Accounting

The Accounting Department prepares students for professional careers in public and private accounting and financial management. Our graduates work in for-profit, not-for-profit, and governmental organizations. Suffolk University is the only school in Boston to achieve supplemental AACSB International Accreditation for our accounting and taxation programs, in addition to our business school accreditation.

Mission and Vision

Mission

The mission of the Sawyer Business School's Accounting Department is to provide a quality accounting and tax education in contemporary subject matters, to prepare students to face challenges of a global business environment, and to appreciate the value of ethical behavior and reputation. It is our mission to earn an excellent reputation for the quality of our graduates, our teaching, and our research, as well as advance relationships within the professional communities.

Vision

The Accounting Department at Suffolk University will offer high-quality, cutting-edge, rigorous programs of instruction for undergraduate and graduate students of diverse backgrounds and interests. We will ensure our graduates are versatile and well-prepared for dynamic careers in accounting and taxation. We will support scholarly inquiry that values scholarship in all its forms including the generation of knowledge, the integration and dissemination of knowledge, creative activity, and scholarly reflection. We will inspire investment in an inclusive department that is built on ethical, forward-looking leadership, teamwork, and cooperation.

Professional Requirements

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts mandates a minimum of 120 semester hours, with specific course requirements, to sit for the Uniform CPA exam. To apply for a CPA license, 150 semester hours are required, earned as part of a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or both. The Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Degree (4+1 Program) enables students to satisfy the Massachusetts licensure educational requirements and prepares students for the successful completion of the CPA Exam and careers in accounting. Students who plan to qualify as CPAs in states other than Massachusetts should ascertain from the respective states or jurisdictions the specific requirements with which they must comply.

Suffolk’s Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Degree prepares you for a professional career as an accountant. Our elective options are designed to prepare you for rewarding careers in various fields in addition to public accounting such as corporate accounting, international accounting, tax advising, financial planning, not-for-profit accounting, and governmental accounting.

Accounting course offerings are designed to allow completion of the accounting major through part-time or full-time study, in day and evening courses.

Accounting Major Requirements

Learn more about this major

The BSBA in Accounting requires completion of 24 credit hours in accounting beyond the completion of ACCT 201, Accounting for Decision Making I and ACCT 202, Accounting for Decision Making II. A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in the accounting major and a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 overall must be maintained to graduate.

Accounting majors must complete 160 hours of pre-professional or professional accounting experience prior to graduating.

Accounting majors are assigned a faculty advisor from the Accounting Department to assist them in planning their program of studies and advise them on academic and career matters.

Required Courses (7 courses, 21 credits)

Prerequisites:

ACCT 202

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Focuses on the federal income taxation of individuals with some discussion of business taxation. Explores the basic structure of individual income taxation, including the individual tax formula, income, deductions, and credits, and provides an introduction to property transactions. Emphasizes how tax laws affect everyday personal and business decisions.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-201 and ACCT-202 and Junior standing

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Reviews basic financial accounting concepts and examines selected balance sheet and income statement items. The focus of this communication intensive course is on the valuation and reporting of current and non-current assets and liabilities and the income determination aspects of these items.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-321 with a minimum grade of C

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Continues to examine selected balance sheet and income statement items. The focus of this communication intensive course is on the valuation and reporting of investments and stockholders' equity and the income determination aspects of these items. Also considers special topics such as pensions, leases, deferred taxes, and cash flows.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 202

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Explores concepts and procedures underlying the development of a cost accounting system for managerial decisions, control, and performance reporting. Introduces the basic ideas of responsibility accounting.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 322 and ISOM-210

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Introduces the design, operation, and use of accounting information systems. Examines the functional relationships of the AIS within an organization. Provides a background in automated data processing, along with the important human and organizational considerations in system design and implementation.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 321 AND ACCT 331

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Provides an introduction to the field of auditing, with a concentration in auditing historical financial statements in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, and some exposure to auditing the internal control over financial reporting of large public companies. Covers the environment, standards, regulation, and law of auditing in the US, with some exposure to the international environment. Covers audit planning, risk, and material assessments, audit evidence, evaluation of internal control, documentation, and audit reports.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 431 (may be taken Concurrently), ACCT 322 and Senior Status

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Covers accounting procedures involved in business combinations and consolidated financial statements. Topics also include accounting for partnerships, various foreign currency issues, and the role of regulatory authorities in financial reporting. Core elements include enhancing critical thinking skills and analytical thinking. Also, this course provides practice in using oral communication for impact, and anticipating and managing ethical conflicts.

