INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING AND GOVERNANCE
Learning outcomes of the course unit
a. Knowledge and understanding: at the end of the Course, Students will be able to orient themselves in reading and understanding of company reports (primarily for listed companies), meaning both the accounting information and financial statements, the voluntary documents regarding the corporate social responsibility, the communication tools on corporate governance, and the information defined by the management accounting system.
b. Applying knowledge and understanding: as a result of the studies carried out, the student will be able to apply assessment standards and criteria for the purpose of constructing the financial statements, with particular reference to large companies that apply IAS/IFRS. Furthermore, the student will be able to carry out and coordinate a management accounting system, through which the management develops the planning, budgeting and controlling activity of the company, as well as the student will be able to apply the best forms of corporate governance system according to the context in which business activity is developed.
c. Making judgments: the Student will then be able to read and interpret a balance sheet, a budget, a business plan and the analytical data information reports, analyze the information present in the sustainability reports of the companies, and understand how to structure the management and control models adopted by them, in order to express opinions on the performance and trends of the same companies.
d. Communication skills: as a result of the studies, Student will be able to interact with the chief financial officers (CFO) of the companies on accounting issues, as well as with investor relations of the same companies on matters related to financial communications.
e. Learning skills: students, at the end of the Course, will learn a study methodology based on the analysis of the documentation provided by the Professor and on the critical interpretation of the knowledge acquired during the lectures. At the same time, the group work developed during the course will enable Students to learn methods to directly analyze companies’ financial documents, in particular a budget, exhibited and discussed at the end of the Course with the Professor and with the classmates. The seminars well conducted by firms’ managers will improve the empirical knowledge of the Students.
Course contents summary
The Course analyses the basic theoretical and practical elements of the '"accounting" science, considering the distinction between the "financial accounting", "accountability" and "management accounting", and also the relevant implications at international level of the financial communication process towards the financial markets, as well as the role of the systems of corporate governance.
Those aspects are studied also referring to the environmental and macroeconomic background around the enterprises, in which those elements are developed.
The Course is divided in 2 Parts.
The first part gives to the Students the basical instruments to understand the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) referring to the specific European rules (UE) and the international arena, with a deep analysis of the role and of the use of the accounting information in the decision making process.
According to the specificity and diversity of the advanced accounting systems, the aim of the Course is giving knowledges to understand the importance of the internal and external controls on the economic information, as well as knowledges to apply the main financial communication instruments, voluntary or compulsory, typical of the multinational enterprises.
The second part of the Course analyses the most important issues linked to “management accounting” in the different steps of planning, budgeting and controlling the managerial activity of companies, through the study of the operational tools like budget and business plan.
Alexander D., Nobes C., Financial Accounting. An International Introduction, Prentice Hall, 6th Edition, 2016.
Readings, journal article and other course materials provided by the professor.
Business cases developed in the classroom.
Assessment methods and criteria
The assessment of the learning ability will be done with an written exam, through which students will be required to answer to open-ended questions.
The written test will allow for each student to test the knowledge, the ability to apply knowledge, the ability to communicate appropriately and the independence of judgment. In particular, the ability to work in a team will be assessed through the evaluation of the workgroup developed during the course, concerning the issues developed in the first part of the course. It is planned an interim exam (written test and oral dissertation) concerning the argument developed in the first part of the course.
The assessment of learning skills will be carried out with a written exam lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes, through which the student will be required to process the knowledge acquired through the answer to “open” questions.
There are 4 “open” questions, each one having the same weight in the overall evaluation in 30/30; two questions will focus on the topics covered in the first Module (first part of the exam), two questions will focus on the topics covered in the second Module (second part of the exam).
The two parts will be evaluated in 30/30; the final mark will be the average of the mark obtained in the two parts.
A sufficient evaluation is needed in both parts of the exam.
This method of verifying learning will make it possible to ascertain the knowledge acquired and the ability to apply this knowledge, as well as the ability to communicate with appropriate technical language and express judgments in an autonomous form on the subjects being assessed.
Moreover, the ability to work in a group will be ascertained through the supervision, by the teacher, of the group work elaborated during the course, with particular reference to what was dealt with in the second part.
The group work will be differently developed in consideration of the number of participating students, but will provide the assignment of 0, 1 or 2 points (depending on the results obtained) to be added to the final evaluation acquired by supporting the final written test.
The student will have to demonstrate that he/she has understood, and be able to apply, the fundamental concepts of each subject dealt with.
The use of texts during the performance of this written test is not permitted. The results will be communicated to the students through the information system used in this regard by the Department of Economic and Business Sciences.
Moreover, the verification of learning can consider the sustaining of an ongoing test, during the course, concerning the topics of the first Module. In this case, the test will last 45 minutes, and will consist of 2 open questions, with the same weight, and the result will be expressed in 30/30. In this case, the results will be visible within the "elly" portal within two weeks of carrying out the test in progress.
The score obtained in this way can be added (on average) to the score obtained in the performance of the only test concerning the second Module (also expressed in thirtieths) to be necessarily supported in the winter session, and not for more than once.
Otherwise, the proof must be supported in its "whole" version as previously described.