Accounting

Associate Degree

Program Outline

This outline covers all four semesters of your at-home degree program. You will receive credit for previous college course work if you meet Penn Foster College standards. If you wish to receive credit for previous course work, contact the college you attended and ask that your official transcripts be forwarded to Penn Foster College for evaluation. All previous college work must have been completed with a grade of "C" or better, and as much as 75% of the required credits may be transferred. We will also credit your tuition for all the courses that are acceptable.

The first course, Basic Skills Assessment, is available online only, which allows you to start studying right away. You will not receive hardcopy program materials for these lessons. You can access your first course as soon as your tuition payment has been received. Other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program. Access to Microsoft® Office 365 is a requirement for this program.

Online Library and Librarian
Students at Penn Foster College have access to an online library during their college studies. Students can use the library to do the required course research or for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and will assist students in research activities.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal
The Accounting Associate Degree program is primarily designed to prepare students for opportunities in entry-level positions in the field of accounting, but can also be used as a foundation for further training.

Program Outcomes
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrate a high level of inquiry, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrate effective quantitative skills
  • Demonstrate computer and information literacy
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the liberal arts, natural sciences, and social sciences
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and processes involved in various functional areas and the need for collaboration among the different functions
  • Complete the accounting cycle and create and analyze financial statements to ensure that they are accurate and comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures.
  • Explain the key issues of internal control of cash in balance and cash flow statements and external financial reporting
  • Create, organize, and maintain financial records
  • Discuss and apply ethical and legal standards to the business environment
  • Demonstrate an understanding of economic and financial markets and the business economy
  • Demonstrate how to assess financial data and make best-practices recommendations to managemen

 

Semester 1

Basic Skills Assessment
All degree applicants are required to complete two Basic Skills Assessments, one in reading and one in math, to determine the level of readiness for beginning their selected program. Additional studies may be required.

Business Orientation (1 credit)
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program, and learn how to effectively manage your time, talents, and resources in your personal life, academics, and in your career.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
  • Examine your individual life goals and the steps needed to fulfill them.
  • Recognize how your personal financial goals mirror that of most businesses.
  • Use time management skills to make the most of your day.
  • Determine personal financial goals.
  • Set up a typical budget.
  • Explain why creative thinking, research, planning, gathering resources, and production and marketing are vital for the start-up and maintenance of a business.

Information Literacy (1 credit)
Get better at finding and using information.

Objectives:

  • Search the Internet more effectively.
  • Get tips about search engines and reliable websites.
  • Learn how to search libraries and other information centers for important, useful information.

Introduction to Business (3 credits)
This course is designed to introduce you to basic business concepts, theories, and perspectives. It will serve as a basis for further learning in your program.

Objectives:

  • Understand the principles of business ethics and basic economics.
  • Compare the different types of business ownership.
  • Describe the basics of organizational structure.
  • Identify the differences between management and leadership.
  • Understand the importance of information technology in today’s business environments.

Art Appreciation (3 credits)
In this course, you will gain an understanding of artistic media, historical periods and artistic movements, the roles of the artist and the viewer, and the principles of art criticism.

Objectives:

  • Define the language, visual elements, and principles of design of art
  • Identify two-dimensional media
  • Identify three-dimensional media
  • Explain the evolution of art from ancient Mediterranean cultures through eighteenth century Europe
  • Identify features and popular examples of art throughout the history of African, Asian, Pacific, and American cultures
  • Compare the genres of the Modern and Postmodern eras of art from around the world

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Living with Art, 11th Edition

Mathematics for Business and Finance (3 credits)
This course will hone your math skills so you are able to successfully use them in business and finance industries.

Objectives:

  • Use percentages, discounts, and interest formulas effectively.
  • Analyze present worth and sinking funds.
  • Understand how to buy in installments and price merchandise.
  • Explain depreciation, insurance, equations, and formulas.
  • Discuss investments and statistics.

Financial Accounting (3 credits)
This course will provide students with a basic understanding of the principles of financial accounting. Topics covered include analyzing transactions; completing the accounting cycle; merchandising businesses; inventories, assets, and liabilities; and corporations, stocks, bonds, and cash flow.

