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Accounting

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The curriculum in accounting is accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The primary purpose of accounting is to provide useful information to both internal users (management) and external users such as investors, creditors, government, and the general public. Accounting is an integral part of the management of business and public organizations. Accountants, therefore, participate in planning, evaluating, controlling, and reporting the activities of the firm. Accounting information is needed by external users in order to make investment decisions, to grant or withhold credit, and in the case of government, to collect revenue and gather statistical information. In order to provide useful information, accountants collect, analyze, synthesize, and report data in an understandable manner.

The major in accounting is designed to give students a conceptual foundation as well as to provide a wide range of basic skills and analytical tools for use in reporting for both public and private concerns. Students who complete the accounting major are well prepared to accept positions in industry, government, and the public accounting profession.

Undergraduate Major in Accounting

For undergraduate curriculum in business, major in accounting.

The Department of Accounting offers a major in accounting.  Students will complete the general education requirements (including business foundation courses), supporting courses/major prerequisites, business core requirements for the bachelor of science (BS) degree, and 21 additional credits in the major. 

The instructional objective of the Accounting Program is to provide a well-rounded professional education in accounting. Such an education should provide the student with:

  1. a mastery of basic accounting concepts
  2. an ability to think critically and creatively about accounting problems
  3. an ability to communicate effectively and work with others as a member of a team
  4. an awareness and sensitivity for dealing with ethical concerns.

Students are limited to three business majors/degrees within the Ivy College of Business, or a total of three business major/minors within the college.  This limit is on business majors/degrees/minors only, and does not apply to multiple majors/degrees/minors taken outside the Ivy College of Business.

For more information on the undergraduate major in Accounting, please visit: https://www.ivybusiness.iastate.edu/undergraduate/majors-minors/accounting/

Undergraduate Minor in Accounting

The Department of Accounting also offers a minor for non-Accounting majors in the Ivy College of Business. The minor requires 16 credits from an approved list of courses, including at least 6 credits in courses numbered 300 or above taken at Iowa State University with a grade of C or higher.  The minor must include at least 9 credits that are not used to meet any other department, college, or university requirement.  Students with declared majors have priority over students with declared minors in courses with space constraints.

Required Courses (7 credits):
ACCT 284Financial Accounting3
ACCT 285Managerial Accounting3
ACCT 301The Accounting Cycle1
Elective Courses (9 credits):
Select nine credit hours from 300 or 400 level Accounting courses, except ACCT 316.

Students are limited to three business majors/degrees within the Ivy College of Business, or a total of three business major/minors within the college.  This limit is on business majors/degrees/minors only, and does not apply to multiple majors/degrees/minors taken outside the Ivy College of Business.

For more information on the undergraduate minor in Accounting, please visit: https://www.ivybusiness.iastate.edu/undergraduate/majors-minors/

Curriculum:

The requirements for the accounting major are met by successful completion of the following courses:

Required Courses (18 credits):
ACCT 383Intermediate Managerial Accounting3
ACCT 384Accounting Information Systems and Analytics3
ACCT 386Intermediate Accounting I3
ACCT 387Intermediate Accounting II3
ACCT 485Principles of Federal Income Tax3
ACCT 497Introduction to Auditing3
Elective Courses (3 credits):
Select three credit hours from the following list:
ACCT 315Business Data Streams and Issues3
ACCT 483Application and Communication in Managerial Accounting3
ACCT 484Advanced Accounting Information Systems3
ACCT 487Volunteer Income Tax Assistance1
ACCT 488Governmental and Non-profit Institution Accounting3
ACCT 489Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting3
ACCT 495Advanced Accounting Problems3
ACCT 496Accounting in the Global Economy3

See the CPA note below for the 150-hour education requirement for CPA certification in Iowa.

In addition, it is highly recommended that an accounting major include ACCT 316 Business Law. The Department of Accounting should be consulted for information on alternative plans of study.

CPA Note: The accounting major requires 22 credits of accounting beyond ACCT 284 Financial Accounting and ACCT 285 Managerial Accounting. The State of Iowa CPA exam requirement is 24 hours beyond principles, therefore, students will need 2 additional credits beyond major requirements to qualify for the CPA exam.** ACCT 316 Business Law is also highly recommended; please note this class does not count towards the aforementioned 24 hours required to sit for the exam. While students may sit for the CPA exam in Iowa after completing the required accounting course work and earning a bachelors degree, CPA candidates must complete a total of 150 credits in order to be certified or licensed to practice in Iowa. Qualified students should consider taking the Masters of Accounting (MAcc) to satisfy the 150-credit requirement. Students in accounting who are interested in graduate study should contact the Coordinator of the MAcc Program as early as possible to complete their graduate degree in an efficient manner. Students planning certification outside Iowa must check local rules, as each state determines its own exam qualification and licensing requirements.

