Accounting Certificate

The Certificate in Professional Accounting is designed to assist students in preparing for professional accountancy exams, developing analytical thinking skills, and developing professional communication skills, both oral and written.

The program is open to students who have an undergraduate degree with a major in accounting. This course of study offers students the opportunity to continue to develop their knowledge of accounting so as to enhance their ability to successfully complete professional accounting exams, namely, the certified public accountant exam and the certified managerial accountant exam, while continuing to also develop professional presentation and writing skills. Credits earned through this course of study (up to 16 semester hours) may be used by students to help satisfy the 150 hour education requirement necessary to obtain a license as a certified public accountant (CPA).

Requirements

In order to earn a certificate, students in this course of study will complete four
courses:

  • Advanced Problems and Cases in Financial Accounting and Reporting (ACC 601): A study of generally accepted accounting principles for both business and nonbusiness entities using the context of advanced problems and cases.
  • Advanced Problems and Cases in Auditing and Attestation Services (ACC 602): A study of auditing and attestation services using the context of advanced problems and cases.
  • Advanced Problems and Cases in Taxation and Business Regulation (ACC 603): A study of federal tax law and other laws regulating business entities using the context of advanced problems and cases.
  • Advanced Problems and Cases in Financial Management and Administration (ACC 604): A study of financial management and related administrative functions of business entities using the context of advanced problems and cases.

As part of this course of study, students will be required to purchase an online CPA review course package (either Becker, or Bisk, depending on the special pricing offered). Students will complete the study of the CPA review course (text, videos, exercises and problems) outside of class. The actual “review” of the topical content will be primarily accomplished through this out of class completion of the CPA review course material which will include the students completing on‐line tests for each topic. Thus, the student’s advance preparation for each class will be substantial. Classroom sessions will then consist primarily of student‐led presentations and discussions of cases and advanced problems, not instructor lectures, and will focus on developing integrative analytic skills and professional presentation skills.

Academic Regulations

Students applying for admission to the Certificate in Professional Accounting course
of study must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a major in accounting and both an overall and major GPA of at least 2.8. No courses may be transferred to satisfy course of study requirements. To receive a certificate, students must complete all of the four courses offered by the course of study with grade of at least a “C” in each course. With regard to all other academic regulations, the policies of Washington & Jefferson College will be observed.

Assessment

Student performance will be assessed by exams, presentations and papers. Students who successfully complete this course of study will:

  • Strengthen their understanding of generally accepted accounting principles for both business and non‐business entities
  • Strengthen their understanding of generally accepted auditing standards
  • Strengthen their understanding of theory and practice of financial management and related areas of organizational administration
  • Strengthen their understanding of both federal taxation of business entities and laws regulating business activity
  • Gain additional experience in researching authoritative accounting and auditing standards in the context of specific advanced problems and cases
  • Gain additional experience in professional writing
  • Gain additional experience in professional presentation
  • Develop analytic thinking skills

The curriculum of the course of study will be assessed by monitoring the
subsequent performance of students on the CPA exam.