The accounting major is designed to provide entry-level knowledge, skills, and concepts for careers in accounting. These careers are generally divided into four broad areas, corresponding to particular employment environments: management accounting, government accounting, accounting education, and public accounting. The career can include such activities as auditing, budgeting, data processing, controlling costs, providing tax advice, meeting tax requirements, and designing and analyzing financial systems.
Practicing accountants generally acquire one or more certifications available to members of the profession. The most common certification is the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), conferred by the State Board of Public Accountancy of the state in which the individual maintains his or her license. Other certifications include the Certified Management Accountant (CMA), the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and others.
The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy has set the minimum educational requirements for taking the CPA examination at 150 semester hours. Students aspiring to an accounting career should give serious consideration to pursuing advanced studies at the graduate level to enhance their potential for a successful accounting career. Accounting students should be aware that requirements to sit for the CPA examination in Texas may change at any time. CPA requirements are determined by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA). Students should frequently visit the TSBPA website at <http://www.tsbpa.state.tx.us/> and check with their advisor on a regular basis to ensure that the courses they are taking will qualify them to sit for the CPA exam.
Students who have not yet received an undergraduate degree should inquire about the Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) described below. For students who have received their undergraduate degrees, the Department of Accounting and Business Law offers an avenue to pursue graduate studies to meet the State qualifications for professional certification through the Master of Accountancy (MAcc). This option is described in the College of Business section of the Graduate Catalog. Students are encouraged to contact the Director of Master’s Programs in the College of Business for more information and answers to specific questions.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
- Demonstrate the ability to use analytical skills supported by information technology for problem-solving and decision-making.
- Demonstrate professionalism through interpersonal skills, including an understanding of ethical issues and governance responsibilities.
- Comprehend and explain the basic business functions of accounting, economics, finance, management, management systems, and marketing.
- Analyze and synthesize the integration of business functions in diverse cultural settings and the global marketplace.
Additionally, a separate major-specific goal is listed for each major in its respective section.
Major Field Test
As an integral part of the College of Business’ Assurance of Learning program, the Major Field Test (MFT) is a nationally-normed, standardized multiple-choice test developed by the Educational Testing Service and administered to senior-level business students at many AACSB International accredited institutions in the United States. It is designed to measure students’ academic achievement through demonstration of their basic knowledge and understanding of key concepts, theories, and analytical methods in the functional areas of business. This test covers the areas of accounting, economics, finance, international issues, legal and social environment of business, management, marketing, quantitative business analysis, and information systems.
The MFT is required for all students pursuing the Bachelor of Business Administration degree and will be administered in MGMT 4388 , Administrative Policy and Strategy. To prepare for this test, business majors are advised to retain their class notes, textbooks, and other relevant materials from their business core courses in the areas referenced above. Also, to prepare for the MFT, business majors are required to enroll in BUSI 0088 concurrently with MGMT 4388 . BUSI 0088 is a non-credit Major Field Test review course.
Professional Program in Accounting (PPA)
The Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) is designed to prepare students for successful careers in public accounting, industry, government, and other areas of the accounting profession. Admission can occur as early as the first semester of the junior year and as late as the second semester of the senior year. The curriculum emphasizes the development of ethical judgment, business decision-making skills, and teamwork, and encourages students to intern with a business appropriate to their career path. PPA students are typically committed to obtaining the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) and to becoming CPAs.
A variety of different career paths are available to accountants. Accounting professionals work in public accounting in audit, consulting, tax and financial planning, providing services to a wide range of organizations. Accountants also enjoy financial reporting, tax, and managerial accounting careers with companies in all industries, in all levels of government, and in educational institutions as professionals and as educators. As businesses, governments, and individuals generate and utilize information at accelerating rates in an increasingly global environment, public trust in the value of the information and the financial reporting of firms depends on the highest integrity, dedication, and expertise of the accountants in each of these career paths.
Students must apply at least one semester prior to the desired entrance date and be admitted to the PPA program. Admission to the PPA program is based on the applicant’s undergraduate grade point average at the time of application. Other relevant examples of academic ability and leadership may be considered in evaluating applicants.
The BBA degree will be awarded upon completion of the BBA requirements. PPA students will apply for and enter the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program and receive the Master of Accountancy degree upon completion of the requirements for such degree.
Required Business Core
The PPA program follows the curriculum requirements for the Core Curriculum Program and the business core for undergraduates. All PPA students must complete at least 45 hours of junior or senior level courses and satisfy all other AACSB accreditation requirements as specified in the catalog. Coursework in the student’s concentration must be approved in advance by the PPA student’s advisor. Undergraduate PPA students are required to enroll in ACCT 0041 - Professional Development Level One , each semester. This course is Web-based and non-credit.
PPA students are required to take 33 semester hours of graduate coursework, including at least 24 hours in accounting. Graduate courses are integrated into the PPA curriculum beginning in the second semester of the fourth year. Graduate PPA students are required to enroll in ACCT 0051, Professional Development Level Two, each semester. This course is Web-based and noncredit.