A Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting will position you for a career with a competitive salary with excellent benefits and a comfortable work environment. Your investment in higher education can be easily recouped within a few years of your graduation. Should you pursue further post-graduate education, you’ll be able to step into a high-level job with your B.A. as a solid foundation. All colleges and universities that offer a B.A. in Accounting have varied requirements, but here are five key courses you’ll need to receive your B.A.

Resource: 30 Most Affordable Christian Colleges for Bachelor’s in Accounting 2015

Principles of Accounting

This class introduces students to basic accounting concepts as applied to businesses. You will learn the fundamentals of financial accounting while acquiring the skills to recognize, measure and report on the economic state of a company. This core course also enables an accountant to predict and examine the effects of various internal and external economic events on a company’s financial well-being, such as investments and changes in tax regulations. Accounting principles are the primary building blocks used by all accountants at all levels in a corporation.

Business Communication for Accountants

An accountant needs to communicate ideas and the results of reports to others within the company. Effective business communication is an absolute requirement for entry-, mid- and high-level accountants regardless of the size of the business or the type of company. Students learn how to think critically, collaborate with co-workers and utilize data. This course also covers professional competence, personal values and ethical considerations.

Introduction to Computer Applications and Systems

Although some companies require an accountant to keep a hand-written ledger book, most accounting and report generation is performed on a computer using Microsoft® Office software. The student is taught how to use database, spreadsheet, word processing and presentation software to convey ideas and reports to other members of the company. All accountants need to be well-versed in using computer applications.

Intermediate Financial Accounting

This advanced course begins where Principles of Accounting ended. The three parts explain the theory and context of accounting and how these concepts are applied. Subjects covered include revenue recognition, cash flow statements, balance sheets, income statements, issues regarding full disclosure and accrual versus cash accounting. Every accountant is expected to have a solid understanding of these concepts.

Federal Income Tax

All companies must comply with federal tax laws. This two-part course explains completing an individual or corporate tax return as well as conducting tax research, evaluating tax implications and monitoring changes in tax regulations. An emphasis is placed on professional responsibility and personal ethics. Advanced studies include how federal taxes affect various types of financial enterprises, including corporations, trusts, estates and flow-through entities. The student will also learn to research tax laws, plan tax compliance and assess and convey the implications of current taxes and changes within the tax regulations.

These core classes provide a solid foundation for budding accountants to find entry-level employment. They also enable students to proceed to more advanced studies so that they may pursue a post-graduate degree and enter the workplace at a higher level.

Additional Resources:

100 Most Affordable Selective Small Colleges for Accounting 2015

30 Great Small College Business Degree Programs 2015