University of Sydney Ethical Dilemma and Sustainability in Accounting Profession Essay

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ACCG3015 PACE: Accountants in the Profession
My home / My units / ACCG3015_FHFYR_2022_ALL_U / Assessment | Essay (30%) / Essay – Task Details
Essay – Task Details
Weight: 30%
Due date: Week 10, 10 May 2022, 10:00pm
Submission: via iLearn.
Estimated student workload: 15 hours in total
Task Overview: Attempt the essay requirements by undertaking research.
Marking criteria:
1. Comprehensiveness of essay
2. Support of essay analysis with evidence
3. Overall clarity
Refer to Essay Marking Rubric.
Deliverables: 1 x essay analysis report (Approximately 2000 words excluding references).
Requirements:
The goal of this assessment task is to test your knowledge and understanding of ethical and sustainability challenges faced by the
accounting profession and apply best practice principles and recommendations related to appropriate business practice.
There are two parts of this assessment task: Part A relates to ethical dilemmas and PART B is about sustainability challenges. Each
part is described below:
PART A: Ethical Dilemmas – Issues and Solutions
Most accountants in business and the public sector, whether working in a small organisation or serving as the chief financial
officer (CFO) of an international corporation, face ethical dilemmas during their professional careers. Ethical dilemmas come in
many forms and accountants sometimes need support to address complex and challenging conflicts. Accountants may also treat
ethical dilemmas as business decisions and not utilise their professional code to assess potential courses of action.
The CGMA survey report Managing Responsible Business, A Global Survey on Business Ethics shows that a 10%-15% increase since
2008 in organisations providing both statements of ethical values and a code of ethics, as well as related training, provision of
hotlines, and incentives, such as performance-based rewards. The survey also shows an almost 20% increase in organisations both
collecting and reporting ethical information. The majority of accountants feel it is important to collect and analyse ethical
information, but one in five do not believe their organisation will do so in the near future. Despite an increase in ethical codes and
training, there is greater pressure within organisations to act unethically. Security of information remains the biggest issue of
concern across all markets. Bribery has risen from sixth to third in the rankings of issues of concern, reflected by the increase in
anti-bribery and corruption legislation.
A common aspect to resolving ethical dilemmas is to help accountants define and apply the fundamental principles in their
professional code of ethics. A distinguishing mark of the accountancy profession is the responsibility to act in the public interest
and professional ethics places an expectation on accountants to self-regulate their behavior in accordance with the Code of Ethics
for Professional Accountants (the Code) developed by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA). The
International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) member organisations are required to abide by ethical standards at least as
stringent as those stated in the Code.
These standards may potentially be threatened by a broad range of circumstances including self-interest, self-review, advocacy,
familiarity, and intimidation. An awareness and understanding of these circumstances will help us to establish which fundamental
principles are affected by a situation and why.
Required:
Identify and describe TWO (2) ethical dilemmas after systematically reviewing recent media
articles/postings/legislations/reports/journal articles/broadcast or social media. Gather the relevant facts and for each issue
describe: why it is an ethical problem; Identify the affected parties -individuals, organisations and key stakeholders affected; in
what way are they affected; how would these ethical issues affect the reputation of the accounting profession; how would these
ethical issues affect the public interest; propose solution to each ethical issue and describe which fundamental principles are
affected and what are the threats to compliance with the following fundamental principles of ethics developed by the
International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA):
Integrity
Objectivity
Professional competence and due care
Confidentiality
Professional behaviour
While writing your essay consider the following threats to fundamental principles:
Self interest
Self-review
Advocacy
Familiarity
Intimidation
Are there safeguards which can eliminate or reduce the threats to an acceptable level? For examples safeguards can be created by:
profession, legislation and regulation; work environment; organisation’s internal procedures and policies; whistleblowing
procedure. (approximately 1,000 words length).
PART B: Sustainability – Challenges and Solutions
Sustainability is becoming more important for all organisations, across all industries. Over 62% of executives consider a
sustainability strategy necessary to be competitive today, and another 22% think it will be in the future. Simply put, sustainability is
a business approach to creating long term value by taking into consideration how a given organisation operates in the ecological,
social and economic environment. Sustainability is built on the assumption that developing business strategies which foster
organisation longevity. As the expectations on corporate responsibility increase, and as transparency becomes more prevalent,
professional accountants are recognising the need to act on sustainability. Professional communications and good intentions are
no longer enough.
Required:
Identify and describe TWO (2) sustainability challenges, affecting accounting profession as well as threatening the existence of our
planet. Propose solution to each challenge (approximately 1,000 words length).
Please note that this is an individual assessment task.
Your essay should provide original analysis. Specifically, the assessment criteria will be based on four components:
Quality of analysis and depth of reflection
Evidence of your thinking about the ethical issues and its relation to the conceptual material
Consistent, clear and well-supported argument
Structure, written expression, length & presentation
The essay should be presented in the form of a written consultant-style. The entire essay should not exceed 2,000 words, +/- 10%.
Submit your case analysis report to Turnitin via iLearn. No multiple submission or resubmission is allowed.
Extensions: No extension will be granted
Penalties: Late submission will be penalised at the rate of 10% (of total available marks) per day from the date identified as the
due date for the assessment task. Week days and weekend days are included in the calculation of days late. No essay will be
accepted after the one-week period.
Last modified: Wednesday, 16 February 2022, 1:49 PM
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