Accounting (ACCT)

Students who choose accounting as a major have an excellent foundation for exploring a wide variety of career paths. The majority of our majors begin their careers in the Big 4 and second tier public accounting firms. However, larger corporations that offer financial leadership rotation programs are also an excellent choice. Given that finance is based on an understanding of accounting, accounting majors have also gone directly into positions in finance (e.g., private equity). Accounting alumni, for example, have become partners in Big 4 firms and investment firms, CEOs and CFOs of large corporations, serial entrepreneurs, leaders in the not-for-profit sector, business school deans, and philanthropists.

Accounting Minor

Students who recognize the benefits of an accounting background but wish to pursue another major should consider our accounting minor.

The CPA Exam

Unlike many other undergraduate programs, the flexibility of Bucknell’s accounting major enables students to satisfy the educational requirements established by many states to sit for the CPA exam, including the 150-hour requirement. (Students interested in a particular state should contact its State Board of Accountancy to determine its specific rules and regulations.) Although the accounting degree program requires only 128 semester hours, students may earn up to 150 semester hours in four academic years by supplementing degree requirements with a combination of Advanced Placement (AP) credits, course overloads, summer classes, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams, online coursework and/or internships. Flexibility exists in how students may earn the semester hours required to accommodate state-specific variations in licensing requirements. For example, students may take 4.5 courses each semester for no additional tuition and without requesting approval of the associate/assistant dean (a 5-course load also is permissible in any semester with the approval of the associate/assistant dean). Thus, a student who opts to take 4.5 courses each semester will earn 144 semester hours over the course of four years, leaving only six hours to be completed via the methods noted above. Although faculty will advise students concerning course selection, the student is responsible for choosing those courses and experiences that meet a specific state's requirements to sit for the CPA exam.

Accounting Major Requirements

Accounting majors must take the following eight courses:

ACFM 201Business Law1
ACFM 204Foundations of Accounting II1
ACFM 321Intermediate Financial Accounting I1
ACFM 322Intermediate Financial Accounting II1
ACFM 324Individual Federal Income Taxes1
ACFM 326Managerial & Cost Accounting1
ACFM 327Auditing & Assurance1
ACFM 329Accounting Information and Analytics 1

Culminating Experience

All BSBA majors must satisfy the Culminating Experience component of the Freeman College of Management General Education Curriculum by taking a course designated as such on campus no earlier than the second semester of the junior year.

Accounting majors fulfill this requirement by successfully completing one of the following: ACFM 323 Advanced Financial AccountingACFM 327 Auditing & Assurance or ACFM 420 Accounting Seminar.

Accounting Minor

Students who recognize the benefits of an accounting background but wish to pursue another major should consider completing a minor in accounting. This course of study first provides a foundation in financial accounting and then allows students to choose courses that align with their particular area of interest.

The minor in accounting consists of 5 courses in the discipline, as follows. First, students must take the following three courses:

ACFM 104Foundations of Accounting I 11
ACFM 204Foundations of Accounting II 21
ACFM 321Intermediate Financial Accounting I1

1 All BSBA students may count ACFM 104 toward the accounting minor.

2 Finance majors may not double count ACFM 204 for their major and for the accounting minor. Thus, finance majors wishing to complete the accounting minor must instead take three courses from the list provided below.

In addition, students must choose two courses from the following list:

ACFM 322Intermediate Financial Accounting II1
ACFM 323Advanced Financial Accounting1
ACFM 324Individual Federal Income Taxes1
ACFM 325Corporate, Partnership, Gift & Estate Taxes1
ACFM 326Managerial & Cost Accounting1
ACFM 327Auditing & Assurance1
ACFM 329Accounting Information and Analytics 1
ACFM 420Accounting Seminar1

Drawing upon their professional and liberal education, Freeman College of Management students will be able to collaboratively create positive societal impacts through:

Analysis

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to understand organizations and analyze them rigorously.

Integrity

  • Students will possess the judgment, vision and integrity necessary to serve society and their professions.

Morality

  • Students will identify creative and morally responsible solutions to organizational and societal issues.

