Accounting and Finance

Chair:Mary Jepperson

Faculty:Robert Bell, Warren Bostrom, Mary Jepperson, Janean Kleist, Michelle Li-Kuehne, Jean Ochu, Paul Pladson, Kelly Prestby, Tonya Schmidt, Steven Welch, David Zoeller

The accounting and finance department offers a curriculum designed to meet the needs of various student interests. The major provides the student the opportunity to develop a solid conceptual foundation as well as the skills required for entry-level positions in public, private and governmental accounting and finance. In addition, it allows students to prepare for graduate programs in such areas as business, government, finance and law.

The disciplines of accounting and finance require that students develop an ability to think analytically and to organize and categorize a mass of data. It further requires the student to develop an ability to synthesize the information and present it in a summarized fashion understandable to others. Citizens in a highly developed economic society such as ours should understand economic descriptions of its complex organizations and financial instruments. As accountants or finance professionals, our graduates will be expected to present and interpret financial information, both in writing and orally, to others in organizations and to the public.

Students majoring in accounting have a choice of three concentrations:

  • Traditional accounting program
    The traditional accounting concentration provides a broader, more general view of accounting. This concentration is ideal for students interested in understanding the language of business, but who are planning to explore entrepreneurial opportunities, are looking for a career in a business' accounting department, or have planned a different route to prepare them for the CPA examination.
  • Finance
    This concentration, particularly with its strong accounting core, prepares students who wish to pursue careers in a variety of finance-related positions or who plan to attend graduate school. This concentration is designed for students with a strong interest in learning about investments in the stock market, securities analysis, derivatives, corporate finance, international finance, and similar topics.
  • Public accounting
    Students in this concentration take classes in all the major accounting and business disciplines, which prepare them for success in passing the different sections of the CPA exam, as well as assist them in choosing a career path within the accounting industry. Virtually all states' rules require applicants for a license as a CPA to have accumulated 150 higher education credit hours, as recommended by the AICPA. These hours must include 24 upper division accounting course credits and 24 credit hours of business-related or certain other accounting courses. Students should also be aware that many employers of CPAs require their job applicants to have accumulated 150 credit hours prior to beginning their employment.

Major (60 to 74 credits, based on concentration)

Required Courses for each accounting concentration:
113, 114, 210, 325,  335. Required supporting courses include MATH 124, and ECON 111.

Required Additional Courses for Traditional Accounting Program:
326, 331, 332, 338, 340, 350, and 396; & one course from 310, MGMT 201, or a 300-level ECON elective; and Math 118 (or 119 or 122.)

Required Additional Courses for Finance Concentration:
310, 315, 320, 333; MATH 118 or 119; MGMT 201; PHIL 324; one course from 332, 360, 361 or 362; one course from ECON 314, 316, 317, 318, 320, 323, or 332 or POLS 334, 353 or 355.

Required Additional Courses for Public Accounting Concentration:
310, 326,  331, 332,  338, 340,  355, and 396; MGMT 201; Math 118 (or 119 or 122); one course from 330, 337 or 353; one course from MGMT 301, 321 or 341; and one course from either a 300-level ECON elective, ACFN 315, 320 or 333, or MGMT 301, 321 or 341 (not already selected above.)

Special Requirements:
A passing score on the computer literacy test is required for application to the major in the spring of students’ sophomore year. A passing score on the Senior Exit Exam is required for Accounting Graduates in each concentration.

Students wanting to minor in economics should take MATH 118 or 119.

Minor (20 credits)

Required courses:
113, 114, 325, and 2 additional accounting courses from the following: 326, 331, 332 and 340.

Courses (ACFN)

113 Financial Accounting. (4)
Concepts, principles and procedures used by profit-oriented firms to account for and report business transactions and events. Preparation and analysis of financial information including the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. Fall and spring.

114 Managerial Accounting. (4)
Concepts, principles, and quantitative tools used for managerial decision-making. Preparation and analysis of internal reports such as operating budgets, capital budgets, and cost variances. Prerequisite: 113. Fall and spring.

