Accounting (BS) - 120 Hr.

Chair: Ian J. Redpath, JD, LLM


The Department of Accounting seeks to prepare graduates with the skills that are necessary for success in the profession of accounting. Accounting professionals are expected to be competent in accounting skills, well rounded in the various disciplines of business and possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Students completing the accounting program find positions in public accounting, industry, the financial sector, government and nonprofit entities.
The accounting curriculum is registered with the New York State Education Department.  To become a licensed CPA, an accounting graduate should also meet the experience requirement of the state of New York. Students desiring to sit for the exam and obtain their CPA license in other states should check with those states for their specific requirements. 

Note: Please see the Accounting Programs Overview page in this catalog for important information about degree policies and courses.

Becoming a Licensed Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.)

There are two basic tracks for completing the 120 Hr. Accounting Program: 1) The C.P.A. track and, 2) The Non-C.P.A. track.  Students who wish to qualify to take the C.P.A. exam must use their accounting elective courses and a free elective course to take a set of classes that cover important topics related to public accounting (see courses listed on the Curriculum tab for this program).  Students who do not wish to take the C.P.A. exam can select other classes when choosing how they will satisfy their accounting and free elective course requirements. Students unsure of the correct track, are encouraged to discuss the two options with their advisor.

In addition to passing the NYS CPA. exam, 120 hour accounting majors must also meet additional New York State requirements to become a licensed CPA in New York.  This includes completion of 150 credit hours with 33 credit hours in accounting and a work experience requirement.


An Ignatian Foundation

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum. Many schools refer to their college-wide undergraduate requirements as "general education" requirements. We believe that the core curriculum and the honors curriculum are more than a series of required classes; they provide the basis for a Jesuit education both with content and with required knowledge and skills attributes that are central to our mission.

Free Electives

Students may graduate with a bachelor's degree with more but not less than 120 credit hours. Free electives are courses in addition to the Canisius Core Curriculum or All-College Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum number of credits required for graduation. The number of credits required to complete a bachelor's degree may vary depending on the student's major(s) and minor(s).

Major Requirements

Course Requirements: In addition to the common liberal arts and business courses, students in this program will take:

Business Core
Required courses for all business majors49-51
Additional Major Requirements
ACC 301
ACC 302
Intermediate Accounting I
and Intermediate Accounting II
ACC 303Cost Accounting3
ACC 307Accounting Systems and Analytics3
ACC 415Basic Taxation3
LAW 371Business and Commercial Law3
LAW 372Business Organizations and Commercial Paper3
ENG 389Business Communication3
Accounting Electives6
Total Credits79-81

Recommended Courses to Take the CPA Exam

Students in the 120 credit hour Accounting program who wish to be qualified to take the CPA exam must use their Accounting and Free Elective courses to take the following:

ACC 416Advanced Taxation3
ACC 425Auditing Theory and Practice3
ACC 427Advanced Auditing3


Typical Schedule

120 Hours — BS in Business Administration (Major: Accounting)

ENG 111ENG 112
RST 101MAT 106
MAT 105Or Arts & Science Elective if MAT 106 taken in first semester
Or MAT 106 Field of Knowledge 7ECO 102
ECO 101PHI 101
BUS 101MKT 201
Field of Knowledge 4 (History) 
MGT 101ACC 212
ECO 255ECO 256
ACC 201ACC 307
ISB 101Field of Knowledge 3 (Arts)
BUS 201Arts & Science Elective
Arts & Science Elective - with attribute 
ACC 301ACC 302
ACC 303ENG 389
FIN 201BUS 401
Field of Knowledge 6 (Natural Science)Field of Knowledge 2 (Philosophy)
Field of Knowledge 1 (Religious Studies)Free Elective
 Free Elective
ACC 415Accounting Elective (400 Level)1
Accounting Elective (400 Level)1MGT 325
LAW 371LAW 372
Arts & Science ElectiveMGT 446
Arts & Science Elective(MGT 446 counts for core capstone)
 Free Elective1

 Students who wish to be qualified to take the CPA exam must use their ACC Electives and Free Electives to take the following 3 courses:

Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Goal 1

Students will apply current principles of accounting to the measurement and reporting of accounting information.

Students will:

Objective A: Construct the financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each statement;
Objective B: Evaluate the reporting and valuation of assets and liabilities in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;
Objective C: Evaluate the various alternatives to the measurement of income and the determination of financial position.

Learning Goal 2

Graduates will know how to compare/contrast alternative business decisions, and evaluate the potential impact of these decisions on future financial performance.

Students will:
Objective A: Demonstrate a sound understanding of cost behavior and analyze the differences resulting from fixed and variable costs in financial performance;
Objective B: Analyze the differences that result in financial reporting from the company's choice of inventory costing techniques;
Objective C: Apply budgeting techniques in the preparation of static and flexible budgets.

Learning Goal 3

Graduates will know the characteristics of internal control procedures needed in the aggregation of accounting information.

Students will:

Objective A: Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of internal controls;
Objective B: Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of controls;
Objective C: Analyze the relationship of technology and controls.

Learning Goal 4

Graduates will know how the external regulatory, legal, and ethical environments impact business decisions and financial reporting requirements.

Students will:

Objective A: Apply different ethical frameworks in making business decisions;
Objective B: Apply both societal and governmental laws/regulations in making business decisions;
Objective C: Apply Federal Tax Law and regulation in the determination of taxable liability.