BS Public Accounting

Program Features

The Bachelor of Science in Public Accounting combines an extensive accounting concentration with broad-based business applications. The curriculum for this degree has been designed for the student who wants to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). While students completing the requirements of this degree are eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA exam, an additional 30 semester hours (45 quarter credit hours) are needed in order to meet the state of Michigan’s CPA licensing guidelines. A Cleary academic advisor can assist you in developing an academic plan to meet these requirements. This degree provides students with the business skills and accounting competencies required to succeed as a public accountant.


Career Benefits

Public accountants prepare financial statements, perform audits, and provide financial and tax advice to clients. This degree program prepares the graduate for a career as a public accountant, auditor, tax advisor, and business consultant. Career opportunities in accounting are abundant, with projections for jobs to grow steadily. An increase in the number of businesses, changing financial laws and regulations, and increased scrutiny of company finances will drive growth.

Professional Certification

The curriculum for the BS in Public Accounting is closely aligned with the content of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. The CPA credential is a license issued by the State of Michigan that authorizes the holder to practice as a CPA in Michigan. There are four parts to the exam: Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Regulation and Business Environment (REG), and Business Environment and Concepts (BEC). To become licensed in Michigan, an individual must pass all parts of the exam. Applicants must also have completed 225 quarter credit hours of college education and must fulfill work experience requirements.


Guidelines for CPA licensure in the State of Michigan can be found by clicking here. Students interested in becoming licensed as a CPA in a state other than Michigan should check the requirements for that state.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Prepare and interpret financial statements
  • Examine product costing systems
  • Explain cost, volume, and profit analysis
  • Discuss budgeting and standard costing
  • Compare and contrast Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and International Accounting Standards
  • Analyze accounting information systems
  • Prepare and interpret income tax returns
  • Conduct auditing tests and prepare audit reports

Required Courses

  • BAC 1000 - Foundations in Undergraduate Studies

  • BAC 1010 - Academic Communications, Technology, and Success Essentials

  • STR 4500 - Strategic Management

  • CAS 1500 - Microsoft Applications

  • ACC 4810 - Advanced Auditing

  • ACC 4800 - Internal Auditing

  • FIN 4010 - Corporate Finance

    This course provides an introduction to the theory and methods of corporate finance. The course will focus on the following topics: the time value of money and capital budgeting techniques, uncertainty and the trade-off between risk and return, security market efficiency, optimal capital structure, and dividend policy decisions.

  • MGT 4000 - Management Skills Seminar

    This course provides students with the tools to successfully inspire, empower, and develop people. Students will learn advanced skills in planning, organizing, leading, and controlling individuals and teams. Skill development topics such as meeting facilitation, communication, conflict management, and stress and time management will be studied. Current trends will be featured.

  • ACC 4650 - Corporate Taxation

    Anticipating and understanding the tax consequences and implications of corporate entities is an essential part of accounting practice. In this course, students study various corporate transactions beginning with the formation and operation of the corporation and proceeding to other advanced topics, such as: capital structure, earnings and profits, dividend distributions, stock redemptions, liquidations, and re-organizations. The course also focuses on the tax aspects of “S” corporations,
    including formation of an “S” corporation, operating activities, distributions, and termination of an “S” corporation. Emphasis is placed on developing the student’s ability to identify and logically explain the tax consequences of various corporate transactions.

  • ACC 4550 - Individual Taxation

    The focus of this course is on the study of personal federal income tax laws, forms, and reporting mechanisms, and their application to individual taxes. Topics to be covered will include: income and loss realization and recognition, capital gains and losses, exemptions, rates, gross income items, deductions of business expenses, employee expenses, and itemized deductions.

  • ECO 3200 - Managerial Economics

    This course provides a managerial viewpoint of macro- and microeconomic concepts that shape business environments. Macroeconomic topics include national accounts and income determination; monetary and fiscal policy; Federal Reserve System; and employment, inflation, and growth. Microeconomic topics include market structure, price theory, and supply and demand. The emphasis in this course is the business manager’s viewpoint, building an understanding of the relationship of economic theory to management practice and decision making.

  • FIN 4351 - Financial Markets and Institutions

    This course discusses how a bank operates, the government regulation of the banking industry, and the importance of non-bank financial institutions. It will also address how adverse selection and moral hazard have led to problems in financial institutions.

  • FIN 4125 - Investments and Portfolio Management

    Students will be exposed to the workings of financial markets and the trade-off between risk and return. In addition to introducing students to the basic language of investing, this course also covers topics such as the pricing of securities. Investment strategies from both industry-wide and company-specific perspectives are discussed. This course also covers topics such as options and futures and mutual funds. Capital market efficiency concepts and various models of portfolio selection and evaluation are also discussed. All investment concepts will be taught from both domestic and international perspectives.

  • FIN 4750 - Advanced Corporate Finance

    This course studies the major decision-making areas of managerial finance and selected topics in financial theory. Topics introduced in Corporate Finance (FIN 401), such as the cost of capital, capital structure, and dividend policy, will be covered in more detail. Additional topics addressed in the course include lease financing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganization, financial planning, and working capital management.

  • OPM 4000 - Operations Management

    This course provides an overview of key operational issues and processes used in both service and manufacturing organizations. It also reviews the basic analytical methodologies and tools used to manage the production process. Using case studies, students will be exposed to a variety of business and industry models that illustrate the linkages between the inputs brought into the organization and the resultant products and/or services offered to customers.

  • MTH 4400 - Statistics for Financial Economics

    This course is designed for finance and accounting students. It integrates concepts from finance and economics to demonstrate the use of statistics in the real world of business. The course emphasizes statistical applications to finance, accounting, and business. Topics taught include descriptive statistics, probability theory, distributions, correlation, and regression.

