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Accountancy

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College of Business and Economics

  • Department Chair: Donna A. Driscoll
  • Associate Department Chair: Paul J. Lazarony
  • Department of Accounting and Information Systems
  • Juniper Hall (JH) 3123
  • (818) 677-2461
  • www.csun.edu/acctis

Faculty

  • James S. H. Chiu
  • Rafi Efrat
  • H. Drew Fountaine
  • Catherine T. Jeppson
  • Christopher G. Jones
  • Rajabali Kiani-Aslani
  • James M. Macklin
  • Mohammad A. Sangeladji
  • Ronald S. Stone
  • Gary R. Stout
  • Rishma Vedd
  • Earl J. Weiss
  • Sung Wook Yoon

Emeritus Faculty

  • Dhia D. AlHashim
  • Shahid Ansari
  • Bernard F. Aschbacher
  • Edwin Bartenstein
  • Janice Bell
  • James C. Bennett
  • Dwight V. Call
  • Raymond S. Chen
  • George R. Hawkes
  • Robert J. Kiddoo
  • William L. Kimball
  • Yow-Min R. Lee
  • A. A. Leininger
  • Heidemarie Lundblad
  • Arthur C. Nieminsky
  • Mahmood A. Qureshi
  • Donald L. Raun
  • Todd R. Reinstein
  • Richard L. Strayer
  • Barbara Wilson

Degree Program

  • B.S.
  • Accountancy

Mission

The B.S. in Accountancy degree provides educational opportunities to those students who have demonstrated an aptitude to pursue a career in accounting. Our students complete a rigorous program that develops their technical proficiency and ethical decision making as well as skills in critical thinking, teamwork, and communication.

The Major

The Accountancy program is a very demanding, competitive, and rigorous course of study that develops skills in critical thinking, problem solving, written and oral communication, and decision making, in addition to developing the necessary tools to engage in lifelong learning after graduation. The program also develops an understanding of accounting theory, technical procedures, and the professional standards and ethics essential to becoming a successful professional in public, industry, government, and not-for-profit accounting.

To successfully major in accountancy, students are expected to possess a high level of maturity, motivation, and self-discipline. Students are admitted to the accountancy program based on their level of preparation and performance. To enter the accountancy program, students are admitted to the University as Pre-Accountancy majors or, if already attending CSUN, students must file for a change of major to Pre-Accountancy. Successful completion of the Pre-Accountancy major is required to become an Accountancy major. Students must obtain a grade of “C” or higher in each required upper division course in order to graduate.

Academic Advisement

All Lower Division program advisement is through the college Student Services Center in JH 2113. Upon completion of BUS 302 AND BUS 302L, students are encouraged to seek advisement through faculty mentors from the department of their major.

Business Majors

A Business Major is any student majoring in Accountancy; Finance; Information Systems; Management; Marketing; or Business Administration with an option in either Business Law, Financial Services, Global Supply Chain Management, Real Estate, or Systems and Operations Management. All Business Majors share 27 units of Common Lower Division courses and 19 units of Common Upper Division courses.

Special Grade Requirements

Transfer students should be aware that no grade lower than a “C” will be accepted on transfer from another institution to satisfy College of Business and Economics requirements.

Residency Requirement

At least 50 percent of the business and economics course credit units and 50 percent of the specialized major credit units required for the Bachelor of Science degrees in Accountancy, Business Administration, Finance, Information Systems, Management, Marketing, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics must be completed in residence at California State University, Northridge.

Student Learning Outcomes of the Undergraduate Program

  • At the end of their program of study
  • students should:
  • 1. have a conceptual understanding of accounting for external financial reporting
  • managerial applications
  • tax planning and preparation
  • and the attest function;
  • 2. apply their conceptual understanding to both structured and unstructured problems;
  • 3. research accounting literature for both structured and unstructured problems in external financial reporting
  • tax
  • and auditing;
  • 4. have the necessary knowledge and skills required to sit for a certifying examination;
  • 5. recognize and analyze ethical problems in practical accounting situations
  • select and defend a course of action;
  • 6. effectively communicate complex accounting concepts both orally and in writing; and
  • 7. apply critical thinking skills when analyzing and solving problems.

