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Accounting Program Prepares Future Leaders

You might think about accounting as something to do with dollar signs, receipts, audits and taxes sprinkled with rounds of golf. But beyond the externals, accountants serve as gatekeepers, as guardians of the very thing that makes companies possible: money.

Such an important job requires a refined work ethic and a crucial sense of honesty and integrity. The accounting degree integrates biblical principles and liberal arts courses into a rigorous program of study including 54 hours in the accounting major with 39 hours specifically in accounting. You will get to know and learn from experienced faculty who bring to the classroom personalized instruction, professional experience and a passion for excellence creating graduates who lead in their profession.

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Preparation

Ben Skaggs, an accounting graduate, is beginning his career with Deloitte & Touche. What he appreciates most about the accounting program at BJU is “the amount of professional and real-world knowledge that the teachers bring to the classroom. I know that when I receive instruction, advice, or insight regarding business conduct even apart from textbook instruction, they definitely know what they're talking about.”

Mike Buiter with a student

Internships

After completing foundation courses during the freshman and sophomore years, juniors and seniors enter into advanced studies, including internship experiences, that prepare them for future employment. “What I gained most from my internship with KPMG was a confirmation of my decision to become an auditor when I graduate. I am now fully confident that I will enjoy what I do.” (Meredith Nanney, class of '12)

Just the Facts

Current Full-time Faculty

  • PhD or Master degrees
  • Multiple Certifications (e.g., CPA, CMA)
  • Average teaching experience: 13 years
  • Average business experience: 17 years

Current Positions of BJU Accounting Alumni

  • Partner, manager and staff-level accountants
  • Big Four accounting firms and law firms
  • Regional and local accounting firms
  • CFO’s, VPs, controllers and staff
  • Business managers and directors of ministry-based organizations
  • Publicly traded and non-profit companies
  • President, dean, department head, and faculty at universities and colleges
  • CPAs
students in class

Networking

BJU’s office of Career Services facilitates the process of connecting accounting firms with qualified students. Beginning in the fall semester, the Accounting Picnic is held; it provides opportunities for firm representatives and accounting juniors and seniors to get acquainted. Shortly following the picnic, the on-campus interview process begins, providing selected candidates the opportunity to interview for internships or full-time positions.

students in class

Senior manager with Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, Aaron Parris states that “We have recruited students from the accounting program at Bob Jones University for over ten years. In our experience, the graduates have always been well trained to start their careers in public practice. We currently have graduates with the firm in positions from intern through partner.”

Jacob Powell (class of '12) benefited from his accounting internship with Pope, Smith, Brown & King. He said, “The internship provided me with a broad introduction to various aspects of accounting such as audit and tax, and I was also given the opportunity to stay with the firm and work part time through the remainder of tax season.”

Full-time Employment

Many accounting students secure full-time employment with the Big 4 CPA firms and regional or local CPA firms prior to graduation. Mike Kowalk will be starting at Ernst & Young in August as a staff accountant. He attributes his success in landing employment primarily to the quality of the accounting faculty. “What I have really appreciated about the accounting program at BJU is the fantastic faculty that all have experiences to draw upon. Not only do they have good book knowledge of accounting material, but they also have examples from their careers to illustrate their points. Besides this, they also make life applications that go beyond the general book knowledge so that we are prepared for more than just accounting issues.”

Some seniors like Ryan Smith will pursue graduate school to build upon their undergraduate experience. “I believe that my time in the accounting program has prepared me to thrive in a graduate-level academic environment. In many of my classes I was given the opportunity to participate in group projects which both strengthened my team-work skills and increased my comprehension of the subject.”

Leaders

Graduates value the whole-person training received from experienced accounting faculty who have helped prepare them to be successful leaders in the accounting field. “As a senior manager, I appreciate not only the rigorous nature of the technical training I received at BJU, but also the instruction in oral and written communications. The University’s focus on developing the “whole person,” rather than just a set of job skills, has been invaluable.” (Aaron Parris, partner at Cherry, Bakaert & Holland)

accounting students and faculty member

Persevering through challenging course work and demonstrating their preparedness, BJU accounting graduates consistently pass the CPA exam on their very first try, achieving rates that significantly exceed both the national and South Carolina pass rates.

“What I appreciate about the BJU graduates we have hired [at Ernst & Young] is the grounding they have in excellence. The graduates are coming to our firm with a work ethic and commitment to the success of the firm that is refreshing when contrasted with the “me first” attitude. They certainly have all of the training they need to compete—so it is really the level of execution that distinguishes them from the others.” (Marshall Franklin, former partner at Ernst & Young)