Teaching and Learning Goals
The SOA’s undergraduate and graduate accounting programs have distinct, yet complementary visions at their respective levels. The objective of the undergraduate accounting program is to provide a sound technical accounting framework that prepares students for successful careers in accounting, business, and graduate school. The objective of the graduate program is to build upon the technical accounting framework to instill professional skills, attitudes, and values. While additional technical content is introduced at the graduate level, this program focuses more on providing students with the ability to research, analyze, communicate, and apply new methods in a changing accounting environment. These learning goals are classified by our two primary programs of study.
Bachelors in Accounting Learning Goals
Undergraduate teaching and learning for undergraduate accounting students is designed to provide students with sufficient technical and professional knowledge as well as skills to form the foundation for a successful accounting career. The SOA considers the three main knowledge areas to be: (1) professional knowledge; (2) professional skills; (3) and professional values and attitudes. Within each of these three areas, key competencies have been identified and specific learning goals established.
Students will demonstrate the ability to apply professional knowledge of the following areas:
- Development, measurement, valuation, recording, analysis, validation, interpretation, and communication of financial and other business information.
- Roles of accountants in society providing and ensuring the integrity of financial and other information, including the ethical and regulatory environment in the profession.
- Internal controls and security.
- Risk assessment and assurance for financial and non-financial reporting.
- Tax policy and compliance for individuals and enterprises.
- Analysis of key business processes, and design and implementation of effective information management solutions.
- Global and reporting environment.
Students will demonstrate basic professional skills in the following areas:
- Oral and written communication in the context and language of accounting and business.
- Use of information technology to support business processes, decision making, and to ensure financial reporting integrity.
- Decision making, problem solving, and critical thinking.
- Ability to work productively as a member or leader of a team.
- Ability to find and communicate answers to accounting and tax questions (issues) by searching the appropriate pronouncements, regulations, securities data, and periodicals.
Professional Values and Attitudes
Students will demonstrate dedication to the following professional values and attitudes needed for success in the accounting profession:
- Value-based reasoning techniques to enhance personal objectivity, integrity, and ethical conduct.
- Motivation and commitment to continue learning throughout life.
- Appreciation of diverse world-views resulting from a variety of geographical, cultural, and racial experiences.
- Knowledge of the expectations for professional conduct.
Master of Accounting Learning Goals
Learning for graduate accounting students in the Master of Accounting program will be advanced with an intensive program that builds on a student’s undergraduate accounting preparation to enhance their education as the basis for successful professional careers in a global environment.
Each student will demonstrate mastery of professional knowledge in their understanding of the:
- Legal, ethical, and regulatory environment of business and the strategic role of accounting.
- Setup and regulatory compliance for small businesses, including startup companies.
Each student will demonstrate mastery in professional skills that include the ability to:
- Research complex accounting-related issues and apply their findings in various decision settings.
- Develop, measure, analyze, synthesize, validate, communicate, and make professional judgments relative to financial and other types of information in problem solving and decision making.
- Use oral and written communication in the context of accounting-related matters.
- Effectively utilize information technology to support professional decision making.
Professional Values and Attitudes
Each Student will demonstrate mastery of professional values and attitudes including:
- The ability to make value-based judgments under conditions of uncertainty.
- A commitment to continuous improvement and life-long learning to maintain professional knowledge and skills.
- An appreciation for global perspectives.