Accounting and Information Systems
Head: John J. Maher
R. B. Pamplin Professor of Accounting and Information Systems: F. Belanger
Curling Professor of Accounting and Information Systems: W. E. Seago
John E. Peterson, Jr. Professor of Accounting and Information Systems: J. G. Jenkins
John F. Carroll, Jr. Professor of Accounting and Information Systems: J. J. Maher
Professors: R. Barkhi, W. Fan, J.G. Jenkins, and S.D. Sheetz
Associate Professors: S. Bhattacharjee, J.A. Brozovsky, D.A. Salbador, D.P. Tegarden, and L.G. Wallace
Assistant Professors: B.D. Beyer, M. Cobabe, D. Godsell, T.B. Hansen, C. Hayne, J. Huang, E.S. Johnson, K.W. Smith, S.E. Stein, and M.C. Wolfe
Assistant Professor of Practice: L.A. Almond
Associate Professor of Practice: N.A. Rogers
Instructors: C.M. Easterwood, D.P.Garner, J.M. Lacoste, E.A. Martin, J.P. Sharp, and J.L. Shortt
Career Advisor: J. Maher (231-6591)
The Department of Accounting and Information Systems in the Pamplin College of Business strives for excellence in fulfilling the three missions of a comprehensive land grant university by:
- Improving the accounting and information systems professions by conducting quality research and disseminating the results;
- Providing a world class accounting and information systems education to our students; and
- Delivering outreach services to accounting and information systems professionals and educators.
The department seeks to fulfill the teaching mission through programs which include:Undergraduate Programs, where we seek to
- Prepare students to enter the accounting and information systems professions with the skills and knowledge of business, information systems, and accounting concepts and practices.
- Prepare students for professional careers with specializations in taxation, information systems, audit, and financial services.
- Prepare students for academic careers in research and teaching.
The Department of Accounting and Information Systems prepares students to become professionals in their chosen area of accounting and information systems. Faculty members in the department have chosen to specialize in selected areas of accounting or information systems and they teach and conduct research in these areas. All faculty members at the professorial ranks have Ph.D.s in accounting or information systems appropriate to the courses they teach, and many have professional certification in their areas of specialization. This faculty is committed to the education of accounting and information systems professionals who will be active participants in this information age, with increasing demand for data analytics skills.
The department's undergraduate program offers three options: Accounting (ACCT), Information Systems Audit (ISA), and Information Systems (ISO). These options are designed to allow students to specialize in their area of interest. Completion of the selected option prepares the student for entry level positions as professional accountants or information systems professionals who work in professional service firms, industrial companies, governmental entitites, or to continue their education in graduate school. The job titles vary greatly and include auditor, information systems auditor, management accountant, tax preparer, systems consultant, systems analyst, controller, financial data analytics specialist, and cost analyst. The demand for our graduates has been strong throughout the department's history, and that demand is continuing.
Many graduates of our department desire to gain certification in their selected area of specialization. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the best known of these certifications. Students taking the CPA exam in Virginia have to meet a 120-hour baccalaureate or higher degree requirement in order to sit for the CPA exam, but must have 150 credit hours to be certified. The requirements for other states vary; however, most now or soon will require students to meet the 150-hour educational requirement to be licensed. Students should discuss with their advisor the several options Virginia Tech provides for meeting this requirement at both the undergraduate and graduate level. In addition to the CPA exam, graduates of our programs sit for the Certificate in Management Accounting (CMA) exam, the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) exam, the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) exam, and others. Students planning to take one of these exams are advised to talk to their department's faculty during their junior year so that they may select the electives appropriate for the selected exam.
The department encourages its students to gain "real world" experience prior to graduation through an internship or by participating in the Cooperative Education Program. More information about these programs is available either from the department's faculty or Career Services. The department supports winter internships for seniors who enroll in the 152-hour program.
The department also encourages interaction with accounting and information systems professionals by sponsoring three student organizations: Accounting Society; National Association of Black Accountants; and Beta Alpha Psi, the national honorary and professional society dedicated to the advancement of the accounting profession. These organizations and other campus groups provide multiple opportunities for developing leadership skills and interacting with accounting and information systems professionals.
