Accounting

  • Degree Type Bachelor of Science
  • Department Accounting and Finance
  • Academic Division The Williams School
  • Offerings Major

students working under guidance of faculty students working under guidance of faculty

Accounting at W&L builds on the liberal arts course foundation, increasing analytical and communication skills while providing knowledge and skills for any number of business areas. Majors take a combination of accounting, economics and business administration courses.

Accounting

About one-third of our graduates are recruited by Big Four accounting firms. Another third join prestigious investment and commercial banking firms. The remaining third follow varied paths, including graduate school.

Students planning to work in public accounting must complete 150 hours of college credit to take the CPA Exam in most states. Students may register in the ELE program, use AP credit, earn summer school credit, elect to overload, or attend graduate school. W&L has agreements with highly rated graduate programs including University of Virginia, Wake Forest, Notre Dame, and the University of Texas.

There are unique opportunities for students to intern and study in Sydney, Australia, Cape Town and London. In summer, students intern at accounting firms, major investment banks and other accounting and financial firms across the country.

“Accounting, the language of business, was a great fit because it showed me how people analyze and think about the exchange of money.”

Dannick Kenon
Class of 2019

Afshad Irani

Department Head

Joy Swartz

Administrative Assistant

News


Scott Boylan to Receive Award from the American Accounting Association

The professor of accounting will receive the 2023 Accounting Historians Journal Award at the organization’s annual meeting in August.

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W&L’s Leslie Frederick to Present at the 2024 AACSB Assessment and AoL Conference in New York City

Frederick will serve as co-presenter for a session that demonstrates the beneficial uses of technology in the curriculum mapping process.

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Finding Clarity

Liz Mira Santi ’24 came to W&L as a Gunn Scholar in 2023, and her time on campus has expanded her worldview and reinforced her ambitions.

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W&L Students Claim First Place at University of Georgia Stock Pitch Competition

A four-person team comprised of John Schleider ‘24, Diwesh Kumar ‘24, Bradford Bush ’25 and Drew Thompson ‘25 claimed the $3,000 top prize for their pitch on CVS Health.

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Laura Murambadoro '26

An Extraordinary Combination

Laura Murambadoro ’26 brings varied interests, a collaborative leadership style and a passion for community engagement to W&L’s campus.

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Students in Accounting 452 VITA program Winter Term 2024

VITA Program Returns

Washington and Lee students are applying their accounting skills in the community as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

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Darya Phillips '24

Meet Darya Philips ’24

Accounting major Darya Philips ’24 counts her semester abroad as one of the greatest experiences of her life.

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Ross Draber '10 is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of United Bank. (Photo courtesy of United Bank)

For Ross Draber ’10, people come first

The United Bank senior executive engages with the W&L community through student recruitment and event participation.

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W&L Professor Receives Award from the American Accounting Association

Megan Hess collected the award at the AAA Annual Meeting in August.

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Josh Caraballo ’25 Receives National Accounting Scholarship

Caraballo is one of 369 students from across the U.S. to receive the merit scholarship from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

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W&L Professor Quoted in Article About the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority

Megan Hess offers perspective on the importance of determining the scope of inventory shrinkage.

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Sample Courses

At W&L, we believe education and experience go hand-in-hand. You’ll be encouraged to dive in, explore and discover connections that will broaden your perspective.

ACCT 280

History Through Accounting

This class explores the development of accounting through the study of historical economic, business and cultural issues. From Venetian merchants to recent scandals, this course seeks to learn how accounting has impacted society and vice versa. The course begins by reviewing early evidence of accounting methods as important tools for decision makers and then moves on to the development of financial reporting, with a large focus on the history of the railroad industry in the U.S. The class combines readings with site visits to libraries, historical societies and businesses to dig into the forces that have helped shape accounting into the science it is today.

ACCT 304

Anatomy of a Fraud

The course examines the phenomena of financial statement fraud and discusses some of the key forensic accounting concepts and skills used to address the problem. Drawing on historical cases of financial statement fraud as well as the firsthand experience of the instructor, we search for the answers to questions like “who cooked the books?”

ACCT 370

Casino Accounting

This course provides an introduction to financial accounting and auditing in the gaming industry. Topics include the design and implementation of controls over cash, revenue recognition and measurement, accounting for the extension of casino credit, progressive jackpot liabilities, complimentary expenditures and customer loyalty programs.

