The School of Accounting
is a department within the College
of Business and offers both a Bachelors of Business Administration as well as a Master of Science in Accounting.
Admission and Progression Standards for this major:
Click on the link to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major: http://www.jmu.edu/advising/snapshots/SSACTG.shtml
Description of Major
The undergraduate Accounting major is designed to prepare students for entry into high-quality graduate programs and for positions in industry, government and non-profit organizations that do not require postgraduate education. Forty-seven states now require a 5th year of college to qualify for the CPA exam. Students interested in public accounting will wish to major in Accounting and continue their education in the Masters of Science in Accounting program. Accounting graduates develop technical accounting competence and proficiency in information technology. The program also develops critical thinking, teamwork and communication skills. Graduates are hired by the "Big Four" international public accounting firms, local and regional accounting firms, government and non-profit organizations and companies in a variety of industries. The field of accounting has one of the highest demands of new graduates of any area in today's market.
Students who have completed their lower-level business requirements must formally apply for admission to the College of Business. Students interested in pursuing a business major are encouraged to begin taking lower-division business courses as early as possible.
Tell me more about this field of study.
Accounting is the study of how organizations measure and report their performance in meeting organizational goals. Accountants engage in a wide variety of activities besides preparing financial statements and recording business transactions. These include: measuring costs and efficiency gains from new technologies, participating in strategies for mergers and acquisitions, developing tax strategies, developing and using information systems, and helping determine corporate strategy. The field of accounting offers stimulating and challenging work that is constantly evolving. The demand for technologically-competent accountants far outstrips the supply, resulting in starting salaries in the mid-$50,000 range and up. Average salaries for 2006-2007 year were between $45,000 and $60,000.
Tell me more about specialization in this field.
Starting accountants work for public accounting firms, government agencies, consulting firms, or corporations. Within these work environments, accountants can specialize in auditing, systems design and development, or in managerial, financial or tax accounting. Auditors verify accounting procedures within corporations and government to assure compliance with national and international accounting standards. Management accountants analyze the organization’s performance and participate in planning and management decisions. Financial accountants prepare financial statements and participate in important decisions involving mergers and acquisitions, raising capital and long-term financial projections. Tax accountants prepare corporate and personal income tax returns and formulate tax strategies. Forensic accountants utilize accounting, auditing and investigative skills to detect and prevent fraud and assist in litigation support.
OF SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS
Successful accountants combine technical expertise with teamwork and communication skills. Technological competence, problem solving skills, and professionalism are important attributes of today’s accountants.
Many graduates choose typical career paths associated with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated careers that utilize skills and experiences developed during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some fields will require graduate study or further training. The listing below offers examples of possible career paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.