CPA Learning Activities 2007


1.You have the task of developing an advertising campaign to encourage young graduates to go into the accounting profession. Design a web page or prepare a brochure including

  • Ability to work world-wide
  • Wide range of industries to work in
  • Attractive salary and conditions
  • Chance of moving into related business areas
  • Qualifications

Go to the CPA Australia home page>Students>Real Business Magazine to find some examples

2.Prepare a brochure or poster showing the range of industries in which accountants are employed. You could get information and pictures from newspapers and the CPA Australia careers section  > CPA Passport > Resources>Real Business (for some examples)

3. Go to>Secondary school info > jobs that CPA's do and find the list of jobs that CPA's can do. Check out the job section in daily newspapers. Find job advertisements for accountants and match them with the list you obtained from the CPA Australia website. Identify the requirements and skills needed for these jobs.

4. Identify and explain how CPA Australia performs it role.

5.Read the stories of the four young CPA members in the Case Study. Write a short paragraph explaining which of these jobs appeals to you.  Give your reasons.

6. Design and prepare a graph or pie chart showing where CPA members are employed. Describe the areas in which you would like to work if you were a CPA.

7. Accountants have been thought of as people who write down a lot of figures and see if the business has made a profit. Outline how accountants have moved on from this original role.

8. The role of ethics in business is a difficult one for an accountant. Consider these problems.

Case A The manager of the business asks you look at the internet usage by people who work in the office. You feel uncomfortable about looking at other people's emails. What would you do?

Case B  You are the partner in an accounting practice and you notice that some of your clients have followed an accountant who left your practice and you have lost business. Should the other accountant have taken your clients? Justify your answer.

Case C  You are a junior accountant in a large public company. Upon reading a report you find that there has been a cover-up by management over an environmental problem that would cause the company to be fined and experience a drop in its share price? What should you do?         

The discussion and answers to these ethical problems can be found at>MemberServices>Overview>Professional requirements of members >Ethical dilemmas

9. There have been many business collapses over recent years such as Enron, WorldCom, HIH, One.Tel and Parmalet. Using your computer’s search engine find out about one of these business collapses. Write a short paragraph about the business collapse and how it could have been avoided.

10. Jane is unsure what she must do to become a CPA. Outline the steps she must follow to become a CPA. Use the Case Study and the CPA Australia website for reference.

11. Explain how CPA Australia promotes ethical behaviour in business. The following terms describe some of the aspects of CPA Australia and CPA's.

  • CPA Australia
  • accounting body
  • sport and music
  • technical skills
  • ethical standards
  • financial literacy
  • forensic accountant
  • e-commerce analyst
  • corporate
  • public practice
  • management accounting
  • environmental accountant

Write a story, dramatic, factual or humorous, including at least eight of these words. The story should make it clear from the context the meaning of the terms used.


For students who develop an interest in the area of business and finance there have been some excellent books published on corporate collapses. Amongst them are:

Paul Barry: Rich Kids Bantam Books 2002 *

Paul Barry: The Rise and Fall of Allan Bond Bantam Books 1991 *

Robert Sobel: When Giants Stumble Prentice Hall Press 1999

Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind: The Smartest Guys in the Room  Penguin Books 2004

                (also available on video)

* Now obtainable through Random House Australia

These readable books provide another learning tool for students. Students may use the books to further their knowledge and understanding of corporate ethics and the need for good accounting practices.