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M.Ac. Specializations

Financial Accounting/Auditing Business Analytics Managerial Accounting Tax

The environment in which both internal and external auditors operate is becoming increasingly complex. This complexity manifests itself in four ways. First, advances in technology are changing the way business is conducted; electronic commerce is replacing paper-based transactions. Second, markets are no longer limited by national boundaries. Firms must now be competitive on a global scale. Third, management information systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated in response to the revolution in commerce. Fourth, the explosion in the popularity and complexity of financial instruments and derivative securities has exposed auditors to new risks.

This new environment requires increased auditor sophistication in the areas of information systems and finance. Acknowledging this need, we have expanded the course work required in these two areas to increase the marketability of students interested in pursuing careers in auditing, assurance services, and corporate finance.

Students interested in the financial/auditing track will complete the following courses:

Accounting Courses

All of these:

ACCT:9040 Financial Information and Capital Markets (3 s.h.)
Use of corporate financial statements for investment and lending decisions; emphasis on financial analysis techniques, valuation, business analysis, cash flow projections, credit scoring, and related research testing.

ACCT:9130 Financial Reporting: Theory and Practice (3 s.h.)
Corporate accounting choices in framework of traditional accounting theory, economic consequences, and firm valuation.

ACCT:9140 Advanced Auditing (3 s.h.)
Enhance understanding of the fundamental concepts of the auditing discipline, improve critical-thinking and analytical skills in the context of real-world problems involving risk, understand a framework that can be used to audit a company's internal controls in accordance with the provisions of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, continue development of communication skills, and instill a desire to appreciate the value of integrity and ethical behavior.

One of these:

ACCT:9050 Taxes and Business Strategy (3 s.h.)
Effect of taxes on business decisions, including investment strategies, capital structure decisions, compensation policies, international business, mergers and acquisitions, and financial reporting.

ACCT:9120 Design and Use of Cost Management Systems (3 s.h.)
Development of cost accumulation and reporting systems for a firm's strategy and structure; how activity-based cost management systems increase a firm's competitiveness by managing its costs, processes, and people.

Business Analytics Courses

MSCI:9210 Introduction to Modeling with VBA (3 s.h.)
Introduction to programming Visual Basic for Applications in Excel; case studies in finance, marketing, operations, accounting.

MSCI:9230 Database Systems (3 s.h.)
Theories and methodologies for semantic, logical, and physical database design; entity/relationship diagrams and their mapping to database schemas; normalization; languages for relational database systems, including relational algebra, Structured Query Language, query by example; query optimization and index selection; database and view creation, query and update processing; form and report design; practice with commercial DBMS products; integrity, security, concurrency control, transaction recovery.

Finance Courses

MBA:8180 Managerial Finance (3 s.h.)
Asset valuation and capital budgeting under uncertainty, interactions with "efficient" capital markets, analyzing financial statements, decisions on capital structure, issuing nontraditional financial instruments, coping with mergers. Requires consent of the M.B.A. office.

One additional finance course numbered above 5000 (3 s.h.)

General Electives (6 s.h.)

Total: 30 s.h.

Both national and local employment trends are creating a new environment for our students. We are seeing an expanding emphasis on data analytics in both consulting and assurance services. The goal of the business analytics specialization is to prepare students for a variety of careers including consulting and assurance services.

Students specializing in business analytics will complete the following courses:

Accounting Courses

ACCT:9120 Design and Use of Cost Management Systems (3 s.h.)
Development of cost accumulation and reporting systems for a firm's strategy and structure; how activity-based cost management systems increase a firm's competitiveness by managing its costs, processes, and people.

Two of these (total of 6 s.h.):

ACCT:9050 Taxes and Business Strategy (3 s.h.)
Effect of taxes on business decisions, including investment strategies, capital structure decisions, compensation policies, international business, mergers and acquisitions, and financial reporting.

ACCT:9130 Financial Reporting: Theory and Practice (3 s.h.)
Corporate accounting choices in framework of traditional accounting theory, economic consequences, and firm valuation.

ACCT:9140 Advanced Auditing (3 s.h.)
Enhance understanding of the fundamental concepts of the auditing discipline, improve critical-thinking and analytical skills in the context of real-world problems involving risk, understand a framework that can be used to audit a company's internal controls in accordance with the provisions of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, continue development of communication skills, and instill a desire to appreciate the value of integrity and ethical behavior.

One of these, not already taken (3 s.h.):

ACCT:9040 Financial Information and Capital Markets (3 s.h.)
Use of corporate financial statements for investment and lending decisions; emphasis on financial analysis techniques, valuation, business analysis, cash flow projections, credit scoring, and related research evidence.

ACCT:9050 See description above.

ACCT:9130 See description above.

ACCT:9140 See description above.

ACCT:9150 Tax Research (3 s.h.)
Deciding what research is needed, evaluating tax materials, developing facility with electronic and printed tax materials.

Business Analytics Courses

MSCI:9210 Introduction to Modeling with VBA (3 s.h.)
Introduction to programming Visual Basic for Applications in Excel; case studies in finance, marketing, operations, accounting.

Three business analytics courses (prefix CS or MSCI) numbered above 5000 (9 s.h.)

General Electives (6 s.h.)