Beyond these Freeman College learning goals, graduates of the Accounting & Financial Management program will complete a curriculum designed to develop the critical thinking, technical, problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills necessary to achieve the highest level of success in accounting and financial management careers. Specific educational objectives of our program of study include:

  • Enhance students’ communication skills.
  • Facilitate development of effective interpersonal and leadership skills.
  • Adequately prepare students seeking professional certification.
  • Exercise and hone students’ analytical skills.
  • Enhance students’ awareness and use of information technology and systems.
  • Heighten each student’s understanding of the global infrastructure of today’s business operations.
  • Raise student awareness of the ethical ramifications of business transactions.
  • Impress upon students that a market-based economic system cannot function without citizens’ ability to understand accounting and financial information. 

To accomplish our goals, we moved the curriculum away from a traditional rules-based financial statement preparation approach and focus more on the concepts underlying financial reporting and financial management. This move improves financial literacy and provides an opportunity for our students to investigate specialized fields of accounting and finance (e.g., public accounting, corporate accounting and finance, investments, investment and commercial banking, etc.). Our approach emphasizes activities that require students to analyze information and communicate their conclusions, thus developing their decision-making abilities and professional judgment. 

Courses

ACFM 104. Foundations of Accounting I. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
Introduction to accounting and financial management including financial statement preparation and analysis, financial forecasting, cost relationships, time value of money and capital budgeting. Not open to students who have taken MGMT 104.

ACFM 150. Finance Speaker Series. .5 Credits.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:1,Other:1; Repeatable
The Finance Speaker Series provides students, ideally early in their college careers, with a comprehensive view of the opportunities in the financial services industry. Students will meet and engage with professionals that have invaluable knowledge/experience in investment management, private equity, wealth management, venture capital, accounting, corporate finance, and entrepreneurial endeavors.

ACFM 201. Business Law. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall, Spring, Summer; Lecture hours:3
Introduction to business law. Topics include contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code, agency, and business structures. Not open to first-year students or students who have taken ACFM 220.

ACFM 203. Corporate Finance. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3
Concepts, principles, and recent innovations in corporate finance: risk and return, valuation, capital budgeting and structure, dividend policy, financial planning, risk management. Prerequisites: ACFM 104. Not open to students who have taken ACFM 210.

ACFM 204. Foundations of Accounting II. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3
Covers general purpose financial statements, the theoretical framework that underlies the measurement of income, and asset and liability valuation. Prerequisite: ACFM 104 or MGMT 104. Not open to students who have taken ACFM 261.

ACFM 205. Personal Finance. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course is open to all students from all colleges with no prerequisites. It follows a very practical approach to help students understand their finances and to feel confident making decisions about budgeting and taxes, saving and investing, managing debt and credit, and purchasing insurance (e.g., health, auto, disability, life).

ACFM 266. Principles of Real Estate. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This class will provide an overview of the real estate industry including roles, activities and players in the industry; basic legal aspects of ownership and various contracts; and the valuation of various real estate assets and debt instruments.

ACFM 299. Directed Internship in ACFM. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:4
Directed study in tandem with a student-secured internship in finance or accounting that has a minimum of six weeks duration. Students will complete required assignments during the internship and related final projects upon completion. If the internship is during the summer/winter, final projects will be due early fall/spring.

ACFM 310. Independent Study. .25-2 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:Varies; Repeatable
Individual study or projects, supervised by instructor. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ACFM 311. Teaching Assistant in Accounting & Financial Management. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:1; Repeatable
Teaching assistant in an accounting or finance class, supervised by the instructor. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ACFM 314. Special Topics in Accounting & Financial Management (.5 course credit). .5 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:2; Repeatable
Topic is specific to the semester offered. Course description will be provided prior to registration. Identical course topic may not be repeated if taken in a previous semester under a different course subject prefix. Prerequisites, if any, will be established by instructor each semester.

ACFM 315. Special Topics in Accounting and Financial Management. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall, Spring or Summer; Lecture hours:Varies; Repeatable
A seminar on selected topics in accounting and financial management. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ACFM 321. Intermediate Financial Accounting I. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Accounting theory and practice applicable to income determination and asset valuation. This course develops students' understanding of the accounting and financial reporting environment. Prerequisite: ACFM 204 or ACFM 261. Not open to students who have taken ACFM 351.

