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The GDA is delivered through a blend of active seminars, self-directed research, case projects based on the CFE format, and lectures.

The program curriculum consists of five mandatory courses. The five courses represent the post-undergraduate course requirements for entry into the CPA Capstone Modules 1 and 2, preparing you for writing the Common Final Examination (CFE). You must successfully complete these courses to receive the Graduate Diploma in Accounting from Smith School of Business. Both the Audit & Assurance stream and the Performance Management stream can be completed through this program.

This course examines the main issues in contemporary financial accounting theory and research, drawing on such areas as managerial economics, information theory, and agency theory. The emphasis is on active seminar participation and self-directed research, though approximately half of the class time is given to lectures. Some of the topics covered vary from year to year, depending on what are the most pressing current issues. They may include: theory of income and capital; markets for auditing services; effect of accounting information on capital markets; managers’ selection of accounting procedures; standard-setting; structure and governance of the accounting profession; ethics and accounting for environmental externalities; inflation accounting; international comparison of the bases for accounting principles; and selected topics such as deferred taxes or pension accounting.

This course is designed as a second course in taxation of income in Canada. The primary focus is on Federal taxation as provided in the Canadian Income Tax Act. Occasional reference will be made to provincial taxation and the HST. The emphasis within Federal Taxation is on the calculation of corporate taxes, as determined by the calculation of business income for tax purposes. This includes the understanding and determination of capital gains and losses, capital cost allowance, capital cost recapture and terminal losses. The tax consequences of rollovers, corporate reorganizations, partnerships, and trusts will also be covered. This material will be taught using comprehensive case analysis, group discussions and court cases.

This course provides an in-depth coverage of IT auditing and internal controls' topics, as well as discussion and analysis of recent developments in Third Party Audit Reporting, Sarbanes Oxley and Bill 198 legislation, current IT issues, and the overall relationship between IT and accounting developments. Lectures are supported by using class discussion, examples taken from practice, authoritative pronouncements and case studies. The ability to analyze issues and communicate recommendations from case studies is considered a critical element within the accounting profession. Case studies through group work, in class examples, and as part of final grade evaluations represent a critical element of this course.

This is a second-level course in auditing which will examine current issues facing the auditor and will provide greater understanding of the general auditing framework and associated theory (such as risk analysis and statistical sampling). Concepts will be discussed in a seminar environment to facilitate application of the concepts to future situations. Topics will include the role of the auditor, risk assessment, internal controls, business process evaluation, auditor independence and ethics and the regulatory environment. The course will focus on developing the students' ability to gain integrative understanding of a business and its regulatory environment through case analysis and discussion.

* This course is not required if you are in the Performance Management stream.

In today’s environment, professional accountants are being asked to address a bewildering range of problems containing multiple issues that can only be addressed from an integrated perspective. Problems and demands for services in the business world are rarely confined to isolated silos such as auditing, financial accounting, finance, management accounting, information systems and taxation but have implications across these silos and are embedded in the context of broader management issues. Hence, the course features extensive investigation into how a professional accountant can identify and prioritize issues that draw on multiple technical competencies to develop solutions for practical business problems that cannot be dealt with by concentrating on any one technical competency by itself. Further, the student is expected to use their general business background knowledge (i.e. the enabling competencies) to put the issues and problems into an appropriate managerial or professional reporting relationship including appropriate consideration of ethical principles.

Case Writing Workshops

Smith’s GDA includes intensive, full-day, case writing workshops led by Densmore Consulting, specialists in preparing for the CFE. Students are thoroughly prepared for one of the most important challenges of their professional lives.

“Accounting is the language of business. Together with the CPA, the Smith GDA provides prospective employers with a level of trust in your understanding of business and financials. With an accounting specialization the employment options are extensive.”

Matt Zaffino, GDA
Director Finance, Green Standards Ltd.