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For more information about the accounting program, please contact the Department Chair:

Michael Kasperski, C.P.A. 
Phone: (716) 375-2634
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102B Swan Business Center


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What Can I Do With This Major?

Accounting

ACCOUNTING PROGRAM

Accounting graduates continue to be in great demand. Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 10% in the decade ending in 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not only are graduates finding vast opportunities and lucrative salaries, but most are landing jobs before they're done with school. Nearly all of our accounting graduates (98 percent) have a job offer in hand before commencement.

Through a combination of innovative coursework that balances analytical thinking and creativity, one-to-one interaction with faculty, attractive internships, and an opportunity to earn both your BBA in accounting and your MBA in professional accountancy in five years (or less), SBU accounting graduates are well-equipped to achieve professional success.

Two accounting degree plans available:

  • BBA: The 120-hour Bachelor of Business Administration prepares accounting students to work in a variety of accounting and business fields, tailored to their individual interests.
  • BBA and MBA: This 4+1 program (150 hours in total) is structured so that students first earn a BBA in accounting and then an MBA in professional accountancy. With careful planning, both can be completed in 5 years ... or less.

Accounting Program Advantages

  • Be In Demand: 98% of our accounting students have a job offer before graduation, and recruiters from regional and national accounting firms visit campus regularly and begin identifying our best prospects in their sophomore years, frequently offering internships that pave the way for employment upon graduation.
  • Accredited Programs: The School of Business is accredited through The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), ensuring parents and students that we are meeting tough standards and providing a top-quality education. 
  • Small Class Size: An 11:1 student to faculty ratio means that your professors will work with you 1:1 to identify and provide the best opportunities and resources to match your interests and ambitions.
  • Integrated Ethics: We are committed to educating outstanding future managers and leaders who incorporate the Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service to others.
  • Internships: You are required to complete an internship, an opportunity to gain invaluable on-the-job experience and make you a stronger job candidate.

Accounting Careers

With your BBA and MBA in hand, you will be prepared for a career in public accounting as well as higher-level entry points into major banks, corporations, government agencies and other organizations. Starting salaries are growing for finance professionals in the U.S. and hiring demand for recent college graduates is on the rise. Students who choose to major in accounting go on to find jobs in the following career fields:

  • public accounting
  • corporate accounting
  • government
  • nonprofit organizations
Learn more about the typical career areas and the types of employers that hire people accounting majors.

Student Spotlight

Accounting students and alumni speak out about St. Bonaventure, student life, Franciscan values, and the career advantages of being an accounting grad. 

 

News, Publications & Research

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Engagement with SIMM empowers #Bonas students, leads to jobs

Oct 02, 2017 |

Dr. Jim Mahar in class
By Susan Anderson

Stop by St. Bonaventure University’s Dee Financial Services Lab any time a Students in Money Management (SIMM) class is scheduled, and you will likely find the room filled to capacity — even on a sunny Friday afternoon of a get-away weekend.

“People are eager to be part of SIMM,” said Sydney Cassagnol, a senior finance and accounting major, who noted the high level of freedom its members are allowed. “We have a lot of control and are given the opportunity to present ideas that we are really excited about.”

Founded in 2004, SIMM is an experiential learning program in which students in any major can learn about the investment process while helping to manage approximately $500,000 in real assets.

This is Cassagnol’s third semester in SIMM and her first serving as co-manager of the Equity Fund. From analyzing stocks to pitching a proposal, Cassagnol said that membership in SIMM offers a wealth of practical experience. 

“This program has been one of the best experiences I have had during my time at Bonaventure,” she said. “It helped me discover a passion for finance and it has given me hands-on experience in investing, which I think is one of the most valuable things I will take away from college.”

Recent finance/MBA graduate Alex McLaughlin,’16, ’17, noted that participation in SIMM led to his job at CitiGroup where he serves as a balance sheet control analyst. In fact, he had the job offer weeks before graduation.

“Being a member of SIMM gives you a competitive edge and prepares you for the real world,” he said.

The secret to SIMM’s popularity as well as the profound influence the program has on its members can easily be attributed to one man: Dr. Jim Mahar, ’88.

Known as “The Finance Professor,” Mahar has been teaching in the School of Business since 1999 and directing SIMM for 10 years.

“Most schools have a money management program for students but only for upperclassmen. Here at Bona’s, we flip the model and invite students in from their first semester,” said Mahar.

Members are assigned to a certain sector of the fund, such as technology, health care or utilities, and are responsible for reporting on the fund’s holdings as well as any major news impacting that sector. They must also conduct research on equities and present pitches to buy, sell or hold an investment.

“It’s not a lecture class. It’s a ‘jump into the deep end and we’re here with a life preserver’ class,” said Mahar. “It forces people to get engaged. We have lots of discussion going on. They start out rudimentary and go up fast.”

Another important aspect to the SIMM experience is the level of alumni involvement. The Friday Forum features a weekly visitor from an expert in the field, either in person or via video. It has connected students to alumni and other professionals from as far away as Japan and India and as close as New York City. The students also head to the trading floors of Wall Street and Chicago every fall and spring. And they interact with the SIMM Board on a regular basis.

“The questions the board members ask of the students are very rigorous, probably more so than many boards would ask their CEOs,” said Mahar. “They also make sure there is progress year to year.”

Mahar said he is proud that students get involved in SIMM as early as their first semester and remain throughout an academic career. That involvement “offers them leadership skills and helps them land jobs,” he said.

For senior marketing major David Yousif, SIMM presents the perfect environment for hands-on learning.

“Dr. Mahar allows the students to think for themselves. It is truly a student-run organization. He does, however, know the right times to step in,” Yousif said. “Especially when it comes down to fully understanding a concept.”

Yousif has been involved with SIMM since his freshman year and today serves as co-director of marketing. He said what he appreciates most is the mentorship.

“Every year SIMM graduates some of the brightest students in the School of Business,” he said, “so to experience a variance in top-tier leadership over the past three years has been incredible.”

SIMM recently launched a crowdfunding site to boost funding for the program, featuring a $16,250 challenge match from alumni Chris and Eileen Madigan Kinslow and the SIMM Board. To make a gift and join the challenge, please visit www.sbu.edu/SIMMChallenge.  

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About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things.  St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.

 

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Grasp every opportunity

Senior accounting major Patrick Hogan says choosing Bona's is the best decision he's ever made.

Fact Sheet