2013-14 Catalog


The Department of Accounting provides a variety of courses to support College of Business and Economics (CBE) core requirements and to provide an undergraduate major in accounting and a M.S. degree in accounting.

The mission of the Accounting Department is to provide rigorous accounting education that prepares high quality undergraduate and graduate students with diverse backgrounds for life-long learning and positions of leadership in the business community, and to emphasize faculty research efforts that contribute to the body of knowledge in accounting. Consistent with the missions of Lehigh University and the College of Business and Economics, the Accounting Department continuously seeks to be recognized as one of a select group of programs in the United States where an educational experience of the highest possible quality is obtainable.

Within the accounting major, there is an opportunity to explore the various career opportunities within the broad field of accounting: Public Accounting Assurance and Tax Services, Financial Services and Corporate Accounting, and Information Systems. In addition to the undergraduate program, the Master of Science in Accounting and Information Analysis degree (see Master of Science in Accounting and Information Analysis program) offers an outstanding opportunity to prepare graduate students for a career in today’s demanding field of accounting. Lehigh’s unique program recognizes the impact of technology on business processes and the value chain while paying respect to the time honored usefulness of accounting information. The Accounting Program recognizes the learning objectives set forth by the College of Business and Economics as an integral part of the curriculum, as well as the importance of providing students with a strong foundation in liberal arts, humanities, and science as set out in the CBE core curriculum. In addition to the CBE core curriculum, the accounting curriculum is designed to foster the following learning objectives:

  • Preparing and understanding general purpose financial statements for parties outside the firm.
  • Using accounting information for decision-making inside the firm.
  • Understanding the information systems governing the flow of and control over financial information inside the firm.

To the extent that the above objectives are achieved, Accounting graduates will be well-prepared for positions in public accounting, industry, not-for-profit organizations, and graduate school. Although preparation for professional examinations is not a primary objective, graduates will have the background to take professional examinations in accounting.

The Accounting Major

The undergraduate program in accounting is accredited by AACSB - The International Association for Management Education. This achievement places the program within a small group of schools which have satisfied a rigorous examination of the program, faculty, and students that extend beyond the accreditation standards applied to the entire College of Business and Economics undergraduate and graduate programs.

Sophomore Prerequisites
ACCT 151Introduction to Financial Accounting3
ACCT 152Introduction to Managerial Accounting3
Core Requirements, typically taken junior year
ACCT 315Financial Accounting I3
ACCT 316Financial Accounting II3
ACCT 311Accounting Information Systems3
ACCT 324Cost Accounting3
Concentration, typically taken senior year
Concentration, three courses, one of which is accounting (See below)9
Total Credits27


Public Accounting Assurance and Tax Services
This concentration is suited for students interested in entering public accounting.
ACCT 307Fundamentals of Federal Income Taxation3
ACCT 320Fundamentals of Auditing3
ACCT 317Advanced Financial Accounting3
Total Credits9

Financial Services and Corporate Accounting
This concentration may appeal to students seeking accounting positions at financial services firms and industrial corporations. For some time representatives from these companies have sought Lehigh students with a strong accounting background. External constituencies suggest that a dose of finance will strengthen these students and make them even more attractive.
FIN 323Investments3
FIN 328Corporate Financial Policy3
ACCT 318Analysis of Financial Statements3
Total Credits9

Information Systems
Public accounting firms seek graduates for the rapidly growing area of global risk management (GRM). Students entering GRM will be responsible for assessing accounting system and computer risks that impact the financial statements of the organization and for evaluating internal controls in place to minimize such risks. Their findings become an important element in the conduct of the financial audit. This new career path thus requires students who possess strong systems skills and an understanding of financial accounting, management accounting, and auditing. Taxes and advanced financial accounting topics are less important in this setting. Therefore, the following courses comprise this concentration.
ACCT 320Fundamentals of Auditing3
BIS 311Managing Information Systems Analysis and Design3
Select one of the following:3
Web Application Development for Business
e-Business Enterprise Applications
Business Information Systems Practicum
Total Credits9

The description and requirements of the Master of Science in Accounting and Information Analysis Program are found under Graduate Study and Research.

Course descriptions for the College of Business and Economics graduate courses can be found under Business and Economics Graduate courses.


ACCT 108 Fundamentals of Accounting 3 Credits

A one-semester survey of accounting principles and practices designed for those students which includes an introduction to industrial cost systems designed for those non-CBE students planning to take only one accounting course. Other students should take the ACCT 151-152 sequence.

ACCT 151 Introduction to Financial Accounting 3 Credits

The organization, measurement and interpretation of economic information. Introduction to accounting theory, concepts and principles, the accounting cycle, information processing, and financial statements. Exposure to controversial issues concerning income determination and valuation. Must have sophomore standing and successful completion of Excel competency exam.
Prerequisites: CBEC 1 or BUS 003 or MGT 001 or ENGR 001 or CSC 010 or CSE 010

ACCT 152 Introduction to Managerial Accounting 3 Credits

An introduction to internal accounting information for all levels of management. Topics include cost flow in a manufacturing operation; planning, evaluating and controlling through budgeting and standard costing; and decision-making using cost-volume-profit analysis, direct costing, and relevant costs. Prerequisites as noted below.
Prerequisites: ACCT 151