210 Business Writing and Communication. (2)
Writing skills necessary for producing effective business letters, memos, reports, and other written documents in professional contexts. Verbal communication skills necessary to deliver successful presentations in professional contexts. Prerequisite: 114. Fall and spring.

271 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

310 Corporate Finance. (4)
This course is the foundation course in Finance and the prerequisite for all other Finance courses. Topics covered include the time value of money, the financial markets, the concepts of risk and valuation, the types of financing and their relative mix, financial leverage, the cost of capital, and the criteria for evaluating the attractiveness of investment opportunities. Prerequisites: 113 and ECON 111. Fall and spring.

315 Investments. (4)
The primary focus of this course is the concepts of Modern Portfolio Theory. Through efficient diversification, it is possible to minimize the risk consequences of investing and maximize return. Topics covered will include models of capital market equilibrium, the risk and valuation of financial instruments in the money market, the fixed income and equity markets, and the derivative markets. Prerequisites: ACFN 310 or MGMT 331, and one of MATH 118 or MATH 119. Fall.

320 International Finance. (4)
This course examines the international dimensions of Finance. The course builds on the principles of Finance discussed in ACFN 310 and provides a conceptual framework for the key financial decisions of a multinational. Topics covered will include the balance of payments, the determination of exchange rates, forecasting future exchange rates, methods of hedging exchange rate risk, the international financial markets, the cost of capital for a multinational, multinational capital budgeting, and international cash management. Prerequisite: ACFN 310 or MGMT 331.  Spring.

325 Intermediate Accounting I. (4)
Principles and procedures underlying the preparation of financial statements. Time value of money concepts and their application to financial statements. Accounting issues related to the recognition and valuation of cash, receivables, investments, current liabilities and long-term liabilities.Valuation of the elements in a corporation's stockholders' equity. Computation of earnings per share in simple and complex capital structures. Statement of Cash Flows preparation and evaluation. U.S. GAAP and IFRS related standards. Prerequisites: 113, 114. Fall and spring.

326 Intermediate Accounting II. (4)
Valuation of inventories and the acquisition and disposition of property, plant and equipment. Accounting issues related to revenue recognition, depreciation, impairments, depletion, and intangible assets. Accounting for leases, pensions, post-retirement benefits, income taxes, changes in accounting estimates and principles, and error analysis and correction. Financial reporting requirements and disclosures. U.S. GAAP and IFRS related standards. Prerequisite: 325. Fall and spring.

328 Business Simulation. (2)
A computerized business simulation where students are organized in teams which compete in operating a $40M manufacturing firm. Business goals and strategies are developed regarding sales forecasts, pricing, production capacity, research and development and finance. Simulation runs for eight cycles (years) and teams are evaluated at the end of the competition. Prerequisite: Junior standing in business field major/minor.

330 Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting. (2) (330A- 3 credits)
Principles of accounting and reporting for governmental units and not-for-profit institutions and organizations. Prerequisite: 325. Spring.

331 Cost Accounting. (4)
Recording, communicating, and interpreting basic cost information for controlling routine operations and long-range planning. Job order and process costing, standard costs and variances, variable costing, flexible budgets, capital budgeting, cost analysis for special purposes, and performance measurement. Prerequisite: 114. Spring.

332 Income Tax Accounting. (4)
Federal income taxation of individuals, partnerships, and corporations. Preparation of various returns and forms. Internet research on special tax problems. Prerequisite: 114. Fall and spring.

333 Corporate Financial Analysis. (4)
This course is a mixture of financial theory along with real world applications. The course builds on the concepts of ACFN 310. Topics covered will include financial forecasting, capital budgeting, the cost of capital, capital structure, and long-term financing. Prerequisite: ACFN 310 or MGMT 331. Fall and spring.