Careers

The field of accounting offers stimulating and challenging work that is constantly evolving. Career opportunities exist in public accounting, industry, government, not-for-profit institutions, and other business-related organizations. Examples of positions and areas of accounting available to graduates of the accountancy program are: CPA, forensic accountant, FBI agent, budget analyst, Treasury agent, cost analyst, certified financial manager, government accountant, enrolled agent, estate planner, budget officer, financial analyst, financial planner, Franchise Tax Board agent, credit manager, certified government financial manager, government auditor, bank examiner, IRS examiner, investment analyst, litigation support, loan officer, general accountant, systems consultant, credit analyst, tax accountant, treasurer, and auditor.

  • Special Enrollment Requirements for ACCT 350

A pre-determined number of students are approved each semester to enroll in ACCT 350 through a competitive application process based on the number of available openings in the accountancy program. The application and instructions are available at www.csun.edu/acctis. To obtain approval from the Admissions Committee to enroll in ACCT 350, students must first satisfy the following requirements:

  • 1. Completion of ENGL 205 and ACCT 220 with a grade of “B” or higher in each.
  • 2. Completion of ACCT 230
  • BLAW 280
  • COMP 100
  • ECON 160 and ECON 161 with a grade of “C” or higher in each.
  • 3. A total GPA and CSUN GPA of 3.0 or higher (first semester transfer students will not have a CSUN GPA).
  • 4. Classified as a Pre-Accountancy major.
  • 5. Completion of a minimum of 60 units of college work (junior class standing). For transfer students
  • the units must be CSU transferable.

Admission to the Accountancy Major

Upon successful completion of ACCT 350, students may apply for admission to the Accountancy major. At the time of application, students must have successfully completed the Pre-Accountancy portion of the major with a grade of “C” or higher in each class and maintained both a total and CSUN GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Program application and instructions are available at www.csun.edu/acctis.

Requirements for the B.S. in Accountancy

1. Common Lower Division Business Core

Pre-Accountancy Major (27 Units)
  • COMP 100 Computers: Their Impact and Use (3)
  • MATH 103 Mathematical Methods for Business (3)
  • ENGL 205 Business Communication in its Rhetorical Contexts (3)
  • SOM 120 Basic Business Statistics (3)
  • or MATH 140 Introductory Statistics (4)
  • ECON 160 Principles of Microeconomics (3)
  • ECON 161 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
  • ACCT 220 Introduction to Financial Accounting (3)
  • ACCT 230 Introduction to Managerial Accounting (3)
  • BLAW 280 Business Law I (3)
  • Upper Division Business Core (25 Units)

    The successful completion of the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) with a score of 8 or higher is a prerequisite for enrollment in all 400-level accounting and business courses.

    • BUS 302 The Gateway Experience (3)
    • BUS 302L The Gateway Experience Laboratory (1)
    • BLAW 308 Business Law II (3)
    • IS 312 Information Systems for Business (3)
    • FIN 303 Financial Management (3)
    • MKT 304 Marketing Management (3)
    • MGT 360 Management and Organizational Behavior (3)
    • SOM 306 Operations Management (3)
    • BUS 497 Capstone (3)
    Required Accounting Courses (27 Units)
    • ACCT 350 Intermediate Financial Accounting I (1)
    • ACCT 351 Intermediate Financial Accounting II (3)
    • ACCT 351COM Communication for Accountants (2)
    • ACCT 352 Intermediate Financial Accounting III (3)
    • ACCT 380 Cost Measurement and Analysis (3)
    • ACCT 440 Taxation of Business Entities and Individuals (3)
    • ACCT 441 Advanced Studies in Taxation (3)
    • ACCT 450 Advanced Financial Accounting (3)
    • ACCT 460 Auditing Principles (3)
    Select one of the following (3 units)
    • ACCT 425 Senior Seminar in Accounting (3)
    • ACCT 428 International Accounting (3)
    • ACCT 442 Advanced Studies in Taxation-Special Topics (3)
    • ACCT 470 Strategic Cost and Profit Management (3)
    • ACCT 495 The Strategic Role of Accounting (3)
    • ACCT 496A-Z Experimental Topics Courses (3)
    • Total Units Required for the Major
    • 79