**  In addition, business law, ACCT 215 does not count towards to the 24 hour accounting course requirement.

Accounting, B.S.

Sample 4-Year Plan (Your plan may differ)

Freshman
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BUSAD 102 or 1031ECON 1023
ECON 1013ACCT 2843
COM S 1133BUSAD 2503
ENGL 1503STAT 2263
MATH 1503PHIL 2303
LIB 1601BUSAD 2031
 14 16
Sophomore
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 1513SP CM 2123
ACCT 2853ACCT 2153
ACCT 3011ACCT 3843
ENGL 2503STAT 3263
MIS 3013Natural Science3
US Diversity#3 
 16 15
Junior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ACCT 3863ACCT 3873
ACCT 3833Core Business Courses9
Global/International Perspective@3ENGL 3023
Core Business Course3 
HUM/SOC SCI3 
 15 15
Senior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ACCT 4853MGMT 478*3
ACCT 4973ACCT Elective3
Core Business Course3HUM/SOC SCI3
Global/International Perspective@3General Electives7
HUM/SOC SCI3 
 15 16
Total Credits: 122

Students must be admitted to the professional program in business to major in accounting.  The requirements to enter the professional program are:

1.  Completion of at least 30 credits, Foundation Courses, ENGL 150, and all ENGL 101/99 courses if required.

2.  A minimum GPA of 2.50 either cumulative or in the Foundation Courses. Early admission is allowed for Honors-eligible students. (See your adviser for specific information)

Graduation Requirements:

        1.  Grade of “C” or higher in at least 30 credits of Core and Major courses.

        2.  42 credits of 300+ level courses from a four-year institution.

        3.  50% of required Business courses must be earned at ISU.

        4.  At least 32 credits and the LAST 32 credits must be earned at ISU (exceptions for study abroad and internship may be requested).

        5.  122 Credits minimum and a Cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 with no quality point deficiencies.

        6.  A grade of C or better in ENGL 250 required, and also in one other required ENGL course.

        7.  All 300-level and higher business credits must be earned at a four-year college.

        8.  Multiple business majors must have at least 15 distinct credits in each of the major requirements; when applicable, one course can be shared between business majors; see your adviser regarding multiple business degree requirements.

Graduate Study

The department offers a graduate degree, the master of accounting (MAcc). This is a 30-hour degree which also offers up to two optional 12 credit hour specializations within those 30 hours.  Specializations are offered in Financial Reporting and Assurance, Data Analytics, Managerial Decision Making, Global Business, or Tax. The program requires 15 hours of graduate accounting courses, ENGL 592C Core Studies: Professional Communication or its equivalent, at least 9 hours of non-accounting courses, and an international course from an approved list. Included in the 15 required hours of graduate accounting courses is one 3-credit required course, ACCT 598 Financial Accounting: Theory and Contemporary Issues.

The MAcc is appropriate for accounting undergraduate students wanting to pursue a variety of accounting careers. The MAcc program is an efficient way for qualified candidates to meet the 150-hour education requirement for CPA certification in Iowa. Students without an accounting degree will be required to complete a substantial amount of accounting coursework prior to being considered for admission to the MAcc. Contact the coordinator of the MAcc program for details.

For more information about the MAcc program, please visit: https://www.ivybusiness.iastate.edu/masters/macc/

The Department of Accounting participates in the full-time and part-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. The MBA is a 48-credit, non-thesis, non-creative component curriculum. Thirty of the 48 credits are core courses and the remaining 18 are graduate electives. Within the MBA program, students may develop an area of specialization in accounting. The specialization is designed to help meet the education requirement for CPA certification in Iowa.

For more information about the MBA program with a specialization in Accounting, please visit: https://www.ivybusiness.iastate.edu/masters/mba/

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Courses

Courses primarily for undergraduates:

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS.

Prereq: Sophomore classification
General history, structure, and principles of the US legal system. The legal system, as an agency of social control and tool for resolving disputes. The court systems, Constitution, torts, crimes, intellectual property, contracts, property rights, employment law, basic business entity law, bankruptcy, administrative agencies, environmental law and agency law.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS.


Introduction to the basic concepts and procedures of financial accounting from a user perspective. The course examines the accounting cycle, business terminology, basic control procedures, and the preparation and evaluation of financial reports, with an emphasis on financial statement analysis.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS.