Elective Courses (1 course, 3 credits)

Select one from the following:

Prerequisites:

FIN-200 (formerly FIN 310); ACCT-331

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Explores economic, political and cultural variables that shape accounting and disclosure in various countries. Students gain an understanding of international financial reporting standards and the forces for convergence between IFRS and US GAAP. Presents financial analysis in a multi-financial context.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 331

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Studies accounting principles, unique financial reporting (such as fund accounting), and budgetary control in government agencies and charitable, healthcare, educational, and other not-for-profit organizations.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 320

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Covers advanced individual tax topics such as cost recovery, itemized deductions, passive activity losses, AMT, complex basis rules, and the operation and formation of C corporations.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-322 and junior standing

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Covers accounting procedures involved in business combinations and consolidated financial statements. Topics also include accounting for partnerships, various foreign currency issues, corporations in financial distress, and the role of regulatory authorities in financial reporting.

Pre-Professional Experience (1 course, 0 credits)

Prerequisites:

Course Coordinator consent required

Credits:

0.00

Description:

All accounting majors are required to complete 160 hours of pre-professional or professional accounting or tax experience prior to graduating. The hours may be obtained through one or more accounting or tax (a) internships, (b) part- or full-time employment, or (c) cooperative education positions. Hours may also be obtained through participation in Suffolk's Free Tax Preparation Clinic (SBS 555,SBS 556, and SBS 557 - each year will earn students 55 hours). Approval of the 160 hours work experience must be obtained in advance of beginning the work by completing a Practicum Approval Form and emailing it to acct560@suffolk.edu. Students register for the Accounting Practicum upon completion of the 160 hours and approval by the Accounting Department. Students should journal their work tasks and accomplishments. This experiential component carries no academic credit, does not require any tuition, and will be graded pass/fail.

Accounting Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning goals and objectives reflect the educational outcomes achieved by students through the completion of this program. These transferable skills prepare Suffolk students for success in the workplace, in graduate school, and in their local and global communities.

Learning Goals
Learning Objectives
Students will...
Upon completion of the program, each student should be able to...
Demonstrate information literacy, use analytical reasoning in problem-solving and decision-making situations, understand and employ theories, processes, and systems, and think and reflect critically.
(Critical and Analytical Thinking)
  • Identify the Issue (problem, question, or challenge).
  • Identify key data and assumptions (qualitative or quantitative).
  • Recognize multiple perspectives.
  • Develop arguments and provide analysis.
  • Select and apply methodologies (theories, processes, systems, tools).
  • Demonstrate information literacy.
Demonstrate the ability to effectively identify and communicate accounting ethical issues.
(Ethics)
  • Identify conflicts of interests and pressures that could lead to unethical conduct.
  • Understand what kinds of questions are helpful to ask oneself when confronting an ethical dilemma.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify and take into account the interests of different stakeholders.
  • Understand how business strategies that facilitate “doing good” can be made consistent with profitability.
  • Understand that what is legal may not always be ethical and that what is ethical may sometimes not be legal.
  • Appreciate that ethical norms vary across different countries and cultures.
  • Demonstrate overall applied business ethics skills.
Indicate an understanding of how culture, economic and political issues affect accounting and business decisions.
(Global Awareness)
  • Articulate fundamental challenges of global business.
  • Analyze financial impacts of operating a global business.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the existence and applicability of alternate (non US GAAP) accounting standards, such as IFRS, for financial reporting for global (non-US) businesses.
  • Apply alternate accounting standards.
  • Identify the sources of IFRS.
  • Recognize the importance of IFRS in the future for US companies
Be able to effectively communicate in oral form.
(Oral Communication)
  • Put together a clear and focused presentation, fitted to its purpose.
  • Develop and support a clear central message.
  • Employ an appropriate organizational pattern.
  • Use grammatically correct language, approprpriate pronunciation, and good word choice.
  • Create a presentation that is appropriate to the audience and occasion.
  • Use effective supporting material.
  • Demonstate overall delivery skill.
Communicate effectively in writing.
(Written Communication)
  • Demonstrate awareness of context, audience, and purpose.
  • Organize written communication effectively and logically.
  • Support arguments by evidence.
  • Employ grammar and style to convey meaning.
  • Follow formatting and citation rules.
Demonstrate in depth knowledge of accounting principles, concepts, and applications and the role accounting plays in organizations and society.
(Depth of Knowledge)
  • Demonstrate strong decision-making skills using model-building and evaluate the cost / benefit of available solutions.
  • Understand both audit risk and business risk, identifying negative outcomes (including fraud) and evaluating methods through prevention, detection, and corrective controls.  Communicate possible impact of identified risks and recommend corrective action.
  • Identify what needs to be measured.  Have familiarity with appropriate measurement criteria, including US GAAP and IFRS, present the results objectively, and resolve ambiguities involving estimates.
  • Demonstrate ability to prepare reports that are objective, concise, and clear, with relevant information that leads to appropriate conclusions and decision-making.
  • Demonstrate ability to utilize research skills to access, understand, and apply standards, rules, and other information, relying on industry trends, internal performance history, benchmarks, and best practices.
  • Demonstrate ability to use technology effectively and efficiently as a tool to access and control risk, document work performed, research data, and build models.

