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Course Descriptions

Certificate Program in Accounting

To address professional development needs in accounting, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers a ten-course certificate program. Composed of six required credit courses and four electives, the accounting certificate program is designed for adult students wishing to enter the accounting field, as well as those already employed in accounting-related positions. The program is offered at the Northern Virginia center. Contact the center for admission, transfer, and certificate completion requirements.

Required Courses (6): ACCT 201, 202, 311, 312, 314, and 521.

Electives (4): BUS 341, 342, 351, or 371, ACCT 525, 531, 711, 445, 546, or 533.

Course Descriptions


ACCT 201 - (3)
Introductory Accounting
Designed to introduce students to the language of business, the course begins with the role of financial data in contemporary society, proceeds to develop the accounting model for capturing financial data, and finishes with the problems of measuring and reporting income, assets, liabilities, and equities.

ACCT 202 - (3)
Introductory Accounting II
Prerequisite: ACCT 201.
Continuation of ACCT 201. Approximately one third of the course deals with additional financial accounting topics, emphasizing managerial considerations and financial analysis. Cost accumulation, allocation, and product cost methods are studied in a manufacturing setting. Matters such as evaluation of performance planning, cost behavior, and special decisions are emphasized.

ACCT 311 - (3)
Intermediate Accounting I
Prerequisite: ACCT 202.
An intensive study of the generally accepted accounting principles for asset valuation, income measurement, and financial statement presentation for business organizations, and the processes through which these principles evolve.

ACCT 312 - (3)
Intermediate Accounting II
Prerequisite: ACCT 311.
Continuation of ACCT 311, emphasizing accounting for the equities of a firm’s investors and creditors. Covers special problem areas in financial accounting including accounting for leases, pensions, and income taxes.

ACCT 314 - (3)
Cost Accounting
Prerequisite: ACCT 202.
Addresses analysis of cost behavior and volume profit relationships; responsibility accounting and reporting flexible budgets; and the use of standard costs to guide and control performance.

BUS 341 - (3)
Commercial Law I
Analysis of the basic legal principles applicable to ordinary commercial transactions, with special emphasis on contracts, agencies, and commercial paper.

BUS 342 - (3)
Commercial Law II
Prerequisite: BUS 341.
Reviews basic legal principles applicable to formation and operation of business organizations including corporate and non-corporate entities. Also covers significant areas of legal regulation of business and property transactions.

BUS 371 - (3)
Managerial Finance I
Prerequisites: ACCT 202.
Emphasizes the development of managerial theory and decision methodology in evaluating the financial function of the firm. Analyzes working capital management, the concepts and techniques employed in the procurement of resources from financial markets, and their allocation to productive investments.

ACCT 445 - (3)
Federal Taxation I
Prerequisite: ACCT 202 or instructor permission.
An analysis of the federal income tax law and its application to individuals. A study is made of problems covering personal and business tax situations. Several cases are assigned for which the student prepares illustrative tax returns.

ACCT 521 - (3)
Introductory Auditing
Prerequisite: ACCT 312.
Examines auditing methodology through a study of auditing standards. Includes the nature of evidence, program planning, work papers, internal control evaluation, types of audit tests, and audit reports.

ACCT 525 - (3)
Advanced Auditing
Prerequisite: ACCT 521.
Builds on the concepts and practice examples from introductory auditing to provide students with an in-depth understanding of professional standards, the audit process, advanced audit techniques, and the auditor’s role in ensuring that publicly issued financial statements are fairly presented.

ACCT 531 - (3)
Selected Topics in Advanced Accounting
Prerequisite: ACCT 312.
Studies accounting and financial reporting for partnerships, business enterprise segments, home office/branch office, foreign transactions and translation, business combinations, and other intercorporate investments and consolidated statements.

ACCT 533 - (3)
Accounting for Non-Business Organizations
Prerequisite: ACCT 312.
Financial accounting for governmental and non-profit organizations. Studies the theory and techniques of accounting and reporting for various funds and groups of accounts.

ACCT 546 - (3)
Federal Taxation II
Prerequisite: ACCT 445.
Analyzes of the federal income tax law and its application to corporations, shareholders, partnerships, partners, estates, and gift transactions.

ACCT 711 - (3)
Accounting Theory
Prerequisite: ACCT 312.
Examines the theories underlying the financial measurement of events that affect reporting entities. Includes the historical development of accounting thought and how it has been influenced by social, political, and economic forces. Analyzes the structure and methodology of theory; examines objectives, postulates, and principles; and explores income determination and the valuation, classification, and reporting of assets and equities.


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