    General Education (29 Units)

    Of the 48 units of required General Education, 13 units are satisfied by the Lower Division Business Core. Math 103 satisfies the 3 unit Mathematics requirement in Basic Skills. Econ 160 and 161 satisfy the six units of Social Sciences. BLAW 280 satisfies three units of Lifelong Learning. COMP 100 satisfies both the additional unit of GE and the Subject Explorations Information Competence (IC) requirement.

    Accountancy majors are required to take the following General Education courses and, if taken after junior status is achieved, satisfy 6 units of Upper Division General Education course requirements. Students must select one additional 3 unit Upper Division GE course to meet the 9 unit Upper Division General Education requirement.

    • COMS 356 Intercultural Communication (3)
    • RS 361 Contemporary Ethical Issues (3)

    Course List

    ACCT 220. Introduction to Financial Accounting (3)
    Prerequisites: A grades of “C” or higher in MATH 103 or higher level mathematics course and sophomore class standing. Introduces the role of accounting in business and society, a summary of the accounting process, accounting measurement issues, analyzing and recording financial transactions, accounting valuation and allocation issues, conceptual foundation for understanding financial reporting, the usefulness of financial statements for decision-making, and financial statement analysis and interpretation.
    ACCT 230. Introduction to Managerial Accounting (3)
    Prerequisite: ACCT 220. Introduces the analysis and techniques for aiding management in planning and controlling decisions, and the use of accounting data for budgeting, cost control, pricing, evaluation of performance, and general decision making.
    ACCT 292CS. VITA Service Learning Preparer (2)
    Prerequisites: Sophomore and good academic standing. Training in federal and state income tax preparation, and preparing tax returns for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program at a supervised site.
    ACCT 350. Intermediate Financial Accounting I (1)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “B” or higher in ACCT 220 and ENGL 205 as well as a “C” or higher in all the other courses in the Pre-Accountancy major. Corequisite: BUS 302/L must be completed with a “C” or higher prior to enrolling in ACCT 351 and ACCT 351COM. The first course in the financial accounting sequence. Covers the theory of financial accounting as well as the accounting process with an emphasis on the accounting system and related technical skills.
    ACCT 351. Intermediate Financial Accounting II (3)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or higher in both ACCT 350 and BUS 302/L. Corequisite: Concurrent enrollment in ACCT 351COM. The second course in the financial accounting sequence. Covers the theory of financial accounting as well as the accounting process with an emphasis on revenue recognition, asset valuation, cash implications of complex transactions, and accounting for liabilities and investments.
    ACCT 351COM. Communications for Accountants (2)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or higher in both ACCT 350 and BUS 302/L. Corequisite: Concurrent enrollment in ACCT 351. Presentation of concepts and techniques for developing a business style of writing and creating documents such as memoranda, letters, and reports. Overview of methods for researching, organizing, analyzing, and presenting information in an accounting context. Emphasis on written and oral assignments that develop communication skills for the accounting profession. Course is based on Standard English usage.
    ACCT 352. Intermediate Financial Accounting III (3)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or higher in ACCT 351 and ACCT 351COM. Third course in the financial accounting sequence. Covers the theory of financial accounting as well as the accounting process with an emphasis on stockholders’ equity, pensions, leases, changes in accounting principles, and in-depth examination of financial statements.
    ACCT 380. Cost Measurement and Analysis (3)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or higher in both ACCT 350 and BUS 302/L. May be taken concurrently with ACCT 351 and 351COM. Focuses on how to measure and analyze costs for management decision-making. Covers how the environment and strategy of a company influences the design of its cost measurement system and how the resulting cost information may or may not be useful for managerial decisions and for cost management.
    ACCT 392CS. VITA Service Learning Supervisor (3)
    Prerequisites: ACCT 292CS or ACCT 440 or work experience in an accounting firm. Good academic standing. Supervision of a VITA site including workflow and quality control.
    Special Prerequisites for 400 Level Courses
    Note that successful completion of BUS 302, BUS 302L, and the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) with a score of 8 or higher are prerequisites to all 400-level courses in the College of Business and Economics.
    ACCT 425. Senior Seminar in Accounting (3)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or higher in ACCT 352; Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) score of 8 or higher. Analysis of complex national and international accounting and/or auditing principles. Study of the development and effects of pronouncements of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and/or the Securities and Exchange Commission. Application of generally accepted accounting principles or auditing standards in complex situations, including basic concepts underlying financial statements of business enterprises. Conducted on a seminar basis requiring extensive student participation.
    ACCT 428. International Accounting (3)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or higher in ACCT 352; Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) score of 8 or higher. Provides international dimensions of accounting. Deals with accounting issues important to those directly and indirectly involved in accounting and financial control in firms with international operations.