Accounting Minor Requirements

Learn more about this minor

Accounting Minor for Business Students (3 courses, 9 credits)

The minor requires the completion of the following three (3) required courses (nine credit hours) beyond the completion of ACCT 201, Accounting for Decision Making I and ACCT 202, Accounting for Decision Making II.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-201 and ACCT-202 and Junior standing

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Reviews basic financial accounting concepts and examines selected balance sheet and income statement items. The focus of this communication intensive course is on the valuation and reporting of current and non-current assets and liabilities and the income determination aspects of these items.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-321 with a minimum grade of C

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Continues to examine selected balance sheet and income statement items. The focus of this communication intensive course is on the valuation and reporting of investments and stockholders' equity and the income determination aspects of these items. Also considers special topics such as pensions, leases, deferred taxes, and cash flows.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 202

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Explores concepts and procedures underlying the development of a cost accounting system for managerial decisions, control, and performance reporting. Introduces the basic ideas of responsibility accounting.

Accounting Minor for College of Arts and Sciences Students (6 courses, 18 credits)

College of Arts & Sciences students who wish to undertake a functional business minor in accounting must first complete ENT 101 Business Foundations, ACCT 201 and 202 which may be completed in the sophomore year, while the other accounting courses are taken junior or senior year.

After ENT 101, College students are required to take all of the following:

Prerequisites:

MATH-128 or higher and WRI-102 or WRI-H103 or SBS-220

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Introduces students to the accounting cycle, the financial statements, and the theory underlying accounting as information. Provides users of accounting information with a basic understanding of how to appraise and manage a business. Addresses current accounting topics, including relevant ethical and international issues found in the financial press.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-201

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Enables students to apply the concepts and skills from ACCT 201. They learn how to analyze the financial condition and performance of a firm, and how to use accounting information in business planning, decision-making, and control. Topics include cost-volume-profit analysis, costing systems, variance analysis, and the budget process. Discusses relevant current ethical and competitive issues found in the financial press.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-201 and ACCT-202 and Junior standing

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Reviews basic financial accounting concepts and examines selected balance sheet and income statement items. The focus of this communication intensive course is on the valuation and reporting of current and non-current assets and liabilities and the income determination aspects of these items.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-321 with a minimum grade of C

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Continues to examine selected balance sheet and income statement items. The focus of this communication intensive course is on the valuation and reporting of investments and stockholders' equity and the income determination aspects of these items. Also considers special topics such as pensions, leases, deferred taxes, and cash flows.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 202

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Explores concepts and procedures underlying the development of a cost accounting system for managerial decisions, control, and performance reporting. Introduces the basic ideas of responsibility accounting.

Suffolk 4+1 Program

Learn more about this Accelerated Masters

Earn Your Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Just 5 Years in the Suffolk 4+1 Program

Suffolk University’s 4+1 Program recognizes the accomplishments of top undergraduate business students by waiving the GMAT/GRE application requirements for students who meet the qualifications. Qualifying students can earn the MSA in as few as 9 months of full-time study or 21 months of part-time study, or your MSA/MSF, MSA/MST, or MSBA/MSA in as few as 16-21 months at Suffolk University. To participate you must meet the following qualifications:
  • Must be a second semester senior earning an undergraduate degree in business or economics major at a U.S. Institution.
  • Applications from recent graduates will also be considered.
  • You must have at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA.
  • Top students will automatically be considered for merit-based fellowship awards. No separate application is required.

