Undergraduate Concentrations

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 businessperson 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.

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 it 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.

The Accounting Department offers three concentrations and two minors.  The three concentrations include:

  1. Accounting;
  2. Accounting for Finance and Consulting; and
  3. Accounting Information Systems.

The two minors include one with requirements that are a subset of the Accounting for Finance and Consulting concentration, and one that is available for students wishing to take the CPA exam.

Accounting Concentrations

Accounting Concentration

The objective of the accounting curriculum sequence is to prepare the undergraduate major for a professional career in public accounting, industry, financial institutions, government, information systems, law, or not-for-profit organizations.  The curriculum is broadly based in its scope and coverage so as to be relevant and useful for a variety of careers.  Students intending to acquire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation should choose this concentration to best satisfy its requirements.

Required: 15 credit-hours in 

Course # Course Name
ACCT1022 Managerial Accounting
ACCT3301 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory I
ACCT3302 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory II
ACCT3307 Managerial Cost & Strategic Analysis
ACCT4405 Federal Taxation

AND at least 3 credit-hours from one of the following four classes only 

Course # Course Name
ACCT3309 Audit & Other Assurance Services*
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis
ACCT6601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III
ACCT6618 Accounting Information System (AIS)

*Auditing is a requirement to sit for the CPA exam in all states and a requirement for admission to the Boston College Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) Program.

Most states require from eight to eleven accounting classes (24 to 33 accounting credit hours) in order to be qualified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  Because the accounting concentration requires only six accounting classes (18 credit hours), in addition to ACCT1021 Financial Accounting (3 credit hours) included in the CSOM core, a student must take additional accounting classes.  The department offers a number of accounting electives that students can take to satisfy their CPA requirements.

Accounting Department Electives

Course # Course Name
ACCT3309 Audit & Other Assurance Services
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis
ACCT3399 Directed Readings and Research
ACCT4409 Advanced Auditing (Spring)
ACCT6601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III
ACCT6615 Advanced Federal Taxation
ACCT6618 Accounting Information Systems
ACCT6623 Fair Value Accounting and Measurement
ACCT6626 Taxes & Management Decisions
ACCT6634 Ethics & Professionalism in Accounting**
ACCT6635 Forensic Accounting
ACCT6640 Dive, Dissect & Decide w/ Big Business Data (Spring)

** Please note - Massachusetts is no longer accepting this course as one of the required 10 accounting classes.
Please check with the state where you plan to practice to see if this course will count towards your required Accounting credits. 

Learn more about the Accounting for CPA concentration

Accounting for Finance and Consulting Concentration

The Accounting for Finance and Consulting Concentration builds on the CSOM core curriculum and is a great complement to many other concentrations, including Finance, Marketing and Operations. Students with this concentration can pursue a wide variety of careers in business, including financial analysis, investment banking, consulting, marketing and management training programs. Skills learned in this concentration position students for greater upward mobility in their career paths; the need for managers with an understanding of financial statements and financial reporting is evergreen. This concentration 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 an underlying business.

Objectives

The objectives of the Accounting for Finance and Consulting Concentration are:

1) Expand and deepen your knowledge of external financial reporting and choices that managers make in preparing information for SEC filings. This knowledge is critical for both those who plan to use financial statements to analyze or value companies and those whose jobs require an understanding of how business decisions affect financial statements.

2) Provide an understanding of the accounting data and information managers use for internal decision-making. For students interested in marketing or consulting, this knowledge enables you to accurately assess the true costs of producing a product or service and to identify the relevant information for make-versus-buy decisions. You will develop skills needed to accurately forecast revenues, expenses and product demand. You will also understand how to set important organizational controls.

3) Provide students with the financial tools and accounting savvy needed to converse with upper level management about the operations of the firm.