    ACCT 440. Taxation of Business Entities and Individuals (3)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or higher in ACCT 351 and ACCT 351COM; Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) score of 8 or higher. Fundamentals of federal income taxation of business entities and individuals; topical coverage includes tax research, gross income, deductions and losses, property transactions, corporations, partnerships, ?S corporations, and individuals.
    ACCT 441. Advanced Studies in Taxation (3)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or higher in ACCT 352 and 440; Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) score of 8 or higher. Examination of additional more complex topics in the areas of sole proprietorships, corporations, partnerships, and limited liability entities; accounting periods and methods; ethics, tax research and tax planning to be integrated throughout the course.
    ACCT 442. Advanced Studies in Special Topics (3)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or higher in ACCT 352 and ACCT 440; Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) score of 8 or higher. Examination of Federal tax procedures, income taxation of fiduciaries, estates and trust, estate and gift taxation, ERISA, pensions, deferred compensation and ethical issues related thereto.
    ACCT 450. Advanced Financial Accounting (3)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or higher in ACCT 352; Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) score of 8 or higher. Accounting applications for specialized areas: partnerships, business combinations, consolidated financial statements, foreign currency transactions and translation, governmental and not-for-profit organizations.
    ACCT 460. Auditing Principles (3)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or higher in ACCT 351, 351COM, and ACCT 352; Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) score of 8 or higher. (ACCT 352 may be taken concurrently). Emphasizes the auditor’s decision-making process. Focuses on audits of domestic and multi-national corporations for financial reporting purposes. Topics include attestation theory, theory of evidence, auditing standards, auditing reports, ethics, control structure and environment, risk assessment, sampling, analytical procedures, audit planning and documentation.
    ACCT 470. Strategic Cost and Profit Management (3)
    Prerequisites: ACCT 230, BUS 302 and BUS 302L; Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) score of 8 or higher. Completion of all required 300-level business courses highly recommended. Critical role of cost and management accounting data in executing corporate strategy and in managing the strategic variables such as cost, quality, and time while remaining a good corporate citizen. How to analyze cost structure, select the right tools for cost, quality and time management, capture the essence of strategy into a profit plan, and manage change by focusing on behavioral and cultural factors. The requirement of strategic profit management of an external value chain focus in which both the supply chain and the customer interfaces are managed.
    ACCT 492CS. VITA Service Learning Coordinator (3)
    Prerequisites: ACCT 392CS and good academic standing; Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) score of 8 or higher. Under the direction of the VITA program faculty sponsor, coordinates with IRS and FTB to establish training materials, evaluates training outcomes, maintains inventory of forms, establishes qualified sites, and analyzes results by location, student, and type of client served.
    ACCT 493CS. VITA Service Learning Administrator/Director (4)
    Prerequisites: ACCT 492CS; Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) score of 8 or higher. Under the supervision of the VITA program faculty sponsor, serves as a project manager for one of the major VITA functions. Responsible for documenting procedures, problem solving in area of control, analysis of area results, and recommendations for system improvements.
    ACCT 495. The Strategic Role of Accounting (3)
    Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or higher in ACCT 352, 440 and 460; Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) score of 8 or higher. Seminar that integrates previously learned accounting and business concepts. Focuses on how organizational strategy in a changing global environment impacts the accounting function, including strategic issues relevant to analyzing, formulating, and implementing organization-wide accounting policies and decisions. Emphasis on analysis, critical thinking, and decision making in ambiguous situations characteristic of the practice of public accounting.
    ACCT 496A-Z. Experimental Topics Courses (3)
    Prerequisites: Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) score of 8 or higher. BUS 302/L is a prerequisite for Business Majors. Course content to be determined. See Schedule of Classes for current course offerings.
    ACCT 498. Accounting - Field Assignments and Reports (1-6)
    Individual study pertaining to present or future career. Student must obtain approved employment. Consultation with employer and instructor determines program. A maximum of 12 units may be earned by combining Field Assignments and Reports (ACCT 498) and Independent Study (ACCT 499). Academic Internship course. (Credit/No Credit Only)
    ACCT 499A-C. Independent Study Accounting (1-3)
    Prerequisites: Consent of department chair and consent of an instructor to act as sponsor. In order to do an Independent Study assignment in the College of Business and Economics, a student must have at least a 3.0 overall grade point average and a 2.0 grade point average in all major courses. A student who does not meet these grade point requirements will not receive credit for any ACCT 499. Admission is based on evidence of ability to pursue Independent Study in depth and on approval of a project submitted at the time of registration. Regular progress meetings and reports are required throughout the semester. Completion of the project is required before credit may be received. Enrollment in Independent Study is not allowed for the purpose of substitution for an existing course. A maximum of six units of Independent Study (499) may be earned in the College of Business and Economics. A maximum of 12 units may be earned by combining Field Assignments and Reports (498) and Independent Study (499).

