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Carroll School of Management


Most management students learn in their first accounting course that accounting is the "language of business." In fact, accounting is the discipline that provides the information necessary to evaluate the present and planned activities of complex organizations. It prepares students to render diverse services to individuals, business entities, and government at all levels. Professional accountants develop and apply their skills in auditing, taxation, controllership, management advisory services, and information systems.

The broad objective of the accounting curriculum is to give the student a significant insight into all financial information - how it is generated, how it is processed, and what it means. Any business person must have an understanding of the "numbers" if he or she is to be successful. Therefore, we recommend that every student who has a strong interest in the fields of accounting, financial management, or financial information systems consider accounting as a major. The course of study will provide a strong background for the later (or simultaneous) study of finance, economics, computer science, operations management, and related disciplines.

A major in accounting is also worthy of consideration by those students who plan to attend law school or other graduate programs. Students who majored in accounting have found that their preparation was helpful not only for their graduate programs, but also for their subsequent professional careers.

Accounting Concentration
Accounting Information Systems

Corporate Reporting and Analysis Concentration
Other Information


The objective of the curriculum sequence is to prepare the undergraduate accounting major for a professional career, in accounting or a related field, which will span the next several decades.  As noted above, this curriculum is broadly based in its scope and coverage so as to be relevant and useful for a professional career, whether that be in public accounting, industry, financial institutions, government, information systems, law, or not-for-profit organizations.

Required: 12 credit-hours in
MA301 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory I
MA302 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory II
MA307 Managerial Cost Analysis
MA405 Federal Taxation

AND at least 3 credit-hours from one of the following three classes only
MA309 Auditing & Other Assurance Services*
MA351 Financial Statement Analysis
MA618 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 MSA Program.

**If you plan to enroll in the MSA Program at Boston College, please be advised that AIS or an equivalent systems course is a requirement to graduate.  the systems course can be taken as an undergraduate or graduate student.

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 to satisfy this requirement.  They may choose from the electives list above and below.

Other Accounting Department Electives
MA398 Directed Readings in Accounting
MA399 Research Seminar in Accounting
MA588 Business Writing and Communication
MA601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III
MA602 Theory and Contemporary Issues in Accounting
MA610 International Financial Reporting Standards
MA615 Advanced Federal Taxation
MA616 Personal Wealth Planning
MA634 Ethics & Professionalism in Accounting
MA641 Information Systems Security Management and Forensics
MA699 International Management Experience

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Information Systems (IS) has clearly had and will continue to have a profound effect on business organizations. Employers continually emphasize the value of professionals who both “understand business” and IS. Information Systems people tend to have strong technical knowledge, while accountants have knowledge of the accounting system and are increasingly obtaining a broad understanding of business processes and controls. The combination of the two areas is powerful.

Students fulfilling this concentration will satisfy all of the requirements for the IS concentration and also obtain a background in Accounting.  The curriculum entails 6 courses (5 required and 1 Accounting elective, and is designed for students interested in careers either with the consulting divisions of professional services firms (e.g., major accounting firms, 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
MA 301 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory I
MI 157 Introduction to Programming for Management (or CS 101)
MI 257  Database Systems and Applications
MI 258  Systems Analysis and Design
MA/MI618 Accounting Information Systems

AND at least 3 credit-hours in one of the following
MA 302 - Financial Accounting Standards and Theory II
MA 307 - Managerial Cost & Strategic Analysis
MA 309 - Audit & Other Assurance Services
MA 351 - Financial Statement Analysis

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To enhance the career opportunities of Carroll School students and better meet the needs of employers, the Accounting Department established the “Corporate Reporting and Analysis” concentration. In focus groups held with alumni and recruiters we continually heard of the value of professionals who have a deep understanding of corporate reporting and financial statement analysis. There was also a feeling that strong quantitative skills were needed.

Based on our research with students and prospective employers, the following five-course concentration was developed.

Required: 9 credit-hours in
MA301 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory I
MA302 Financial Accounting Standard and Theory II
MA351 Financial Statement Analysis

AND at least 3 credit-hours in one of the following

MA601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III
MA602 Theory and Contemporary Issues in Accounting
MA610 International Financial Reporting Standards

AND at least 3 credit-hours in one of the following
EC228 Econometric Methods
EC229 Economics and Business Forecasting
MD384 Applied Statistics
MD606 Forecasting Techniques

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

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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.

A Minor in Accounting
Although a "minor" is not officially recognized by the School of Management, many students seek to take one or more accounting courses beyond the sophomore year in combination with a major in another department. In particular, finance majors should consider enrolling in MA301, MA302 and MA351 to gain a stronger understanding of financial statements. The faculty would be happy to advise students on this matter and assist them in selecting a group of accounting courses, from those listed above, that fit their needs.

CPA Recommendations
The Department recommends that students who intend to practice as CPAs check the board of accountancy of the state in which they plan to practice for its specific educational requirements (  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 on-line or in the department office.

Department Secretary: Maureen Chancey, 617-552-3940,

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