ACFM 322. Intermediate Financial Accounting II. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
A continuation of ACFM 321. Topics include: investments, debt, leases, pensions, deferred taxes, EPS, equity, and cash flows. Prerequisite: ACFM 321 or ACFM 351. Not open to students who have taken ACFM 352.

ACFM 323. Advanced Financial Accounting. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
Accounting theory and practice applicable to business combinations and additional advanced topics related to financial reporting. Prerequisite: ACFM 322 or ACFM 352 or permission of the instructor. Not open to students who have taken ACFM 353.

ACFM 324. Individual Federal Income Taxes. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
Survey of federal income taxes with emphasis on individual tax law, practice, and planning. Prerequisite: junior or senior status. Not open to students who have taken ACFM 354.

ACFM 325. Corporate, Partnership, Gift & Estate Taxes. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
Advanced topics in federal income, gift and estate taxation, with primary emphasis on corporate and pass-through entity tax law, practice, and planning. Prerequisite: ACFM 324 or ACFM 354. Not open to students who have taken ACFM 355.

ACFM 326. Managerial & Cost Accounting. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
Examines managerial accounting and cost behavior, specifically, how product cost information is recorded, reported, analyzed and used by managers in decision making. Includes preparation and analysis of operating budgets and capital budgets. Prerequisite: ACFM 204.

ACFM 327. Auditing & Assurance. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
This course helps students develop a strong foundation for quality professional judgments to support the practice of auditing by examining professional and ethical standards and understanding the audit process. Open to juniors and seniors. Prerequisite: ACFM 321. Not open to students who have taken ACFM 357.

ACFM 328. Topics in Accounting. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:Varies; Repeatable
Topic for this course is specific to the semester the course is offered and will be listed in the course description at the time of registration. Possible topics include accounting information systems, government and not-for-profit accounting, forensic accounting, internal auditing, and accounting ethics.

ACFM 329. Accounting Information and Analytics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
Students will learn how accounting information is stored in databases and how to retrieve and process that information using analytical techniques to provide useful information for decision-making. Prerequisites: ACFM 204 and ANOP 102.

ACFM 335. Negotiations and Conflict Management. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course will teach students how to prepare for negotiations and address conflicts. This includes learning negotiation strategies in theory and applying them in simulations. The course will give students the tools to increase their chances of success in negotiations. Not open to first-years.

ACFM 361. Financial Statement Analysis. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Students will learn to read, analyze, and interpret financial disclosures at a more sophisticated level, and learn statement analysis to make judgments about the quality of reported earnings, to forecast future results and, ultimately, to value companies. Prerequisites (ACFM 203 or ACFM 370) and (ACFM 204 or ACFM 261).

ACFM 362. Investments. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Principles of investment practice and theory. Emphasis on the fundamentals of intangible investments (equities, debt and derivative instruments). Prerequisites: (ANOP 102 or MGMT 102) or (MATH 216 or PSYC 215) and (MATH 192 or MATH 201 or MATH 216) and ACFM 203 or permission of the instructor.

ACFM 363. Topics in Financial Management. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Topic for this course is specific to the semester the course is offered and will be listed in the course guide at the time of registration. Example topics include banking in the capital markets, the mass investing society, advanced corporate finance. Prerequisites, if any, will be set by the instructor.

ACFM 364. Topics in Financial Markets. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Topic for this course is specific to the semester the course is offered and will be listed in the course description at the time of registration. Example topics include portfolio management, fixed income investments, derivatives, and valuation. Prerequisites, if any, will be set by the instructor of each course.

ACFM 366. Topics in Real Estate. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Topic for this course is specific to the semester the course is offered and will be listed in the course description at the time of registration. Various topics will involve real estate related investing and policy. Prerequisites, if any, will be set by the instructor of each course.

ACFM 367. The Global Flow of Capital. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course will explore the challenges of financial management in a global context. Prerequisite: (ACFM 203 or ACFM 370), or (MGMT 203 or ACFM 210), or permission of the instructor.

