AC102-Assurance, Governance and Ethics

Module Provider: Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Mrs Elaine Darby


Summary module description:
This module introduces students to the concepts of assurance, governance and ethics in the corporate environment and explores the role of management and auditors in this context.

This module is delivered at University of Reading, University of Reading Malaysia and Beijing Institute of Technology.

This module is aimed primarily at students who want to go on to become Chartered Accountants. This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the assurance process, specifically in relation to the assessment of internal controls and gathering of evidence on an assurance engagement. This module also aims to introduce students to the fundamental notions of governance, sustainability and corporate responsibility as they apply to the management of a business and to introduce the basic concepts of professional ethics.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
1.Describe and explain the effects on a business of internal and stakeholder needs, in relation to governance, corporate responsibility, sustainability and ethics.
2.Describe and discuss the roles and responsibilities of a range of actors in relation to corporate governance.
3.Identify and explain the legal and professional consequences of whistleblowing, fraud, bribery and corruption, money laundering and data protection laws.
4.Describe different types of assurance engagement and explain the levels of assurance that can be provided.
5.Describe, explain and apply the process of assurance, including agreeing the terms and planning an assignment, documenting work performed, and reporting on the assignment in simple scenarios.
6.Describe the importance of internal controls in organisations and identify weaknesses in internal control systems.
7.Explain and apply the different methods used during assurance engagements to obtain sufficient and appropriate evidence to support conclusions.

Additional outcomes:
Structured activities are designed to develop independent learning, including reflective adaptive and collaborative learning.

Outline content:
•Corporate governance, responsibility and sustainability
•Codes of professional ethics
•Legal framework; whistleblowing, fraud, bribery and corruption, data protection and money laundering
•Concept of and need for assurance
•Process of assurance
•Internal controls; documenting transaction cycles and identification of weaknesses in internal control systems
•Gathering and documenting audit evidence; substantive procedures and management representations

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is delivered through a combination of interactive lectures which will introduce students to topic areas and practical workshops where students will consolidate their understanding through guided question practice and discussion.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 3
Practicals classes and workshops 16
Guided independent study 161
Total hours by term 197.00 3.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 80
Class test administered by School 20

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Formative assessments are set for all weeks of the module to enable students to practice techniques and exam style questions. This work is primarily designed as a learning vehicle, and students will be provided with marking guides and feedback where appropriate so that they can assess their own performance.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One two hour unseen written exam in the Summer term.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A minimum mark of 40% is required for a University pass.

    This module contributes to the Assurance module of the ACA Professional stage knowledge level. In order to apply for ICAEW credit for prior learning, a minimum mark of 50% must be obtained on this module.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment is by examination only in August / September of the same year.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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