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Masters In Accounting

Are you seeing yourself as Accounting Consultant, Certified Public Accountant or an auditor in the accounting field? If your answer is yes then you would most probably consider enrolling in a masters in accounting program.

Master in Accounting is an enhanced version of graduate accounting programs that are specially targeted towards students who are interested to work in the field of finance & accounting. It is not only focused on providing in-depth knowledge in finance and accounting but also imparts a defined skill set.

Masters in Accounting is also referred to as Master of accounting (MAcc or Mac), Masters of Science in Accounting (MSA) or Masters of Professional Accounting (MPAcy, MPAc or MPAcc). Most of the accounting programs which provide MAcc degree are designed considering the Certified Public Accountant profile and they ensure students will fulfill basic requirements in order to become CPAs. This program is of 12 months duration and provides the extra credit hours to meet the exceeding credit hour requirements.

Why choose Masters in Accounting?

If you’re looking for a career in the field of accounting than Master in accounting is the best choice for you. Following are some of the reasons that you can consider as key points before enrolling yourself for the program:

Practical approach: Masters in Accounting is a more practical and skill-oriented program since it is more focused towards developing analytical and technical skills and helps in professional development.

Advancement of Technology: In the field of accounting, Debit & Credit is replaced by new technology. Masters in accounting gives you a broad overview of the various software for tax, accounting, and other business services such as MYOB and Xero which make your work (Accounting, Bookkeeping etc) much easier.

Higher Pay Rate: Pay rates are considered as crucial factors while choosing a career field. No doubt, this field pays really well with accountants not only being paid higher salary but simultaneously achieving good growth rate as well.

International Recognition: Masters in accounting is an internationally recognized degree so; it will give you numerous opportunities to explore your skills in the international arena.

What are the key Requirements for Masters in Accounting?

Before filling up the admission application for Masters in accounting, you should fulfill these criteria:

Average Age: Average age differs according to the profile of the candidates. Freshly graduated candidates should not be older than 25 while people with job experience should preferably be older than 25. The ideal average age for MS in Accounting is under 32.

GMAT : The major skills that are tested on your GMAT are Analytical writing, Quantitative analysis skills are and verbal skills. Your ideal score should be 650 or above, which is a satisfactory GMAT score but there are some schools which look for 650 or higher score in their school application.

Educational Background: Before you enroll yourself for Masters in Accounting you must have completed some courses relating to accounting and finance such as Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting or Intermediate Accounting 1 or 2.

What are the key skills for Masters in Accounting?

There are some practical skills which you have to develop or understand to use the latest financial tools or trends.

Analytical Skill: Masters in Accounting is about practical skills because as an accounting professional you might have to work on reducing client’s tax liability by looking at their finances or you might be analyzed big database to find instances of people misusing funds. You should be able to analyze numbers and figures in data sheets its primary and most important skills for this particular degree.

Organizational Skill: Masters in Accounting required organizational skills because in the field of accounting you have to work & manage a range of client’s documents for example:

  • Assets Management
  • Corporate reports
  • Credit Management
  • Quick Books
  • Special Report
  • Business Report

Detail Oriented: Masters in Accounting is more about paying attention to little details because in future as account professional you have to go throw to the vast database and they must analyze and interpret. This task required focused on small details.

Information Technology: We are in the digital era there is an evolution in technology there are a variety of computer programs and systems for accounting professional and you must have basic knowledge of this finance-related software.

  • MS Access
  • MS Excel
  • Quick Books
    Interpersonal Communication: Communication skills play a major role in each and every profession and being Accountant professional you must have to communicate with clients, other department and your colleagues and the communication can be in person, email or over call so your written and oral communication must be strong to present complex mathematical ideas in an accessible way.

What is the Program Structure for
Master in Accounting?

Master in Accounting is a combination of lectures, case studies, seminar classes, and project works. It is a 12-24 months program and students have to complete 30 to 36 credits to qualify for their degree. The program is focused on explaining the role of accounting and financial management and applying technical financial accounting skills in an organization. It describes both qualitative and quantitative business methods and applies methods that are relevant to the workplace. Apart from that it also gives a brief overview of accounting information system concepts and auditing principles.

Masters in Accounting Curriculum:

Master in accounting is focused on advanced level finance & accounting topics, the methods, and theory. The common Coursework for a master in accounting are:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Accounting theory and Application
  • Auditing
  • Taxation practices for accountants
  • Accounting principle
  • Applied Research
  • Economics for Business
  • Managerial Finance
  • Professional Portfolio

What are the Specializations for Master in Accounting?

Tax Accounting: Tax accounting is focused towards Tax related issues and covers tasks such as local, state and federal tax returns, preparing financial statements, annual tax provision calculation, and tax balance sheet. In this particular specialization, you will learn about the fundamentals of tax accounting, Tax law, tax process and control, federal taxation, business taxation, tax strategy, etc.