ACCT 303

Sustainability Accounting

This course examines best practices and key debates in sustainability accounting and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting. Sustainable business practices meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. Increasingly, accountants are playing an important role in measuring, reporting and auditing corporate impacts on society and the environment so that corporations can be held accountable and more sustainable business practices can be implemented.

ACCT 310

Accounting Information Systems

An introduction to the information systems used in accounting, including the flow of data from source documents through the accounting cycle into reports for decision makers; the principle of internal control; flowcharting and systems narratives; and use of computers and database systems in accounting information. Students have hands-on experience implementing and using accounting information systems.

Acct 360

Auditing

This course examines auditing and its role in a market economy. Course content focuses on the market for audit services, audit planning, evidence gathering and reporting.

Meet the Faculty

At W&L, students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors who educate and nurture.

Afshad Irani
Afshad Irani

Afshad Irani

Professor of Accounting and Head of the Department

Irani teaches courses in financial accounting. His research focuses on issues related to voluntary disclosure, earnings management, financial restatements, executive compensation, insider trading and standard setting.

Curriculum Vitae

Aliaa Bassiouny
Aliaa Bassiouny

Aliaa Bassiouny

Lawrence Term Associate Professor of Finance

Bassiouny’s teaching portfolio includes courses in managerial finance, investments, portfolio management, international finance, valuation and financial modeling. Her research interests include investments and empirical market microstructure with a focus on emerging markets.

Curriculum Vitae

Scott J. Boylan
Scott J. Boylan

Scott J. Boylan

Professor of Accounting

Boylan teaches financial accounting and casino accounting. He has researched taxpayer compliance, tax complexity, investment decisions, and is now examining the casino industry’s historical influence on accounting practice.

Curriculum Vitae

Stephan Fafatas
Stephan Fafatas

Stephan Fafatas

Associate Professor of Accounting

Fafatas teaches courses in financial accounting and financial statement analysis. His research focuses primarily on issues in earnings quality and auditor reputation. He has also extensively researched W&L’s financial history.

Curriculum Vitae

Megan F. Hess
Megan F. Hess

Megan F. Hess

Associate Professor of Accounting

Hess is a 1997 alumna who teaches courses in auditing, accounting ethics and corporate sustainability. Before becoming a professor, she spent 12 years working in the industry with a focus on investigating financial statement fraud.

Curriculum Vitae

Scott Hoover
Scott Hoover

Scott Hoover

A. Stevens Miles Professor of Banking and Finance

Hoover teaches courses in corporate finance and real estate, and his research relates to corporate social responsibility. He previously founded and managed a software company devoted to customized database software.

Curriculum Vitae

Elizabeth Oliver
Elizabeth Oliver

Elizabeth Oliver

Associate Dean of the Williams School and Whitaker Adams Professor in Commerce

Oliver has been at W&L since 1991. She teaches courses in accounting research and corporate responsibility. She also runs the W&L London Internship Program, which combines classroom study with internship opportunities in London.

Curriculum Vitae

Colin Reid
Colin Reid

Colin Reid

Associate Professor of Accounting

Prof. Reid teaches courses in financial accounting and corporate governance to help students understand how companies communicate and the framework in which business operates. He researches audit and corporate sustainability.

Curriculum Vitae

Joey Smith
Joey Smith

Joey Smith

Assistant Professor of Finance

Lloyd Tanlu
Lloyd Tanlu

Lloyd Tanlu

Associate Professor of Accounting

Lloyd teaches intermediate financial and cost accounting classes. He does research on performance evaluation, corporate governance, and management control systems.

Curriculum Vitae

Brandi Jane Wedgeworth-Graham
Brandi Jane Wedgeworth-Graham

Brandi Jane Wedgeworth-Graham

Visiting Assistant Professor of Accounting

Joy Yang
Joy Yang

Joy Yang

Assistant Professor of Finance

Aliaa Bassiouny
Scott J. Boylan
Stephan Fafatas
Megan F. Hess
Scott Hoover
Elizabeth Oliver
Colin Reid
Joey Smith
Lloyd Tanlu
Brandi Jane Wedgeworth-Graham
Joy Yang
Afshad Irani