Overview

Accounting Program

The accounting program strives to achieve excellence in accounting and tax education and to develop students with the highest possible professional competence, enabling them to pursue rewarding careers in accounting and taxation.

Students graduate with an understanding of current accounting, tax, economic, and management theories and the practical applications of these theories. Students are exposed to issues relating to rapid changes in technology, the accounting profession, and in the globalization of the economy, as well as an awareness of ethical issues they may encounter in their professional careers.

The program allows students opportunities to develop their interpersonal skills, improve their knowledge of business and organizations, and develop their personal capabilities.

The accounting program prepares students for entry into many different fields after graduation, including public accounting, commercial and industrial accounting, government organizations, and other not-for-profit agencies. Accounting faculty members are involved with all aspects of the students’ preparation for entering their chosen professions.

The accounting program has an advisory board comprised of prominent members of the accounting and finance professions. The board includes partners in both national and regional CPA firms and financial officers in commercial, industrial, governmental, and not-for-profit organizations. Input from the advisory board ensures that the Accounting program continues to meet the needs of students and the business community.

Certification as a CPA

To become certified as a CPA in the state of New York, a person must satisfy these requirements:

  • Fulfill the education requirements established by the State Education Department. Students need to obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher and 150 credit hours, including the following content areas, to fulfill New York State requirements to sit for the CPA examination:
    • 33 semester hours in accounting with courses in financial accounting and reporting, cost or managerial accounting, taxation, and auditing
    • 36 semester hours in general business electives
    • The study of business/accounting communications, ethics/professional responsibility, and accounting research

    Students planning to become a CPA are strongly encouraged to fulfill the education requirements through the 4+1 MBA program with a concentration in accounting.

  • Pass all four parts of the CPA examination, a standard computerized national exam. Most candidates either take a CPA exam preparation course or spend considerable time studying on their own to enhance their success on the four-part exam.
  • Fulfill the experience requirement. One year of experience completed under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA. Appropriate experience may be earned in public accounting, government, or industry.
  • Be at least 21 years of age and be of good moral character.

Additional information on the requirements for certification as a CPA, including requirements concerning professional behavior and character, can be obtained at the New York State Education Department website at www.nysed.gov.

Professional Standards

Professional accountants, whether employees in auditing or management, are expected to have accounting expertise and behave in a professional manner. They are expected to have special technical expertise in management, tax, auditing, financial reporting, and information technology. In addition, to ensure that the profession of accounting maintains the confidence, trust, and respect of the general public, accountants are expected to adhere to the professional standards set forth by the organization to which they belong. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the largest professional organization for accountants in public accounting, and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the largest professional organization for accountants in the private sector, have both developed Standards of Professional Behavior. These standards cover areas of integrity, professional excellence, respect of others, and personal responsibility. Students need to develop an understanding of these standards and are expected to behave in accordance with the standards as set forth in both the Standards of Professional Behavior and in the St. John Fisher College Code of Conduct.