Corporate Social Reporting

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QMUL School of Business and Management
BUS 216
Coursework 2017
EITHER: Question 1
With reference to suitable examples and the relevant accounting-related literature, you are required to undertake a critical examination of the rise of “corporate social reporting”.
OR: Question 2
Evaluate the extent to which the statement of financial position allows potential investors to assess the security of their intended investment and to determine the true net worth of the business.

Content
You should start on this piece of work as soon as possible. Your answer should take the form of an essay, but use headings and sub-headings to organise the work. For both questions. I would expect appropriate reference to academic articles.
Guidance question 1
• In your answer, you should provide a clear explanation of the meaning of the term CSR (also called sustainability reporting; triple bottom line reporting). In addition, you should provide an assessment of why we have witnessed a rise in CSR the UK
• How do companies report their corporate social activities – these are not part of the financial statements. You should consider whether such reporting (currently mostly voluntary) should be mandatory. Are any guidelines available?
• You should include a critical evaluation of why investors and companies are interested in voluntary social responsibility reporting – citing the perceived advantages and problems. For instance, does CSR improve company profitability and performance or not?
• You might also draw upon recent accounting-related literature/studies into CSR.
Guidance question 2
• Which information is the statement of financial position (B/S) supposed to convey to readers/potential investors? Does it measure the true net worth of the business? Critically assess whether this is actually achieved by the current form of the B/S. If not, then why not?
• Your answer should focus on: an analysis/assessment of the kinds of issues/limitations that potential readers should be aware of when making their decisions based on the B/S. For instance, types
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of information that might be useful to readers but is excluded from the B/S.
• Such issues and limitations have the effect of reducing comparability. One such issue might be the permitted use of alternative valuations and measurement within the B/S by generally accepted accounting practice. A good answer will also make use of suitable examples.
• If potential investors cannot rely on the B/S, what other sources of information might help potential investors to assess the risk associated with investment.
Marking criteria
All assignments must be word processed and marks will be given for good presentation. Poor presentation and poor use of the English language are not marker-friendly and you will lose marks. Marks will be given for:
 Structure and organization
 Standard of Presentation
 Expression and Style
 Demonstration of Knowledge
 Sources Used
 Evaluation/Analysis
 Pertinent Conclusions
 Appropriate Referencing
The length of this piece of work should be about 2500 words.
Plagiarism
Plagiarism is “to steal from the writings or ideas of another”, it is copying or presenting material from someone else’s work in your own written coursework without citation or any indication that the material is a quotation (that is, someone else’s words from books, newspapers, journals and other printed sources).
You may well be using the Internet as a resource for your work, but you must always reference the sites you use. Be very careful when you download materials from the Internet: you must either quote material if you use it directly, or put the substance in your own words. Copying from the work of another student, or getting another student to write something which you hand in as your own work, is also plagiarism and is subject to the same penalties as the unacknowledged use of printed sources. Remember this is an individual piece of work and plagiarism will be dealt with severely. You can find details of Queen Mary’s assessment offences regulations online:
http://www.arcs.qmul.ac.uk/policy_zone/assessment_offences_regulations.pdf
Bibliography
This is a research-based assignment and as far as possible you should refer to appropriate books, professional journals and academic journals. All sources of information should be fully cited in a bibliography.
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Academic accounting journals that you might find useful:
 AOS – Accounting, Organisations and Society
 AAAJ – Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
 CPA – Critical Perspectives on Accounting
 EAR – European Accounting Review
Professional Journals:
 Economia
 Accounting and Business
 Financial Management
A list of all the references used should be included at the end of your work in your bibliography in alphabetical order.
1. References appear in the body of the text as follows:
“The earliest professional accountancy bodies have their roots in late nineteenth century Britain and this model of professionalisation has been replicated, with mutations (Chua and Poullaos, 1998), in many other countries at various times.”
At the end of the text you will have a bibliography. Journal references should be cited in the bibliography, in alphabetical order, as follows:
And book references should be cited in the bibliography as follow
And book references as follows:
Gray,R.H., Owen, D. and Maunders, K. (2010). Corporate Social Reporting. London: Prentice Hall.
All references MUST be fully cited, even journal articles accessed online.
Other notes
 Use essay form, making suitable use of sub-headings
 You must include a word count at the end
 Font size 12 (either Times Roman or Arial)
 Use paragraphs appropriately
 The coursework must be typed and 1.5 x spaced
 Do not rely solely on the internet for research
 Ensure that you answer the question – all parts of it
 Take care with presentation
 Insert page numbers
 You should not put your name on the coursework – other than on the front sheet
 Pay attention to spelling and grammar
Chua, W. and C. Poullaos (1998). The dynamics of ‘closure’ amidst the construction of market, profession, empire and nationhood: An historical analysis of an Australian accounting association, 1886-1903. Accounting, Organisations and Society, 23(2): 155-187.

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