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ACCT 6374 - 22806 Spring 2014

Course Number ACCT 6374 - 22806
Course Title Seminar in Accounting Ethics
Location Online
Prerequisites ACCT 4321, or equivalent course/experience
Instructor Yingxu Kuang
Office
Office Hours Office Hours: Wednesday 6:30pm-7:00pm (Cinco/Victoria Alternatively); Tuesday 10:00am-12:30pm (Virtual Office at: https://meetonline.uhv.edu/drkuang/); or by appointment
Phone n/a
Fax 281-275-3056
Email KuangY@uhv.edu
Faculty Homepage/URL http://

Prerequisite Policy

Prerequisites for a course exist because the School of Business Administration faculty have determined that the knowledge, skills, and/or exposure students receive through the prerequisites is critical to their success in the course and their ability to contribute to their fellow students' learning experience. In addition, taking your core courses and concentration or elective courses in a prescribed sequence prepares you to integrate the knowledge and skills you are acquiring properly. Students bear the responsibility for verifying that they have the appropriate prerequisites for their courses. Students who enroll in a course without completing the prerequisites risk being dropped from the class at any time during the semester should their lack of prerequisites come to light. In addition, students who enroll without the prerequisites and as a result find themselves at a disadvantage in meeting course objectives will have no redress with the instructor.

Course Description

A case-study approach to accounting ethics. Topics include development of a moral and ethical code of conduct; standards of conduct expected from accounting professional; problems created by the failure to maintain high professional standards; and apparent and real independence. Credit will not be given for both ACCT 6374 and ACCT 6300: Seminar in Accounting Ethics

In this course we will discuss what the business world would be like with and without ethics. We will discuss the problems when professionals some maintain high standards while others do not. Throughout the course we will review actual cases where professional accountants have and have not lived up to the moral and ethical code in order to protect the public from being defrauded. We discuss, review, write about what it means to have and live up to a moral and ethical code of conduct. We will discuss the development of a moral and ethical of conduct; review the professional standards of conduct expected by those in the profession. We will discuss what it means to be both independent in fact and appearance.

Textbook Information

Mintz & Morris, Ethical Obligations and Decision Making in Accounting: Text and Cases, 3rd ed., McGraw-Hill, ISBN 9780077862213(Required)

Information on Buying Textbooks

The Victoria College Bookstore carries textbooks for all UHV SBA courses.

Students may use the publishing information posted above to order their textbooks from their favorite book vendor. However, before doing so you should find out what your vendor's anticipated shipping time is, and what their return policy is. Also, you should not write in or remove shrinkwrap from any textbook or materials you purchase from any vendor until the first class day in the event that:

  • the vendor supplies you with the wrong edition of your text,
  • the course instructor is forced to make a late change to the required textbooks,
  • you are forced to make a last-minute change to your schedule due to missing prerequisites, or
  • your course is canceled due to low enrollment.

In addition, be aware that, on occasion, certain outside vendors may substitute an international version of a textbook for the version you have requested without notice. International versions of textbooks may be quite different from the editions we require.

Required Course Materials

Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (2009). The Public Accountancy Act, Chapter 901 of the Occupations Code. http://www.tsbpa.state.tx.us/./pdffiles/TSBPAACT.pdf

AICPA Professional Standards: Code of Professional Conduct http://www.aicpa.org/Research/Standards/CodeofConduct/Pages/default.aspx

Texas Administrative Code, Title 22, Part 22, Chapter 501 -Rules of Professional Conduct. http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=3&ti=22&pt=22

Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 [SOX] Title II. http://www.sarbanes-oxley-act.biz/SarbanesOxleyAct.htm http://files.findlaw.com/news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/gwbush/sarbanesoxley072302.pdf

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Ethics & Independence Rules. http://pcaobus.org/Standards/EI/Pages/default.aspx

AACSB Accreditation Standards

The School of Business Administration is accredited by AACSB International, the hallmark of excellence in management education. AACSB International accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review. AACSB International accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in management education. AACSB International accreditation adds value to your degree. The AACSB International accreditation standards require you to:

