The Accounting Concentration
The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with an accounting concentration is designed to meet the needs of those seeking careers in public accounting, industry and commerce, governmental agencies or in business management positions which require an understanding of accounting. The accounting curriculum at Colorado State University currently satisfies the educational background required to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certified Financial Accountant (CFA) examinations.
BSBA students complete a program of course work that includes a block of required and elective courses known as University Studies which have been designed to provide communication and computing skills and an exposure to a broad variety of elective liberal arts and non-business subjects. The remainder of the course work consists of required business and accounting courses and electives.
Today, accountants are leaders in business and active participants in corporate decisions and strategies. While accountants still have traditional duties of gathering necessary information, they must also be able to explain and analyze the information and assist in the interpretation of data. Our goal in the accounting program in the College of Business is to create the "new" accountant: one who is an information specialist and business advisor and well prepared for today's complex business environment.
An education in accounting provides an opportunity for a variety of careers in the field of business management as well as one of the many specialized fields within the accounting profession. There are many areas of specialization for today's accountant. These include: risk assessment, business performance measurement, information technology, electronic commerce, assurance services, financial planning and reporting, consulting services and international accounting. Career paths have led accountants to positions such as: owner, partner, or manager in a CPA firm, financial analyst, bank officer, management information systems analyst, auditor, cost accountant, tax accountant and chief financial officer or executive officer in industry and commerce. Public accounting firms, industry, and the government hire accountants.
Public Accounting Firms hire CPAs to fill management positions and provide consulting and assurance services to their clients. Industry requires accountants for mid-management positions leading to senior-level positions such as controller, treasurer, or financial vice-president. Government jobs are available at all levels (federal, state, and local). These positions include those with agencies such as the Government Accounting Office, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Many accountants seek to gain professional recognition by becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) or a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Of course, many accountants practice without professional designations and are highly respected individuals within their organizations.
The CPA certificate is evidence of professional competence in the discipline of accounting. CPAs have a distinctive role in examining financial statements and in expressing independent opinions on their fairness. They also provide advice and consultations on various management problems. Tax planning and return preparation are a substantial part of the work load for many CPAs.
The CMA designates that the accountant is professionally competent in the field of management accounting. The CMA will generally have key responsibilities for developing, producing, and analyzing information for top management.
The CIA designation is recognition of the professional competence of internal auditors. An internal auditor assists the management of an organization in discharging its responsibilities effectively by furnishing analyses, appraisals, and recommendations concerning activities reviewed. Internal auditors play a key role in insuring that organizations fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities.
While an undergraduate degree in accounting at Colorado State University can fulfill current requirements to sit for the CPA examination in Colorado, most states require 150 hours of education. In order to guarantee the ability to practice as a certified public accountant in other states, students are strongly encouraged to complete at least 150 hours of education. For additional information on how this might be done at Colorado State University, please refer to information about Master of Science program in Accounting. In any case, students should consult their academic advisors and faculty to ensure that their program of study is fully consistent with their career goals in accounting.