Accounting | Course Catalogue

2020-2021 Catalogue

Accounting is the language of business, and as such is a critical part of our society in the U.S. and globally. It is not only important to business organizations, but also to nonprofit, governmental and other entities not specifically oriented to the for-profit world.

The accounting profession offers numerous career opportunities, with many diverse paths to follow. The accounting major serves as initial preparation for students wishing to pursue a career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)* or many other professional accounting paths, including Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). One of the greatest benefits of studying accounting within a liberal arts environment is the unique combination of courses students take – not just in accounting, but also in the humanities and social sciences. Accounting majors have attended top-ranked graduate programs, as well as worked for Big Four accounting firms.

*In order to be eligible to sit for the CPA examination, 30 additional semester hours are required beyond the 120 semester hours needed for graduation. Students graduating with an accounting major will have at least 120 semester hours upon graduation, but may not have the 150 semester hours needed to become a CPA.

Student Learning Objectives

Five student learning outcomes for the required courses in the accounting major have been identified:

  1. Understanding the fundamental concepts of business.
  2. Understanding the economic and financial dimensions of accounting.
  3. Understanding the collection, organization, and analysis of business and the use of computers in decision-making.
  4. Developing knowledge in one advanced area of accounting.
  5. Integrating knowledge previously gained and developing experience in application of knowledge, research, and critical thinking.

Three goals in liberal studies are met through selection of appropriate general education courses:

  1. Understanding the historical and political context of business.
  2. Developing an awareness of the dimensions of human behavior as individuals and in organizations.
  3. Understanding the issues in philosophy and values which influence the business environment.

Major Requirements: Accounting. A major in Accounting requires a minimum of 60 semester hours, including the following:

Business Core Courses (36 hours): 
All courses are 3 hours.

  • ACC 201: Financial Accounting: Concepts and Applications
  • ACC 202: Principles of Managerial Accounting
  • ACC 205: Principles of Finance
  • BUS 106: Business Ethics and Society
  • BUS 303: Principles of Marketing
  • BUS 310: Business Law
  • BUS 315: Principles of Management
  • BUS 318: Human Resources Management
  • BUS 488: Business Policy Seminar
  • ECO 102: Issues in Macroeconomics
  • ECO 104: Issues in Microeconomics
  • MAT/PSY 220: Statistics

Accounting Major Courses (24 hours):

  • ACC 321: Intermediate Accounting I
  • ACC 322: Intermediate Accounting II
  • ACC 423: Intermediate Accounting III
  • ACC 323: Cost Accounting
  • ACC 324: Tax Accounting 
  • ACC/BUS 333: Business Information Systems
  • ACC 432: Auditing
  • ACC 433: Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting


Professional Development: Throughout their Wesleyan education each student is given opportunities to explore professional and career choices, and to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential for professional success. Each student will complete PDE 400: Professional Development Experience and PDE 401: Professional Practice Seminar.

In addition, numerous internship opportunities are often available for accounting majors, and students quickly realize the benefits of being exposed to and working in their possible fields of interest. It is not uncommon for an internship to lead to a job offer. Some of the sponsors who have welcomed Wesleyan interns in accounting in recent years have included Ernst & Young (EY); the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) IRS Program; McNair, McLemore, and Middlebrooks, CPAs; PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC); SunTrust Bank; and Deloitte.


Course Sequencing for the Accounting Major: A recommended sequence of courses for the student majoring in accounting is shown below.

If Major Considered/Declared Before Fall Year 1

First Year: Fall (Spring)

  • ACC 201 (ACC 202)
  • WIS 101/ENG 101 (ECO 102)
  • MAT 130/140/192/205 (MAT 220)
  • Elective/Gen Ed  (Elective/Gen Ed)
  • Foreign Language  (Foreign Language)

Second Year: Fall (Spring)

  • BUS 106 (ACC 333)
  • ECO 104 (BUS 303)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (BUS 318)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (Elective/Gen Ed)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (Elective/Gen Ed)

Third Year: Fall (Spring)

