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Online Master’s in Accountancy (MAcc) 2017-10-12T19:19:27+00:00

Online Master’s in Accountancy Degree Program

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Master's in Accountancy
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If you are pursuing a career in finance, consider an online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree. Facing regulations from both Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, the demand for ethical, highly-skilled accounting professionals is at a premium.

Online Masters of Accountancy Degree MAccThese professionals give an organization a competitive advantage as the penalties for regulatory non-compliance are so onerous. Providing the leadership skills necessary to foster a detail-oriented, morally sound accounting culture is a tenet of the MAcc degree.

What is an Online Master of Accountancy Degree?

An online Masters of Accountancy degree is a graduate level program with online curriculum designed to provide students with a thorough knowledge of the different aspects of accounting.

These include preparing, auditing and filing financial statements, understanding the nuances of different accounting standards and ethical considerations that mitigate risk.

Some people don’t consider a MAcc program, thinking you need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or extensive accounting background to qualify. That is not the case anymore.

For certain online programs, as long as the prerequisite courses have been completed, a student can begin an online MAcc program. Even if the prerequisites haven’t been completed, programs may allow you to take them online and, upon successful completion, enter their MAcc program.

Prerequisites courses vary by school but generally consist of topics such as Financial, Managerial and Cost Accounting. A Masters in Accounting builds on the tools learned in the prerequisite courses allowing the professional to look beyond numbers and see a bigger picture of how financial reporting affects various stakeholders.

Many MAcc programs require students to complete core courses and electives totaling 30 credits. Typical courses include Financial Management, Auditing, Fraud Detection, Managerial Economics, Accounting Communication, Ethics in Accounting and Taxation.

Many programs finish their program with a Capstone class that uses all the material learned in the program. This is typically a research project with the findings summarized and presented to a class and faculty.

Many programs finish their program with a Capstone class that uses all the material learned in the program. This is typically a research project with the findings summarized and presented to a class and faculty.

What Kind of Jobs Can I Get with an Online Master’s of Accountancy Degree?

Graduates of an online MAcc program will be well-prepared for many different career paths in finance.  Graduates work for Big 4 accounting firms, investment banks and various corporate finance departments. Specific jobs in accounting include Public Accountants, Controllers, Auditors, Tax Consultants and Financial Analysts.

There are over 46,000 public accounting firms in the U.S. and many will admire the dedication, competence and ethical leadership a MAcc degree brings to the table.1

There are over 46,000 public accounting firms in the U.S. and many will admire the dedication, competence and ethical leadership a MAcc degree brings to the table.1

The numbers clearly indicate it pays to earn a graduate level degree in accounting. The median compensation for an accounting professional with a Master’s level degree is $86,310, 37% higher than with a bachelor’s degree alone.2   A Master’s degree also opens doors to senior leadership positions such as Controller and Audit Manager. If an ambitious graduate also passes the CPA exam, their compensation typically goes even higher. Understand that many experienced and well-credentialed CPAs go onto serve on Board of Directors and Audit Committees while also serving as consultants and advisors to various companies. Experienced accounting professionals are compensated handsomely for these efforts.

How do I Choose the Right Online MAcc Program?

Choosing the right online MAcc program makes a big difference in helping you land the job in finance you desire. Factors to consider include flexibility, continuously updated curriculum, and engaged alumni. Quicker completion means less opportunity cost being away from work and also quicker timetable for a potential MBA bump in pay, advancement or promotion.

Also, the online platform fits many busy schedules. Accounting standards change frequently so students and professionals alike must keep abreast. Different accounting standards must be considered (GAAP, IFRS) and the pros and cons of each should be well understood.

For example, The University of Scranton offers an online Master of Accountancy degree requiring 30 credit hours which can be completed in as little as ten months or as long as six years. Many students use a Master of Accountancy degree as a stepping stone towards the prestigious Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation.

A valuable resource for Scranton’s MAcc program is access to the CPAexcel® review course designed to cover all the CPA requirements. This course helps candidates pass the CPA exam with a customized exam plan and an extensive database of practice exams delivered in the exact format of the computerized CPA exam. Finally, The University of Scranton’s Accounting Department Professional Council (ADPC) is a group of accounting professionals (mostly alumni) who contribute to the online MAcc program by mentoring students and making sure the curriculum is up to date. 3

Make sure your program ends with a Capstone research project utilizing all the material learned in the program. This bridges the gap between theory and practice in accounting and allows students the chance to polish presentation skills they will likely need in their careers. Capstones provide real-world insight into accounting issues. Ethics are examined in detail which is important since many accounting values involve subjective inputs.

For example, simply overstating inventory by management can have a large ripple effect, making a company appear more financially sound and profitable. This could result in a higher credit rating, potentially allowing the company to sell more debt to the public through a bond offering.

The buyers of the debt (individual investors, pension funds, etc) are buying much riskier debt than they are being led to believe. Companies often use the proceeds from such offerings to buy back shares, increasing the stock price. Many executives have their compensation tied to profitability ratios and stock price performance so you need to be aware of these techniques.

An astute analyst or accountant could compare the inventory levels to sales to detect the fraud. In fact, the company’s shareholders have temporarily benefitted at the expense of longer-term creditors, who are now holding bonds of a riskier company, whether they realize it yet or not.

A Master of Accountancy degree distinguishes you as an accounting professional. It may help you meet CPA’s requirements, help you move up faster in your current organization or and increase compensation. If you’re pursuing a career in accounting, an online Master’s in Accountancy will help put you on the right path.

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Online Master's in Accountancy (MAcc)
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Online Master's in Accountancy (MAcc)
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Considering an Online Master's in Accountancy? The demand for ethical, highly-skilled accounting professionals is at a premium.
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FinancialCareerOptions.com
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