Augmenting the traditional accounting curriculum by leveraging technology to reach diverse students where they are and creating a structured pathway for them to succeed in college, pass the CPA exam and enter the accounting profession.
The first five courses of the curriculum are developed and will be offered in partnership with Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC).
1. The Role of Accounting in Business in Society ( 3 credits)
This course provides a 360-degree view of the role and relevance of corporate reporting (financial and non-financial) in business and society by public and private sector organizations. Content will include the information needs for external reporting to investors and creditors, internal management planning and control decisions, assessment of the risks and controls critical to reliable financial and non-financial data, and regulatory oversight. Prerequisite: Principles of Accounting I & II
2. Data Analytics and Statistics in Accounting (3 credits )
This course is an introduction to the field of business analytics in accounting and business management, which has been defined as the extensive use of data, statistical and quantitative analysis, exploratory and predictive models, and fact-based management to drive decisions and actions in an accounting context. The development and use of data warehouses and data marts to support accounting analytics are discussed. The use of key performance indicators, dashboards and scorecards for performance management and opportunity assessment are addressed. Co-requisite: The Role of Accounting in Business and Society or by instructor’s approval
3. Developing Global Leaders in Business (3 credits)
This course focuses on developing the intellectual, psychological, and social capitals of students to become effective leaders in today's global environment. Students will have the opportunity to understand perspectives that are different from theirs by collaborating with team members and other stakeholders with different cultural, political, and institutional backgrounds. Some emphasis will be placed on developing students' ability to analyze and visualize global data from a variety of sources, such as financial, customer, social media, video, voice, text, machine data and other structured and unstructured data. Prerequisites: The Role of Accounting in Business and Society
4. Managing Professional Accounting Services Projects (3 credits)
This course focuses on examining the nine key knowledge areas of project management - project integration, scope, time, cost, quality, risk, human resources, communication, and procurement management - within the context of professional accounting services projects (audit, tax, and consulting). Project initiation, planning, execution, control and closing will be discussed. Students will develop a robust understanding of how project management techniques (e.g., network diagrams, critical path, and PERT analysis) and tools (e.g., Microsoft Project) are used to manage projects. The Role of Accounting in Business and Society
5. Coordinated Internship (3 credits)
This course is designed to assist students in successfully integrating workplace experience into their past and future academic program. As a result of this professional work experience, students will learn to apply their academic knowledge of accounting, finance, business, and financial data science, to real life situations. Specifically, students will learn to: 1) Identify problems and issues faced by professional services firms and businesses; 2) Apply their skills in accounting and financial data science to propose solutions to field-based problems; 3) Skillfully communicate their research-based understanding of the issues they encounter and the proposed solution; and, 4) Interact effectively on an interpersonal level with a broad group of professionals. Prerequisites: All courses above or by instructor’s approval
The second five courses are being developed and expected to be offered starting in Spring 2019
1. Research & Communication I (3 credits)
Building on earlier material covered in Data Analytics and Statistics course, this course focuses on the process and lifecycle of data science (including data acquisition, data understanding, data integrity analysis, data cleaning and transformation), as well as advanced statistical methods for data science, advanced regression analysis and general linear models, non-linear methods, tree-based methods, text mining, methods for categorical and limited dependent variables, and Monte Carlo simulation. The course also expands on the discussion of data visualization. The role of visualization in storytelling, with attention to the business necessity of translating complex technical subjects into actionable insights, will be emphasized. Prerequisites: Data Analytics and Statistics in Accounting and Intermediate I
2. Taxes & Business Strategy (3 credits)
This course provides a framework for recognizing tax issues and planning opportunities that impact business decision-making. The course will begin with a focus on basic analytical tools to develop a tax foundation. With a solid foundation in place, the focus of the course will shift to providing students with the ability to: read and apply federal tax law; conduct tax research; engage in effective tax planning; and present the identified tax consequences in both oral and written presentations. Ethical considerations will be identified and discussed as related to taxation and business decision-making. CPA exam content and materials will be used where appropriate throughout the course. Prerequisite: Introductory Tax; Co-requisite: Research and Communication I and Intermediate II
3. Research & Communication II (3 credits)
This course will develop students’ abilities to access and use the online financial reporting, audit, and tax standards that provide the authoritative guidance to practicing accounting professionals on current and emerging issues. Students will collaborate in groups to analyze real business cases that often contain ambiguous and incomplete facts, compose proposed solutions with reference to the current standards for compliance, and communicate their findings in a concise and understandable format. A semester-long term project requires groups of students to work together to define and frame a complex problem, develop a systematic approach to solving it using analytics, generate an innovative solution and persuasively convey that solution using data visualization techniques and communication skills. Increased exposure to accounting professionals for career guidance and communication feedback with special emphasis on the quality of “executive presence” will be a central component of this course. CPrerequisites: Intermediate I and II, Research and Communication I
4. Valuation & Estimation (3 credits)
In recent years, accounting standards have moved towards reporting fair values on the balance sheet. This course has two objectives, which are related to increasing student’s knowledge of how fair values are estimated and how they are used in accounting. The first objective is to expose students to the accounting requirements for the measurement and recognition of fair value. Students will study both the mechanics of valuation as well as the issues that arise when balance sheet accounts are reported at fair value versus historical cost. Valuation techniques that are commonly used to estimate fair values such as discounted cash flows, market multiples and real options are applied throughout the course. CPA exam content and materials will be used where appropriate throughout the course. Prerequisites: All courses above or by instructor’s approval
5. Systems & Audit (3 credits)
This capstone course is designed to expose students to accounting systems design, the importance of the control environment where the system is implemented, and to the current professional environment for providing auditing and assurance services. The primary course objectives are 1) to expand the student’s fundamental knowledge of auditing concepts and principles, 2) to practice research skills using authoritative literature, including the AICPA, the SEC, PCAOB and the DOJ, and to use that research to summarize major points, 3) to practice executive writing skills, 4) to focus on the significance that ethics plays in the auditing world, 5) to practice decision-making skills, using quantitative data and qualitative information, to form a specific conclusion, and 6) to exercise professional judgments based on the review of numerous case studies, including the identification of fraud risk factors. Students will review the body of generally accepted auditing standards, and the dynamic business environment where these guidelines are developed and applied. Research skills will be enhanced through access to auditing standards applicable for both public and private companies using electronic databases, and applied to case facts. Strong professional writing skills will be required throughout the course. CPA exam content and materials will be used where appropriate throughout the course. Prerequisites: Intermediate I and II, Introductory Assurance Service, Research and Communication I; co-requisites: Research and Communication II and Valuation & Estimation
Expanding scholarship opportunities to attract and keep students on track to enter the accounting profession. The additional cost of meeting the 150 hours requirement to become a CPA is cost prohibitive to many students.
Students will apply to TNCC and iat4ss to be considered for the program. An admission committee will make decisions on applicants based on the student’s previous academic performance and his/her potential to succeed as an accounting professional. Students who are accepted to the program will be given the opportunity to apply for scholarships to offset the cost of tuition not covered by financial aid. Students have the potential to be awarded up to 80% of tuition scholarship. Students will need to maintain at least a GPA of 3.0 to continue in the program.
Expanding internship opportunities for students so they have meaningful work experience.
iat4ss works closely with employers (accounting firms, corporations, government agencies and other entities) to match students in the program with internship opportunities. Students will matriculate in a 3-credit course while interning so they can meaningfully connect the workplace experience with iat4ss curriculum. The internship course will be faculty led with various deliverables. These internships will serve as opportunities for full-time entry level positions in the accounting profession