Forensic Accounting: Forensic Accounting is a mixture of accounting, Research or Investigation and Law. It covers legal procedure, Investigation, Law and provides insights on how to manage internal auditing, how to perform fraud examination and how to give expert statements. You will get insights into the legal system and you will learn about fundamental of forensic accounting, electronic crime, Insurance claims, Fraud, and bankruptcy.

Financial Accounting and Management Accounting: Financial accounting deals with analyzing financial data and accounting information for people who are not part of the organization but they are somehow connected to the organization such as stockholder, suppliers, Banks, Creditors, and government agencies. In this particular specialization, you will get a detailed overview of financial accounting law, the local and international accounting standard and how to create a financial report for the organization.

Economics and Finance: In this specialization, you will learn about quantitative methodology, economic theory, and the international finance market. This specialization will help you can get a job of a financial adviser in banks or Investment firms.

Well, this is not it. Apart from these specializations, there is still a lot to explore and choose from such as financial Management, budget analysis, business management financial reporting, etc.

What are the Career Opportunity after Master in Accounting?

Accounting is more about understanding tax law, risk management, keeping accurate records and understanding each and everything related to the field of accounting. Master in accounting also provides various job profiles for people with this qualification.

Auditor: An Auditor’s job is to maintain all financial records and validate the income and expense of the organization. Every good organization has its own auditor to ensure that the money is well spent and even the government has its own auditors and they are often sent to different organizations to make sure that all taxes are paid.

Actuaries: An Actuaries job is to create specific policies for the organization to minimize risk within the organization. For this job profile, you must have in-depth knowledge of finance, business, and statistics and must have a good skill set for creating and authenticating paperwork.

Budget Analyst: A Budget Analyst’s job is to plan quarterly or yearly working budget. Their aim is to create Budget strategy considering their current financial situation to do productive investment so the organization doesn’t overspend.

Compliance Manager: A Compliance Manager is a person who is responsible for finishing all financial reporting and documentation services for an organization. It includes filling taxes, handling audit, checking accuracy in record keeping and other financial work.

Forensic Accountant: These are the professionals who work for law enforcement. They analyze the documents to find out crimes committed and they also look for irregularities in the documents. Mostly Lawyers hire forensic accountants to help them in their case especially for paperwork and documentation.

Risk Analyst: A Risk Analyst’s job is to analyze and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of an organization and on the basis of the analysis they create a financial plan about how money should be used in an organization.

Treasures: Treasurers are the persons who are responsible for handling organization funds. Generally treasurers’ work in the private sector but Master in accounting can help them to lead at the government sector as well.

The median salary for an accountant was $68,150 annually in May 2016 and the salary range for an accountant with a master degree is $52,000 to $135,000.

One of the fastest job growths over the next decade is predicted for the profession of accounting, as stated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It has predicted that accountants and auditors will be required in the market by a margin of 10.7% from 2014 to 2024. The only need for accounting professionals is to master their skills and be well versed in their field of work.

What is the difference between a Master in Accounting and MBA?

There are various graduate programs for a professional accountant but the most sought-after degrees are Master of Accounting and MBA in Accounting. The MBA in accounting is a traditional program that gives a broad overview of business management but the Master in accounting is narrowly focused on accounting. “The US News and World Reports states in one its comparative studies that MBA and Accountancy graduates will differ in their field of work based on the broader aspects of MBA and specialization provided by a Master in Accountancy. “

(Source: Ohio University)

The major difference between these programs is their duration. MBA in accounting has 2 years accounting frame but Masters in accounting can be completed in 12 to 16 months.

MBA is more theoretical and it gives an overview of the business landscape and its coursework includes marketing, economics, entrepreneurship but Master in accounting is more specialized than MBA. Master in accounting is focused on accounting theories and practical work to set skills which are required in accounting professionals. Its coursework includes Tax research, Tax procedure, Auditing theory and Financial Accounting etc.

If you have keen interest in accounting and want to make your career in the field of accounting then you should go for Master in accounting because it will help you to reach 150 hours threshold to qualify for your CPA exam but if you’re looking for a diverse skill set or you want to start your venture in that particular case you can go for MBA in Accounting.

US News Top Masters of Accounting Schools

US News ranked the following schools as having the top 10 accounting graduate programs in the country based on factors such as recruiter assessment, mean starting salary, employment rates, and student selectivity.

1. University of Texas-Austin (McCombs)

2. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

3. University of Chicago (Booth)

4. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

5. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (Ross)

6. Stanford University

7. Brigham Young (Marriott)

8. University of Southern California (Marshall)

9. New York University (Stern)

10. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)

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