The department encourages students to gain a global perspective of business through modules on international issues in our courses, by participation in the college's International Business Minor and/or by participating in one or more of the college's study abroad programs. Our goal is to encourage our students to become well-rounded professionals who will become leaders in their chosen careers.
Lastly, the department's over 6,500 alumni have generously contributed to a variety of scholarships for accounting and information systems majors. Each year the department awards over $200,000 in scholarships to our students.
Students graduating from the Department of Accounting and Information Systems must have a minimum quality credit average (GPA) of 2.00 in upper-division (3000 and 4000 level) accounting and information systems courses (the in-major GPA) as well as an overall GPA of 2.00 for all courses taken at Virginia Tech.
During their sophomore year, students must select one of the three options in the department: Accounting (ACCT), Information Systems Audit (ISA), and Information Systems (ISO). These options are more fully described below.
The graduation requirements in effect at the time of graduation apply. When choosing the degree requirements information, always choose the year of your expected date of graduation. Requirements for graduation are referred to via university publications as "Checksheets". The number of credit hours required for degree completion varies among curricula. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements and university obligations for degree completion.
The university reserves the right to modify requirements in a degree program. However, the university will not alter degree requirements less than two years from the expected graduation year unless there is a transition plan for students already in the degree program.
Please visit the University Registrar website at http://www.registrar.vt.edu/graduation/checksheets/index.html for degree requirements.
The Accounting option provides basic education for careers in public accounting, internal auditing, large and small corporations (controller's staff), governments (federal, state, and local) and their agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Graduates from this option are prepared to become CMAs, CIA, CPAs, and all of the other common professional accounting designations. Many of the students who select this option will continue into the Master of Accounting and Information Systems program.
The IS Audit option is designed to prepare students for careers as information systems auditors and information systems professionals in the areas of enterprise risk assurance services, computer risk management services, and other systems assurance services. These positions are available in organizations from all sectors of business: industry, professional service firms, consulting firms, government, and nonprofit organizations. This track prepares graduates to sit for the CIA, CPA, CISA, or other professional designations.
The Information Systems option (ISO) is designed to be flexible, thus allowing the student to focus on different areas of information systems. The flexibility is provided through the 12 hours of ACIS electives required in the program. Depending upon the electives selected, the student is prepared for careers such as systems analysts, database administrators, systems developers, information systems auditors, consultants, and other information systems professionals. These positions are available with organizations from all sectors of business: industry, professional service firms, consulting firms, government, and nonprofit organizations. This option prepares graduates to sit for CIA, CISA, or other professional designations.
1004: ACCOUNTING FOUNDATIONS
Fundamentals of accounting, the language of business, including what accounting information is, how it is developed, how it is used and what it means. Financial Accounting including the application of accounting principles for real world, complex business transactions to classify these transactions, reflect their economic value, produce basic financial statements, evaluate financial position and make fundamental interpretations. Managerial Accounting including cost behaviors, budgeting and other management reporting to assist in internal decision making and performance analysis. Attention to accountants' codes of ethics applied throughout. Emphasis placed on non-Business majors becoming informed users of accounting information. No credit will be given for ACIS 1004 if taken with or after ACIS 2115 or ACIS 2116. (3H,3C)
1504: INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS ANALYTICS & BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE
Introduction to Business Information Systems with emphasis on the role of software applications as a tool to develop Business Intelligence to improve decision making. Design and development of spreadsheet and database solutions employing analytical techniques on large data sets to produce quality information. Ethical considerations of information management. (3H,3C)
2115-2116: PRINCIPLES OF ACCOUNTING
Comprehensive presentation of basic principles of financial and managerial accounting including origin, purpose, and effect with emphasis on application. Sophomore standing required. (3H,3C)
2504: PERSONAL COMPUTERS IN BUSINESS
Focuses on the design and implementation of spreadsheet projects that support advanced decision-making and problem-solving techniques for professionals and individual business users. An introduction to programming logic is included to allow students to augment and automate spreadsheets. Students enrolling in this course are expected to be familiar with basic spreadsheet skills including spreadsheet navigation, managing multiple worksheets, formatting, formulas, and cell references. Pre: 1504, 2115. (3H,3C)
2954: BUSINESS STUDY ABROAD
This course provides students with an international business experience. The course examines the accounting and information systems issues that impact the multinational business. It is only offered as part of a program outside of the United States. Students will learn from the structured educational experience developed by the faculty leader. Content will vary between semesters. Pre: Instructor's consent and the completion of 24 semester hours with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or departmental consent. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit hours. Variable credit course.