    Graduate

    ACCT 501. MBA Financial Accounting (3)
    Prerequisite: Admission to a College of Business and Economics graduate program or consent of instructor. Study of financial reporting principles, structure of the balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows. Measurement principles for assets; liabilities and stockholders’ equity; revenue and expenses. Covers management’s responsibility for full and fair disclosure of financial information.
    ACCT 505. Financial and Managerial Accounting in Industry (3)
    Study of financial practices relevant to particular industries. Includes general financial and managerial accounting processes, the recording and analysis of financial transactions and statements, and the use of accounting data for planning and budgeting purposes. The course will include significant coverage of topics specific to the industry of emphasis. For example, for the Masters in Music Industry Studies, the course will include a survey of music industry income and royalty streams (performance, mechanical, synchronization, copyright), licensor/licensee accounting, inventory, and tax issues. If no particular industry focus is needed, the course will include a survey of industries with unusual, specialized, or atypical accounting practices.
    ACCT 620A. Accounting Theory Seminar I (3)
    Prerequisite: ACCT 501. Intermediate level presentation of the concepts and standards underlying the measurement and reporting of income, assets, and equities - both domestic and worldwide.
    ACCT 620B. Accounting Theory Seminar II (3)
    Prerequisite: ACCT 620A. Examination of both theories of accounting (descriptive) and theories for accounting (normative). Emphasis on asset valuation and income determination with reference to international comparative theories and concepts in accounting.
    ACCT 623. International Accounting (3)
    Prerequisite: ACCT 352 or instructor consent. Examination of the environmental factors affecting accounting concepts and standards. Differences in the cultural, social, political, legal and economic conditions as they affect accounting concepts and standards.
    ACCT 624. Advanced Auditing Seminar (3)
    Prerequisites: 18 units of accounting including ACCT 460. Continuation of basic auditing; study of more complex matters affecting the audit; heavy emphasis on audit reports and current developments in the field of auditing.
    ACCT 626. Managerial Cost Accounting Seminar (3)
    Prerequisite: GBUS 502. Intermediate level presentation of management accounting concepts and standards underlying the measurement, communication and interpretation of relevant information needed by management for decision making.
    ACCT 699. Independent Study - Accounting (3)
    Prerequisites: Permission of graduate advisor and department chair. No more than six units of Independent Study may be taken in any one department, and no more than six units may be taken in the College of Business and Economics without prior approval of the Dean. Only those graduate students who have a current 3.0 grade point average may register in a 600-level Independent Study course.