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Fields of Study



Accounting is defined as "the art of recording, classifying, and summarizing in a significant manner and in terms of money, transactions and events which are, in part at least, of financial character, and interpreting the results thereof." (CICA Terminology for Accountants, 1983) 

Accounting Profession

Canada’s three professional accounting bodies (Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified General Accountant (CGA)) have unified under the banner of the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).  The new professional body, CPA Canada, and its provincial affiliates offer the Professional Education Program (or PEP) as a post-undergraduate means of becoming a CPA.  Given the breath of choice in the accounting profession, CPA Canada offers numerous paths to becoming a CPA including via the Graduate Diploma in Accounting program at Smith School of Business. All paths lead to the rigorous three-day Common Final Evaluation (CFE).  The Smith GDA program is the fastest route to writing the professional examination taking thirteen months from the completion of the GDA.  The professionally-based PEP program takes twenty-seven months from the date of completion of the Commerce degree and involves taking six modules and four examinations over the two year period. 

See the CPA Canada Education website for more details.


Course Title
COMM 310 Environmental Accounting
COMM 311 Financial Accounting Practices, Principles and Concepts
COMM 312 Intermediate Management Accounting
COMM 313 Financial Accounting II
COMM 317 Auditing
COMM 319 Income Taxation
COMM 392 Introduction to Data Management and Analytics for Business
COMM 411 Financial Statement Analysis and Accounting Based Valuation
COMM 414 Management Control
COMM 415 Corporate Governance and Control
COMM 416 Organizational Fraud
COMM 417 Business Combinations Accounting

Course offerings vary year to year, the course term is subject to change, course enrolment is limited, and courses may be cancelled due to instructor availability or low enrolment. Use SOLUS to get the most up-to-date course offerings.

Smith School of Business offers two areas of focus that leads students to be prepared for becoming professional accountants, public accounting practice and performance management. Public accounting practice prepares a student for working in a public accounting firm environment and is the traditional path towards becoming a licensed public accountant. The performance management focus prepares a student to take a job in the industry (e.g. banking, oil and gas, etc.) or the non-public accounting areas of public accounting firms. Students in both streams can become professional accountants but those enrolled in the performance measurement stream are not eligible to become licensed public accountants without additional educational requirements.

Course Path for Accounting Specialization - Public Accounting Practice

Path Year Fall Winter
On campus Years 3 & 4 3 311, 312 313, 414
4 319, 381 317, 392, 417
Winter exchange 3 311, 312, 319 Exchange
4 313, 317, 381 392, 414, 417
Fall exchange 3 Exchange 311, 381, 414
4 312, 317, 319 313, 392, 417
Start accounting in Year 4 4 311, 312, 319, 381 313, 317, 392, 414, 417

View the course path for .

Course Path for Accounting Specialization - Performance Management

Path Year Fall Winter
On campus Years 3 & 4 3 311, 312, 411 313, 414, 392
4 319, 381 317, 415, 417
Finance elective: one of COMM 321, 322, 323
Winter exchange 3 311, 312, 381 Exchange
4 313, 319, 411, 414 317, 392, 415, 417
Finance elective: one of COMM 321, 322, 323
Fall exchange 3 Exchange 311, 381, 414, 392
4 312, 313, 319, 411 317, 415, 417
Finance elective: one of COMM 321, 322, 323
Start accounting in Year 4 4 311, 312, 381, 319, 414 313, 317, 392, 411, 415, 417
Finance elective: one of COMM 321, 322, 323
  • COMM 311 is a pre-requisite for both COMM 313 and COMM 317
  • COMM 417 is restricted to 4th Year students only and who have completed at least four courses in Accounting

Graduate Diploma in Accounting

Upon successful completion of the BCom degree, students who wish to pursue their CPA designation may also complete the 13-week Graduate Diploma in Accounting (GDA).


Please refer to the faculty profiles for individual research interests and publications.