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Accountancy Department


About the Accountancy Department

Mission

In support of the mission of the College of Business, the Department of Accountancy at Northern Illinois University strives to enhance the profession of accountancy through quality teaching, research, and professional service. We seek to prepare students for successful business careers through teaching excellence in our undergraduate and graduate programs. We strive to develop both academic and professional research that will improve accounting education and/or facilitate accounting professionals in providing quality services to the business community. We also endeavor to advance the profession by providing service to professional organizations and assistance to firms and business professionals.

Core Values

Excellence: We strive for excellence in everything we do. We challenge ourselves and each other to produce research relevant to the academy and the profession, ensure that our curricula are rigorous and adaptive to changes in the profession, and show uncompromising dedication to those we serve - especially, our students. Our excellence stems from a great sense of pride in who we are and what we believe in.

Professionalism: We are committed to the accounting profession and developing its future leaders.

Integrity: We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards in an environment that includes honesty, sincerity, respect, and trust. We believe integrity is an essential trait for truly successful professional and personal lives.

Community: We foster an environment that is collegial, respectful, trusting, and diverse. Within that environment, we work to balance our teaching and research, encourage and nurture the development of our students, and foster collaborative professional relationships with our alumni and friends.

Strategic Initiatives

Based on our Mission, the following strategic initiatives have been set for the Department over the next two to four years:

Faculty Development and Retention

  • Establish funding sources to support and retain our faculty (including salary supplements, professorships, and summer research support).
  • Provide databases and software needed for teaching and scholarly excellence.
  • Continue to inform University administration of faculty needs (including additional faculty lines).

Curriculum Innovation

  • Utilize direct and indirect assessments of our learning goals and objectives to continually improve our curricula; engage faculty via the Department Assurance of Learning Team and Subject Matter Groups in the curricular process; review curricula with external constituencies (including the Accountancy Executive Advisory Council).
  • Continue the development of the Leadership MAS program including leveraging the Ernst & Young Leadership and Professional Development Center and its directors.
  • Explore alternative teaching/course/program strategies (including the development of online course modules, blended courses, and online certificates and/or degrees).
  • Encourage the development of activities aimed at strengthening the skills needed for our students to effectively enter the profession (oral and written communication skills, technology skills, other soft skills).
  • Provide curriculum grants to encourage the development of our curricula.

Department and Program Development

  • Collect data related to Department initiatives; assess performance; modify activities as necessary.
  • Attract employers to recruit accountancy graduates.
  • Focus efforts to recruit high-quality students into degree programs.
  • Support outreach efforts to the profession through quality review courses for professional accountancy examinations.
  • Increase our fundraising efforts to provide needed revenues to support our mission.


Learning Goals

Learning goals are broad statements that describe what we want our graduates to be or have. Learning objectives describe what our graduates will know or be able to do, in more specific, measurable terms. We use a variety of direct assessment measures in our classes to support our assurance of learning effots. Our Assurance of Learning Committee reviews this data annually and reports to both our faculty and our Department Curriculum Committee. Based on their recommendations, changes are made to our curriculum and courses. In the fall 2012, our direct assessment program was identified as an "exemplar" for the University, which noted that is "was systematically implemented and findings were consistently used to improve the attainment of learning outcomes." During our last AACSB accreditation visit, our review team praised the rigor of our assurance of learning program and its indicators demonstrated that students achieved learning outcomes at a high level.

Bachelor of Accountancy Learning Goals & Objectives

The NIU Bachelor of Science in Accountancy program provides essential study in accounting to prepare students at a level appropriate for entrance into the profession or graduate study.

  1. Our graduates will be technically competent accounting professionals.
    Our students will demonstrate an understanding of financial accounting, accounting information systems, cost management, assurance services, and taxation concepts appropriate for entrance into the profession or graduate study.

  2. Our graduates will be effective problem-solvers.
    Our students will:
    • utilize analytic skills to identify accounting problems, generate appropriate solutions, and make informed decisions.
    • apply technology tools to assist with problem solving.
  3. Our graduates will be effective communicators.
    Our students will:
    • communicate in a professional manner.
    • demonstrate effective teamwork skills.
    • exhibit professional business conduct.
  4. Our graduates will be ethical accounting professionals.
    Our students will demonstrate an understanding of relevant professional standards and codes of conduct.

Master of Accounting Science Learning Goals and Objectives

The NIU Master of Accounting Science program provides advanced study in accounting to prepare students for the challenges of the professional practice of accountancy.

  1. Our graduates will be technically proficient accounting and business professionals.
    Our students will demonstrate a thorough understanding of:
    • technical accounting knowledge appropriate to their chosen programs of study.
    • the integration of accounting and business knowledge in a variety of contexts, including financial statement analysis and business valuation.
  2. Our graduates will be prepared to assume leadership roles as accounting professionals.
    Our students will demonstrate:
    • an understanding of leadership development theory.
    • the ability to solve problems in an environment of uncertainty or ambiguity.
    • an understanding of how to solve problems with a leadership perspective.
    • effective team management skills.
  3. Our graduates will be effective researchers.
    Our students will conduct research to develop effective solutions to accounting and business problems, relying on appropriate technology tools, authoritative pronouncements, and data sources.

  4. Our graduates will be effective communicators.
    Our students will:
    • communicate in a professional manner.
    • demonstrate effective feedback skills.
    • demonstrate effective facilitation skills.
    • exhibit professional business conduct.
  5. Our graduates will be ethical accounting professionals.
    Our students will identify ethical issues, decision alternatives, consequences, and workable alternative solutions by applying relevant professional standards and codes of conduct.

Master of Science in Taxation Learning Goals and Objectives

The NIU Master of Science in Taxation program provides advanced study in taxation to prepare students for the challenges of the professional practice of taxation.

  1. Our graduates will be technically proficient tax professionals.
    Our students will apply knowledge of primary tax authority with respect to:
    • the federal income taxation of corporations, partnerships, and property transactions.
    • the federal estate and gift taxes.
    • other specialized areas of taxation that complement each student's career.
  2. Our graduates will be effective tax researchers.
    Our students will conduct research to develop effective solutions to tax questions, using appropriate technology tools and relying on appropriate primary authority.

  3. Our graduates will be effective communicators.
    Our students will:
    • communicate tax solutions and/or recommendations in a professional manner.
    • prepare tax returns and other filings in an appropriate manner.
  4. Our graduates will be ethical tax professionals.
    Our students will demonstrate an understanding of and an ability to apply professional standards and codes of conduct relevant to the practice of tax.



Student Honor Pledge

The Student Honor Pledge represents the environment, culture, and expectations of all accountancy majors. The Accountancy Executive Advisory Council and Accountancy Faculty have endorsed this Pledge and our goal is that all accountancy majors will embrace the spirit of the Pledge.

"As students in the Accountancy program at Northern Illinois University, we will uphold and promote the highest level of integrity and professionalism while pursuing academic excellence." learn more...