Guidelines and Courses

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

Required: 

3 credit-hours in

Course # Course Name
ACCT3321 Intermediate Accounting for Finance & Consulting*


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

Course # Course Name
ACCT3307 Managerial Cost & Strategic Analysis
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis

 AND at least 6 credit-hours from two of the following**

Course # Course Name
ACCT3307 OR ACCT3351 Managerial Cost & Strategic Analysis OR Financial Statement Analysis***
ACCT3309 Audit & Other Assurance Services
ACCT4405 Federal Taxation 
ACCT6601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III
ACCT6615 Advanced Federal Taxation
ACCT6618 Accounting Information Systems
ACCT6623 Fair Value Accounting and Measurement
ACCT6626 Taxes & Management Decisions
ACCT6635 Forensic Accounting
ACCT6640 Dive, Dissect & Decide w/ Big Business Data (Spring)
BZAN3375 Operations Strategy & Consulting
BZAN3384 Predictive Analytics
BZAN6606 Forecasting Techniques
ECON2228 Econometric Methods
MFIN2235   Investment Banking (fulfills Finance ‘Bucket’ elective)
MFIN6616 Investment Banking (fulfills Finance ‘Other’ elective)

*As a substitute for ACCT3321 you may take both ACCT3301 (FAST I) and ACCT3302 (FAST II). Both must be taken to count towards the requirement. ACCT3302 will count as one of your electives.

** A maximum of one elective can count towards the requirements of two different concentrations.

***Both classes may be taken, and the second one will count as an elective.

Accounting and Information Systems Concentration

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, 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

Course # Course Name
ACCT3301 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory I
ACCT/ISYS6618 Accounting Information Systems
CSCI1101 Computer Science 1 OR *BZAN 2021 - Coding for Business
ISYS3257
Database Systems and Applications (OR CSCI2257)**
ISYS4258 Systems Analysis and Design

*BZAN2021  - Coding for Business can be taken by classes 2022 and 2023 who have not taken ISYS2157 or CSCI1101; BZAN2021 - Coding for Business will become a CSOM core course starting with the class of 2024, and CSCI1101 will then be required for the classes of 2024 and after.

**Beginning with the class of 2024, ISYS3350 - Data Management for Analytics and Applications will be required in place of  ISYS3257 or CSCI2257.

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

Course # Course Name
ACCT3302 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory II
ACCT3307 Managerial Cost & Strategic Analysis 
ACCT3309 Audit & Other Assurance Services
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis
ACCT6640 Dive, Dissect & Decide with Big Business Data (Spring)

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.

The objective of the accounting curriculum sequence is to prepare a student for a professional career in public accounting, industry, financial institutions, government, information systems, law, or not-for-profit organizations.  The curriculum is broadly based in its scope and coverage so as to be relevant and useful for a variety of careers.  Students intending to acquire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation should choose this minor to best satisfy its requirements.

Please note: This MCAS minor does not ensure that a student meets all requirements for sitting for the CPA exam. For instance, most states require a significant number of general business classes to sit for the CPA exam. This minor is only meant to give an MCAS student a start on meeting the many requirements.

Required Courses:

Course # Course Name Notes
ACCT1021 Financial Accounting Prereq for all acct courses
ACCT3301 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory I  
ACCT3302 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory II Prereq: ACCT3301
ACCT3307 Managerial Cost & Strategic Analysis  
ACCT3309 Auditing & Other Assurance Services*  
ACCT4405 Federal Taxation  

*Auditing is a requirement to sit for the CPA exam in all states and a requirement for admission to the Boston College Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) Program.

Most states require from eight to eleven accounting classes (24 to 33 accounting credit hours) in order to be qualified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  Because the accounting concentration requires only six accounting classes (18 credit hours), in addition to ACCT1021 Financial Accounting (3 credit hours) included in the CSOM core, a student must take additional accounting classes.  The department offers a number of accounting electives that students can take to satisfy their CPA requirements.