Prereq: ACCT 284
Understanding of fixed and variable costs and their role in planning, control and performance evaluation. Examination of alternative costing methods. Making decisions by identifying and developing relevant information. Development of spreadsheet skills.

(1-0) Cr. 1. F.S.SS.

Prereq: ACCT 284
Interactive computer-based analysis of the accounting cycle including transactions and financial statements. Preparation of journal entries and adjusting entries and completion of the closing process.

(Cross-listed with MIS). Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered even-numbered years.Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.SS.

Prereq: COM S 113, MIS 301, ACCT 284
Identification of open data sources and other private data sources. Develop methods of data access, collection, and sharing; develop methods to validate and standardize data sources; develop methods to assess data worthiness (risk).

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: ACCT 215
Continuation of 215. The Uniform Commercial Code as applied to sales contracts and negotiable instruments. Property law, wills and estates, insurance, secured transactions, corporation law, partnership law and antitrust law.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: ACCT 285 or ACCT 501; and ACCT 301
Generation, communication and use of information to assist management with planning, control, and decision making in manufacturing and service organizations. Includes cost concepts and relevance to decision situations, operational and capital budgeting, and performance evaluation. Emphasis on developing effective teamwork skills as well as spreadsheet capabilities.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 285 or ACCT 501; ACCT 301 and MIS 301
Concepts and procedures underlying creating, sharing, reporting, storing, and analyzing accounting data. Information technology internal controls and audit techniques. Trends in accounting information systems.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: ACCT 284 and ACCT 301
The conceptual framework of financial accounting. Communication of financial information on the income and retained earnings statements, statement of cash flows, and the balance sheet. Accounting concepts relating to current and operational assets of the firm.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: Minimum of C- in ACCT 386
Financial accounting and reporting practices for business entities. Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) relative to firm liabilities, equity, income, taxes, employee benefits, leases, accounting changes and cash flows. Discussion of current issues in financial accounting.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 583). Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 383 or ACCT 581
Business simulation focusing on generation and communication of information to assist management with financial decision-making. Emphasis on developing teamwork, written communication, data visualization, and oral presentation skills.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 584). (3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 384
Advanced accounting information systems concepts; database design and information retrieval, internal controls within computerized accounting information systems, financial reporting in an electronic environment.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: Minimum of C- in ACCT 386 or ACCT 501
Introduction to the fundamentals of federal income taxation and concepts applicable to all tax entities. Addresses issues related to the measurement and recognition of income, deductions, gains, and losses, taxation of property transactions, and basis / cost recovery concepts. Includes coverage of tax law policy objectives, tax implications of business and investment decisions, tax versus financial reporting treatment of common business transactions, and ethical issues related to tax compliance and planning.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 587). (0-2) Cr. 1. Repeatable, maximum of 3 credits. S.

Prereq: ACCT 285 or ACCT 501
Introduction to and field work in the preparation of individual income tax returns (state and federal). Basic coverage of filing and residency status, taxable income, exemptions, deductions, and credits. Tax software usage and online filing.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 588). (3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 386
Accounting and financial reporting principles of local and state governments, including universities, schools, and hospitals. In addition, accounting and financial reporting of non-profit organizations will be addressed. Financial statements of local governmental units and the university are explored.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 589). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: ACCT 386 or ACCT 501
Theory and practice of social and environmental reporting, the role of the corporation in society, and the mechanisms by which society might hold corporations accountable for their actions.

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable. F.S.SS.

Prereq: ACCT 285, senior classification, permission of instructor

(Dual-listed with ACCT 595). (3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 387
Accounting for business combinations and affiliated companies, intercompany transactions, and consolidated financial statements; Partnership accounting; Segment and Interim Reporting; Multinational accounting.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 596). (3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 386 or ACCT 501
Financial reporting issues in a global environment, including introduction to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the potential for the use of IFRS in the U.S. Accounting and managerial issues faced by multinational corporations. Technical issues such as transfer pricing, inflation accounting and taxation will be discussed.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: ACCT 384, ACCT 387 and STAT 326
The conceptual framework of auditing. Professional ethics. External reporting concepts. Audit methodology including risk analysis, internal control, procedures for gathering evidence and the role of statistical sampling in auditing.

(2-0) Cr. 2. F.

Prereq: ACCT 383, ACCT 384, ACCT 387, credit or enrollment in ACCT 485.
Integrative studies in accounting. Development of critical thinking, ethical reasoning, professional research and teamwork skills. Written, visual, and oral communication with corporate stakeholders.

