Finance and Accounting Department

Integrating technology, information systems and analytics with traditional business disciples offers new opportunities and broader perspectives for business solutions.

Saunders College finance and accounting department expertise lies in preparing students to be savvy and perceptive financial decision-makers. Faculty will educate you on how to interpret financial and accounting information, how to perform in-depth analysis, and how to interpret the data to develop sound business solutions.

Department Chair

Archana Jain

Department Chair
585-475-6531
Finance and accounting professionals, especially those with recognized certifications such as the CPA and CFA, have great career opportunities, in lucrative positions with very high-end potential, in every industry. At RIT, Saunders finance and accounting students are prepared to obtain professional certifications, while getting an edge in technology skills that employers seek, leading to rewarding careers, with great pay, in positions that are in very heavy demand.

Undergraduate Programs

In this dynamic accounting degree, you’ll determine an organization’s wealth, profitability, and liquidity as you guide short- and long-term financial business decisions.

Learn more about the Accounting BS program 

A finance degree involves the management, creation, and study of money, banking, investments, assets, and liabilities.

 

Learn more about the Finance BS program 

Graduate Programs

RIT’s accounting analytics degree combines the accounting technologies you need–Big Data, AI, advanced analytics, financial analytics–to gain significant insights, predict future outcomes, or even ascertain risk. 

Learn more about the Accounting and Analytics MS program 

In RIT’s accounting analytics certificate you’ll complete advanced financial analytics courses that equip you with the knowledge and tools to mine and analyze data that impacts financial strategy.

Learn more about the Accounting and Financial Analytics Adv. Cert. program 

Advancing your knowledge and practice through research and the exploration of the latest trends and biggest challenges found at the intersection of business and technological innovation.

Learn more about the Business Administration Ph.D. program 

A master of science in finance unlocks the world of finance and sets you on a path toward managerial success.

Learn more about the Finance MS program 

Minors

Accounting is necessary in a wide variety of careers. Students completing an accounting minor will broaden their learning experiences and professional opportunities by gaining more depth in operational accounting topics.

Learn more about the Accounting Minor program 

The finance minor helps students create value in any type of business organization by broadening student's learning experiences and professional opportunities by focusing on corporate finance and investment topics in more depth.

Learn more about the Finance Minor program 

Finance

Laptop with charts displayed

Applied, real-world experience to manage assets and investments

Unlock the world of finance at Saunders College of Business. Our faculty go beyond the numbers, incorporating the latest financial analytics and data trends to ensure you are prepared to enter a career in finance. Choose from courses in corporate finance, financial management, risk and valuation and more. Obtain the skills and tools that advance your career.

Business and technology

Finance students are backed by the resources of one of the largest technology universities offering the latest software and research sources available. The Sklarsky Business Analytics Lab delivers a real-world trading platform with Bloomberg trading terminals while uniquely adding all the data analytic and data visualization tools employers seek in the marketplace.

Real-world readiness

The RIT Financial Management Association is a Saunders College of Business club dedicated to the advancement of student-centric investing. FMA manages a $200,000+ Stock and ETF investment portfolio. RIT’s tradition of delivering paid co-op experiences and a focus on applied learning ensures you will have opportunities for real-world experiences in and outside the classroom.

Your future: Unlocked

Guided by our finance advisory board, courses reflect the latest trends and business needs. Often this manifests in courses that will educate you on the best ways to utilize technology in making the best possible business decisions. Courses and electives range from financial analysis and modeling, options and futures, financial analytics, equity analysis, stock market algorithmic trading, and financing new ventures all draw upon the latest advancements in technology. It’s up to you to choose which direction to take your studies.

Join the network

While at Saunders College, you have access to a team of academic and career advisors to assist you in your graduate studies. Upon graduation, you will be well prepared to employ the skills you have gained in any type of organization, from Fortune 500 companies to smaller, local businesses and non-profit organizations. Join a network of nearly 25,000 Saunders College of Business alumni and nearly 136,000 RIT alumni around the world.

Accounting

people writing in a ledger

The universal language for business

Saunders College accounting faculty go beyond the numbers to show you how accounting practices inform the market and influence decision-makers. Obtain the career skills that can be universally applied to any business across the globe and provide the essential functions and tools needed to determine wealth, profitability and liquidity.

Business and technology

The traditional lines between accounting, finance, and management are dissolving, and technology is changing at a rapid pace. The accounting programs at Saunders keeps you ahead of the game through expert teaching of information systems and innovative accounting solutions. Leverage the resources at your disposal to start your careers off on the right path. Our graduates who chose to sit for the CPA exam consistently meet and exceed New York State CPA passing rates.

Real-world readiness

For successful organizations, accountants serve a strategic role that is more than just number crunching and financial reporting. Accountants must provide the foundation for the execution of corporate strategy, serve as business advisors and understand how to leverage cutting-edge technologies. RIT’s tradition of applied learning ensures you will have opportunities for real-world experiences in and outside the classroom.

