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.

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 the Carroll School 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.

In Fall 2018 there will be four majors housed in the Accounting Department: Accounting; Accounting and Information Systems; Corporate Reporting and Analysis (ends with the class of 2021); and Accounting for Finance and Consulting. Students will not be allowed to concentrate in more than one of these four. 

Accounting Concentrations

Accounting is the language of business. To concenrate in accounting is to understand how business information in derived, analyzed, and communicaed to its users. The traditional accounting concentration exposes students to all facets of accounting; financial and managerial 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 credit-hours in 

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

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

Course # Course Name
ACCT3309 Auditing & Other Assurance Services*
ACCT3351 Finanical Statement Analysis
ACCT6601 Finanical Accounting Standards and Theory III
ACCT6618 Accounting Information System 

*Auditing is a requirement to sit for the CPA exam in all states, and a requirement for admission to the Boston College MSA 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 to satisfy this requirement.  They may choose from the electives list above and below.

Other Accounting Department Electives

Course # Course Name
ACCT3399 Directed Research in Accounting
ACCT4409 Advanced Auditing
ACCT6615 Advanced Federal Taxation
ACCT6623 Fair Value Accounting
ACCT6634 Ethics & Professionalism in Accounting
ACCT6635 Forensic Accounting
ACCT6640 Dive, Disect & Decide w/ Big Business Data 

The Accounting for Finance and Consulting Concentration builds on the Carroll School's 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 set students up for greater upward mobility in their career paths; the need for managers with an understanding of financial statements and financial reporting is evergreen.

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 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.

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

Other Accounting Department Electives

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

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

Course # Course Name
ACCT3307 OR ACCT3351 Managerial Cost Analysis OR Financial Statement Analysis
ACCT4405 Federal Taxation 
ACCT6601 FAST III
ACCT6618 Accounting Information Systems 
ACCT6623 Fair Value Accounting and Measurement 
ACCT6635 Forensic Accounting
ACCT6640 Dive, Disect & Decide w/ Big Business Data 
OPER3384 Predictive Analysis
OPER66060 Forecasting Techniques
ECON2228 Economic Methods
MFIN2235 OR MFIN6616 Investment Banking

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

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

 

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
AACT3301 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory I
ISYS21557 OR CSCI1101 Introduction to Programming for Management 
ISYS3257 Database Systems and Applications 
ISYS4258 Systems Analysis and Design
ACCT/ISYS6618 Accounting Information Systems

 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

The 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.

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 coursework 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 concentration, 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 & Analysis end up working for investment and commercial banks, mutual funds, and consulting and private equity firms.  This major requires five courses (15 credits): three courses in financial accounting, one elective in accounting, and one elective in economics or statistics.

Required: 9 credit-hours in 

Course # Course Name
ACCT3301 Finanical Accounting Standards and Theory I
ACCT3302 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory II
ACCT3351 Finanical Statement Analysis

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

Course # Course Name
ACCT6601 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory III
ACCT6623 Fair Value Accounting 

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

Course # Course Name
ECON2228 Economic Methods
ECON2229 Economic and Business Forecasting Methods 
OPER3384 Applied Analytics
OPER6606 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.)

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:

Course # Course Name Notes
ACCT1021 Introduction to 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 Analysis  
ACCT3309 Auditing & Other Assurance Services  
ACCT4405 Federal Taxation  

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:

Course # Course Name Notes
ACCT1021 Introduction to Financial Accounting  
*ACCT3321 Intermediate Accounting for Finance & Consulting   
Choose a Track:
Consulting Track
ACCT1022 Introduction to Managerial Accounting  
ACCT3307 Managerial Cost Analysis Prereq: ACCT1022
Finance Track
MFIN1021 Basic Finance Prereq or Coreq: ACCT1021
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis Prereq: MFIN1021
Two electives from the following list:
ACCT3307 Managerial Cost Analysis Prereq: ACCT1022
ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis Prereq: MFIN1021
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 or MFIN6616 Investment Banking  

*ACCT3301 accepted as a substitute for class of 2019.

 

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.

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.