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Undergraduate Program

accounting

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Undergraduate Program Description

The objective of the curriculum sequence is to prepare the undergraduate accounting major for a career in accounting or a related field. This curriculum is broadly based in its scope and coverage so as to be relevant and useful for a career in public accounting, industry, financial institutions, government, information systems, law, or not-for-profit organizations.

There are three majors housed in the Accounting Department: Accounting, Corporate Reporting and Analysis, and Information Systems and Accounting. Students will not be allowed to concentrate in more than one of these three.

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Concentration in Accounting

Accounting is the language of business. To concentrate in accounting is to understand how business information is derived, analyzed, and communicated to its users. The traditional accounting concentration exposes students to all facets of accounting: managerial and financial accounting, auditing, and taxation. It prepares students for a career in public accounting, industry, financial institutions, government, consulting, law, or not-for-profit organizations. Students intending to acquire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation should choose this concentration to best satisfy its requirements.

Required 12 credits hours in:

ACCT3301 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory I
ACCT3302 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory II
ACCT3307 Managerial Cost and Strategic Analysis
ACCT4405 Federal Taxation

And at least three credits from one of the following four courses:

ACCT3309 Audit and Other Assurance Services*
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis
ACCT6601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III
ACCT6618 Accounting Information Systems**

*Auditing is a requirement to sit for the CPA exam in all states, and a requirement for admission to the Boston College M.S. in Accounting program.

**AIS is a requirement for the CPA exam in many states (including Massachusetts).

Most states require from eight to eleven accounting classes (24 to 33 accounting credits) in order to be qualified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  Because the accounting concentration requires only seven accounting classes (21 credits), a student must take additional accounting classes. The department offers a number of accounting electives that students can take to satisfy their CPA requirements. These electives are listed below.

ACCT3397 Directed Readings
ACCT3398 Directed Research
ACCT4409 Advanced Auditing
ACCT6601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III
ACCT6602 Theory and Contemporary Issues in Accounting
ACCT6610 International Financial Reporting Standards
ACCT6615 Advanced Federal Taxation
ACCT6616 Personal Wealth Planning
ACCT6634 Ethics & Professionalism in Accounting
ACCT6635 Forensic Accounting
ACCT6641 Information Systems Security Management/Forensic Accounting
ACCT6688 Business Writing & Communication
ACCT6690 International Management Experience

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Concentration in Corporate Reporting and Analysis

Students who wish to enter the field of finance and would like to develop a deeper and better understanding of the financial statements that underlie most financial decisions are encouraged to pursue the Corporate Reporting & Analysis concentration. Taken together with a Finance concentration, the Corporate Reporting & Analysis concentration provides the course work for finance majors to understand the assumptions and procedures behind the preparation of financial statements and the skill set to better understand and evaluate financial statements.

Unlike the traditional accounting concentrations, the Corporate Reporting & Analysis concentration focuses solely on financial accounting and provides a valuable complement to a finance concentration. Most students who concentrate in Corporate Reporting & Analysis end up working for investment and commercial banks, mutual funds, and consulting and private equity firms.

Required nine credit hours in:

ACCT3301 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory I
ACCT3302 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory II
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis

And at least three credit hours in one of the following:

ACCT6601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III
ACCT6602 Theory and Contemporary Issues in Accounting
ACCT6610 International Financial Reporting Standards

And at least three credit hours in one of the following:

OPER3384 Applied Statistics
OPER6606 Forecasting Techniques
ECON2228 Econometric Methods
ECON2229 Economic and Business Forecasting

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Concentration in Information Systems and Accounting

Employers continually emphasize the value of graduates who understand both business and the information system (IS) that supports it. While IS professionals develop competence in the design and implementation of business information systems, accountants have a broad understanding of the business process and controls, and how the systems are used to generate information for decision making. Having the two skill sets is invaluable.

Students fulfilling this concentration will satisfy all of the requirements for the IS concentration and also obtain a background in Accounting. The curriculum entails six courses (five required and one Accounting elective), and is designed for students interested in careers either with the consulting divisions of professional service firms, such as major accounting firms and IS departments of companies, or as IS auditors. Students are advised to see a faculty advisor in selecting an appropriate Accounting elective.

This concentration is administered jointly by the Accounting Department and the Information Systems Department.

Required 15 credit hours in:

ACCT3301 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory I
ACCT6618/ISYS6618 Accounting Information Systems
ISYS2157 Introduction to Programming for Management (or CSCI1157)
ISYS3257 Database Systems and Applications
ISYS4258 Systems Analysis and Design

And at least three credit hours from one of the following:

ACCT3302 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory II
ACCT3307 Managerial Cost & Strategic Analysis
ACCT3309 Audit & Other Assurance Services
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis

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Information for Study Abroad

Given the international scope of the profession, Accounting concentrators are encouraged to study abroad. The Accounting Department will recognize certain Core and elective courses for transfer to BC (primarily Managerial Cost Analysis and Accounting Information Systems). Prior approval is required in every case. All Accounting concentrators should meet with the department assistant chair, chair, or secretary to plan their study abroad programs and to obtain definitive course approvals.

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C.P.A. Recommendations

The Department recommends that students who intend to practice as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) check the board of accountancy of the state in which they plan to practice for its specific educational requirements (www.nasba.org). In almost all states, students are now required to complete 150 semester hours of course work to qualify for CPA licensure. In addition, a minimum number of accounting courses with specific topical coverage may be necessary. For more information please refer to the BC Guide to Meeting CPA Requirements available online or in the department office.

Because Boston College students typically graduate with only 120 credit hours (ignoring AP credits and overloads), students may require an extra year of course work in order to meet the 150 credit hours. Boston College offers a Master of Science in Accounting (M.S.) program to meet these additional requirements. For more details on the program, refer to the Boston College M.S. website: www.bc.edu/msa. Students who enter BC with Advanced Placement credits may be able to satisfy the 150-hour requirement in less time. Please contact the Accounting Department in Fulton 520 or via email at csom.accounting@bc.edu if you have any additional questions.

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