Your future: Unlocked

Guided by our accounting advisory board, courses reflect the latest trends and business needs. Often this manifests in courses that will educate you on the best ways to utilize technology in making the best possible business decisions. Courses and electives range from taxation, forensic accounting and fraud examination, and accounting information systems, and all draw upon the latest advancements in technology. It’s up to you to choose which direction to take your studies.

Join the network

While at Saunders College, you have access to a team of academic and career advisors to assist you in your graduate studies. Upon graduation, you will be well prepared to employ the skills you have gained in any type of organization, from Fortune 500 companies to smaller, local businesses and non-profit organizations. Join a network of nearly 25,000 Saunders College of Business alumni and nearly 136,000 RIT alumni around the world

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Women working at a desk with two monitors

Saunders College of Business at RIT provides advising and courses for students to support the educational requirements for the New York State Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) exam. CPA certification is managed through the American Institute of CPAs. For more information please visit the AICPA website or the New York State Education Department for information related to the NYS CPA Exam.

While the CPA license is not required to work in the field of accounting it is highly recommended for students to pursue it. Those who choose not to pursue certification are still able to find employment in corporate offices working under the direction of CPAs. Additionally, Saunders programs also help students prepare for other certifications in addition to the CPA.

CPA exam requirements

Accounting degrees earned from Saunders College of Business are valid in every state, however, CPA licensing is determined by each individual state. You may become certified in NY but may need to become recertified if you should choose to relocate to another state.

Please review the information compiled below to assist with your questions regarding CPA Exam requirements, or see the CPA Requirements Overview PowerPoint Presentation from Department Chair Bill Dresnack, CPA for additional details. Official details can be found on the cpa-exam.org website.

To be licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in New York State you must:

  • Be of good moral character;
  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Meet education requirements (See Below)
  • Meet examination requirements
  • Meet experience requirements

According to the New York State Education Department (and subject to changes), to fulfill the education requirement for licensure, you must:

  • Present satisfactory evidence of completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree program in accountancy that is registered by the Department, or a baccalaureate or higher degree program in accountancy that is accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency, or a baccalaureate or higher degree program, or its foreign equivalent, that is deemed to be the substantial equivalent of a registered or accredited program, as determined by the Department after a review of official transcripts, and
  • Satisfactorily complete a curriculum of at least 150 semester hours in a program, or
  • Have 15 years of public accounting experience acceptable to the State Board for Public Accountancy

Saunders College is accredited by the AACSB. To fulfill the education requirements, Saunders students will need a Master’s degree in accounting and completion of 150 semester hours in the following content areas, including the following:

  • 33 semester hours in accounting with at least one course in each of the following areas:
    • financial accounting and reporting
    • cost or managerial accounting
    • taxation
    • auditing and attestation services
  • 36 semester hours in general business electives, and
  • The curriculum must also include, either as standalone courses or integrated into other courses, the study of business or accounting communications, ethics and professional responsibility, and accounting research.

Saunders College of Business currently provides undergraduate and graduate degree programs in accounting.

After completing a four-year degree from Saunders College following our CPA course track, you are not immediately eligible to become a licensed CPA, but you may be eligible to begin taking the New York State CPA exam. You may enroll in the MBA in Accounting or MS in Accounting graduate program to complete the remaining educational requirements for entrance into the NYS CPA exam.

It is required to take at least one course in specific content areas in order to fulfill the CPA exam education requirement. The following lists the required content areas and typical Saunders College course titles that may fulfill each required area.

Content Areas Typical Course Titles
Financial Accounting and Reporting
Credit for advanced accounting must be earned from the upper division (junior or senior) or graduate level
  • Principles of accounting
  • Accounting Principles
  • Intermediate accounting
  • Advanced accounting
  • Accounting theory
  • Financial accounting
  • Financial reporting
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Corporate financial reporting
  • Accounting for governmental and non-for-profit entities
Cost or Managerial Accounting
  • Cost accounting
  • Managerial accounting
  • Cost management
  • Advanced cost management
Taxation
  • Corporate taxation
  • Individual taxation
  • Taxation of business entities
  • Business taxation
  • Basic taxation
  • Advanced taxation
  • International taxation
Auditing and Attestation Services
Credit must be earned from the upper division (junior or senior) or graduate level
  • Auditing
  • Auditing and attestation
  • Auditing and assurance services
  • Principles of auditing
  • Advanced auditing
Ethics & Professional Responsibilities
Ethics courses may be taken from the Liberal Arts Department
  • Auditing
  • Business law
  • Commercial law
  • Business ethics
Business and Accounting Communications
Communications (written or oral) courses may be taken from the Liberal Arts Department
  • Intermediate accounting
  • Advanced accounting
  • Auditing
  • Taxation
  • Accounting communications
  • Business communications
  • Business writing
  • International business communications
  • Managerial communications
  • Professional Speaking
Accounting Research
  • Accounting Theory
  • Auditing
  • Corporate taxation
  • Individual taxation
  • Accounting research
  • Tax research

