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Lesson activity: ethics

This resource suggests lesson activities to support the teaching of the impact of ethical considerations topic from our accounting specification.

Task one

Set an initial research task to promote engagement. One simple task is to ask students to research the following terms used in the context of accounting information/financial reporting, and for them to give in their own words a definition and an example for each:

  • fair presentation
  • faithful presentation
  • creative accounting
  • impression management
  • financial fraud
  • regulatory framework
  • corporate governance.

A discussion could then take place about the significance of each.

Task two

To build on task one, students are to research some current accounting scandals reported in the media and decide which of the above apply, ie the Tesco court case took place in September 2017, so it is likely to feature regularly in the media. Likewise, the Toshiba scandal is still relatively recent so it should be easy to find the details.

A discussion could then take place comparing comparing their findings to the terms defined in task one. Students could be asked to consider how the following impacted on the scandals:

  • pressure from management
  • pressure from investors/owners
  • opportunity
  • reluctance to challenge actions.

Task three

Students are to research the role/duties of the following:

  • directors
  • internal auditors
  • external auditors
  • remuneration committee.

Task four

Learnings are to research the website of a CCAB member or CIMA and investigate what actions are suggested if a member is faced with an ethical dilemma.

A discussion is then to take place contrasting the recommended approaches – where are they similar and where are they different? Students are to judge how useful they believe the approaches to be if they personally were placed in an ethical dilemma. Challenge their views for chains of logical reasoning.

Students are to write a paragraph giving their judgement and chain of argument. Display the best/most improved in the classroom.

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