Gregory K. Patton (department head)

The accounting major prepares students for career opportunities in public accounting, corporate finance, manufacturing, government service, health care, and nonprofit organizations. Students are also encouraged to design their Luther College curriculum to support future graduate studies.

Required for the major: The foundation courses which include ECON 130; MGT 150 or MATH 115 or an equivalent statistics course; ACCTG 150; MGT 250; MATH 141 or higher. Courses in which grades below C- are earned will not count toward fulfilling the foundation requirements and students must achieve at least a C average (2.0 GPA) in these courses. Ideally, these foundation requirements should be completed by the end of the sophomore year.

Also required are ACCTG 250, 353, 354, 358, 368, 465, 467, 490. The ACCTG 490: Senior Project 4 credit course is required to complete an accounting major. This course is intended to be a capstone for the major and includes a research component and presentation. The writing requirement is completed with ACCTG 467. (Accounting courses numbered above 300 are intended for students with junior standing.)

Students majoring in this area are encouraged to consider the following courses as electives: ECON 247, 248, MGT 353, COMS 132, SOC 101, POLS 130, PSYC 130, Data Science and Computer Science offerings.

Credits earned through directed readings, independent study, internships, and the senior project may not be counted toward the total hours required for the major.

States require 150 credit hours of postsecondary education prior to licensing as a CPA. Because of the state-by-state variation in these requirements, students interested in the CPA certification (or other professional certifications) should consult with an accounting faculty member to plan their program of study.

View program learning goals for an explanation of learning outcomes in Accounting.

Accounting Courses

ACCTG 110 Introduction to Accounting

  • 2 hours

A course specifically for students who have had no prior study, at any level, of bookkeeping or accounting. All aspects of the accounting cycle are covered.

ACCTG 150 Fundamentals of Accounting

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: ACCTG 110

The course provides a basic understanding of financial and managerial accounting concepts, principles and procedures. Emphasis will be placed on the use of accounting information by management, creditors and stockholders. Course coverage includes accounting for inventory, receivables, long-term assets, short and long-term debt, stockholders equity, financial statement analysis, cost behavior analysis, manufacturing operations, budgeting and variance analysis. The prerequisite may be satisfied with a high school accounting/bookkeeping course.

ACCTG 250 Managerial Cost Accounting I

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: ACCTG 150

This course examines the central role of managerial and cost accounting in the decision-making process of an organization. Topics include cost-volume-profit analysis, job costing, activity-based costing, flexible budgeting, variance analysis, inventory valuation, and cost behavior.

ACCTG 353 Intermediate Accounting I

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: ACCTG 250 and junior standing

Deals with financial accounting concepts and practice. Provides an expansion of the basic fundamentals of accounting procedure. Includes intensive coverage of the asset and liability sections of the balance sheet. Student applies accounting theory, standards, principles, and procedures to accounting problems. Requires junior or senior standing.

ACCTG 354 Intermediate Accounting II

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: ACCTG 353

Further coverage of financial accounting concepts and practice. Includes intensive coverage of the stockholders' equity section of the balance sheet, the statement of changes in financial position, and other special topics, including pension costs, leases, and income tax allocation.

ACCTG 357 Accounting for Government and Nonprofit Entities

  • 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: ACCTG 150 and junior standing

Introduction to governmental and nonprofit accounting financial reporting principles, procedures, and analysis. The integration of sustainable decision making into government and nonprofit communities is emphasized. Junior standing required.

ACCTG 358 Managerial Cost Accounting II

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: ACCTG 250

Advanced course in managerial and cost accounting concepts and practice. Topics include profitability analysis, cost allocation methods, cost management, process costing, inventory management, capital budgeting, transfer pricing, and performance measurement.

ACCTG 368 Federal Income Taxation

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: ACCTG 150 and junior standing.

Provide an in-depth introduction to the U.S. Tax System. The primary focus of this course will be an analysis of individual income tax, with emphasis on the economic and legal effect on the individual taxpayer. Much of the material is relevant to the taxpayer in the business environment, including taxation for the entrepreneur, financial planner partnership, estates & trusts and basic concepts of corporate taxation.

ACCTG 465 Advanced Accounting

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: ACCTG 354

Accounting for mergers and consolidations, partnerships, foreign currency transactions, segment reporting, theoretical concepts of value and measurement, and special problems of various industries.

ACCTG 467 Auditing and Assurance Services

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: ACCTG 354 and senior standing

Emphasizes the analysis of an entity's business strategy, identification of risks, mapping of business processes, evaluation of internal controls, and the implications of each of those analyses on the quality of financial and non-financial information. The accounting profession's standards and prescribed procedures for financial statement audits are a significant component of the course. Legal responsibilities and professional ethics naturally integrate with the course content. Students learn how accounting professionals exercise judgement, examine client financial statement assertions and document a problem's analysis, the procedures applied, and the conclusions reached. Writing instruction and practice are incorporated to realistically reflect the practice of accounting. Open only to seniors.

ACCTG 485 Seminar

  • 1, 2, or 4 hours

ACCTG 490 Senior Project

  • 4 hours

The course integrates knowledge and competencies gained from previous accounting courses. Students work in a group environment to study and discuss contemporary issues in accounting theory and practice. Students must demonstrate the ability to investigate a specific area of research and present the results in both a written document and a presentation to an audience of peers and faculty.