3115-3116: INTERMEDIATE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING
In-depth analysis of basic concepts of external financial reporting. Includes transaction analysis and preparation of financial statements. Pre: 2115, ECON 2005 for 3115; 3115 for 3116. Co: 2504 for 3115. (3H,3C)
3314: TAX IMPACT ON DECISIONS
An analysis of the impact of taxation on business and investment decisions, and the importance of effective tax planning. The course develops a conceptual framework that integrates tax and non-tax factors into decision models. Topics to be covered include basic tax planning strategies, tax policy, an overview of basic tax concepts and terminology, implicit taxes and tax clientele theory, choosing the optimal organizational form, multilateral tax planning in contexts such as executive compensation, and multi-jurisdictional tax issues. Pre: 2116. (3H,3C)
3414: AUDITING, GOVERNANCE, AND PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
The purpose of this course is to introduce the accounting student to the interrelationships between auditing and corporate governance with an emphasis on the societal role of auditing, internal control and professional ethics. Enrollment limited to ACIS majors or with permission of instructor. Pre: (3504 or 3515). (3H,3C)
3504: ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS AND CONTROLS
Examines system design concepts and methods including an understanding of basic control structures. Covers specific accounting cycles and computerized transaction processing systems. Analyzes controls for manual and computerized systems including database systems. Pre: 2115. Co: 2504, 2116. (3H,3C)
3515-3516: INFORMATION SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT
Study of the strategies and techniques for dealing with the inherent complexity in the development of information systems. Includes coverage of business systems planning; fact-finding and requirements analysis techniques; information systems modeling; logical and physical design; input and output design; user interface design; software construction and testing; software configuration management; and software quality assurance. Upper division clearance required. Pre: 1504, (CS 1054 or CS 1114 or CS 1124 or CS 1705) for 3515; 3515 for 3516. (3H,3C)
3564: MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS
An overview of management information systems. Topics include the organizational foundations of information systems; the technical foundations of information systems; the approaches to building information systems; and the management of contemporary information systems. Pre: 1504, 2115, 2116. (3H,3C)
3954: STUDY ABROAD
Variable credit course.
4024: INFORMATION SYSTEMS AUDIT AND CONTROL
An introduction to the fundamentals of information systems auditing. Emphasis on information systems controls, types of information systems audits, and concepts and techniques used in information systems audits. Exposure to risk assessment and professional standards in the field of information systems auditing. Pre: 3504 or 3515. (3H,3C)
4114: ADVANCED FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING
A continuation of a detailed analysis of the concepts of external financial reporting begun in 3115 and 3116. Includes transaction analysis and preparation of financial statements. Pre: 3116, ECON 2006. (3H,3C)
4124: GOVERNMENTAL AND NONPROFIT ACCOUNTING
An analysis of the environment and characteristics of government and nonprofit organizations, and an in-depth study of basic concepts and standards of financial reporting for such entities. Pre: 3115. (3H,3C)
4194: ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Provide theoretical background and tools necessary to analyze financial statements from the perspective of making valuation and investment decisions. The focus of the course is on the use of accounting information in making these decisions. Pre: 3116 or FIN 3134. (3H,3C)
4214: COST PLANNING AND CONTROL
The purpose of this course is to help the student develop an understanding of the role of accounting in the management process, an understanding of cost accounting systems, an understanding of cost behavior, an understanding of alternative accounting systems, and the usefulness of costs involved in non-routine decision-making. Pre: 2116, 2504, BIT 2406. (3H,3C)
4314: PRINCIPLES OF TAXATION
Survey of basic concepts of federal income taxation that are common to all types of taxpayers (i.e. individuals, corporations, and flow-through entities). Topics to be covered include tax policy objectives, tax accounting methods that affect the timing of income and expense recognition, concepts of gross income and trade or business expenses, income character, and tax issues associated with various property transactions. Pre: 3314. (3H,3C)
4344: TAX FOR FINANCIAL PLANNERS
