Accounting BS

Program Purpose

The mission of the Bachelor of Science in Accounting is to provide students with a strong background in accounting as a basis for a career in any business field and to cultivate a passion for life-long learning founded on the values of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The core values of the program are:

  1. Student focus - We view students as our primary customers and our partners in learning.
  2. Scholarship - We endorse a broad definition of scholarship as evidenced by quality and peer review. Scholarship relating to discovery, integration, application, and teaching are all valued and the integration of teaching, research, and practice is encouraged.
  3. Product leadership - We identify our product as the education process experienced by our students and measure the quality of our product by the skill, professionalism, and character of our alumni. Hence we strive to be known as product leaders by graduating the best students. Being product leaders means that we are constantly innovating and continuously improving the learning process, that we exhibit creativity in teaching and pedagogical approaches, that we constantly develop and improve our competencies and skills, and that we strive to attract the best and brightest students into our programs. Product leadership requires that faculty be active in academic and professional organizations in order to be exposed to the latest developments in our fields.
  4. Stakeholder connectivity - We cultivate long-term relationships with key stakeholders, especially recruiters. Rather than pursuing one-time transactions, our goal is to understand and fill stakeholder needs better than our peer institutions. By virtue of this close relationship with, and ultimate knowledge of, key stakeholders, we build partnerships that are mutually beneficial to both the program and our stakeholders.
  5. Leadership development - We produce graduates who will become leaders in their homes, churches, communities, and organizations. These leaders are developed by providing classroom experiences that: (1) integrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ with secular learning, (2) focus on skill development as well as knowledge transmission, (3) provide a global perspective, (4) use the latest proven technology, and (5) demonstrate and develop ethical values and behavior.
  6. Communication and respect - Open communication and respect for every stakeholder guides all SOAIS activities. Open communication means that, where possible, both positive and negative information is shared. Full and fair disclosure allows for personal development through the process of constructive self-criticism. Our approach is to encourage, support, and facilitate excellence.

The School of Accountancy maintains a website that has additional information for applicants and other interested students:

An overview document of our program at the School of Accountancy is located here: [1]

Curricular Structure

To receive a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, a student must complete at least 120 credit hours, of which 64 credit hours are in the following management and accounting programs:

  1. Sixteen credits of Pre-Accounting Program courses, including accounting, information systems, finance, and marketing.
  2. Twenty-four credits of management courses which include economics, business law, management communications, operations, ethics, finance, stragegy, and organizational behavior.
  3. Twenty-four credits in the Accounting Jr. Core, including financial accounting, auditing, information systems, managerial accounting, and taxation. Entry into the program is by application. All students begin the Accounting Jr. Core fall semester.

Undergraduate Catalog

Major Academic Plan (MAP) 

Professional Competency

Demonstrate competency in the areas of professional presentations, ethical decision-making, teamwork and team building, leadership, and adaptability in working with a diverse group of colleagues.

Learning Outcomes

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting is designed as a two-year program beginning at the start of the junior year. BS students take the Accounting Jr. Core classes as juniors and finish the required business management courses as seniors. Admission into the program is required prior to taking junior level classes. The career plan of students who select this option is likely to be one of the following: preparing to enter public or private accounting directly or using the accounting education as preparation for other business careers such as banking, retailing, real estate, etc. or using accounting as preparation for a graduate degree such as Master of Accountancy, MBA, Law or Doctoral degree.

Develop Knowledge and Technical Proficiency in Accounting

Apply knowledge and demonstrate technical proficiency in accounting. Accounting includes, but is not limited to, financial and managerial accounting, financial statement auditing, accounting information systems, and taxation.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: None
Working in Teams

Work effectively in teams to solve complex accounting problems.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: None
Written and Oral Communication

Communicate the evidence, evaluation, and results associated with complex accounting issues orally and in writing.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: None
Ethical Decision-making Processes

Apply high standards of ethical decision-making processes to complex accounting issues.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: None
Global Mindset

Understand how individuals conduct business and be comfortable participating in cultures with people whose values, habits and practices are diverse.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: None

Evidence of Learning

Direct Measures

  1. Instructor assessment at the course level. This includes: written quizzes, written exams, project evaluations, research papers, skill proficiency exams, homework that strengthens student skill development, student self-assessment and peer reviews.
  2. An evidence room with various examples of student exams, quizzes, projects, assignments, and papers and what is an A, B, and C grade
  3. Success of student groups at national competitions
  4. Placement of students in positions related to their degrees
  5. Evaluations by fellow group members
  6. Video tapes of student presentations
  7. Placement of students in graduate degree/programs
  8. External assessment of student skills through participation in various regional and national competitions.