Accounting Department Electives

Course # Course Name
ACCT1022 Managerial Accounting
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis
ACCT3399 Directed Readings and Research
ACCT4409 Advanced Auditing (Spring)
ACCT6601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III
ACCT6615 Advanced Federal Taxation
ACCT6618 Accounting Information Systems
ACCT6623 Fair Value Accounting and Measurement
ACCT6626 Taxes & Management Decisions
ACCT6634 Ethics & Professionalism in Accounting**
ACCT6635 Forensic Accounting
ACCT6640 Dive, Dissect, & Decide w/ Big Business Data (Spring)

** Please note - Massachusetts is no longer accepting this course as one of the required 10 accounting classes. Please check with the state you plan to practice in to see if this course will count towards your required Accounting credits.

Accounting for Finance and Consulting Minor

The Accounting for Finance and Consulting minor leverages the critical thinking and communication skills developed in the MCAS curriculum, providing students with key skills that distinguish them from other new hires in financial services or consulting. It also provides students with an advantage in graduate business programs.

Objectives:  The objectives of the Accounting for Finance and Consulting minor are:

  • Develop your knowledge of external financial reporting and choices that managers make in preparing information for SEC filings. This knowledge is critical for both those who plan to use financial statements to analyze or value companies and those whose jobs require an understanding of how business decisions affect financial statements.
  • Provide an understanding of the accounting data and information managers use for internal decision-making. For students interested in consulting, this knowledge enables you to accurately assess the true costs of producing a product or service and to identify the relevant information for make-versus-buy decisions. You will develop skills needed to accurately forecast revenues, expenses and product demand. You will also understand how to set important organizational controls.
  • Provide students with the financial tools and accounting savvy needed to converse with upper level management about the operations of the firm.

 

Courses: This minor requires six courses (18 credits):

Required Courses:

Course # Course Name Notes
ACCT1021 Financial Accounting Prereq for all Accounting courses
ACCT3321 Intermediate Accounting for Finance & Consulting*  
Choose a Track:
Consulting Track
ACCT1022 Managerial Accounting  
ACCT3307 Managerial Cost & Strategic Analysis Prereq: ACCT1022
Finance Track
MFIN1021 Fundamentals of Finance Prereq: ACCT1021
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis Prereq: MFIN1021
Two electives from the following list** (check prerequisites for each course):
ACCT1022 AND ACCT3307 Managerial Accounting and Managerial Cost & Strategic Analysis  
ACCT3309  Audit & Other Assurance Services  
ACCT4405 Federal Tax  
ACCT6601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III  
ACCT6615 Advanced Federal Taxation  
ACCT6618 Accounting Information Systems  
ACCT6623 Fair Value Accounting and Measurement  
ACCT6626 Taxes & Management Decisions  
ACCT6635 Forensic Accounting  
ACCT6640 Dive, Dissect & Decide w/ Big Business Data (Spring)  
BZAN3375 Operations Strategy & Consulting   
BZAN3384 Predictive Analytics  
BZAN6606 Forecasting Techniques  
ECON2228 Econometric Methods  
MFIN1021 AND ACCT3351 Fundamentals of Finance AND Financial Statement Analysis  
MFIN2235 OR MFIN6616 Investment Banking  

*As a substitute for ACCT3321 you may take both ACCT3301 (FAST I) and ACCT3302 (FAST II).  Both must be taken to count towards the requirement.  ACCT3302 will count as one of your electives.

**Electives may also include both courses from the other track (both will count together, but not separately).  A maximum of one elective can count towards the requirements of two different minors/concentrations.

INFORMATION FOR STUDY ABROAD

Given the international scope of the profession, Accounting concentrators or minors are encouraged to study abroad.  The Accounting Department will endeavor to recognize elective courses for transfer to BC when appropriate.  Prior approval is required in every case.  All Accounting concentrators or minors should meet with the department assistant or department chair to plan their study abroad programs and to obtain definitive course approvals.

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 coursework 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.

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. Most undergraduates are able to meet the additional hours through AP credit transfers, overloads, and/or online/summer courses.  However, 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.