Accounting is a system of measurement for a business enterprise that focuses on recording business activity, providing data to make business decisions, and communicating the results to society.  This includes learning the rules and principles that guide the profession and applying them to a variety of economic situations.  Note carefully, as business is constantly evolving, the profession requires a significant amount of judgement.  As much as you may have heard otherwise, accounting is far from a black and white operation.  View this image from the American Accounting Association to see how it works.

The Wartburg Accounting program is designed to allow students to develop a sense of vocation within the area of accounting.  Students take courses in each of the different areas of accounting to help them see which area is most aligned with student career goals.  Students begin taking the introductory accounting courses during their first semester on campus and continue each semester until graduation.  We feel this is important to help students find their area of study sooner rather than later.  Our faculty bring professional experience to the classroom to help connect classroom content to a real-life setting.

Fast Facts

1) Nearly all students graduate in four years. 

2) Over 90% of accounting majors have had an internship experience over the past five years.

3) CPA Exam Pass rates for 2015 and 2018 include an overall pass rate for Wartburg students of 60%. This compares very favorably to a national pass rate of 51.9% and a state pass rate of 57.7%.

4) Over the past three years Wartburg Accounting students have a nearly 100% job placement rate in their field of study.

5) Upper division accounting courses have average class sizes of a little over 17 which allow for individual attention for all students.

6) Accounting Scholars Program offers qualified students an opportunity to earn scholarships for summer courses needed to complete the 150 credit hours required for the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) license in four years.

Area of accounting dedicated to examining the financial records of an entity to determine if they are reasonably accurate and in accordance to appropriate rules and regulations.

Financial Accounting
Area of accounting dedicated to recording business transactions and preparing financial statements.

Managerial/Cost Accounting
Area of accounting dedicated to determining the cost of company products and services and making business decisions.

Tax Accounting
Area of accounting dedicated to preparing federal, state, and local tax returns.

Although preparing for the CPA exam is not the ultimate goal for every accounting student, Wartburg ensures students are ready to be successful on this important exam.  Each testing jurisdiction in the United States requires CPA candidates to complete 150 semester hours of college-level education.  Wartburg faculty work closely with students pursuing this path to ensure eligibility upon graduation.  Wartburg’s normal 4-4-1 academic schedule allows students to earn at least 126 credit hours.  Careful planning, adding additional half credit courses (2 credit hours each) each semester, and either bringing in college credit from high school or taking two summer courses allow students to earn the 150 credit hours needed for licensure without incurring additional tuition charges of a fifth year.  Being able to earn a significant income after graduating in four years and avoiding tuition charges for the extra year in college can create a total savings of nearly $70,000!

More information relating to the CPA exam can be found at or .

For students who are not able to take additional courses each semester or do not bring in college credit from high school, Wartburg also offers the Accounting Scholars Program to eligible students.  Recognizing that summer employment helps many students finance college, Wartburg College will award summer school tuition scholarships for up to four classes, the summer after the second academic year. Students must have been accepted into the Accounting Scholars Program and courses must be taken through Wartburg. Applicants for the program must meet the current requirements for a Wartburg College Presidential Scholarship including ACT composite of 23 or higher, top 25 percent high school class rank and high school GPA of at least 3.5. To remain eligible for the program, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA through Winter Term of their second year with the completion of at least 17 course credits. To apply, contact Professor Eric Sommermeyer during your first three semesters at Wartburg College.

Alumni Outcomes

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past Five Years:

  • Audit Senior, EY, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Financial Leadership Program Associate, United Technologies, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Senior Tax Associate, TDT CPAs and Advisors, West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Financial Analyst, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  • Cost Accountant, Cambrex, Charles City, Iowa

Sample Stand-out Alumni Positions:

  • Partner at BKD, LLP, West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Associate Practice Fellow at GASB, Norwalk, Connecticut
  • Controller Minnesota Wild, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Senior Project Manager, CUNA Mutual, Waverly, Iowa
  • Plant Controller, Hormel Foods, Osceola, Iowa


The Whitehouse Business Center houses the Business Administration, Accounting & Economics Department.

Students gain hands-on experience and real world experience. WORTH IT.



Kristopher Blanchard

Assistant Professor of Accounting

Amy Pilcher

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Eric Sommermeyer

Assistant Professor of Accounting