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Undergraduate Program

accounting

Undergraduate Program Description

The objective of the accounting 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, Accounting and Information Systems, and Corporate Reporting and Analysis. Students will not be allowed to concentrate in more than one of these three.

Starting Fall 2018 the Accounting Department will be offering a new concentration - Accounting for Finance and Consulting.  This concentration will take the place of the *Corporate Reporting and Analysis concentration, which will end with the class of 2021.  Students presently enrolled in this concentration have the option to continue with it or switch to Accounting for Finance and Consulting.

Also effective Fall 2018, students outside of CSOM will be able to complete a minor in accounting.  The requirements for the minor are based on a subset of the required and elective courses for the Accounting for Finance and Consulting concentration.

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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 only:
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.

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.

ACCT3399 Directed Readings and Research
ACCT4409 Advanced Auditing
ACCT6601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III
ACCT6615 Advanced Federal Taxation
ACCT6616 Personal Wealth Planning
ACCT6623 Fair Value Accounting and Measurement
ACCT6634 Ethics and Professionalism in Accounting
ACCT6635 Forensic Accounting

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Concentration in Accounting and Information Systems

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 and Strategic Analysis
ACCT3309 Audit & Other Assurance Services
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis
ACCT6640 Dive, Dissect and Decide w/Big Business Data

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Concentration in Corporate Reporting and Analysis

This concentration will end with the Class of 2021.  Students presently enrolled will have the option of completing the concentration, or switching to the new Accounting for Finance and Consulting concentration.  Please see either Professor Hutton or Carter for more information.

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 and Analysis concentration. Taken together with a Finance concentration, the Corporate Reporting and 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 and Analysis concentration focuses solely on financial accounting and provides a valuable complement to a finance concentration. Most students who concentrate in Corporate Reporting and Analysis end up working for investment and commercial banks, mutual funds, and consulting and private equity firms. This concentration requires five courses (15 credits): three courses in financial accounting, one elective in accounting and one elective in economics or statistics.

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
ACCT6623 Fair Value Accounting and Measurement

And at least three credit hours in one of the following:
OPER3384 Predictive Analytical
OPER6606 Forecasting Techniques
ECON2228 Econometric Methods
ECON2229 Economic and Business Forecasting

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CONCENTRATION IN ACCOUNTING FOR FINANCE AND CONSULTING

This concentration is designed for students who wish to enter careers on Wall Street or in consulting, providing the skills needed to understand and analyze accounting data-either financial accounting data used in external financial reports or managerial accounting data used for internal decision-making.

The concentration differs from the Accounting concentration in several important ways.  First, emphasis in the required courses is on the user perspective, not the preparer perspective.  This applied approach will give more hands-on experience with data for decision-making.  Second, this concentration allows for significant flexibility in building an accounting curriculum.  Students have the flexibility to choose electives that broaden their understanding of accounting topics in ways that will enhance their non-accounting career paths.

This concentration requires four courses (12 credits): one intermediate accounting course, one required elective in either managerial cost analysis or financial statement analysis, and two other electives from a set of approved electives in accounting, finance, operations, or economics.

Required three credit hours in:

ACCT3321 Intermediate Accounting for Finance & Consulting*

*Note: ACCT3301 FAST I will be accepted as a substitute for ACCT3321.

And at least three credit hours from one of the following

ACCT3307 Managerial Cost Analysis
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis

And at least six credit hours from two of the following:

ACCT3307 Managerial Cost Analysis OR ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis
ACCT4405 Federal Taxation
ACCT6601 FAST III
ACCT6618 Accounting Information Systems
ACCT6623 Fair Value Accounting and Measurement
ACCT6635 Forensic Accounting
ECON2228 Econometric Methods
MFIN6616 Investment Banking
OPER3384 Predictive Analytics
OPER6606 Forecasting Techniques

*ACCT3321 Intermediate Accounting for Finance & Consulting. This intermediate financial accounting course builds on ACCT1021 to provide, in greater depth, a comprehensive understanding of financial accounting topics important to assessing firm performance.  The course is designed to teach “users” of financial statements (rather than “preparers” of financial statements) how accounting information, shaped by regulation, has advantages and limitations in assessing the economics of the underlying business.  The goal of the course is to provide a better understanding of financial reporting and accounting information as an input to evaluating a firm.  With hands-on use of cases and SEC filings, this course is beneficial for students seeking careers that require the use of financial statement information as an input to decision-making.

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Accounting for Finance and Consulting Minor

This minor is for students who are interested in learning accounting to be better prepared for careers in finance or consulting.

Required Courses: 

ACCT1021 Intro to Financial Accounting

ACCT3321 Intermediate Accounting for Finance and Consulting*

Choose a Track:

Consulting Track

ACCT3307 Managerial Cost Analysis**

Finance Track

ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis***

Two electives from the following list

  • ACCT3307 Managerial Cost Analysis**
  • ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis***
  • ACCT4405 Federal Taxation
  • ACCT6601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III
  • ACCT6623 Fair Value Accounting and Measurement
  • ACCT6635 Forensics Accounting
  • ACCT6640 Dive, Dissect & Decide w/Big Business Data
  • OPER3384 Predictive Analytics
  • OPER6606 Forecasting Techniques
  • ECON2228 Econometric Methods
  • MFIN2235 Investment Banking
  • MFIN6616 Investment Banking

*ACCT 3301 FAST I will be accepted as a substitute for ACCT3321

**ACCT 1022 Managerial Accounting is a prerequisite for ACCT 3307

***MFIN 1021 Basic Finance is a prerequisite for ACCT 3351

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Accounting for CPAs Minor

This minor is for students who are interested in working in public accounting. Please note: to meet the CPA requirements, students will need several courses beyond the minor.

Required Courses: 

  • ACCT1021 Intro to Financial Accounting
  • ACCT3301 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory I
  • ACCT3302 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory II
  • ACCT3307 Managerial Cost Analysis
  • ACCT3309 Auditing & Other Assurance Services
  • ACCT4405 Federal Taxation

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 e-mail at csom.accounting@bc.edu if you have any additional questions.

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