Indirect Measures

1. Success of student groups at national competitions
2. Placement of students in graduate degree/programs
3. Pass rates on professional examinations
4. SOA rankings in published polls and surveys
5. Job and career placement data
6. Alumni surveys
7. Student focus groups
8. Student exit surveys
9. Recruiter surveys
10. Student course and instructor evaluations

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement

All students complete course evaluations at the end of every course. These reports are given to the faculty member and reviewed by the Director. Various ad hoc feedback sessions are held with students at the end of each semester. Prior to graduation, every student meets with a faculty member for an exit interview. Feedback is gathered from the student on class quality, the operation of administrative officers, club activities, and general input on what might be done to improve the School of Accountancy. This feedback is provided in written form to all faculty.

The SOA faculty analyze and evaluate program assessment information on an annual basis. A meeting is held at the beginning of each school year to determine areas of improvement for the coming year. Progress on improvements is monitored by the Associate Director and reported to the chair of the department curriculum committee and the executive committee as needed. The Associate Director reports any changes to the college curriculum committee as needed.

The program is reviewed internally by the Associate Director, the SOA executive committee, the accounting and tax faculty, and the department curriculum committee. The program is evaluated twice a year by the Board of Advisors, which is comprised of alumni and other experts external to the university. Recruiters are consulted regularly on the quality of the program and students. The Career Services Office provides feedback on the placement of students and observations by recruiters. This information is shared with faculty and discussed at an annual faculty retreat in August. The executive committee periodically benchmarks the program with other highly-ranked programs in accounting. All assessment information about faculty is filed in the office of the Director, and information about the students and program is filed in the office of the Associate Director.

Objectives for Developing Communication Skills

The Management Communications 320 course (M Com 320) seeks to help students learn to communicate effectively in written, oral, and visual domains. At the conclusion of our course, students should be able to demonstrate their communication competency in the following manner:

1. Composing business text that demonstrates excellent content, organization, writing, and design, including business visuals.

2. Give effective oral presentations, augmented with appropriate media.

Students develop their communication skills in several ways, including reading the textbook (Baker: Writing and Speaking for Business), taking quizzes, participating in classroom discussions, composing business documents, participating in team activities, giving oral reports, and reviewing their peers' work.

Evidence of Learning

Student competency is assessed using direct-measurement techniques, specifically by evaluating students' writing and oral presentations.

1. Writing. Each fall and winter semester we randomly pick two students in each M Com 320 section. We obtain a copy of their secondary-research paper and their team problem-solving paper. A team of M Com 320 faculty evaluates these documents, grading them on content, organization, writing, and design factors. Each of the four factors is allotted 10 points, for a total of 40 points. Goal: 80 percent of students will achieve a minimum score of 33/40 (80-100 percent) on their writing.

2. Oral Presentations. Every fall and winter semester we videotape a randomly selected team presentation in each M Com 320 section. A team of M Com 320 faculty members evaluates these presentations, allotting 10 possible points for message, media, and messenger (for a total of 30 points). Goal: 80 percent of students will achieve a minimum score of 25/30 (80-100 percent) on their oral presentations.

The M Com 320 Course coordinator gathers and analyzes all of the assessment data. The coordinator then prepares a report that (a) compares the data against the course goals and (b) compares the current data against prior data.

Each year the M Com faculty meets to review the learning-assessment data. The M Com 320 course coordinator presents the findings from the learning-outcome assessment, highlighting areas of strength and areas needing improvement. The coordinator and faculty then develop strategies and methods for achieving improvement.

In summary, by the course's end students should be able to do the following:

1. Compose business text that demonstrates excellent content, organization, writing, and design, including business visuals.

2. Give effective oral presentations, augmented with appropriate media.