretation of the facts illustrate a certain theoretical lens (or approach). This DOES NOT mean summarise the article, summarise the topic or define the theories.
  • Your personal reflection part for each contribution needs to explain what you found to be the aspect of your chosen topic that created the most reaction from you (biggest impact on your learning … something you realised or now feel you understand more clearly). For example, you may not have thought about the issue before; you may have observed behaviour related to the matter before and that was important to you; you may have related the issue to a current development in the world – current affairs, your employment or business, etc. This is subjective and personal reflection that will differ from student to student (maximum 200 words). This DOES NOT mean making recommendations about what you think the authors might have said/done.
  • Please include a link (URL) to the article or attach a PDF copy in your post & the full reference

 Marking criteria Assignment 1 

In assessing Assignment 1, the marker will take into account your performance in the following areas: 

  • logical coherence of discussion (unintelligible discussion will receive no marks) 
  • extent of insight provided (in the personal reflection and comments this will be personal insight; in comment regarding the article this will be insight into the way the article illustrates theories from the relevant topic … NOT summaries of the article or topic or definitions of the theories … you only have 500 words!) 
  • structure/organisation of content (you only need two sections, or they can be integrated J)
  • conciseness and clarity (500 words is not very much and is to foster this) 
  • level of understanding of course concepts 
  • extent of evidence presented in support of your opinion (using examples from the article to illustrate Topic theories … you do not need to refer to additional articles or references). 

The checklist on the next page should help … you can use it to “self-assess” your contribution before the due date (YOU can fill in the Yes/No columns if you wish but it is only for YOU, no need to submit it!) and it also offers an insight into the template you will receive in View Grades for feedback and your mark. Remember, you can edit your own contribution ANYTIME up until the due/date and time … of course, when you leave things until the last minute it will be too late!






Self-Assess
Did YOU … YesNoConsequences …
Choose an article published after 1 January 2018 that has not already been reserved on the relevant Topic DF?  If NOT … your post will not be marked … you can still choose another Topic (unless there are no more to choose!); the practice will have been worth your while BUT you will not earn any marks
Accurately indicate author(s), source, issue/date in the Subject line of your post   If not, and another person has chosen that article AND cited correctly, yours will not be marked (even if there are no more to choose); if theirs is also not cited correctly, neither will be marked (even if there are no more to choose)
Provide a full citation (reference) to the article at the end of your post?  Good … if you have done the above two correctly your mark will be accumulating!
Provide a working url at the end of your post (or attach a copy of the article - copyright permitted)?  Good … this will allow prompt marking because I will be able to understand the context of your contribution.
Explain how the article illustrates (provides examples of) one or more theories from your chosen topic?  Good … it is the understanding and application that is important. This and the next point is where you will obtain (or lose) most of your mark (providing you have done all of the above).
Reflect on how the article has helped your understanding of your chosen Topic?  Good … it is the connections that are important. This and the previous point is where you will obtain (or lose) most of your mark (providing you have done all of the above).
Summarise the article?  Not a strategy that will earn you marks
Summarise the Topic?  Not a strategy that will earn you marks
Define the theories (from the Topic) without any examples from the article?  Not a strategy that will earn you marks … these are things that will REDUCE your mark from the potential 3 + 3 above


Answer

Contemporary Issues in Accounting Theories

Corporate Social Responsibility

Today, with increased globalization and increased market competition, the organizations are aiming for market expansion. However, before expanding into new territories, they need to understand the new work culture, follow new cultural norms, adhere to the legal rules and regulations, and finally overcome the issues of the workplace in a new work environment. 

The role of the Human Resources (HR) department and the Accounts department are important as they need to first identify the new cultural practices, determine the working gaps in the present work environment of the organization, devise new norms to follow for the employees, and subsequently achieve desired objectives in a given work environment (Soltani, 2014). 

Also, the HR department needs to ensure that all the employees of the organization are following ethical practices in the organization. The top-level management of the organization needs to issue the Ethical Code of Conduct that every employee need to follow in their work environment. It will assist them in overcoming the workplace issues in the organization.

Further, considering the new work environment, the organization needs to continue to adhere to their practices related to Corporate Social Responsibility. It will help the organization to conduct activities related to corporate social responsibility, specifically to the field of accounting. Today, it is found that the top-level management are comprising on their ethical values and are thereby breaching the code of practices in the field of accounting (Ball, 2009). 

It is thereby important for the senior management to ensure that the accounting department is following the legal norms of new location and are subsequently submitting the accounting reports to the respective legal authorities in a given working environment. Further, from the CSR perspective, they need to conduct workshops and seminars that will make all the concerned stakeholders aware of the ethical practices in the field of accounting (Benediktsson, 2010). 

They will thereby be able to overcome the challenges and other contemporary issues in the field of accounting. There are examples of companies like Enron and even Swissair and AOL that have manipulated the values of balance sheet and income statement to demonstrate higher profits of the company. 

It will thereby easily catch the attention of the investors and later will get trapped in such activities of the organization. It is the responsibility of the government, the senior management, and other concerned authorities to overcome such accounting scandals and ensure that the company is following the Ethical Code of Conduct in their accounting practices (Benediktsson, 2010). 

Further, from the CSR perspective, they can even spread awareness of such issues so that the employees remain alert and thereby prevent them from such practices in the organization. It is important for the organizations to report true facts and figures related to accounting in a given organization (Benediktsson, 2010). Only then the concerned shareholders and investor will place their trust in the company. 

The company needs to find alternative ways to overcome the current challenges that will later help them achieve desired financial objectives from a long-term perspective. The company will be able to improve their bottom-lines and also will be able to generate better returns for their shareholders. It will ensure following the ethical principles and practices from the CSR perspective in a given organization. However, they need to upgrade these practices over a period and even monitor them so that they can modify them as and when required.

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