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Ethics and Workplace Skills

Course Code: ACCT 4580
Faculty: Commerce & Business Administration
Department: Accounting
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks x 4 hours per week = 60 hours
Learning Format: Lecture, Online, Hybrid
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

Ethics and workplace skills builds on ethical issues introduced in previous accounting courses and focuses on the ethical behaviour necessary for ethical development of professional accountants. The course introduces CPA Canada's ACAF method 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. ACAF Method, as a problem-solving process developed by CPA Canada.

2. Effective written communication for accounting professionals.

3. Ethics fundamentals relevant to professional accountants: meaning; ethics in action; current trends; the ethics of fair play.

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

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

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

Methods of Instruction

Lectures and group discussions.

Means of Assessment

Assignments &/or Tests   


Case analysis & Presentation(s) 


Midterm examination


Final examination




To pass this course, students must obtain a minimum of 50% of 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.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply the CPA developed ACAF Method to analyze a case.
  2. Apply the principles of effective written communication to documents relevant to accounting professionals.
  3. Analyze various ethical dilemmas accounting professionals are facing.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of the ethical issues 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 the importance of triple bottom line.

course prerequisites

(ACCT 3310 with a grade of "C" or better OR ACCT 3410 with a grade of "C" or better) AND FINC 2340 with a grade of "C" or better.


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.