Please make sure you are using a supported browser. To find out more click here.

BA4 Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law

CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (2017 syllabus)


The learning outcomes in this subject reflect the professional standards to be demonstrated for the benefit of all stakeholders. With this in mind, the place of ethics and ethical conflict is an essential underpinning for commercial activity. Ethics is more than just knowing the rules around confidentiality, integrity and objectivity. It’s about identifying ethical dilemmas, understanding the implications and behaving appropriately. It includes the role of corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and audit; and their increasing impact in the management of organisations.

Wherever business is conducted the legal and administrative framework underpins commercial activity. With this in mind the areas of contract law, employment law, administration and management of companies is considered.

Summary of syllabus

Each subject is divided into a number of broad syllabus topics.

A percentage weighting is shown against each syllabus topic and is intended as a guide to the proportion of study time each topic requires.

It is essential that all topics in the syllabus are studied, as all topics will be examined. 

Weight Syllabus topic
30% A. Business Ethics and Ethical Conflict
45% B. Corporate Governance, Controls and Corporate Social Responsibility
15% C. General Principles of the Legal System, Contract and Employment Law
10% D. Company Administration


Format: computer based
Availability: on demand at any of the 5,500 Pearson VUE centres around the world
Length: 2 hours
Questions: BA1, BA2 and BA3 each contain 60 objective test questions, while BA4 contains 85 objective test questions.
Marking: computer marked
Results: provisional result available immediately followed by confirmation no more than 48 hours later

Further information
Objective Tests are comprised of a range of items including short multiple choice questions, number entry questions, drag and drop questions and other formats. In BA2 and BA3 short scenarios may be given to which one or more objective test questions relate.

Latest exam pass rates

Transition arrangements

The CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (2011 syllabus) examinations will be available until 10 January 2017. Examinations based on the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (2017 syllabus) will commence on 11 January 2017.

Some registered CIMA students will have passed examinations (or have been awarded exemptions from examinations) before 11 January 2017 based upon the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (2011 syllabus) or earlier. Students will be given credits for subjects within the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (updated syllabus), as shown in the table below.

Click on the relevant 2017 subject to download a transition guide, showing how syllabus content has moved between syllabi.

2011 Syllabus 2017 Syllabus
C01 Fundamentals of Management Accounting BA2 Fundamentals of Management Accounting
C02 Fundamentals of Financial Accounting  BA3 Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
C03 Fundamentals of Business Mathematics No direct match 
C04 Fundamentals of Business Economics BA1 Fundamentals of Business Economics
C05 Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law  BA4 Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law

Syllabus document

Syllabus document

Find out more about the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (2017 Syllabus)


Study options

Browse and purchase CIMA approved courses, resources and products for the Certificate in Business Accounting and Professional Qualification, all in one place on the CGMA Study Hub.

Start Browsing