  • ACC 205 or ACC 324* (ACC 432* or ACC 433*)
  • ACC 321 (ACC 322)
  • ACC 323 (ACC 423)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (Elective/Gen Ed)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (Elective/Gen Ed)

Fourth Year: Fall (Spring)

  • ACC 205 or ACC 324* (ACC 432* or ACC 433*)
  • BUS 310 (BUS 315)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (BUS 488)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (Elective/Gen Ed)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (Elective/Gen Ed)


If Major Considered/Declared After Fall Year 1 
or if ACC 201 Conflicts with BUS 106

First Year: Fall (Spring)

  • BUS 106 (ECO 102)
  • WIS 101/ENG 101 (MAT 220)
  • MAT 130/140/192/205 (Elective/Gen Ed)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (Elective/Gen Ed)
  • Foreign Language (Foreign Language)

Second Year: Fall (Spring)

  • ACC 201 (ACC 202)
  • ECO 104 (ACC 333)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (BUS 303)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (BUS 318)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (Elective/Gen Ed)

Third Year: Fall (Spring)

  • ACC 205 or ACC 324* (ACC 432* or ACC 433*)
  • ACC 321 (ACC 322)
  • ACC 323 (ACC 423)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (Elective/Gen Ed)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (Elective/Gen Ed)

Fourth Year: Fall (Spring)

  • ACC 205 or ACC 324* (ACC 432* or ACC 433*)
  • BUS 310 (BUS 315)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (BUS 488)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (Elective/Gen Ed)
  • Elective/Gen Ed (Elective/Gen Ed)

* Indicates a course which is offered every other year.


Minor Requirements: AccountingA minor in accounting consists of a minimum of 18 hours distributed as follows:
All courses are 3 hours.

  • ACC 201: Financial Accounting: Concepts and Applications
  • ACC 202: Principles of Managerial Accounting
  • ACC 321: Intermediate Accounting I
  • ACC 322: Intermediate Accounting II
  • Two additional ACC courses at or above the 300 level


Postgraduate Opportunities. The accounting degree prepares students for a profession and a career and also provides for immediate employment. Consequently, although some graduates pursue a master's program, many enter the workforce immediately following graduation. Those who have recently chosen to pursue graduate degrees have pursued their master's degrees at Auburn University, Boston University, Georgia State University, Ohio State University, University of Georgia, University of Southern California, and other schools offering masters degrees.


Accounting (ACC) Course Descriptions

ACC 201: Financial Accounting: Concepts and Applications
Goal: To give the student an appreciation and understanding of recording and accounting for business transactions.
Content: An introduction to the fundamentals, practices, and procedures of financial accounting. Covers the basic financial accounting concepts, the accounting cycle, and financial statement preparation.
Taught: Fall
Prerequisite: None
Credit: 3 hours
ACC 202: Principles of Managerial Accounting
Goal: To give the student a basic working knowledge of the underlying principles of managerial accounting.
Content: Study of process costing, product costing, and various methods of analysis for decision making such as cost-volume-profit analysis. Also, study of various quantitative methods useful to management in controlling inventory, estimation costs, and coping with uncertainty. Focus on accounting reports used by management.
Taught: Spring
Prerequisite: ACC 201
Credit: 3 hours
ACC 205: Principles of Finance
Goal: To acquaint students with the principles and institutions of financial and capital markets, and with the financial operations of a business firm.
Content: Study of basic financial principles with an emphasis on interest rate determination in competitive market economies, the capital asset pricing model and operation of securities markets.
Taught: Fall, Spring, Summer
Prerequisites: None
Credit: 3 hours
ACC 321: Intermediate Accounting I
Goal: To enable the student to evaluate and develop a system of understanding accounting theory and practice in preparation for advanced accounting topics and academic and career opportunities.
Content: An intensive study of financial accounting functions and basic theory of accounting with emphasis on financial statement preparation and measurement of assets and liabilities.
Taught: Fall
Prerequisites: ACC 201 and 202
Credit: 3 hours.
ACC 322: Intermediate Accounting II
Goal: To help students become familiar with and understand the theory underlying accounting reports, the required content and disclosure in financial statements and reports, and to recognize errors in the preparation of reports in applications of theory and principles.
Content: A continuation of ACC 321. Study of accounting for current liabilities, long-term liabilities, intangibles, corporate capital, retained earnings, and property, plant and equipment.
Taught: Spring
Prerequisite: ACC 201, ACC 202, ACC 321
Credit: 3 hours
ACC 323: Cost Accounting
Goal: To provide a comprehensive coverage of fundamental concepts and techniques within the area of cost accounting.
Content: Focus on the different types of costs and their interrelationships. Strong emphasis on problem solving with the use of concepts covered in the text and in-class lecture material. Computer concepts also covered.
Taught: Fall
Prerequisites: ACC 201 and 202
Credit: 3 hours

