Short Courses

Introduction to Ethics and Ethical Decision Making for Accountants


Professor Marilise Smurthwaite 

Duration & Time: 
Online Self-Paced Course

Course Description

This course covers the many challenges both ethical and other, for those who work withing the accountancy industry. The course provides a basis for the identification and discussion of some of these challenges, as well as for differentiating ethical issues and challenges from the non-ethical. It discusses ethics in the context of organisational culture, and enables participants to understand the ethical implications and actions within the work context. 

Course Inclusions

3 Hours of on-demand video

  • 11 Articles
  • 11 Downloadable resources
  • Access on any computer, tablet or smartphone via the internet
  • Certificate of Completion


Course Curriculum

Module 1: What is ethics?

  • Answers the question: what is ethics?
  • What does ethics study?
  • Concepts studied in ethics
  • Why bother with ethics

Module 2: Ethical behaviour

  • Ethical behaviour
  • Explaining moral standards
  • Normative ethics: theories 


Module 3: Engaging with ethics

  • What does ethics mean?
  • Basis for ethical judgements
  • Relativism
  • Culture 
  • Law

Module 4: Normative ethics – Aristotle

  • Normative ethics: recall
  • Aristotle: humans, ethics and virtues
  • Critique


Module 5: Normative ethics – Consequentialism

  • Consequentialist approaches to ethics
  • Utilitarianism
  • Critique
  • Activity

Module 6: Normative ethics – Deontology

  • Kant’s approach to ethics
  • What help does deontology give us?


Module 7: Justice and caring

  • Justice approaches to ethics
  • Types of justice
  • Caring approaches to ethics
  • Summary: Normative ethics 

Module 8: Ethical decision making –Contexts

  • Contexts
  • Organisational culture 


Module 9: Ethical decision making – Moral reasoning

  • Guidelines for ethical decision making
  • Ethical decision-making process

Module 10A: Additional for accountants

  • Results of unethical behaviour
  • The professions and ethics
  • SAICA and IRBA codes

Module 10B: SAICA codes

  • SAICA code part A: 5 principals
  • SAICA code part B
  • SAICA code part C
  • Reminders from earlier modules


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About the Lecturer

BA(Hons) English (Wits); BA(Hons) Communications (Unisa); HED (Unisa); MPhil in Applied Ethics, DPhil (St Augustine)

Professor Marilise Smurthwaite is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at St Augustine College of South Africa. She was previously the Academic Dean of the College and held The Bishop Fürst Chair of Applied Ethics in Catholic Social Teaching.

Professor Smurthwaite’s areas of interest include business ethics education at postgraduate level. Her areas of research and publication include the corporation and economic justice in South Africa, Catholic Social Thought, especially as an ethical framework for examining the economy and related issues and ethical business leadership.

Register NOW and earn SAICA CPD Points on submission of Certificate of Completion



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