Overviews income tax concepts relevant to financial planning for individuals who are investors, employees, and business owners. Topics include income tax fundamentals for individuals, taxation of the sale of property, taxation of business entities, taxation of trusts, and overview of the federal transfer tax on estates and gifts. Duplicates some material in ACIS 4314. Course credit will not be awarded for both ACIS 4314 and ACIS 4344. Pre: FIN 3104. (3H,3C)
4414: FINANCIAL STATEMENT AUDITING
Study of external financial statement auditing, professional code of conduct, audit evidence considerations, internal control, fraud, and transaction cycles, and audit reporting. II, IV Pre: 3414, 3115. (3H,3C)
4444: FORENSIC ACCOUNTING
This course provides students experience in forensic accounting, commonly used computer forensic software, forensic techniques, litigation support, fraud risk management, fraud investigation, and the related audit tools. Pre: 3414. (3H,3C)
4504: ACCOUNTING APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
Utilizes current software tools to design and develop segments of accounting systems using database management techniques. Provides an understanding of relational databases, query languages, and web-based business processing. Includes exposure to latest relevant technology and software. Provides development knowledge of controls in accounting information systems. Pre: 3504. (3H,3C)
4514: DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Introduction to database management systems and their use in business. Topics covered include data modeling, normalization, SQL, transaction management and concurrency control, security issues, physical data organization, query optimization, hierarchical queries, distributed database management systems, object-oriented databases, client/server databases, multidimensional databases, data mining, data warehousing, and database administration. Pre: 3515. (3H,3C)
4524: APPLIED SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
Application of computer programming and system development concepts, principles, and practices to a comprehensive system development project. A team approach is used to analyze, design, and document realistic methods, project complexity. Use of project management methods, project scheduling and control techniques, formal presentations, walk throughs, and group dynamics in the solution of information systems problems. Pre: 3515 or 4514 or 4515. (3H,3C)
4534: ACCOUNTING INFORMATION SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE
Provides accounting and information systems audit students with basic computer hardware, operating systems software, and networking knowledge. Topics covered include data representation, processor, data storage, and input/output technology, computer networks, operating systems, storage management, and distributed applications. Pre: 3504 or 3515 or BIT 3424. (3H,3C)
4554 (BIT 4554): NETWORKS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS IN BUSINESS
This course provides an in-depth introduction to computer networks and data communications in business. Topics include mechanisms for reliable data transfer, local and wide area network topologies and technologies, and a comprehensive treatment of internetworking. The benefits, costs, and security issues related to using computer networks are discussed, along with network design issues, and methodologies for network applications. One semester of college-level programming experience required. Pre: 3504 or 3515 or BIT 3424. (3H,3C)
4564 (BIT 4564): OBJECT-ORIENTED SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT FOR BUSINESS
The course first develops the foundations and principles of object-oriented programming, including encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, and abstraction. These concepts are acquired via comprehensive hands-on experience with a current OOP language (such as Java). The second portion of the course applies concepts learned to a business-oriented application, such as a web-based, e-commerce scenario. Pre: CS 1054, (ACIS 3515 or BIT 3444). (3H,3C)
4684: INFORMATION SYSTEMS SECURITY AND ASSURANCE
An examination of the concepts, technologies, and applications of security and assurance in information systems. Topics include the security threats against information systems; tools used by intruders; computing platforms and security; encryption; securing the transaction and the server; audit tools to detect intrusions; responses to attacks; legal, ethical and international issues; and the future of information systems security and assurance. Pre: (4554 or BIT 4554) or ACIS 4534. (3H,3C)
4954: STUDY ABROAD
Variable credit course.
4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.
4984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.
4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.