Objectives:

  • Solve important accounting principles and concepts by creating four common types of financial statements: balance sheet, income statement, statement of retained earnings, and statement of cash flows
  • Explain inventory systems, the inventory process, and the role of ethics in accounting
  • Explain cash and receivables, assets, current liabilities, and debt
  • Analyze stocks and the statement of cash flows and financial statements that are used to assess the value of a business

Proctored Exam
You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

 

Semester 2

Computer Applications (3 credits)
This course will allow you to build your computer skills through a combination of reading and hands-on practice. You will navigate popular software tools such as Windows® and Microsoft® Office.

Objectives:

  • Create, edit, and illustrate Microsoft® Word™ documents.
  • Apply formulas and functions to large data sets in Microsoft® Excel.®
  • Incorporate useful charts and graphs to summarize data.
  • Add, delete, sort, and lay out table data.
  • Create presentations in Microsoft® PowerPoint® using advanced tools, tables, and charts.

Managerial Accounting (3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to managerial accounting; analysis: C-V-P and management; budgeting and performance evaluation; decentralized operations; differential analysis and product pricing; capital investment analysis, and cost activities.

Objectives:

  • Understand cost classifications as applied to preparing financial statements, predicting cost behavior, and making decisions
  • Understand the flow of cost in job-order costing and use activity-based absorption costing to compute product costs
  • Understand the flow of process costing, computing the cost per equivalent unit using the weighted-average method and FIFO method and allocating department costs using the direct and step-down methods
  • Explain how changes in activity affect contribution margin and net operating income and examine cost-volume-profit relationships, such as margin of safety and break-even points
  • Explain how variable costing differs from absorption costing and prepare income statements using the different approaches as tools for management
  • Understand activity-based costing and how it differs from a traditional costing system
  • Understand budgets, the process used to create budgets, and the preparation of various kinds of budgets
  • Compute and record various variances
  • Understand and compute various performance measurements
  • Prepare differential analysis as a key to decision making
  • Evaluate calculations for capital budgeting decisions
  • Prepare a statement of cash flows using the direct and indirect methods and compute free cash flow
  • Compute and interpret financial ratios

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Managerial Accounting

English Composition (3 credits)
This course will allow you to polish and enhance your writing skills.

Objectives:

  • Effectively use free writing and brainstorming.
  • Perfect your ability to edit and revise your writing.
  • Apply techniques for getting the reader’s attention.
  • Write descriptive essays, first-person narratives, reflective essays, persuasive essays, and effective thesis statements.

Principles of Management (3 credits)
This course will review the functions of management and its role in planning, leading, organizing, motivating, and controlling.

Objectives:

  • Define and correctly use business terms.
  • Explain the importance of communication.
  • Identify the steps of managerial decision making.
  • Explain the relevance of the basic skills required by managers.
  • Describe major components of various management perspectives.
  • Discuss the ever-increasing employee diversity and the management activities required for the changing workforce.

Arts and Humanities Elective (3 credits)
(Choose one) ...

HUM104 - Music Appreciation
In this course, you'll understand how to appreciate music by learning about the roles of the composer and the listener, the principles of music theory and instrumentation, musically significant historical periods, and varying styles of music.

Objectives:

  • Identify the building blocks of music a composer can use to create a piece, such as rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, form, and timbre
  • Explain the evolution of Western music through history, from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century
  • Differentiate between the music of the baroque era and the musical styles of previous time periods
  • Recognize the major characteristics of classical music, including form, melody, and instrumentation
  • Discuss the musical trends and innovations that occurred during the romantic era
  • Trace the evolution of American popular music in the twentieth century
  • Recognize the influence of world music on modern Western composition

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Experience Music, Fourth Edition

ENG115 - Introduction to Literature
This course will allow you to develop your critical thinking skills and broaden your knowledge of literature.

Objectives:

  • Identify themes and forms of literature.
  • Define the main genres of literature - poetry, fiction, and drama.

Economics 1 (3 credits)
This course will provide an overview of macroeconomics and the modern market economy. Law of supply and demand, the cost of living, monetary systems, international factors, and short-run economic fluctuations will be examined and discussed.

Objectives:

  • Explain the economic systems and the economic perspective
  • Identify the key factors in macroeconomics and how economists study the economy as a whole
  • Explain the macroeconomic models and fiscal policies
  • Explain money, banking, and financial policy
  • Explain extending analysis of aggregate supply, current issues in theory and policy, and international economics
  • Analyze foreign exchange and investment and the effects each nation’s economy has on another nation’s economy

Proctored Exam
You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

 

Semester 3

Intermediate Accounting 1 (3 credits)
This course will provide students with the knowledge to apply accounting theory, concepts, and procedures to financial problems. Topics covered include: computing earnings per share; lease transactions; income tax accounting; cash flow information; pension and benefit information; financial statement analysis.