ACCT 307 Fundamentals of Federal Income Taxation 3 Credits

An introductory study of the principles and concepts of federal income taxation of individuals, corporations, partnerships, and fiduciaries; and federal gift and estate taxes. Determination of tax liabilities and opportunities for planning are emphasized. Problem-solving using the source materials of tax law and tax research are important components of the course. Prerequisites as noted below.
Prerequisites: ACCT 151

ACCT 309 Advanced Federal Income Taxation 3 Credits

An advanced study of the taxation of business organizations, estates, trust, and wealth transfer taxes. Planning and research are the basic components of the course. Problem-solving and written research are emphasized. Prerequisites as noted below.
Prerequisites: ACCT 307

ACCT 311 Accounting Information Systems 3 Credits

An introduction to the concepts underlying information systems as they relate to organizational structure, managerial decision making and accounting. The course acquaints students with the reports and documents generated by information systems, as well as procedures and controls employed in a variety of business applications. Students apply these concepts, techniques and procedures to the planning, analysis and design of manual and computer-based information systems. Prerequisites as noted below.
Prerequisites: ACCT 152 and BIS 111

ACCT 315 Financial Accounting I 3 Credits

Intensive study of the basic concepts and principles of financial accounting, emphasizing the problems of fair presentation of an entity's financial position and operating results. Consideration of the conceptual framework of accounting, review of the accounting process, and measurement and valuation of current assets, current liabilities, plant assets, intangibles, investments, and long-term debt. Problem-solving skills and critical analysis are stressed. Prerequisites as noted below.
Prerequisites: ACCT 152

ACCT 316 Financial Accounting II 3 Credits

The sequel to Accounting 315, this course continues with intensive study of such topics as stockholders' equity, valuation and disclosure of leases and pensions, income tax allocation, changing prices, revenue issues, earnings per share, and complexities related to the statement of changes in financial position. Analysis and interpretation of financial statements and problem-solving skills are integral parts of the course. Prerequisites as noted below.
Prerequisites: ACCT 315

ACCT 317 Advanced Financial Accounting 3 Credits

A study of specialized topics in financial accounting, including partnership accounting, business combinations and consolidated financial statements, segment and interim reporting, foreign currency transactions and translation, and accounting and reporting for governmental and other nonprofit organizations. Involves considerable problem-solving and critical evaluation of controversial theoretical issues. Prerequisites as noted below.
Prerequisites: ACCT 315 or ACCT 316

ACCT 318 Analysis of Financial Statements 3 Credits

This course uses financial statement information to analyze companies' profitability and risk. Understanding the form, content and relationships among the financial statements is integrated with the use of ratios and analytic adjustments to augment the information in published financial reports. Current developments, business strategies and off-balance-sheet financing are linked to assessments of companies, performance. Case studies, team projects and presentations involve actual companies, financial statements. Open only to graduating seniors. Prerequisites as noted below.
Prerequisites: ACCT 316
Can be taken Concurrently: ACCT 316

ACCT 320 Fundamentals of Auditing 3 Credits

An introduction to auditing theory, objectives, and practices related largely to the responsibilities of independent professional accountants. The auditing environment, generally accepted auditing standards, internal control theory, and reporting alternatives are considered. Exposure to operational auditing is provided. Prerequisites as noted below.
Prerequisites: (ACCT 311 or CSB 311) and (ACCT 315)

ACCT 324 Cost Accounting 3 Credits

An in-depth study of cost concepts appropriate for product costing in a manufacturing operation, planning and controlling routine operations, and nonroutine decision-making. Topics include job order and process costing, joint and by-products, cost allocation, budgeting, standard costing, direct costing, cost-volume-profit analysis, and relevant costs for decisions. Prerequisites as noted below.
Prerequisites: ACCT 152

ACCT 371 Directed Readings 1-3 Credit

Readings and research in various fields of accounting; designed for superior students who have a special interest in some topic or topics not covered by the regularly rostered courses. Written term paper(s) required. Must have preparation acceptable to the department chair.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

ACCT 372 Special Topics 1-3 Credit

Special problems and issues in accounting for which no regularly scheduled course work exists. When offered as group study, coverage varies according to interests of the instructor and students. Must have preparation in accounting acceptable to the program coordinator.

Professors. Parveen P. Gupta, PhD (The Pennsylvania State University); Heibatollah Sami, PhD (Louisiana State University); Kenneth P. Sinclair, PhD (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Associate Professor. James A. Hall, PhD (Oklahoma State University)

Assistant Professors. Sanaz Aghazadeh, PhD (University of Oklahoma); David M. Folsom, PhD (University of Iowa); Yoon Ju Kang, PhD (Univeristy of Illinois Urbana-Champaign); Tamara A. Lambert, PhD (Drexel University); Hye Seung Lee, PhD (University of Arizona); Yunfang Y. Lu, PhD (Stanford University); Marietta Peytcheva, PhD (Rutgers University Newark)

Lecturer. David J. Hinrichs, MS (Lehigh University)

Professor Of Practice. Jay D. Brodish, Sr., BS (Lehigh University)

Emeriti. Dunham R. Bainbridge, PhD (Lehigh University); Karen M. Collins, PhD (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University); James A Largay, III, PhD (Cornell University); Frank F. Luh, PhD (Ohio State University); John W. Paul, PhD (Lehigh University)