If you want to be an accountant, you might be curious about the Masters in Accounting degree. This graduate-level program prepares graduates to successfully pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and begin advanced careers as auditors, managers and CPAs. Accredited programs take one year of full-time study to complete. Whether you choose to take your Masters in Accounting courses at a traditional brick and mortar institution or through one of the top online Masters in Accounting degree programs, you can expect to take some of the courses described in this article.
Five Popular Masters in Accounting Courses
In the course Accounting Information Systems or, alternatively, Accounting Information System Design, students explore the basics and intricacies of the fundamental infrastructure of accounting information systems that support accounting functions within a firm. Students learn about business information systems, business processes like transactions and data flows, the concepts and tools that govern database usage and auditing within the computer system or information system. This course helps prepare students to pass the CPA exam after graduation. Topics are covered through lectures, hands-on exercises and interactive discussions.
Financial Reporting courses expose students to concepts in financial reporting. Some courses include lessons on applying concepts of fixed assets and cost determination and preparing consolidated financial statements. Other, intermediate-level courses require Principles of Financial Accounting as a prerequisite. The University of Phoenix’s Financial Reporting course presents information as if the students were already document preparers, while the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan tailors its Corporate Financial Reporting course to professionals who use prepared documents to make economic decisions.
Taxation, one of the most popular Masters in Accounting courses, doubles as a specialization track in some programs. Taxation courses cover taxation as it relates to business entities and business owners. Courses may focus on a specific aspect of taxation, like federal taxation and how taxation affects managerial decision-making. Students in these courses learn about tax entities, property transactions, alternative minimum tax, S corporations, LLCs, partnerships and how to calculate basis, gains and losses. Some such courses also include personal taxation matters, like personal investments and estate planning.
The ever-popular auditing courses found within Masters in Accounting degree programs include Principles of Auditing, Auditing and Assurance and Advanced Auditing. Masters in Accounting courses like Principles of Accounting provide theoretical and practical information on decision-making as an auditor and the auditing process as an objective assessment of an organization’s business processes and financial statements, among other relevant processes and records. Unique courses such as Emerging Auditing Technologies at Nova Southeastern University’s H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship introduce students to the latest models and processes.
A surprising number of Masters in Accounting degree programs now offer Masters in Accounting courses that focus on communications, like Business Communications, Communication Skills for the Accounting Profession and Communications for Accountants. These courses teach students to communicate effectively, whether in writing through letters, memos, reports and email, or in person through one-on-one meetings with stakeholders or public speaking engagements with large audiences. Communication courses help students develop their written and oral skills for a professional environment. These Masters in Accounting courses also help prepare students to write the required essays on professional exams.