Objectives:

  • Understand and interpret the history, structure and process of financial accounting and accounting standards
  • Analyze the balance sheet, the income statement and know when and how to disclose important information
  • Perform the full accounting process from creating journal entries for transactions through the closing process
  • Apply your knowledge of revenue recognition and the time value of money to be able to accurately report revenue and the value of investments on financial statements
  • Examine different ways to properly account for cash, receivables and inventory
  • Value and account for changes to long-term assets including property, plant and equipment as well as intangible assets

Financial Management (3 credits)
This course will introduce students to the world of finance including financial concepts, instruments, and financial decision making. Topics covered include financial assets, investing in long-term assets, capital structure and dividend policy, financial planning, and working capital management.

Objectives:

  • Categorize financial management functions and organizational structure
  • Analyze a firm's financial statements, cash flow values, risks, and returns
  • Recommend budgeting policies, planning, structures, and costs for a firm's capital

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Finance: Applications & Theory

Business and Technical Writing (3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to the various methods of organizing material for a professional setting. Students will compose business documents using the ABC method. These include memos, emails, outlines, reports and proposals, descriptions, and organizing materials. Students also work on honing their grammar skills.

Objectives:

  • Describe the basics of the writing process and the ABC method of organizing material for a document
  • Identify the parts of speech in a sentence
  • Demonstrate correct pronoun use
  • Choose proper and effective words for writing documents
  • Identify the elements of a well-written sentence
  • Demonstrate how to use length, directness, emphasis, and variety to craft impactful sentences
  • Explain how to construct a coherent paragraph
  • Describe how to write an effective cover letter and resume
  • Format and write an interoffice memorandum, a routine business letter, and an effective email
  • Identify the different ways to write for blogs, the Internet, and social media
  • Describe how to create an organized formal outline
  • Identify the types of research and methods of documentation used in business and technical writing
  • Explain how to create visual interest and clarity in reports with illustrations, tables, graphs, charts, and overall design
  • Explain the purpose and importance of various types of informal reports
  • Describe the nature of formal reports and identify their components
  • Differentiate among external, internal, informal, and formal proposals
  • Describe an object or a process and prepare a set of instructions
  • Describe the preparation and submission of professional and technical articles and manuals

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Intermediate Algebra

Intermediate Algebra (3 credits)
Study basic algebraic concepts. Review the systems of equations, polynomials, and radicals. Learn how to factor polynomial expressions and simplify rational expressions.

Objectives:

  • Explain basic algebraic concepts
  • Solve and graph linear equations and inequalities
  • Analyze relations, functionality, and systems of linear equations
  • Prepare algebraic operations on polynomial and rational expressions and equations
  • Solve problems involving radicals and complex numbers

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Intermediate Algebra

Intermediate Accounting 2 (3 credits)
This course will provide students with an expansion on materials presented in Intermediate Accounting 1. Topics examined and discussed include: inventories; investments; intangible assets; current, contingent, and estimated liabilities; premium and discount on longterm debt; stockholder's equity.

Objectives:

  • Evaluate how companies should account for investing in other companies' debt and equity securities
  • Differentiate between current and long-term liabilities and properly demonstrate the accounting treatment for each
  • Analyze and account for other types of liabilities including leases, bonds, long-term notes, income taxes, pensions, and post-retirement benefits
  • Examine shareholder's equity and share-based employee compensation and how they’re represented in financial statements
  • Distinguish among various accounting changes and provide explanations for error corrections
  • Discuss the treatment of cash and noncash transactions through the statement of cash flows

Science Elective (3 credits)
(Choose one) ...

SCI120 - Introduction to Biology
This course will allow you to explore the origin of life and the relationships among all living things.

Objectives:

  • Explain how organisms are structured and how they work.
  • Discuss the various forms of life and their processes.

SCI140 - Nutrition
This course will allow you to develop a healthier lifestyle by making smarter nutritional decisions.

Objectives:

  • Explain the various components of nutrition as a science.
  • Describe nutrition from a global viewpoint.
  • Understand the importance of water and exercise.
  • Identify the basics of human growth and aging.

Discuss food safety procedures.

