In the past accounting has often been seen as an activity solely concerned with finance, measurement and rules. This has certainly been the core of the role of the accountant in practice. However in a world concerned with global warming, water and resource shortages and decreasing biodiversity, not to mention human suffering and a disavowal of basic human rights in many parts of the world, there is an increasing role for accountants to play.
As long ago as 1987 the Brundtland Report to the United Nations called for a more sustainable future through sustainable development which it defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. In the twenty plus years since the report more and more organizations around the globe have become 'sustainability' aware. There has been a huge growth in corporate social responsibility and organizations are, for a variety of reasons, keen to measure the benefits accruing from their CSR activities and to report on their activities.
Accountants, and management accountants in particular, are key participants in both these areas. Providing information for decision makers is a core activity for management accountants and developing key performance indicators and producing pertinent management reports are part and parcel of their raison d'etre. In a world urgently looking for sustainable development it is time for accountants to step up to the plate.
This course explores sustainability reporting, stakeholder engagement, full cost accounting and organizational change in the light of sustainability. It also visits ethical theory with a view to understanding why individuals and subsequently organizations act the way they do and what this might mean for sustainability.
Beyond this the course content and assessment strategy has been designed to encourage you to develop your research and presentation skills. You are encouraged to develop and present coherent arguments in the form of written work and a video presentation.
This course aims to:
More specifically to:
On successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
The recommended texts for this unit are:
These texts, along with all other additional reading referenced throughout the learning unit, are available via the Manchester Metropolitan University digital library. Students enrolled on the programme will have access to this digital library and as such, do not need to purchase any text books.