The Accounting major at Grace College is designed to meet the needs of students who wish to become Certified Public Accountants (CPA) or Certified Management Accountants (CMA) and also for students who do not plan to pursue such a certification.
One measure of success in an accounting program is the percentage of graduates passing the CPA exam on their first attempt. Grace College's percentage of graduates passing the CPA on their first attempt continues to remain consistently higher than the national average. In 2011, Grace graduates placed 10th in the nation out of 793 schools and first in Indiana in first-time CPA exam pass rate. Read the full press release here. In 2014, Grace accounting graduates placed second in Indiana in first-time CPA exam pass rates with only Notre Dame graduates having a higher pass rate. Grace graduates continue to pass the CPA exam at rates significantly above the national average and the average for members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).
The accounting program at Grace has experienced significant growth in the past few years and now has 70+ accounting majors.
Accounting is a broad field with several different career paths. Graduates may choose to pursue a career such as financial accounting, managerial or cost accounting, auditing, tax, governmental accounting or not-for-profit accounting.
The accounting program at Grace College prepares graduates for such careers and offers the option of students completing both an undergraduate accounting degree and an MBA in only four years. If the student wishes to pursue a certification after graduation (CPA or CMA are the most common), majoring in accounting at Grace provides the necessary coursework in both accounting and business to meet the requirements to take these exams for most states. States now require 150 hours of college credit and passing the CPA exam to become a CPA. The Grace College accounting program helps students achieve 150 hours of credit in four years instead of the five years required at many other colleges. Accounting courses at Grace are appropriately rigorous, preparing students for professional careers in accounting.
Grace Accounting majors often have successful internships at local orthopaedic companies. These internships pay well and are a very positive resume builder. Also, the Accounting department at Grace hosts its own Accounting Job Fair each September with several large CPA firms attending to interview students. Grace accounting graduates receive job offers from Big Four accounting firms, the large national firms, and smaller firms as well as job offers in corporate accounting positions.
Examples of courses in this major:
Integrates accounting theories and concepts in the preparation and analysis of financial statements with emphasis on corporate accounting. During their two semesters, students encounter a detailed study of the balance sheet.
Emphasis on job order cost, process cost and standard cost systems as well as the use of cost data in decision making.
This course is a practical study in use of technology to record and present accounting data.
This course provides an overview of the structure of the federal income tax, including the tax treatment of individuals, business entities and investments. Based on this overview, tax compliance, tax planning and the role of taxes in decision making are examined.
Emphasis on the principles underlying the verification of financial statements by independent public accountants and the auditor’s report.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.A. in Business, Goshen College; M.B.A., Indiana University at South Bend; D.B.A., Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana
Having worked in public accounting (staff accountant), healthcare accounting (corporate controller) and non-profit accounting (chief financial officer), Roger Stichter has a broad accounting background at various levels of responsibility. He has taught at Grace College since 1995. He enjoys spending time with his wife and seven children, bicycling (he has biked from San Diego to Savannah, Georgia and recently took an approximately 750-mile trip around Michigan), fishing and spending time researching the lifestyle of generosity. He recently completed his D.B.A. in accounting at Anderson University (Anderson, Indiana) and a 650-mile bicycle trip around Indiana. Stichter also serves on the Board of Directors for White’s Residential and Family Services, Inc. and is the Audit Committee chair for that non-profit organization. He is also the treasurer for the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.
Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), University of Kentucky; M.B.A., University of Cincinnati; Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
Kenneth McEwan joins the Grace faculty as full-time instructor of finance in the School of Business. He previously worked at Rolls-Royce Aircraft Engines. His last position there was director of Finance Business Partnering. Prior to this role, he was vice president of finance for the Helicopter Engines business and finance director for Engineering and Technology. McEwan also held finance positions at GM Military Vehicles Operation, GM Allison Transmission and at the University of Cincinnati as a teaching assistant. He has served as president of the Board of NICA ministries, when he supervised two missionaries in Nicaragua; as treasurer of the Woodruff Place Foundation; and was on the board of trustees at New Hope Christian Church. He enjoys golf, kayaking, hiking and cross-country skiing. Kenneth and his wife, Robin, live in Winona Lake.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
CPAs hold a variety of positions in the business world. Graduates wishing to work in public accounting will often pursue the CPA certification. In most states, graduates must complete at least 150 hours of college level courses to become a CPA. The CPA certification is a desirable certification for nearly every accounting position in the business world and often gives the accountant a competitive advantage when applying for a job.
