INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING AND GOVERNANCE
Learning outcomes of the course unit
a. Knowledge and understanding: at the end of the course, the student will be able to orient themselves in reading and understanding company reports (primarily for listed companies), for both accounting information and voluntary disclosure regarding corporate social responsibility and corporate governance.
b. Applying knowledge and understanding: the student will be able to apply rules and standards to prepare the financial statement, with particular reference to large companies that apply IAS/IFRS. Furthermore, the student will be able to carry out a financial statement analysis, as well as the student will be able to choose the best forms of corporate governance system according to the context in which business activity is developed.
c. Making judgments: the student will be able to read and interpret a financial statement, analyze the information in the sustainability reports, and express opinions on the performance and trends of the companies.
d. Communication skills: the student will be able to interact with the chief financial officers of the companies on accounting issues, as well as with investor relations on matters related to financial communications.
e. Learning skills: the student will learn a study method 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 the student to learn methods to directly analyze companies’ financial documents. The seminars conducted by firms’ managers will improve the empirical knowledge of the student.
Course contents summary
The course analyses the basic theoretical and practical elements of accounting, considering the relevant implications at international level of the financial communication process towards the financial markets, as well as the role of corporate governance systems.
Those aspects are studied also referring to the environmental and macroeconomic context around the companies, in which those elements are developed.
The course is divided in 2 parts.
The first part gives to students the basic tools to understand the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) with references to the specific European regulation and to their development at international level, with a deep analysis of the role and use of accounting information in the decision making process.
Given the specificity and diversity of the advanced accounting systems, the first part of the course aims to let understand the importance of the internal and external controls on the economic information, as well as to provide knowledge to apply the main financial communication instruments, voluntary or compulsory, typical of the multinational firms.
In the second part of the course, the fundamental principles of financial disclosure and financial statement analysis are explored. After analyzing the information in the financial statements required by the accounting standards, the second module provides the basic tools for assessing the profitability, liquidity, and efficiency of a company through the construction of financial statements ratios.
Alexander D., Nobes C., Financial Accounting. An International Introduction, Prentice Hall, 7th Edition, 2020. Chapter 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14
Readings, journal article and other course materials provided by the professor avallabile in Elly website.
Alexander D., Nobes C., Financial Accounting. An International Introduction, Prentice Hall, 6th Edition, 2016. Theory Ch.7 pp.123-145 - Exercises Ch.7 pp. 146-153
Kieso, Donald E., Jerry J. Weygandt, and Terry D. Warfield. Intermediate Accounting, Binder Ready Version. John Wiley & Sons, 2016. Theory Ch.24 pp.1-30 - Exercises Ch.24 pp. 44-64 (see material in Elly)
Business cases developed in the class.
The video lessons will remain present on the elly portal during the semester of teaching, up to the exam session.
Assessment methods and criteria
The assessment of learning skills will be carried out with a written exam lasting 1 hour, through which the student will be required to process the knowledge acquired through the answer to “open-ended” questions.
There are 4 “open” questions, 2 short and 2 long. The answer to each short question will have a maximum score of 5 points, while the answer to each long question will have a maximum score of 10 points (overall, therefore, the maximum score will be 30/30); 2 questions (1 short and 1 long) will focus on the topics covered in the first Module (first part of the exam), 2 questions (1 short and 1 long) will focus on the topics covered in the second Module (second part of the exam).
As regards the second Part, the questions may also take the form of exercise.
The two parts will be evaluated in 15/15; the final mark will be the sum of the mark obtained in the two parts (30/30).
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. It is allowed the use of calculator. The results will be communicated to the students through the information system used in this regard by the Department of Economic and Business Sciences (ess3).
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 30 minutes, and will consist of 2 open questions (1 short and 1 long), having weight respectively equal to 5 and 10, and the result will be expressed in 15/15. 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 to the score obtained in the performance of the only test concerning the second Module (also expressed in 15/15) 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.
The “praise” will be given to those particularly deserving students who, in addition to having complied with the requirements necessary to obtain a full assessment, in the course of the exam have demonstrated an overall appreciable systematic knowledge of the subject, an excellent ability to apply the knowledge acquired to the specific problem in question, a significant autonomy of judgment, as well as special care in the formal drafting of the report.
In the event of a worsening of the situation linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, the verification of learning will take place in a different form (this aspect can be found in the case of a strong, generalized and recognized limitation to the possibility of physical presence during the exams).
In this situation, the verification of learning will be done with a written exam, lasting 25 minutes, online using the platform Elly, through which the student will be required to process the knowledge acquired through the answer to “close” questions.
There are 16 “close” questions/exercises, each one having the same weight in the overall evaluation; 8 questions will focus on the topics covered in the first Module (first part of the exam), 4 questions and 4 exercises will focus on the topics covered in the second Module (second part of the exam).
The 12 questions assign 2 points each in case of correct answer, 1 point in case of partially correct answer and 0 points in case of wrong answer; the 4 exercises assign 2 points each in case of correct answer and 0 points in case of wrong answer, for a maximum total of 32 points.
The rating scale is 0-32; the student who reaches the evaluation of 31 and 32 achieves the evaluation of 30 and “lode”.
A sufficient evaluation is needed in both parts of the exam.
The presentation of the results will take place in the manner described above and, if it can be done in time, the possibility of organizing an intermediate test will also be maintained.