  • Operate with integrity in your dealings with faculty and other students.
  • Engage the learning materials with appropriate attention and dedication. (This standard recognizes the role students play in the creation of high-quality education. You cannot be passive, nor can your participation be superficial.)
  • Maintain your engagement when challenged by difficult learning activities.
  • Contribute to the learning of others. (Regardless of the delivery mode of the program, students should have opportunities to work together on some learning tasks. Students need to acknowledge their responsibilities to their fellow students by actively participating in group learning experiences.)
  • Perform to standards set by faculty.

Course Objectives

As a result of this course, students will:

  1. understand and develop a moral and ethical framework for making ethical and moral decisions that live up to the spirit and not just the letter of the professional code of conduct.
  2. understand and to be able to apply the ethical concepts of honesty, integrity, courage, and independence in serving the public.
  3. understand, comprehend, and appreciate the social and economic problems that have occurred when managers, accountants, and executives have not acted with integrity, independence, and objectivity when dealing with the public.

Course Evaluation Process

Grading Scale:

Your letter grade is determined using the grade distribution that follows. You can calculate your percentage grade at any time in the semester by dividing the points you have accrued by the total points available up to that point. This percentage is then matched to a letter grade.

A 90% or higher
B 80 to 89%
C 70 to 79%
D 60 to 69%
F Less than 60%

Course Assessments:

Examinations200 points
Ethics Paper75 points
Group Cases100 points
Participation125 points

Examinations

Two exams will be given during the course of this class: a mid-term and a final (100 points each). The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy requires that online ethics classes have PROCTORED examinations. Students can take the exams at a UHV sponsored site (Victoria, Sugar Land, or Cinco Ranch). Alternatively, students can find a public library, university site or professional examination site which agrees to serve as a proctored site. An official letter from UHV will need to be signed by an official at the proctor site for each of the two exams. You need to arrive at the site at least ten minutes before the start time in order to register. Also, you need to bring your photo ID to the proctor site. No books, notes, or cell phones will be allowed in the testing area. (Assessing learning objectives 1-3)

Ethics Paper

Students are required to write a research paper on ethics. This paper should consist of 5 pages of text, and a one-page cover sheet containing your name, section number, and a 100 word abstract. Detailed topics will be given at the beginning of the semester. (Assessing learning objectives 1-3)

Group Cases

Each chapter has a required list of cases and will be assigned to groups. Each group will be responsible for 5 cases during the semester. Students are required to discuss the assigned cases on the discussion board and provide a case analysis report as a group. Out of these 5 cases, each group should select 3 cases to present in AbodeConnect and record these presentations. (Assessing learning objectives 1-3)

Participation

The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy requires participation grade to be 25 percent of the course grade for online ethics classes. Students are expected to participate actively in various class activities and discussions. On the discussion boards of blackboard, there will be a list of discussion questions for each chapter. Students need to read the class material and answer those questions on the discussion board. Each student will post ONE original post to address each discussion question and ONE response to one of your classmates original posts. Students are also required to read, summarize, and discuss ethics rules and professional standards issued by various regulatory organizations such as AICPA, PCAOB, and TSBPA. There is an AdobeConnect virtual meeting each week. The instruction manual for AdobeConnect is available on the blackboard. (Assessing learning objectives 1-3)

Reading Assessments

Your capacity to contribute to class discussions is directly related to your commitment to completing all reading assignments by the dates listed on the course schedule. Class participation grades will reflect both the quantity and the quality of your participation.

Makeup Exams

Make-up exams will only be given at the discretion of the instructor. Students are strongly cautioned to notify the instructor immediately if legitimate and insurmountable obstacles prevent them from participating in a scheduled exam session.

Late Assignments

The due dates for all assignments will be strictly followed. Late assignments may or may not be accepted at the instructor’s discretion; should the instructor accept a late assignment, he or she may reduce the grade of the assignment the equivalent of one (1) letter grade for each day the assignment is late.

