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Online · School of Business · Accounting, Economics, and Finance

Accounting Ethics

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/28/2020

Course Description

This course evaluates accounting ethics research in the context of a Christian worldview perspective and in relation to the development of the profession’s code of professional conduct. The course examines the major ethical systems that exist today and distinguishes those that are compatible with a Christian worldview to enable the student to develop a sound framework for ethical decision making. The course presents an in-depth analysis of the two prevailing ethical systems (rule deontology and utilitarianism) advocated for the accounting profession and examines their appropriateness in resolving accounting ethics dilemmas as they relate to the profession’s code of conduct. The course also presents an ethical decision making model based on the profession’s code of professional conduct that is compatible with a Christian worldview.



ACCT 622 and ACCT 612 and ACCT 511 and ACCT 521 and ACCT 531


Appropriate ethical behavior on the part of practicing accountants is crucial to maintaining public trust in the services provided by accountants and ultimately in the accounting profession as a whole. This course provides practicing accountants with a theoretical and practical foundation that will enable them to resolve ethical dilemmas in accordance with prescribed codes of ethics and from a Christian worldview perspective.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the major ethical systems in the world today from a Christian worldview perspective.
  2. Assess accounting ethics research efforts in relation to prevailing ethics systems advocated for the accounting profession.
  3. Apply the provisions in the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct to the resolution of accounting ethics dilemmas.
  4. Use an ethical decision-making model that is compatible with a Christian worldview to resolve accounting ethics dilemmas.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchases 

Duska, R. F., Duska, B. S., & Kury, K. W. (2018). Accounting ethics (3rd ed.). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. ISBN: 9781119118787.

Geisler, N. L. (2010). Christian ethics: Contemporary Issues and options (2nd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book. ISBN: 9780801038792.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Recommended Resource

American Psychological Association. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (Current ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Additional Materials for Learning 

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Word
    5. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (2009). Code of Professional Conduct.

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Group Discussion Board Forums (6)

The instructor will place the student into a group at the beginning of the course. The student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads except for week one where only one reply is required. Each reply must be 150 words.

Individual Research Paper

The student will write a 10–15-page research-based paper in current APA format that evaluates the 2 ethics systems—deontology and utilitarianism—of the accounting profession. The paper must include at least 5 peer-reviewed accounting and business journals for each system considered in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.

Group Research Project

The student will write a 12–15-page research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on the interrelationship among the elements in the model of ethical behavior. The paper must include at least 7 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. The group will then prepare a PowerPoint presentation reflecting their findings.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Group Discussion Board Forums (6 at 100 pts ea)


Individual Research Paper


Group Research Project





Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


ACCT 642

Textbooks: Duska et al., Accounting Ethics (2018).

Geisler, Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues and Options (2010).


Reading & Study




Geisler: Part 1, chs. 1–8

3 presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

Graduate Level Business Program Assessment

Class Introductions

Group DB Forum 1







Review previous readings

Group DB Forum 2



Duska et al.: chs. 2–3

2 presentations

Group DB Forum 3



Duska et al.: chs. 1, 4

1 presentation

Individual Research Paper



Duska et al.: ch. 5

1 presentation

Group DB Forum 4



Duska et al.: ch. 6

2 presentations

Group DB Forum 5



Duska et al.: ch. 7

1 presentation

Group DB Forum 6



Review previous readings

Group Research Project




Group DB = Group Discussion Board


NOTE: Each course module/week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.