Course description

Ethics, Governance and Responsibility for Auditors


Today’s society faces large social and environmental challenges in a sustainable development setting. In the business world employees are facing ethical dilemmas which are increasingly complex due to internationalization and different cultural settings.

Knowledge of basic ethical and moral perspectives is crucial for auditors to analyze ethical situations and alternative possible actions. Good corporate governance is built on ethical awareness, implementation and follow-up, and ensures that the company fulfills its goals with regard to different stakeholders, such as managers, shareholders and boards of directors. Developing and implementing company codes of conduct, anti-corruption measures and environmental impact assessments are examples of good governance.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the responsibility of enterprises for their impact on society, covering how companies deal with environmental and social issues internally and externally. Some of these issues are based on regulations, while others are based on norms and soft laws. Different tools for management of the challenges and opportunities are available, nationally and internationally. Auditors need to be aware of these tools, and know how to apply them, to ensure transparency and reporting in line with the company’s responsibilities.

The course will provide students with knowledge of decision support models that can be applied to developing and reporting on companies’ levels of governance, responsibility and sustainability from a practical perspective to fulfill auditors’ responsibilities.

The course will be interactive and based on literature, lectures, cases and group discussions.

Course content

Key topics addressed in each 3-hour sessions (the order of topics might be changed)

  • Ethics and moral – theory, analysis and practice for an auditing perspective
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability - theory and different practical tools like Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), UN Global Compact (UNGC) and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  • Governance and sustainable development
  • CSR reporting an social impact assessment, IIRC, GHG accounting
  • Corporate Governance, principles and policies, objectives and structure, practice and implementation. Stakeholder management
  • Ethical guidelines for accountants and auditors 
  • Code of Conduct
  • Corporate governance standards and regulations - NUES
  • Social Responsible Investment (SRI), Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criterias
  • Anti-corruption - challenges and responses, UNCAD and dilemmas
  • Management  - leadership
  • How to deal with media - crisis management

Learning outcome knowledge

The course is designed to provide:

  • Knowledge about key ethical theories and moral frameworks
  • Knowledge about ethical standards for auditors
  • Knowledge of corporate govenance and what it entails
  • Knowledge about the concept of corporate responsibility and key sustainability tools
  • Knowledge about the concept of corruption, development, dilemmas and responsibility
  • Knowledge about accounting for social responsible investment and impact assessment

Exam organisation

  • Written exam: 100%