  • MTH 1800 - Introduction to Business Statistics

    The ability of students to enhance their capacity to gather and analyze meaningful data using a variety of statistical techniques, is essential to business success. Topics include graphical and numerical descriptive methods for describing data, such as frequency distributions, measures of central tendency, and dispersion.

  • MKT 4150 - Interactive Marketing

    This course explores marketing principles combined with Web-based strategies in an effort to reach customers and build individual relationships. Tools such as electronic advertising, direct e-mail, and electronic commerce are studied. Value analysis will be used to determine the individual customer’s contribution to profit, Web metrics, and analysis of buyer behavior.

  • MGT 4200 - International Business

    This course stresses the synergy/connection between environment and culture, and the strategy and functions of business management. It further provides an overview of the functions of business in an international context. Basic economic principles are studied in international markets including micro- and macroeconomics, fiscal and monetary policies, and banking. Factors affecting foreign trade and multinational business are explored, especially the various social, political, technical, and economic complexities of doing business in foreign countries.

  • LAW 3200 - Business Ethics and Legal Issues

    This course provides an understanding of the body of legal principles that govern the structure and conduct of business organizations. This survey course covers such topics as the legal environment of business, regulatory environments affecting business, business-to-business relationships, and business ethics and social responsibility.

  • FIN 2000 - Introduction to Business Finance

    Students will understand financial terms, financial statements, financial ratios, and how they affect the operations of a business corporation. This course is meant to be an introduction to finance and accounting for all students who may have budget, profit and loss responsibilities, and intend to contribute to the financial success of their companies. This is a basic finance course for students aspiring to be entrepreneurs and non-financial professionals.

  • ENG 1600 - Business Composition

    Students will acquire writing skills necessary to prepare for advanced business courses. Students start at a fundamental level, beginning with an introduction to writing, moving on to writing strategies, and concluding with methods of development. This course presents writing as a means of exploring, developing, confirming, and communicating ideas. Students will apply the basic principles of language structure and become more familiar with APA documentation.

  • ECO 2500 - Macroeconomics

    National and international economic policies have powerful and direct effects on business operations. Business fluctuations, inflation, unemployment, monetary and fiscal policies, and international trade are discussed in the course.

  • BAC 3000 - Business Research and Communication

    This course introduces the transfer student to academic resources: distance technology; project-based learning; working in teams; academic policies, processes and expectations; and the accelerated learning environment. Cleary’s online environment is introduced and explained. Students learn how to use electronic resources to conduct research, analyze findings, and report results in written and oral form. The research and writing processes are introduced and used to create academic papers and business reports. Plagiarism and academic ethics are discussed and students learn how to properly acknowledge research sources using APA format. Students learn to make effective formal presentations for local and remote audiences.

  • ACC 4410 - Cost Accounting II

    This course covers advanced cost concepts used to support management decision making. Specific topics include activity-based costing, profit planning, standard costing and performance evaluation, flexible budgets, relevant cost analysis, segment reporting, and capital budgeting decisions.

  • ACC 4400 - Cost Accounting I

    This course covers the role of the management accountant in an organization. Emphasis is placed on planning and controlling operations and on supporting decision making. Specific topics include cost concepts, cost behavior, job-order and process costing systems, cost-volume-profit analysis, and variable costing.

  • ACC 3802 - Intermediate Accounting II

    Advanced financial reporting concepts are the focus of this course. Major topics include accounting for assets (tangible and intangible), depreciation methods, reporting requirements for current and long-term liabilities, accounting for dividend distributions, accounting for convertible securities, and computing earnings per share.

  • ACC 2801 - Intermediate Accounting I

    Advanced financial reporting concepts are the focus of this course. Students perform an in-depth examination of financial statement preparation, analysis, and reporting. This course also explores asset measurement and income determination as applied to cash, receivables, and inventories.

  • ACC 4750 - Advanced Financial Accounting II

    This course covers international accounting issues and partnerships. The international accounting portion focuses on the international accounting environment and compares accounting principles of several countries. In the partnership portion, students examine the entire partnership cycle from formation to liquidation, and study the unique accounting principles associated with partnerships.

  • ACC 4720 - Advanced Financial Accounting I

    This course provides an in-depth examination of accounting for business combinations. Emphasis is placed on direct acquisitions, preparation of consolidated financial statements, and miscellaneous topics related to business combinations.

  • ACC 4700 - Accounting Information Systems

    This course examines the design, operation, and control of accounting information systems. Emphasis is placed on transaction cycles and business processes, with a focus on the flow of financial transactions through the accounting information system. Internal control concepts and their application to the information systems are also considered.

  • ACC 4150 - Governmental/Nonprofit Accounting

    In this course, students will study issues in municipal accounting, especially as relevant to city, state, and federal agencies with attention to bond financing, funds, and budgets. An overview of accounting for nonprofit organizations will also be presented.

  • ACC 4050 - Legal Issues for Public Accountants

    Professional accountants must be able to recognize relevant legal issues and how they relate to accounting and auditing. This course is designed to familiarize students with the various legal topics that accountants encounter on a regular basis, and to prepare students for the business law topics of the CPA examination. Emphasis is placed on various legal topics, including business organizations, contracts, debtor-creditor relationships, securities law and regulation, and the Uniform Commercial Code.

  • ACC 2412 - Principles of Accounting II

    Students explore the balance sheet in more detail, focusing on internal control of cash receipts and payments, accounting for receivables, inventory cost flow, fixed assets and intangible assets, and current liabilities.

  • ACC 2411 - Principles of Accounting I

    This introductory course examines the basic principles of accounting. Students work through the entire accounting cycle by analyzing and posting business transactions, recording adjusting journal entries, and preparing basic financial statements. Accounting systems and controls are also covered.