Accounting and Information Systems
Head: John J. Maher
KPMG Professor: R. Barkhi
R. B. Pamplin Professor of Accounting and Information Systems: F. Belanger
John F. Carroll, Jr. Professor of Accounting and Information Systems: J. J. Maher
Thomas M. Wells and Kathy Dargo Professor: S. Bhattacharjee
Professors: S.D. Sheetz
Associate Professors: L.L. Lisic, D.P. Tegarden, and L.G. Wallace
Assistant Professors: A.A. Acito, M.A. Cobabe, R.H. Davidson, M.J. Erickson, M.K. Harding, S.M. Hillison, J. Huang, E.S. Johnson, M.R. Lowry, S.E. Stein, L. Tan, M.D. Vance, and M.C. Wolfe
Collegiate Assistant Professors: C.M. Easterwood and D.P.Garner
Associate Professor of Practice: N.A. Rogers
Assistant Professor of Practice: L.A. Almond and E.A. Martin
Instructors: J.M. Lacoste, E.A. Martin, J.P. Sharp, and J.L. Shortt
Career Advisor: J.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 two options: Accounting (ACCT) and Information Systems Audit (ISA). 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 entities, 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 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, many of the department's over 7,000 alumni have generously contributed to a variety of scholarships for accounting and information systems majors. Each year the department awards over $300,000 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 two options in the department: Accounting (ACCT) and Information Systems Audit (ISA). 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://registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/index1.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.
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. A grade of C- or better required in prerequisite (2115 for 2116). (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. Co: 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. Course credit will not be awarded for both ACIS 3115 and ACIS 4194. Pre: 2115 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: 3115. (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)
3554 (BIT 3554): NETWORKS, TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SECURITY Provides an introduction to computer networks and data communications in business. Topics include mechanisms for reliable data transfer, network topologies and technologies, and a comprehensive treatment of inter-networking. Additional topics include packet switching, and cloud, edge, and advanced networking. Security issues related to using computer networks are discussed, along with network design issues, and methodologies for network applications. Duplicates BIT 4554. Pre: BIT 2164 or CS 2164 or PSCI 2164 or BIT 3424 or ACIS 3504. (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, 4414. (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. (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. Course credit will not be awarded for both ACIS 3115 and ACIS 4194. Pre: 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)
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. Pre: 3115. Co: 3504. (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: 3115. Co: 4414, 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. (3H,3C)
4654: ACCOUNTING ANALYTICS Design and development of accounting systems using relational database management tools. Extraction and analysis of accounting data using queries, analytics, and visualization techniques. Application of accounting data analytics concepts using commercially available tools such as audit management software and current visualization tools. Proper preparation of data and use of analytics algorithms and visualization techniques to inform decision making. Pre: 2504, 3504, 3115. (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. Co: ACIS 4554 or BIT 4554. Co: 4554. (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.