Total: 30 s.h.

The accounting professional has become a part of the management team rather than a stand-alone information provider. The successful accountant must understand issues in functional areas such as marketing and production and keep current with changes in management philosophy. The increasing sophistication of management information systems adds to the complexity of providing timely and relevant information to operating personnel. The courses that constitute the managerial accounting concentration have been chosen to help students acquire the background to perform this complex role. This concentration is suitable for students who intend to seek careers as management/cost accountants in organizations, in the controller's office, and in manufacturing consulting.

Students pursuing this concentration will complete the following courses:

Accounting Courses

ACCT:9120 Design and Use of Cost Management Systems (3 s.h.)
Development of cost accumulation and reporting systems for a firm's strategy and structure; how activity-based cost management systems increase a firm's competitiveness by managing its costs, processes, and people.

Two of these (6 s.h.):

ACCT:9050 Taxes and Business Strategy (3 s.h.)
Effect of taxes on business decisions, including investment strategies, capital structure decisions, compensation policies, international business, mergers and acquisitions, and financial reporting.

ACCT:9130 Financial Reporting: Theory and Practice (3 s.h.)
Corporate accounting choices in framework of traditional accounting theory, economic consequences, and firm valuation.

ACCT:9140 Advanced Auditing (3 s.h.)
Enhance understanding of the fundamental concepts of the auditing discipline, improve critical-thinking and analytical skills in the context of real-world problems involving risk, understand a framework that can be used to audit a company's internal controls in accordance with the provisions of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, continue development of communication skills, and instill a desire to appreciate the value of integrity and ethical behavior.

One of these, not already taken (3 s.h.):

ACCT:9040 Financial Information and Capital Markets (3 s.h.)
Use of corporate financial statements for investment and lending decisions; emphasis on financial analysis techniques, valuation, business analysis, cash flow projections, credit scoring, and related research evidence.

ACCT:9050 See description above.

ACCT:9130 See description above.

ACCT:9140 See description above.

ACCT:9150 Tax Research (3 s.h.)
Deciding what research is needed, evaluating tax materials, developing facility with electronics and printed tax materials.

Business Analytics Courses

MSCI:9210 Introduction to Modeling with VBA (3 s.h.)
Introduction to programming Visual Basic for Applications in Excel; case studies in finance, marketing, operations, accounting.

MSCI:9230 Database Systems (3 s.h.)
Theories and methodologies for semantic, logical, and physical database design; entity/relationship diagrams and their mapping to database schemas; normalization; languages for relational database systems, including relational algebra, Structured Query Language, query by example; query optimization and index selection; database and view creation, query and update processing; form and report design; practice with commercial DBMS products; integrity, security, concurrency control, transaction recovery.

Graduate Business Electives Outside Accounting

Two business electives numbered above 5000 (6 s.h.)

General Electives (6 s.h.)

Total: 30 s.h.

The demand for tax specialists remains high. Firms in public accounting and in industry seek to hire graduates who have specialized in tax. Because businesses often face complex and contradictory tax, regulatory, and business issues, the activities performed by entry-level tax specialists require an in-depth understanding of not only current and emerging tax issues but also business issues. The required tax track courses provide a basic understanding of tax as it is practiced today. More importantly, tax track graduates will have sufficient background to do the research necessary to find and communicate tax solutions in whatever tax environment Congress creates.

Students interested in the tax track will complete the following courses:

Accounting Courses

Two of these (6 s.h.):

ACCT:9120 Design and Use of Cost Management Systems (3 s.h.)
Development of cost accumulation and reporting systems for a firm's strategy and structure; how activity-based cost management systems increase a firm's competitiveness by managing its costs, processes, and people.

ACCT:9130 Financial Reporting: Theory and Practice (3 s.h.)
Corporate accounting choices in framework of traditional accounting theory, economic consequences, and firm valuation.

ACCT:9140 Advanced Auditing (3 s.h.)
Enhance understanding of the fundamental concepts of the auditing discipline, improve critical-thinking and analytical skills in the context of real-world problems involving risk, understand a framework that can be used to audit a company's internal controls in accordance with the provisions of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, continue development of communication skills, and instill a desire to appreciate the value of integrity and ethical behavior.

One of these, not already taken (3 s.h.):

ACCT:9040 Financial Information and Capital Markets (3 s.h.)
Use of corporate financial statements for investment and lending decisions; emphasis on financial analysis techniques, valuation, business analysis, cash flow projections, credit scoring, and related research evidence.

ACCT:9120 See description above.

ACCT:9130 See description above.

ACCT:9140 See description above.

ACCT:9150 Tax Research (3 s.h.)
Deciding what research is needed, evaluating tax materials, developing facility with electronics and printed tax materials.

Tax Specialization

ACCT:9050 Taxes and Business Strategy (3 s.h.)
Effect of taxes on business decisions, including investment strategies, financial policies; emphasis on tax planning, evaluating tax consequences of business decisions.

ACCT:9150 Tax Research (3 s.h.)
Deciding what research is needed, evaluating tax materials, developing facility with electronic and printed tax materials. Prerequisite: 6A:141 Advanced Tax Topics.

Two College of Law tax courses (6 s.h.)

General Electives (9 s.h.)

Total: 30 s.h.