335 Business Law. (2)
Law and the judicial process in commerce. Legal regulation of business and its relationships to society. Principles and issues in contract law, sales, product liability, agency, commercial paper suretyship, bankruptcy, professional ethics, and other topics of contemporary interest to those preparing for a career I business as well as those who plan to sit for the CPA exam. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Fall.

337 Business Tax Topics. (2)
Advanced tax topics relating to businesses. Computation of tax, tax accruals, tax considerations on the formation and operation of businesses, and other tax topics. Includes on-line research of tax issues. Prerequisite: ACFN 113. Fall.

338 Advanced Accounting. (4)
Business combinations and consolidated statements. Foreign currency translation and transactions. Financial reporting by foreign corporations. Prerequisite: 326 or instructor's permission. Fall and spring.

339 International Financial Reporting Standards. (2) (339A - 3 credits)
Study of the International Financial Reporting Standards, including all significant IFRS requirements and the accounting rules and implications surrounding transition to IFRS from US GAAP.  Prerequisite: 326.

340 Accounting Information Systems. (4)
Information systems analysis, design, implementation and control, including, the ability to understand the processing of accounting data in a computer environment and the controls required to ensure accuracy and reliability of accounting system data. Prerequisites: 114. Fall.

350 Operational Auditing. (2)
Introduction to operational auditing which is focused on management goals, strategic directions and objectives. Overview of key operational auditing areas:  risk-based auditing and process auditing. Prerequisites: 325, 340 and MATH 124.

353 Fraud Examination. (2)
Understanding of occupational fraud, including asset misappropriation and corruption; how occupational fraud is committed and actions that can be taken to deter and detect occupational fraud. Process to investigate fraud allegations, including evidence management. Prerequisites:  326, 340 and MATH 124. Fall.

355 Auditing. (4)
Theory and practice of financial statement auditing. Focus on the nature of auditing, standards, reporting, the audit environment, risk assessment and planning, controls, sampling techniques, and ethics. Prerequisites: 326, 340, and junior standing. Fall and Spring.

360 Financial Derivatives. (4)
This course is designed to enhance students' understanding of financial derivatives including options, futures, forwards, and swaps, and their use in the fields of investments and corporate financial management. Prerequisites: ACFN 315 or MGMT 332, MATH 118 or 119, MATH 124.

361 Security Analysis and Portfolio Management. (4)
This course is designed to expand upon the knowledge and understanding of the basic concepts learned in Investments (ACFN 315). Students will learn several valuation methodologies related to prospective companies and other assets for investment purposes. Additionally, students will learn asset analysis methodologies within the context of a portfolio of assets. This course will cover analyses of stocks, fixed-income securities, derivatives, and other types of assets as may be required. Prerequisites: ACFN 315 or MGMT 332, MATH 118 or 119, MATH 124.

362 Current Issues in Finance. (4)
In Current Issues in Finance, a topics course, students will study themes which may vary each time the course is offered and will focus in depth on one or more of the traditional areas of finance, or may consider topics outside the areas covered in other finance courses. Subject matter may include ethical and regulatory issues. The focus will be to cover contemporary issues not covered in depth in other finance courses. Prerequisites: ACFN 310 or MGMT 331.

371 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Permission of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

395 Finance Capstone. (4)
This course integrates accounting and finance knowledge gained throughout the finance concentration. Students perform research in various areas of finance, prepare individual and group projects and presentation, and develop solutions to business issues.  Prerequisite: Senior standing in the major. Spring.

396 Accounting Capstone. (4)
This course integrates knowledge gained throughout the accounting major. Students perform accounting, auditing and tax research and study; prepare individual and group projects and presentations; and conduct a research project which is presented to the department. Prerequisite: Senior standing in the major. Spring.

397 Internship. (1-12)
Practical off-campus experience with a solid academic component for seniors directed by officers of employing firms or institutions. S/U grading only.

398 Honors Senior Essay, Research or Creative Project. (4)
Required for graduation with "Distinction in Accounting." Prerequisite: HONR 396 and approval of the department chair and director of the Honors Thesis program. For further information see HONR 398.