SCI110 - Earth Science
This course will allow you to learn about planet Earth and the various aspects of the environment.

Objectives:

  • Describe specific characteristics of Earth.
  • Describe different types of rocks and minerals.

Proctored Exam
You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

 

Semester 4

Cost Accounting (3 credits)
This course breaks down cost accounting, which represents an important bridge between financial and managerial accounting, and will allow you to learn how businesses predict, record, and control their costs.

Objectives:

  • Describe the fundamental concepts underlying cost accounting
  • Use cost management systems
  • Analyze management control systems
  • Business Statistics (3 credits)
    This course will provide you the opportunity to explore statistics and how they affect business.
  • Objectives:
  • Interpret and present data.
  • Analyze frequency distribution, averages, dispersion, and index numbers.
  • Conduct time series analysis.
  • Forecast business.
  • Apply the theory of probability and statistical inference.

Business Law 1 (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to the legal environment of business. Topics covered include American court practice and procedure, alternative dispute resolutions, employment law, business organization and regulation, contract law, and agency relationships.

Objectives:

  • Explain the sources of law.
  • Discuss the judicial process and alternative dispute resolution.
  • Describe different forms of business organization and their characteristics.
  • Explain the elements of contracts and rules pertaining to contracts.
  • Explain the law of agency and laws concerning employment.

Computer Applications in Accounting (3 credits)
This course builds on concepts learned in Financial and Managerial Accounting and covers Sage 50® Accounting. Combines real-world accounting systems and examples with computer-based solutions. The course is a blend of problem solving, reading, case projects, and computer applications to problems encountered in today’s accounting environment.

Objectives:

  • Explain how to install, register, and update the Sage 50® accounting software
  • Print reports and back up data files using Sage 50®
  • Record, post, and complete the accounting cycle for a service and merchandising enterprise using an automated accounting system
  • Analyze the business flow of transactions in automated accounting systems, including customer lists, vendor files, inventory records, and employee files
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the voucher system, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll systems, and departmentalized accounting
  • Analyze and solve management accounting problems relating to operations and business profitability and financial reporting

Speech (3 credits)
This course provides students with a foundation in the basic concepts of public speaking. Students will learn how to research, organize and write effective speeches, incorporate presentation aids, and rehearse and deliver speeches effectively. Students will prepare, rehearse, record and submit speeches in a number of rhetorical styles to be graded.

Objectives:

  • Describe how to effectively use of the 10 necessary steps to preparing and presenting a public speech
  • Demonstrate effective delivery and presentation techniques through practice and rehearsal
  • Show how to effectively organize and present a narrative/personal experience speech
  • Make effective presentation aids to enhance your public speaking
  • Produce a speech to inform your audience of a product or service
  • Prepare a speech to persuade your audience on a topic in which you are personally invested
  • Demonstrate the key elements of public speaking through a variety of formats and occasions

Social Science Elective (3 credits)
(Choose one) ...

SSC130 - Essentials of Psychology
This course will introduce you to the relationship between biology and behavior. You will learn about human development throughout the life span.

Objectives:

  • Identify major psychological theories.
  • Discuss consciousness, memory, thought, and language.
  • Define intelligence, personality, and stress.
  • Analyze the role of gender in psychology.
  • Explain how community influences behavior.

SSC105 - World Civilizations
This course will allow you to understand the importance of studying history as it relates to the individual and society as a whole.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the major events of the sixteenth through twentieth centuries.
  • Explain the consequences of events and the trends that they cause.

SSC125 - Introduction to Sociology
This course is designed to introduce you to social structure and social interaction through groups, networks, and organizations. Study politics, the economy, population, social movements, technology, and social change.

Objectives:

  • Describe deviance, crime, and social control.
  • Discuss the effects of stratification, racial and ethnic inequality, sex, gender, and sexuality.
  • Examine the role of health, family, education, and religion in human behavior.

Proctored Exam
You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

 

 

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

* As a degree candidate, you will take a proctored examination at the end of each semester on selected courses within that semester. We make it easy because you pick the location and the person you want to supervise the exam, as long as Penn Foster College's established policy and qualifications are met. Complete information packets with procedures will be provided well in advance, before completion of final semester coursework.

Note: Advanced standing student shipments may vary from the above schedule.

A High School Diploma or GED is required to enroll in this degree program. Although this outline covers all four semesters of the Accounting Degree Program, you receive lesson materials for each semester as you enroll.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.