Ethics and Workplace Skills

Commerce & Business Administration
Course Code
ACCT 4580
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
Ethics and workplace skills builds on issues introduced in previous accounting courses and focuses on the behaviour necessary for development of professional accountants. The course introduces CPA Way to analyze a case with a focus on applied knowledge to scenarios that simulate work place situations. Various critical thinking aspects are included to support the process of developing a suitable course of action. The course integrates ways to develop effective written communications skills into the course. The course also emphasizes the skills necessary for students to apply technical knowledge acquired in a team work environment.
Course Content

1. CPA Way, as a problem-solving process developed by CPA Canada.

2. Effective written communication for accounting professionals.

3. Professional standards relevant to CPAs: meaning; ethics in action; current trends; the fair play.

4. Professional responsibilities-Part I: meaning; ethical issues in accounting and finance.

5. Professional responsibilities-Part II: moral approaches to management in accounting; diversity and non-discrimination.

6. Accounting and accountability; environment, health, ethics and the triple bottom line measures.

Learning Activities

Lectures, seminars and case analysis. All methods of instruction apply to in class, hybrid and/or online modes of learning.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy.

Assignments &/or Tests   


Case analysis & Presentation(s) 


Midterm examination


Final examination




To pass this course, students must obtain a minimum of 50% on invigilated assessments, with the 50% calculated on a weighted average basis.

Invigilated assessments include, in-class quizzes, in-class tests, midterm exam(s) and the final exam.

Students may conduct research as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans, which can require obtaining Informed Consent from participants and getting the approval of the Douglas College Research Ethics Board prior to conducting the research.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Apply the CPA Way developed to analyze a case;
  2. Apply the principles of effective written communication to documents relevant to accounting professionals;
  3. Analyze various practical challenges accounting professionals are facing;
  4. Demonstrate understanding of the standards of practice and conduct significant to accounting and finance professionals;
  5. Analyze the core ethical principles applicable to accounting professionals in Canada, common threats to independence, and ethical standards in international transactions;
  6. Explain the meaning of accountability and corporate social responsibility; and the importance of triple bottom line and using Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) frameworks for sustainability reporting.  


Textbook Materials

Text:  Business ethics - A managerial approach, A. C. Wicks, R.E. Freeman, P.H. Werhane, K.E. Martin; Pearson

A significant number of readings are linked to outside resources.  The texbook is integrated in the readings and the reference materials are provided by CPA-Canada with their permission.  




No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for ACCT 4580
Athabasca University (AU) AU ACCT 2XX (3)
Coast Mountain College (CMTN) CMTN BADM 1XX (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR ACCT 3XX (3)
Emily Carr University of Art & Design (EC) No credit
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) No credit
Simon Fraser University (SFU) No credit
University Canada West (UCW) UCW ACCT 4XX (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC COMM 3XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV BUS 1XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC COM 2XX (1.5)
Vancouver Community College (VCC) VCC HOSP 2810 (3)

Course Offerings

Fall 2024