Notes:

  1. Internships in accounting may be counted toward the accounting content requirement or the general business content area (maximum 6 credit hours).
  2. Personal finance courses are not acceptable.
  3. Risk and insurance courses may be counted toward the finance or business & accounting elective

The examination is a computerized, consisting of four parts:

  • Auditing & Attestation
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Regulation
  • Business Environment and Concepts

The passing score for each of the four examination parts is 75. You must successfully pass all four parts to complete the examination requirement.  All parts of the examination must be successfully completed within a rolling eighteen-month window.

Admission Requirements

Effective August 1, 2009, New York will allow applicants who are required to meet the 150 semester hour education requirements for licensure to sit for the exam when they have completed 120 semester hours of course work, including one course in each of the four required accounting content areas: financial accounting and reporting; cost or management accounting, taxation; and auditing. The license, however, will not be issued until the applicant has met New York's 150 semester hour requirements.

  • Start Here Go Places is a great resource for students who are thinking of becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
  • This Way to CPA is another great resource as you begin to begin your education and work towards an Accounting Degree.
  • Surgent CPA Review can help you determine your CPA Exam readiness.

These websites have all the resources you need as you:

  • Begin your education
  • Declare your major in Accounting
  • Think about Graduation
  • Begin studying for the CPA Licensing Exam
  • Pass the Exam-What Next?

CPA Candidate Bulletin
The CPA Candidate Bulletin is the official handbook for individuals who plan to take the CPA Exam. It covers topics such as how to apply, how and when to schedule the examination, what rules are in effect at test centers, when to expect scores, and what topics are covered on the Exam. The Bulletin and other information, can be found on the AICPA's Uniform CPA Examination website. The AICPA develops and grades the CPA Exam.To see more visit cpa-exam.org.

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) serves as a forum for the nation's state boards of accountancy, which administer the Uniform CPA Examination, license certified public accountants and regulate the practice of public accountancy in the United States. To see more visit nasba.org.

Prometric Testing Centers
The CPA Exam can be taken at Prometric testing centers in each of the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions: District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Prometric is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ETS. To see more visit prometric.com/cpa.

Other professional certifications

Finance and accounting degrees at Saunders help prepare you for pursuing the following certifications, in addition to the CPA (Certified Public Accountant). All of these accounting certifications have various career focuses, which may be the right fit for you. Learn more about these certifications using the links provided below.  

Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

The CMA certification is designed to measure critical accounting and financial skills in business. Those who have the certification are able to achieve advancement similar to those who hold the CPA certification. Achieving both certifications demonstrates that not only do you have a solid foundation in accounting principles and practices, but also that you have the skills necessary to achieve business growth and development. To learn more visit imanet.org.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

CFP certification demonstrates your ability to advise others on short and long-term goals. It indicates that you adhere to a strict level of ethical standards, while also indicating that you have proven experience in the field of financial planning. For more information visit cfp.net.

Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

If you plan to become an internal auditor, the CIA certification exemplifies your adherence to a firm level of professionalism as an internal auditor. It shows that not only are you competent but that you are also credible. More information on the CIA certification can be found at na.theiia.org.

Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) administers CFE certifications which are recognized around the world for professionals with proven expertise in fraud prevention, detection, and deterrence. Learn more at acfe.com.

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

The CISA certification is world-renowned as the standard of achievement for those who audit, control, monitor and assess an organization’s information technology and business systems. The recent quarterly IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index (ITSCPI) from Foote Partners ranked CISA among the most sought-after and highest-paying IT certifications. Learn more at isaca.org

Enrolled Agent (EA)

An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Learn more at irs.gov/tax-professionals

Chartered Global Management Accountant

CGMA is the most widely held management accounting designation in the world with more than 150,000 designees. It was established in 2012 by the AICPA and CIMA to recognize a unique group of management accountants who have reached the highest benchmark of quality and competence. The CGMA designation is built on extensive global research to maintain the highest relevance with employers and develop the competencies most in demand. CGMA designation holders qualify through rigorous education, exam and experience requirements. Learn more at cgma.org

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) credential is held by over 150,000 professionals around the world. The charter gives a strong understanding of advanced investment analysis and real-world portfolio management skills. The CFA Program is a self-study, graduate-level program divided into three levels of exams. Passing these exams is one step to becoming a CFA charterholder. Learn more at cfp.net

Preparing for Certification Exams

You are encouraged to explore the many tools and resources available to help you with preparing for certification exams. One source you may consider is Gleim Exam Prep, as they offer student discounts for CPA, CMA, CIA, and EA exams.

Additional Certification Resources

You can also find more professional certifications in Accounting, Tax, Audit, etc. from the links below:

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