ACC 324: Tax Accounting
Goal: To teach the student a working knowledge of individual income taxation, enabling her to prepare a complete, accurate, and reasonably complex individual income tax return.
Content: Determining taxable income, deductions, adjustments, exemptions, and other important tax concerns for individuals and small businesses.
Taught: Fall, alternate years
Prerequisite: None
Credit: 3 hours

ACC 333: Business Information Systems
Goal: To understand how firms plan, build, and implement systems to process accounting information necessary to the business.
Content: A study of the fundamentals of business data processing techniques and systems. Technological advances and their effects on business are discussed.
Taught: Spring
Prerequisite: ACC 201
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as BUS 333.

ACC 396: Special Topics in Accounting
Goal: To provide an opportunity for exploration of a topic not offered as part of the established curriculum.
Content: Examination of special topics, problems, or issues in accounting that seem particularly relevant to student needs and interests.
Taught: Occasionally
Prerequisite: Dependent on topic
Credit: 3 hours. A student may take a maximum of six to eight semester hours (two courses) of special topics in any one field.

ACC 423: Intermediate Accounting III
Goal: To help the student understand the complex theory and procedure required in the preparation of financial statements.
Content: A continuation of ACC 321 and ACC 322. Study of accounting for dilutive securities, earnings per share, leases, pensions, deferred income taxes, statement of cash flows, revenue recognition, error corrections, and accounting changes.
Taught: Spring, alternate years
Prerequisites: ACC 321 and ACC 322
Credit: 3 hours

ACC 432: Auditing
Goal: To help the student understand the duties and responsibilities of the independent auditor in examining and reporting on the financial statements of a business organization.
Content: A closer look at the audit environment and examination of the moral, ethical, and legal responsibilities of the independent auditor. A study of the central concepts of internal control and the methods and procedures used by the auditor to evaluate the accounting system, to assess its strengths and weaknesses, and accordingly develop an appropriate audit program. An examination of the major types of transactions of a business which are measured, aggregated and summarized in conventional financial statements. An analysis of the disclosures required in financial statements of publicly held companies and various types of reports issued by auditors.
Taught: Spring
Prerequisites: ACC 201, ACC 202, ACC 321
Credit: 3 hours

ACC 433: Government and Not for Profit Accounting
Goal: To teach the student the complex theory and procedures involved in accounting for government and not-for-profit entities.
Content: Accounting for state and local governmental entities will be examined. Also, the accounting theory and procedures used by non-for-profit schools, health and welfare organizations, and hospitals will be discussed.
Taught: Fall, alternate years
Prerequisite: ACC 201
Credit: 3 hours

ACC 451: Directed Independent Study
Goal: To provide the student with the opportunity for independent study, under careful supervision, of significant topics in accounting selected in consultation with the instructor.
Content: Varies
Taught: Fall, Spring, and Summer
Prerequisite: Adequate course work for the topic selected
Credit: 1–6 hours

ACC 452/199: Field Study
Goal: To provide the student with intensive, specialized work experience in the area of accounting.
Content: Observation and participation in the work of accounting professionals.
Taught: Fall, Spring, and Summer
Prerequisites: Adequate course work for the placement selected and permission of the faculty advisor; approval of the Director of Career Development
Credit: 1-12 hours

ACC 499: Honors Thesis (Fee required)

Links to Other Course Descriptions

Business (BUS)

Economics (ECO)

Math (MAT)

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