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Learn business principles and other practical business skills to take the next step in your professional accounting career.

If you’re looking to gain background and experience in the growing field of accounting, consider pairing your bachelor’s degree with a specialization in the foundations of accounting, or getting started in the field with your certificate of completion.

In this program, you will learn the framework of accounting — from basic techniques to more advanced financial management, tax, and auditing skills — in order to work in an accounting department, or the financial and accounting area of a department.



This program consists of five lower-division online accounting courses for a total of 15 credit hours.

  • ACT300 Principles of Accounting I
    Students will apply understanding of accounting standards and practices in preparing, analyzing, and interpreting financial transactions relevant to businesses in today's world of automation, business intelligence, and data analytics. Primary emphasis is on the financial accounting system for corporations and the procedures for recording, summarizing, reporting, and interpreting results of business activities. This course will cover the development of basic financial accounting statements, ethical considerations, and the application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). (This course is also offered through SSA. Credits earned using this option will appear on transcripts with an “S” suffix.)
  • ACT325 Principles of Accounting II
    This course expands on financial accounting concepts presented in ACT300 Principles of Accounting I. Using automation, students will take a systematic approach in analyzing financial and nonfinancial data to assist managers and other users of accounting information in the decision-making process of an organization. Concepts presented include managerial accounting concepts of cost flows through a business, cost accounting systems, cost-volume-profit analysis (CVP), product costing, capital budgeting, operational budgets, variance analysis, performance measurement, balanced scorecard, content and preparation of the statement of cash flows, and financial statement analysis. (This course is also offered through SSA. Credits earned using this option will appear on transcripts with an “S” suffix.) Prerequisite: ACT300
  • ACT350 Intermediate Accounting I
    This course provides a comprehensive study of accounting principles and financial statements using automation, business intelligence, data analytics, and other digital technologies in performing measurement and valuation related to the assets and current liabilities on the balance sheet. Students will develop an understanding of the intersection of artificial business intelligence with financial reporting and the codification of accounting standards. Students will use automation in financial statement analysis through the interpretation of data and financial statement disclosures. Students will analyze real-world situations through case studies, research accounting and automation concepts, and apply IFRS standards to GAAP standards. Students will present an assessment of the effect each standard may have on a situation, communicate findings, and facilitate workplace solutions in a team-based environment. Recommended Prior Course: ACT325 (This course is also offered through SSA. Credits earned using this option will appear on transcripts with an “S” suffix.)
  • ACT406 Business Intelligence in Taxation
    This course covers the federal income tax laws, regulations, and tax policy for individuals, partnerships, corporations, non-profits, estates, and trusts as it relates to accounting and artificial intelligence (AI). Students will demonstrate mastery by preparing tax returns using the most recent tax preparation software and conduct tax research covering topics such as tax planning, tax reform, and ethical considerations. Recommended Prior Course: ACT350.
  • ACT450 Auditing
    This course offers a study of systematic process of external financial statements and management assertion verification and reporting. Students will examine internal and external auditing processes through the application of artificial intelligence (AI). Students will develop an understanding of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), IFRS implications, internal controls, risk assessments, and professional ethics and legal liability. Based on current trends in the auditing profession, students will use software programs used extensively in the auditing profession to analyze data. Students will complete a simulation involving an independent audit of a company to include statistical sampling involving current AI technology. Recommended Prior Course: ACT350 (This course is also offered through SSA. Credits earned using this option will appear on transcripts with an “S” suffix.)

* Business Management majors will take ACT360 and must have been initially enrolled after Fall 2012 to be eligible for this specialization.


A specialization in Foundations of Accounting pairs well with the following:

Why You Should Consider an Undergraduate Specialization

When you earn your bachelor’s degree through CSU Global, you can customize your degree to meet your professional goals and personal interests. With just five additional, lower-division courses, you can earn a specialization along with your bachelor’s degree. Similar to a minor, or degree concentration, an undergraduate specialization lets you explore a second area of interest. Provide proof that you’re dedicated and invested in the career you want with additional skills in the field.

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