ACFM 368. Affordable Housing: Policy and Practice. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall, Spring or Summer; Lecture hours:3
This course will provide an overview of the myriad and complex issues faced by housing practitioners and policy analysts in their collective struggle to secure a decent, affordable home for all.

ACFM 369. Real Estate Finance & Development. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course will explore the key concepts and strategies in real estate finance and development. Students will be introduced to specialized training to value investments and measure risk and will develop a robust ability to model commercial real estate investments. Prerequisite: ACFM 266.

ACFM 372. Advanced Corporate Finance. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3
Students integrate principles and strategies from accounting, statistics, finance, and economics to begin to understand complex financial topics including mergers and acquisitions, valuation, financing, risk management, and corporate governance. Students will also draw from psychology, history, economics, and other disciplines to understand and model the behavior of financial markets.

ACFM 375. Student Managed Investment Fund I. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
This is a two-semester portfolio management course in which students manage a real dollar investment portfolio. ACFM 375 (SMIF I) and ACFM 476 (SMIF II) may be taken in any order, but both must be completed in order to receive course credit. Prerequisites: ACFM 362 and permission of instructor.

ACFM 381. Derivatives. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
This course focuses on the use of derivative securities, particularly listed stock and index options, to shape the risk and return characteristics of a well-diversified portfolio. Prerequisites: (MATH 192 or MATH 201 or MATH 216) and (ACFM 203 or ACFM 210) or by permission of the instructor.

ACFM 382. Behavioral Finance. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course explores the role of psychology in understanding many fundamental topics in finance. Topics include the psychological foundations of behavioral finance, stock return anomalies, and behavioral corporate finance. The course also includes a final project in which students develop and test a novel quantitative investment strategy.

ACFM 383. Entrepreneurial Finance. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course focuses on financial decisions faced by new ventures, considering the viewpoints of both entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Topics include opportunity identification, business valuation, financing methods/strategy, venture capital, compensating/attracting employees, and exit (harvest). Financing methods covered include traditional routes as well as newer ones such as crowdfunding and ICO.

ACFM 384. Fundamentals of ESG Investing. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course will provide an introduction to sustainable investing and will explore what is meant by ESG (environmental, social, governance). We will consider the different ways to integrate ESG factors into the investment process within the three main investment types: debt, equity and real estate.

ACFM 391. History of the Securities Markets. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Traces how the United States has become an "equity nation" where most citizens own common stock. Also explores pivotal moments in stock market history.

ACFM 400. Honors Course in Accounting & Financial Management. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:3
Special and independent studies for Accounting and Financial Management majors selected under guidelines of the College and the University Honors Council. Honors thesis required. Prerequisites: nomination by the College and permission of the instructor.

ACFM 420. Accounting Seminar. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An integrative seminar usually offered once each academic year. Can fulfill culminating experience requirement for ACFM-CPA track majors. The course may include: SEC regulation, financial analysis, probability and statistics, macroeconomics, managerial finance, personal finance, and behavioral aspects of accounting. Prerequisites: ACFM 203 and ACFM 322.

ACFM 476. Student Managed Investment Fund II. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
This is a two-semester portfolio management course in which students manage a real dollar investment portfolio. ACFM 375 (SMIF I) and ACFM 476 (SMIF II) may be taken in any order, but both must be completed in order to receive course credit. Prerequisites: ACFM 362 and permission of instructor.

Faculty

Professors: Raquel Meyer Alexander, Janice M. Traflet

Associate Professors: Tom G. Geurts, Cynthia Guthrie (Interim Dean of the Freeman College of Management), David E. Jensen, Stacy Mastrolia (Chair), Curtis Nicholls, Ankur Pareek

Assistant Professors: Kylie (Seward) Aikey (Adjunct), Amber Lawson (Adjunct), James G. Lawson, Karen Mitchell McGrath, Ryan Stauffer, Daniel A. Street, Kate Suslava

Visiting Assistant Professor: Zi 'Tingting' Jia

Professor of Practice: Stephen H. O'Connor

Associate Professor Practice: Frank Schreiner