To apply, visit the Office of Graduate Admission, or contact us by phone at 617-573-8302 or by email.

Accounting Undergraduate Courses

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Study of the varieties of fraud, including financial statement fraud, fraud against organizations, consumer fraud, bankruptcy fraud, tax fraud and e-commerce fraud. The causes, prevention, detection and investigation of fraud are explored. Examination of famous past frauds with hands-on cases are used to apply these concepts and to understand the resolution of fraud in the legal system.

Prerequisites:

MATH-128 or higher and WRI-102 or WRI-H103 or SBS-220

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Introduces students to the accounting cycle, the financial statements, and the theory underlying accounting as information. Provides users of accounting information with a basic understanding of how to appraise and manage a business. Addresses current accounting topics, including relevant ethical and international issues found in the financial press.

Prerequisites:

MATH-128 or higher and WRI-102, WRI-103 or SBS-220, and at least a 3.3 GPA

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Introduces students to the accounting cycle, the financial statements, and the theory underlying accounting as information. Provides users of accounting information with a basic understanding of how to appraise and manage a business. Addresses current accounting topics, including relevant ethical and international issues found in the financial press.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-201

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Enables students to apply the concepts and skills from ACCT 201. They learn how to analyze the financial condition and performance of a firm, and how to use accounting information in business planning, decision-making, and control. Topics include cost-volume-profit analysis, costing systems, variance analysis, and the budget process. Discusses relevant current ethical and competitive issues found in the financial press.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 201; 3.3 GPA

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Enables students to apply the concepts and skills from ACCT 201. They learn how to analyze the financial condition and performance of a firm, and how to use accounting information in business planning, decision-making, and control. Topics include cost-volume-profit analysis, costing systems, variance analysis, and the budget process. Discusses relevant current ethical and competitive issues found in the financial press.

Prerequisites:

FIN-200 (formerly FIN 310); ACCT-331

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Explores economic, political and cultural variables that shape accounting and disclosure in various countries. Students gain an understanding of international financial reporting standards and the forces for convergence between IFRS and US GAAP. Presents financial analysis in a multi-financial context.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 202

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Focuses on the federal income taxation of individuals with some discussion of business taxation. Explores the basic structure of individual income taxation, including the individual tax formula, income, deductions, and credits, and provides an introduction to property transactions. Emphasizes how tax laws affect everyday personal and business decisions.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-202, SBS Honors Students Only

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Focuses on the federal income taxation of individuals with some discussion of business taxation. Explores the basic structure of individual income taxation, including the individual tax formula, income, deductions, and credits, and provides an introduction to property transactions. Emphasizes how tax laws affect everyday personal and business decisions.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-201 and ACCT-202 and Junior standing

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Reviews basic financial accounting concepts and examines selected balance sheet and income statement items. The focus of this communication intensive course is on the valuation and reporting of current and non-current assets and liabilities and the income determination aspects of these items.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-201 and ACCT-202 and Junior standing and GPA at least 3.3

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Reviews basic financial accounting concepts and examines selected balance sheet and income statement items. The focus of this communication intensive course is on the valuation and reporting of current and non-current assets and liabilities and the income determination aspects of these items.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-321 with a minimum grade of C

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Continues to examine selected balance sheet and income statement items. The focus of this communication intensive course is on the valuation and reporting of investments and stockholders' equity and the income determination aspects of these items. Also considers special topics such as pensions, leases, deferred taxes, and cash flows.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-321 with a minimum grade of C; 3.3 GPA or higher

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Continues to examine selected balance sheet and income statement items. The focus of this communication intensive course is on the valuation and reporting of investments and stockholders' equity and the income determination aspects of these items. Also considers special topics such as pensions, leases, deferred taxes, and cash flows.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 202

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Explores concepts and procedures underlying the development of a cost accounting system for managerial decisions, control, and performance reporting. Introduces the basic ideas of responsibility accounting.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-202 and GPA 3.3 or higher

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Explores concepts and procedures underlying the development of a cost accounting system for managerial decisions, control, and performance reporting. Introduces the basic ideas of responsibility accounting.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 331

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Studies accounting principles, unique financial reporting (such as fund accounting), and budgetary control in government agencies and charitable, healthcare, educational, and other not-for-profit organizations.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 320

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Covers advanced individual tax topics such as cost recovery, itemized deductions, passive activity losses, AMT, complex basis rules, and the operation and formation of C corporations.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 322 and ISOM-210

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Introduces the design, operation, and use of accounting information systems. Examines the functional relationships of the AIS within an organization. Provides a background in automated data processing, along with the important human and organizational considerations in system design and implementation.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 321 AND ACCT 331

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Provides an introduction to the field of auditing, with a concentration in auditing historical financial statements in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, and some exposure to auditing the internal control over financial reporting of large public companies. Covers the environment, standards, regulation, and law of auditing in the US, with some exposure to the international environment. Covers audit planning, risk, and material assessments, audit evidence, evaluation of internal control, documentation, and audit reports.

