ACCTG 702 : Governance Issues in Accounting

Business and Economics

2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An introduction to the economic literatures relating to property rights, transaction cost economics, and agency theory. Application of these notions to the way in which organisations are structured. Identification of why some transactions are internalised and some are undertaken through markets. The application of these ideas to financial and managerial accounting.

Course Overview

This course examines the role of information, knowledge, incentives and measurement in contracting, organisational design and the governance of economic transactions. In doing so, it applies the academic frameworks of property rights, transaction cost economics, agency and stewardship theory. Students will read and discuss academic articles that develop and apply these frameworks in ways that contribute to our understanding of accounting, management control, corporate governance, and finance issues. Thinking about the issues also depends on the institutional environment as laws, and the extent to which they are enforced, differ across countries.

Students will also read and review research articles that address contemporary governance issues. This may include articles on different organisational forms and governance metrics, board structure and diversity, remuneration and other relevant topics related to the governance of organisations.

Course Requirements

Restriction: FINANCE 702

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify the major factors that explain why some economic transactions are organised within firms, why some are organised through contracts, and the implications for the boundaries of the firm (Capability 1)
  2. Explain why economic institutions and their ownership and governance structures differ across countries. (Capability 1)
  3. Develop a framework to address practical questions such as: contract design, organisational architecture, the level and composition of CEO pay, the size and structure of boards and their committees. (Capability 2 and 3)
  4. Understand the importance of ethics and integrity of the firm and its executives and employees (Capability 5.1 and 5.2)
  5. Engage with fellow students in group presentations and/or assignments. Write clear critiques for academic and professional purposes. (Capability 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Discussions 10% Group & Individual Coursework
Assignments 15% Group & Individual Coursework
Presentation 20% Group & Individual Coursework
Final Exam 55% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Final Exam

Workload Expectations

For this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures or class presentations per week, 4-6 hours of reading and thinking about the content per week and, on average, about 2-4 hours of work per week on assignments and/or other preparation.

Learning Resources

You are not required to purchase a specific textbook for this course. Instead, a set of assigned readings will be provided to you on Talis.  

Other Information

This course consists of 3 hour sessions convened weekly. Initial sessions introduce economic concepts that provide a governance framework and put accounting, auditing, and finance into their institutional contexts. The remaining sessions introduce, evaluate and discuss contemporary governance issues.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 11/12/2019 08:41 a.m.