The CMA certification requires the applicant to take an exam after completing a bachelor's degree. CMAs generally work for manufacturing companies, holding positions of cost accountant, controller, etc. Unlike the CPA certification, which requires a bachelors degree and 150 hours of college credit, the CMA exam only requires the hours needed for a bachelor's degree (usually 120 hours).
Auditors work either in public accounting, government or for large companies, helping assure compliance with government regulations and/or a company's own internal guidelines. Auditing positions often are good training for accountants, as the accountant learns much about the workings of the specific business and business in general. Auditors often are promoted to management positions at a young age, as auditing experience is valued by the business world.
Tax professionals may work as tax preparers for individuals or businesses needing tax advice and/or tax return preparation. Tax professionals may also work for a corporation, aiding the corporation as the company makes decisions that affect taxes paid in both the United States and other countries.
Cost accountants are a valuable employee to both manufacturing companies and other service companies by providing reports and analysis that details the cost of products and services. The company uses this information to set prices of products and aid in cutting costs. An accounting degree at Grace College prepares graduates in the required knowledge to provide this valuable service to companies.
Controllers are in charge of coordinating, planning and reporting on the financial activities of a large organization. Controllers work for banks, corporations and government agencies. They set financial policies. Often they are in charge of the accounting, bookkeeping and auditing departments and sometimes choose the accounting method a company employs. They supervise record keeping and set up controls to ensure efficiency and honesty. All financial reports generated within a company go to the controller. The controller reports directly to the chief financial officer of a company or organization. The controller also supervises the financial reports that are sent out of the company. These include annual reports to stockholders, tax returns and reports to government agencies.
A college professor is a teacher at a college or university. Professors help students increase their understanding of particular subjects and philosophies. In addition to teaching, professors may have research requirements. These requirements vary depending on the academic institution and subject.
Accountants choosing to work in this area direct and coordinate activities to implement institutional policies, procedures and practices concerning the granting of extending lines of credit, commercial loans, real estate loans and consumer credit loans. They support the day-to-day international field financial operations, assuring good customer service, communication and coordination with headquarters.
Bookkeeping is the process of recording accounting information for a business. There are several types of positions needed to help the company accurately record information and pay employees and vendors. The Accounting major at Grace College prepares graduates to easily handle these positions. Graduates will also have the knowledge needed to be quickly promoted to bookkeeping and payroll supervisory positions within the company.
What others are saying:
The Grace College School of Business helped me find an internship my senior year in accounting. This helped launch my career so that when I graduated, I immediately had a job. In the three and a half years since graduation, I have risen to the level of senior cost analyst and have worked as an interim controller. Grace College helped prepare me for real world experience as well as helped me polish my resume and get a job after college. One of the most useful skills that I learned at Grace was an in-depth knowledge of Excel, which has helped give me an advantage over people with more work experience.
- Laura Pasche, B.S. Accounting/Business Administration, 2011
The Grace College School of Business has done an exceptional job of teaching its students the technical aspects of working within the business world. However, Grace College offers much more than an education of the in's and out's of business. The department also advises their students as to how they can personally work as light-giving Christians within a public business setting. Because of their ability and freedom to teach students how to live for Christ within the workplace, combined with their exceptional teaching of business skills, I can truly say that I wholeheartedly believe in and recommend the Grace College School of Business.
- Tammara Jongkind, manager, Capin Crouse, LLP, B.S., Accounting/Business Administration, 2010
The Grace College School of Business prepared me professionally for my initial career in public accounting with a Big Four Firm and to be an ambassador for Christ through the integration of biblical principles with business practices and co-worker/client interaction. One unique aspect of Grace's School of Business when compared to the university I had previously attended was that the Grace professors always made themselves available to me to further my business education, mentor me spiritually and assist in my career goals. Their deep involvement in my life helped form my perspective on balancing work and life, the emptiness of pursuing material possessions, and the importance of placing co-workers and others ahead of myself.
- Matthew Abernethy, vice president of finance for Americas and Global Product Engines, a commercial business unit of Zimmer Biomet in Warsaw, Indiana, B.S. Accounting, 2003