AC470      Half Unit
Accounting in the Global Economy

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Andrea Mennicken KSW 3.09


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Diploma in Accounting and Finance, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MPhil/PhD in Accounting, MSc in Accounting and Finance, MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Law and Accounting, MSc in Management and Strategy, MSc in Regulation and MSc in Risk and Finance. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The course is capped to one section of 55 students. Students on the waiting list will be admitted on a first-come first-served basis.


There are no specific pre-requisites and the course does not require a background in accounting.

Course content

This course examines the fast changing practices and institutions of accounting in the global economy, with a particular emphasis on the roles of accounting in global financial governance. International accounting and auditing standards have been advocated as a way of enhancing global financial stability, so as to stimulate the flow of cross-national investment, expand the scope for market-oriented development, and integrate local enterprises into global financial markets. This course critically examines dynamics of accounting regulation, including international standard-setting and consequences for financial statement users, business entities and wider local and global stakeholders.

Topics include:

Political, institutional and economic influences in changing national and international financial reporting frameworks. The political economy of accounting standard-setting. The work of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the European Union, national accounting bodies, and their political and economic environments.

The effects of national financial reporting requirements and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) on business entities and economic development, particularly developing and emerging economies (including the BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China). The enforcement of financial reporting requirements through auditors, securities regulators, the World Bank and others.

Specific technical challenges (for example, impairment tests, derivatives and other financial instruments, fair value accounting and intangible assets).

The course explores issues from different theoretical perspectives through comparative empirical analysis.



30 hours of seminars in the MT. (Note: Week 1 of MT is reserved for an intensive pre-sessional course for MSc Accounting and Finance students; therefore, main courses, including AC470, start in Week 2 of MT; hence, teaching is for 10 weeks from weeks 2-11.)

A 2-hour essay workshop and one-to-one essay feedback sessions in week 11 of MT.

It is further intended to run a small number of additional sessions with invited speakers who are centrally involved at a senior level in the setting, enforcement and convergence of international accounting regulations. Further details will be provided at the start of the session.


Formative coursework

Students are expected to come to each session prepared having done the assigned readings and having prepared the assigned class discussion questions. In addition, students are required to write an assessed essay of 3,500-4,000 words, to be submitted after the Christmas break. The word limit excludes the bibliography. This written work forms 40% of the overall assessment. A workshop will be held in preparation for the essay assignment. Individual feedback will be given on essay outlines. Further readings, exercises and case studies are set for class discussion each week.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will be given out at the start of the session, and are largely based on academic journal articles. Other readings include policy briefings, regulatory documents, green and white papers, World Bank reports (ROSC). Relevant books: Aerts & Walton, Global Financial Accounting and Reporting (Cengage, 2017); Camfferman & Zeff, Aiming for Global Accounting Standards, 2001-2011 (Oxford University Press, 2018); Botzem, The Politics of Accounting Regulation (Edward Elgar, 2012); Ramanna, Political Standards: Corporate Interest,Ideology and Leadership in the Shaping of Accounting Rules for the Market Economy (University of Chicago Press, 2015); Djelic & Quack, Transnational Communities: Shaping Global Economic Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2010); Nobes & Parker, Comparative International Accounting (Pearson, 2017); Nobes International Classification of Financial Reporting (Routledge 2018); Walter, Governing Finance: East Asia's Adoption of International Standards (Cornell University Press, 2008).


Exam (60%, duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes) in the summer exam period.
Essay (40%) in the LT.

Essay: (40%, 3,500-4,000 words) in LTThe 4,000 words exclude the bibliography.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 25.2
Merit 49.5
Pass 21.4
Fail 3.9

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2018/19: 41

Average class size 2018/19: 40

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication