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The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Accounting, Business and Society: The Multi-faceted Role of Accounting

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera


Course Overview:

Accounting professionals are open up for more tasks and duties that require their professional skills and knowledge nowadays, and yet not exerting their expertise just the way it used to be. Without bogging you down with the mechanics of accounting, this course provides an overview of the multi-faceted role of accounting in business and social contexts.

You will get to know the essential of businesses and how they must work around the notions of ethics, the corporate governance (CG) framework and how accountants function as one of the key players in the practices. An thriving area of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is also discussed.

An illustrative approach will be adopted and you will be surprised by how closely accounting is related to things happening around you in your daily lives.

By the end of the course, you are able to:

• Describe the accounting process and different forms of business entities

• Explain the regulatory framework of accounting profession, and how the profession can serve information needs of stakeholders of different forms of business entities

• Describe the broad framework of ethics, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility, and their interrelationships

• Demonstrate the knowledge and respect of ethical behaviour of individuals, businesses, and professionals including accountants in particular

• Explain what are good governance practices and how accounting contributes to such, for both performance and conformance purposes

• Identify good or bad corporate governance and CSR practices of businesses, by making reference to real-life incidents


  • Accounting and Business
    • Welcome to the first module of this course! In this module, You will learn (1) what accounting is and (2) how it contributes to the health and growth of a business and, in turn, the society. Furthermore, you will come across (3) the various forms of business setups and (4) how limited liability companies become the mainstream business concerns for corporate governance practices.
  • The Accounting Profession and Roles of Accountants
    • We often hear that accounting is essential for businesses for various reasons, and that as a profession, accountants are looked upon to for protecting financial interests of stakeholders. In the second module, you are going to learn the institutional and regulatory frameworks of accounting professionals, that give accountants the creditability in their work, and brings the professionalism that they command. In addition, I shall show you not only the mainstream practices of accounting (1) Financial Reporting and (2) Auditing, but also other services that accounting professionals provide.
  • Ethics and Accounting Profession
    • From the previous modules, you have fully understood how accounting can help businesses perform for the betterment of society. Society may also demand businesses to be operated by conforming to his expectations by using accounting. Yet, the most crucial factor for success in the above is the quality of all parties concerned in regard to understanding the roles and also performing them faithfully. This quality is primarily founded on the notions of ethics. In this module, you will learn the notions of ethics. How it serves as the foundation for proper conduct of individuals, businesses and also professionals like accountants. You will have an opportunity to practice how to make ethical decisions using a classical case in this module.
  • Corporate Governance (CG) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
    • Ethical decisions made by companies are assured by way of corporate governance practices.

      In this module, I shall elaborate on the concept of corporate governance (CG), its latest development, and how the Board and corporate governance professionals like accountants function as key players in the practices. I shall also cover Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which is a thriving area of companies’ practice.
  • Corporate Governance Case Study and Guest Interview
    • The Enron Case is one of the biggest corporate scandals in recent years. Enron turned from an acclaimed company into the most infamous company in the world overnight. There were a number of corporate governance issues, leading to the scandal. In this module, let us now take a look at the case, as to how it happened and how he changed the world of corporate governance practices in his aftermath. To conclude the course, I invited an accounting practitioner for an interview and discuss the multi-faceted role of accounting professionals in the new era.

Taught by

Dennis Chan Suk Sun

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4.5 rating, based on 78 reviews

Start your review of Accounting, Business and Society: The Multi-faceted Role of Accounting

  • This course have helped me a lot to learn about the accounting and the business and about the society,this course have helped to gain the knowledge in the business firm and how to run the business in the society
  • Anonymous
    Overall, a good course. Multi-aspect knowledge for accounting can be accepted for different levels of learners. Self-spaced learning process is good for learners to control their own learning with different knowledge backgrounds. Case study is also a good way for learning. There is good explanation for new concepts, and it is accepted by beginners. If there are further sessions for this course, it will be better. The course give insight into the roles of accounting from different aspects and it helps me refresh my knowledge on accounting. The course presentation is excellent and well-structured in an academic and practical way.
  • Anonymous
    This course u must pursue. It is very helpful to overcome in all business and accounting roles in commerce field that must known by every students now a days to complete their dream jobs and achieve their future plans. I suggest every student must enroll this course it is better secure helpful easy understanding and easy way of completion in limited time period.
  • Anonymous
    The course is helpful on the employer and employee side. It gives a meaningful definition of what is the role of an accountant in the workplace be it in a setting of a Corporation, Partnership or simply an Entrepreneur. The society and the government as well heavily relies on the Accountant's role in the sustainability of a business, its stand on corporate social responsibility and ethical standards.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course gave me the insight about the fundamentals of accounting and its role to the society. Corporate governance issues in accounting and importance of ethical practice need to be followed. The Enron case gave insight about the failure of corporate governance and the impact of unethical practices imposed and its big failures which affect the shareholders interest. Overall I have learned about corporate ethics and importance of good governance.
  • Anonymous
    This course is very informative especially to students like me who takes Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. The execution of the lessons per module are very clear and easy to understand. All the activities and illustrations that were involved in the videos were also really helpful. I would definitely recommend others to take this course as well!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    It took months to complete this course because there was nobody to review my final assignment and I also have no one to review. Coursera customer service rep, did not help at all, the only recommendation was to wait till someone review mine and wait till I have 2! assignments to review. so annoying! don't recommend it!
  • Anonymous
    This course is informative and easy to understand. There are a lot of things that one can further learn in this course, especially regarding Corporations and such. It is relatively easy and doesn't take too much of one's time even when some of the quizzes are a bit hard. Highly recommended for others. It was a great experience.
  • Anonymous
    This course was well prepared. And the presenter has a simple way of teaching Accounting which I like, as what I have learned from this course is: Ethical behaviour is very key in personal and corporate success. And we should always keep it in check.

    As for the technical skills, it could be managed.
  • Anonymous
    A wonderfully designed course which drive though corporate and companies and accountants play a role in their sustainability. Apart from playing role for society development. Wonderful course and I personally learned a lot. Thanks for designing such an amazing course.
  • Anonymous
    The course which i have taken was useful for me to know more about the accounting and business ethical issues in accounting. The class also helped me more to gain more knowledge. Thank you so much for the lectures about the couse.
  • Anonymous
    The course is amazing,they way now i understand about how account helps business and society,is amazing,this course really give you direction,and now i have one.thank you for sharing this course
  • Profile image for TWINKLE PAWAR
    This is a fantastic course. It helped me enhance my knowledge on various accounting practices, know about various ethical and unethical practices etc. It was really very informative.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    It's a very helpful course for the students.
    I've learned many new things from this course about accounting and business.
    It's a good start for the beginners.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I have got to know many things about accounting and business. This course is good for beginners.This course is very helpful for students. Examples are explained well .
  • Anonymous
    It was so clear and perfectly understandable teaching. I enjoyed and learnt a lot from this course.

    Thank you
  • Profile image for Alessandro Ferdhinand
    Alessandro Ferdhinand
    This course is very helpful and easy to learn. so that all who read it are not confused and easy so that I can learn it
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I getting a lot of new things and concepts to learn from this course. The teaching was good and the concepts were clear also good number of examples were given. The quizzes are amazing .
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    A good insight about the structure of business and how accounting plays a role in it.
    It's helpful for beginners to understand.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    Thank you for this course.I get know experience and knowledge in using different kind of tools which are useful and effective.I'II use some of them during my lessens.This is a very important course and it has helped me a lot.

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