The four-year program in general business with a concentration in accounting is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the field. A broad-based general education precedes an extensive education in accounting, providing the successful graduate with the necessary tools for a career in accounting or graduate studies.
The accounting program has a core of accounting and non-accounting courses. In consultation with their advisors, students choose at least one upper division course in four of the prescribed elective areas: business, automated information systems, finance, management, and marketing. This allows some flexibility to design a program which meets career goals.
Careers in Accounting
Careers in accounting span the entire spectrum of human activity. Accountants are employed in private industry, small businesses, hospitals, government agencies and subdivisions, social organizations, and many other areas. Some accountants provide service to the public on a fee basis as professionals.
The Accounting Technician
Many clerical accounting positions exist within various types of organizations. The positions may involve billings and collections, cash control, data inputting to computerized accounting systems, payables management, and payroll and personnel records administration. The minimum requirement for entry into one of these positions is usually an associate degree in accounting or related experience. You may wish to seek an associate degree in accounting to begin your career and later pursue an advanced degree to further your career objectives (see page 127).
The Internal Accountant
All complex organizations need the expertise of accountants, who are responsible for providing information to management for decision making purposes; ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local laws (including tax reporting); and evaluating the financial effects of management's decisions. These functions become highly specialized in the large complex corporate environment. Many accountants also work for federal government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service or the General Accounting Office. Others work in state and local government agencies. Accountants are employed in highly responsible positions in schools, hospitals, and medium-sized businesses. Many individuals have advanced to positions of chief financial officer (CFO) or chief executive officer (CEO) of large organizations. The minimum requirement to obtain employment as an internal accountant is generally a bachelor's degree with a concentration in accounting.
Professional certification has generally been recognized as the ultimate achievement in the accounting profession. Certification is achieved by passing a comprehensive national examination. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the most widely known professional certification, but certification is also available in management accounting (CMA) and internal auditing (CIA). The CPA is licensed by a state authority to practice public accounting, which means to provide accounting services to businesses or private citizens according to established, set standards. To qualify for the designation of certified public accountant, an individual must complete a program of study in accounting at a college or university, must pass the comprehensive two-day Uniform CPA Examination, and meet experience requirements established by the state. Candidates planning to sit for the CPA Examination in Ohio must complete 150 semester hours of college education or must successfully complete preliminary "qualifying" examinations. (See an accounting advisor for additional details.)
The certified management accountant and certified internal auditor designations indicate expertise in areas of internal accounting.
The Program at Shawnee State
The curriculum at Shawnee State University is designed to provide the maximum flexibility in achieving your educational and career objectives, recognizing that they may change during your period of study. You may obtain an associate's degree and employment as an "accounting technician" while you continue study toward a baccalaureate degree with a concentration in accounting. Those students who wish to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination need to work closely with an accounting advisor in order to achieve the 150 semester hour requirement. Some students may wish to achieve this objective by completing the concentration in accounting at Shawnee State and pursuing post-baccalaureate study at another institution. The curriculum at SSU is designed so that all hours are fully compatible to all educational objectives. (An articulation worksheet is available.)