Popular Courses Focus on Taxes, Business Strategy and Auditing

Susan Albring, associate professor of accounting, teaches an elective in the M.S. in Accounting Program, called “Taxes and Business Strategy.” According to Professor Albring, “The course introduces the fundamental concepts and strategy of the federal income taxation of business entities, estates and trusts and how it influences decisions. While the course focuses on learning and applying the current laws, emphasis is placed on the research skills necessary to determine the state of the law and special emphasis is placed on integrating tax rules into planning decisions. At completion of the course students are expected to be able to describe how tax accounting information is used for planning purposes and utilize tax accounting information to present financial and operational effects in short-run and long-run tax planning models and decisions.”

Randy Elder, professor of accounting, is in his 25th year of teaching at the Whitman School. One of his more popular courses is advanced auditing. The course has seen significant changes in content and approach over the years. He still exposes students to audit re-search, but has increased coverage of auditing standards and uses more cases to allow for greater in-depth analysis and discussion of auditing issues. What’s more, the students also learn how to use ACL audit software to analyze data. He has also incorporated role-play activities into the course. In one activity, some students act as representatives from competing auditing firms and other students play company audit committee members, and use audit quality indicators to select the compa-ny’s audit firm. In another activity, representatives from a Big 4 firm simulate a risk assessment planning discussion that involves several levels of the audit team and specialists in the firm.

An Update on the Accounting Curriculum

The accounting curriculum continues to rely on foundational concepts, however the delivery of those theories and practices is ever-evolving.

New Pathway to a Masters Saves Time and Money

In 2016, the Whitman School began offering an additional option to obtaining an M.S. in accounting degree. The Accelerated Masters Program in accounting allows students to obtain both the B.S. and M.S. in accounting in just over four years – saving time and tuition. The first three and a half years consist of undergraduate coursework, along with an opportunity for an internship experience during the spring semester of junior year. After the internship experience, students return for a final semester of the undergraduate experience before seamlessly moving into the graduate program.During the summer after the fourth year, students complete their M.S. requirements online while preparing for the CPA licensing exams.