Attendance Policy

According to the UHV Student Handbook, students are expected to be diligent in their studies and regular in class attendance. A student whose absences are determined by the instructor to be excessive shall be dropped prior to the last day to drop a course or withdraw from UHV with a grade of W or F. For students enrolled in online courses, "absence" connotes a failure to engage in class participation activities on a weekly basis. If an unforeseen crisis (including family emergencies, professional obligations, and technical difficulties) prevents you from fulfilling your course obligations, you are responsible for alerting your instructor to the reason for and anticipate duration of your absence.

Teaching and Learning Partnership

Teaching and learning is a partnership between faculty and students. I will fulfill my partnership obligations by serving as advisor, consultant, mentor and purveyor of general comments and clarifications of difficult or confusing concepts. To this end, I will respond to questions within 72 hours.  You will fulfill your partnership obligations by being a fully participative, responsive, helping, and working team member of the class.  You should check your UHV email frequently and respond to faculty in a timely fashion. Good business and professional etiquette is expected. No derogatory comments should be made. You may certainly disagree with others in class discussions, and you may state your disagreement (if you choose to); however, please do so in a polite manner.

Homework, take-home exams, case assignments and bulletin board participation all play an important role in your education in this course. They are an essential part of the learning process in that they require the synthesis and extension of concepts. They also help both the student and the instructor to evaluate one’s progress in mastering the material. Past experience indicates that generally the course material cannot be adequately mastered without active involvement on your part.

Discussion of homework assignments with others who are also struggling with them can be highly beneficial and is encouraged. Most real-life problems are solved through team efforts, and it is important to learn how to solve problems cooperatively. The interaction with others working on the same problem often reveals different approaches to common difficulties.

Academic Honesty

Each student is responsible for maintaining high standards of academic honesty and ethical behavior. In order that each student understands what is (or is not) acceptable behavior, the following guidelines are offered.

  • Discussion of assignments with other students and members of the faculty is both permitted and encouraged as a constructive educational practice.
  • Students are expected to write their exams, quizzes and papers on their own, based on their individual level of progress with the material.
  • Copying of another’s work and representing it as one’s own work is a serious academic offense, and will be treated as such.
  • Students are encouraged to review materials other than those required for the course in preparing assignments, but should always properly cite any sources used in assignment preparation.

UHV’s Student Handbook contains a detailed description of the university’s Academic Honesty Policy. In addition, tutors at the Academic Center (see section below) are available to assist you in providing proper citations for your source materials.

Disabled Student Policy

The University of Houston System complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, pertaining to the provision of reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids for students with a disability. In accordance with Section 504 and ADA guidelines, each University within the System strives to provide reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids to students who request and require them. If you believe that you have a disability requiring academic adjustments/auxiliary aids, please contact your University’s student disability services center. University of Houston–Victoria, Office of Disability Services, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St., Suite 133-B University West, Victoria, TX 77901. Office phone – 361-570-4287; E-mail worleyc@uhv.edu; Website - www.uhv.edu/DisabilityServices

Student Absences on Religious Holidays

Per Texas state law, students will be excused from attending class and other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student whose absence is excused on these grounds will be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment within one (1) week of the excused absence.

Sexual Harassment

Students who feel they are the victims of sexual harassment may contact the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at 361-570-4290 and/or the Director of Human Resources/Affirmative Action at 361-570-4800.

Grievance Procedures

Students who have non-academic grievances or complaints may contact Student Services at 361-485-4409.

Student Success Center Services

The Student Success Center offers writing assistance to all UHV students in the form of paper reviews by peer tutors. Tutors will aid students in looking more critically at their own writing to examine issues such as organization, structure, and development of ideas. To submit a document for online tutoring, or to schedule an appointment for face-to-face tutoring, please visit the Student Success Center online http://uhv.mywconline.com/. For more information about the Student Success Center and its library of online resources, visit the Center's Web site at http://www.uhv.edu/ac or stop by Suite 129 (University West in Victoria).