Prerequisites:

ACCT-322 and junior standing

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Covers accounting procedures involved in business combinations and consolidated financial statements. Topics also include accounting for partnerships, various foreign currency issues, corporations in financial distress, and the role of regulatory authorities in financial reporting.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 431 (may be taken Concurrently), ACCT 322 and Senior Status

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Covers accounting procedures involved in business combinations and consolidated financial statements. Topics also include accounting for partnerships, various foreign currency issues, and the role of regulatory authorities in financial reporting. Core elements include enhancing critical thinking skills and analytical thinking. Also, this course provides practice in using oral communication for impact, and anticipating and managing ethical conflicts.

Prerequisites:

ACCT 322, ACCT 331 or approval from dept. chair

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Independent study allows students to expand their classroom experience by completing research in an area of interest not already covered by Suffolk courses. The student designs a unique project and finds a full-time faculty member with expertise in that topic who agrees to sponsor it and provide feedback as the proposal is refined. A well designed and executed research project broadens and/or deepens learning in a major or minor area of study and may also enhance a student's marketability to potential future employers. Students cannot register for an Independent Study until a full proposal is approved by the faculty sponsor, department chair, and academic dean. Many Independent study proposals require revisions before approval is granted; even with revisions independent study approval is NOT guaranteed. Students are strongly encouraged to submit a proposal in enough time to register for a different course if the proposal is not accepted. For complete instructions, see the SBS Independent/Directed Study Agreement and Proposal form available online.

Prerequisites:

Course Coordinator consent required

Credits:

0.00

Description:

All accounting majors are required to complete 160 hours of pre-professional or professional accounting or tax experience prior to graduating. The hours may be obtained through one or more accounting or tax (a) internships, (b) part- or full-time employment, or (c) cooperative education positions. Hours may also be obtained through participation in Suffolk's Free Tax Preparation Clinic (SBS 555,SBS 556, and SBS 557 - each year will earn students 55 hours). Approval of the 160 hours work experience must be obtained in advance of beginning the work by completing a Practicum Approval Form and emailing it to acct560@suffolk.edu. Students register for the Accounting Practicum upon completion of the 160 hours and approval by the Accounting Department. Students should journal their work tasks and accomplishments. This experiential component carries no academic credit, does not require any tuition, and will be graded pass/fail.

Prerequisites:

Sophomore status or higher

Credits:

1.00

Description:

SBS 555 is a one-credit course for undergraduate students volunteering with the Suffolk Free Tax Preparation Clinic, a tax preparation program that assists community members to complete their tax returns. Students will complete the required training and certification exams during class time before engaging in tax preparation service during the semester, including at least two Saturdays. To count this experience toward the Local Engagement Requirement, several reflective writing assignments are required and students must maintain professional and appropriate behavior in all interactions with the community members served. Students who are required to complete ACCT 560 can instead complete SBS 555, 556, and 557.

Prerequisites:

SBS-555

Credits:

1.00

Description:

SBS 556 is a one-credit course for undergraduate students volunteering with the Suffolk Free Tax Preparation Clinic for the second time, a tax preparation program that assists community members to complete their tax returns. Students will complete the required training and certification exams during class time before engaging in tax preparation service and mentoring of fellow volunteers during the semester, including at least three Saturdays. Students who are required to complete ACCT 560 can instead complete SBS 555, 556, and 557.

Prerequisites:

SBS-555, SBS-556

Credits:

1.00

Description:

SBS 557 is a one-credit course for undergraduate students volunteering with the Suffolk Free Tax Preparation Clinic for the third time, a tax preparation program that assists community members to complete their tax returns. Students will complete the required training and certification exams during class time before engaging in tax preparation service, mentoring fellow volunteers during the semester, and assisting with site coordination, including four Saturdays. Students who are required to complete ACCT 560 can instead complete SBS 555, 556, and 557.