Study guide: Version 16a

The Contemporary Business Issues (CBI) subject examines a number of contemporary and emerging global issues in order to familiarise you with the business environment you are likely to be operating in as an accountant. It also uses Contemporary Business Issues as a vehicle for advancing the development of professional values, ethics and attitudes.

In particular, attitudes that:

  • value learning combined with well-developed personal communication, networking and information technology skills
  • acknowledge the importance of professional curiosity as a means of avoiding imprudent decision-making
  • welcome divergent opinions and creative approaches to problem solving as a means of gaining insights into an increasingly complex and dynamic business world.

This subject will offer you the challenges and opportunities presented by contemporary issues – such as operating in a carbon-constrained economy and in an environment of tight liquidity and dwindling resources.

The CBI subject is an elective subject within the CPA Program. Online resources are used extensively for this subject, including online versions of modules (these are also printed), audio and video presentations and web links.

If you are considering enrolling in this subject, you should ensure you have reliable online access and enjoy the challenge of this type of learning experience.

Exam structure

The CBI exam generally consists of 100 per cent multiple-choice questions. 

General objectives

On completion of this subject, you should be able to:

  • encourage an attitude of professional curiosity by challenging assumptions about contemporary and emerging global issues that are affecting the business environment, and how they should be addressed
  • critically evaluate current research and practice on the origins and effects of contemporary and emerging global issues
  • judge the effects that disclosure requirements will have on financial and non-financial reporting, and consider the overall impact that a shift towards non-financial, sustainability and integrated reporting will have on enterprises and accounting functions.

Subject content

The ‘weighting’ column in the following table provides an indication of the emphasis placed on each module in the exam, while the ‘proportion of study time’ column is a guide for you to allocate your study time for each module.

Module Recommended proportion of study time (%) Weighting (%)
1. The accountant as strategic business adviser 15 15
2. Global business context 17 17
3. Business crime: Investigation, detection and prevention 16 16
4. Financial reporting and beyond 19 19
5. Innovation and risk 18 18
6. Communication and technology 15 15
  100 100

For further information, please see the subject outline (PDF).