The accounting faculty offers a four-course sequence in financial accounting principles (introductory and intermediate) and also teaches courses in managerial accounting, auditing, accounting systems, income tax accounting, accounting ethics and professionalism, international accounting, and advanced accounting.
Information assurance is now an integral part of most accounting courses at the Smith School, including: auditing, managerial accounting, ethics and professionalism in accounting, business ethics, accounting systems, financial statement analysis, taxes, international accounting, and financial planning and control systems for managers and consultants.
Information assurance is concerned with protecting the integrity and confidentiality of organizations' databases, reports, and computer systems along with ensuring the availability of the information to authorized users. Thus, it is not surprising that information assurance is an integral part of the discipline of accounting. For example, the accuracy and integrity of information is critical to accurate financial reporting and the generation of timely and relevant internal accounting reports for decision-making.
Additionally, accountants, including auditors, have a responsibility for ensuring that proper internal controls are in place to protect the key strategic asset of information. External independent auditors have the responsibility of commenting on the fairness of accounting information and their actions are subject to a code of ethics. While accounting has always been concerned with information assurance, this concern, however, has been growing rapidly since the development of the Internet.
Moreover, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has clearly solidified the interconnectivity between accounting and information assurance. The ethical performance of the work of the independent auditor is now monitored by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Indeed, the importance of information assurance has transformed the research, teaching and practice of the discipline of accounting. Accounting faculty members at the Robert H. Smith School of Business have taken the lead in this area.