Courses primarily for graduate students, open to qualified undergraduates:

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: Enrollment in MBA program or departmental permission
A general introduction to financial accounting information. Topics covered include the use and analysis of financial information, the regulatory environment, the role of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and the use of the internet and electronic spreadsheets as a means of accessing and analyzing financial data.

Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: ACCT 384 or instructor permission
Applications and skills for performing data analytics in accounting contexts. Explores conceptual framework for providing data-driven insights and recommendations. Includes hands-on experiences working with different types of data and the latest analysis tools.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: Enrollment in the MRED or instructor permission.
Fundamentals of real estate finance and development from a legal perspective and in a transactional setting. Topics include land acquisition and finance, choice of entity, tax aspects, management, disposition of real property, and recent legal developments. Legal responsibilities of owners, designers, and contractors are also examined by highlighting typical contractual relationships in place throughout the design and construction process.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 501 or equivalent
Decision analysis applied to managerial accounting issues. Generation of information for management decision making and control. Responsibility accounting and non-recurring decisions.

(Cross-listed with MGMT). (3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: MGMT 503 or permission
Duties, structure, and functioning of top management teams and corporate boards of directors. CEO/board tenure and succession planning, top management compensation, board committee composition, assessment of CEO and board performance, theories of corporate governance, management of the corporate strategic agenda, governance codes, international governance, and chairman/CEO duality. Case studies and contemporary issues discussed.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 483). Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 383 or ACCT 581
Business simulation focusing on generation and communication of information to assist management with financial decision-making. Emphasis on developing teamwork, written communication, data visualization, and oral presentation skills.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 484). (3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 384
Advanced accounting information systems concepts; database design and information retrieval, internal controls within computerized accounting information systems, financial reporting in an electronic environment.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 485
Integration of concepts from accounting, finance, and economics to determine how taxes affect business decisions. Provides students with a conceptual framework for thinking about business tax planning and applies it to various common business decisions.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 485
Advanced coverage of federal taxation including issues related to the taxation of corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts, and their owners. Includes coverage of rules, concepts, background, and planning opportunities related to a number of common transactions involving these entities.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 487). (0-2) Cr. 1. Repeatable, maximum of 3 credits. S.

Prereq: ACCT 285 or ACCT 501
Introduction to and field work in the preparation of individual income tax returns (state and federal). Basic coverage of filing and residency status, taxable income, exemptions, deductions, and credits. Tax software usage and online filing.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 488). (3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 386
Accounting and financial reporting principles of local and state governments, including universities, schools, and hospitals. In addition, accounting and financial reporting of non-profit organizations will be addressed. Financial statements of local governmental units and the university are explored.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 489). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: ACCT 386 or ACCT 501
Theory and practice of social and environmental reporting, the role of the corporation in society, and the mechanisms by which society might hold corporations accountable for their actions.

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable. F.S.SS.

Prereq: Permission of instructor
For students wishing to do individual research in a particular area of accounting.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 497 or ACCT 501
Principles and methodology of fraud detection and deterrence. Addresses the causes and elements of fraud, asset theft, corruption, financial statement mis-representation, internal controls for fraud prevention, investigative evidence gathering, and legal aspects of fraud.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 386 or ACCT 501
Presentation and analysis of financial statement information from the point of view of the primary users of such data: owners and creditors. Topics include the financial reporting system, the primary financial statements, effects of accounting method choice on reported financial data, and firm valuation.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 387 or ACCT 592
Using financial statement analysis to value the firm. Topics covered include assessing how well a firm's financial statements reflect the economic effects of its resource management strategies and constructing proforma financial information that will serve as inputs to valuation models.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 495). (3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 387
Accounting for business combinations and affiliated companies, intercompany transactions, and consolidated financial statements; Partnership accounting; Segment and Interim Reporting; Multinational accounting.

(Dual-listed with ACCT 496). (3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 386 or ACCT 501
Financial reporting issues in a global environment, including introduction to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the potential for the use of IFRS in the U.S. Accounting and managerial issues faced by multinational corporations. Technical issues such as transfer pricing, inflation accounting and taxation will be discussed.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: ACCT 497
A study of advanced auditing and assurance issues. Topics include auditor independence, audit risk analysis, internal control evaluation and reporting, fraud detection, data analytic applications in auditing, audit reporting, auditors' legal liability, and non-financial information assurance.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: ACCT 386 or ACCT 501
Theoretical discussion of the financial accounting and reporting environment. The usefulness of financial accounting information for decision making. Current financial accounting issues, the financial accounting standard setting process, FASB Standards Codification, and the role of the SEC in financial reporting.

Cr. 2.

Prereq: Admission to the Master of Accounting Program
This course prepares students to complete their creative component project option in the Master of Accounting degree.