In a Master of Accountancy program, students first complete basic courses in accounting, then focus on controllership and finance. A graduate typically has the knowledge necessary to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam. The program commonly consists of 30 credit hours, which can require three semesters to complete.
A student must hold an accredited bachelor's degree, preferably in accounting or a similar field, for admission. Students who do not have a suitable undergraduate degree may apply to the program, but must typically complete prerequisite courses in finance, accounting and economics.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Accounting with Computers, General
- Financial Accounting
- Managerial Accounting
- Taxation, General
Master's Degree Programs in Controllership
Students complete coursework in corporate finance and learn to prepare financial reports, including balance sheets and income statements. In addition, they learn the critical-thinking skills and ethical values necessary for making sound financial decisions. Courses include communications, ethics, macroeconomics and taxation. Controllership concentration subjects may include:
- Cost analysis
- Risk-taking and decision-making
- Management accounting
- Forensic accounting
- Accounting information systems
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Controllers are financial managers that are typically involved in the organization of a company's financial reports. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a 7% growth in employment for financial managers, including controllers, from 2014-2024, which is around the average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). Competition is predicted to be competitive in this field, and the BLS reports that candidates with master's degrees and professional certifications will have the best opportunities. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for financial managers was $117,990 in May 2015.
Continuing Education and Professional Certifications
Throughout their careers, accountants may choose to attend conferences and take graduate courses in order to keep their skills up to date. An individual who would like to teach at a university level and conduct research on accounting issues can obtain a Ph.D. in Accounting.
Any accountant who files a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission must be a CPA. Accountants attain the CPA designation by passing the CPA exam through their State Board of Accountancy, which is prepared by American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The Institute of Management Accountants offers the CMA designation, which can be obtained by passing a 2-part, 8-hour exam.
Students looking to specialize in controllership must first take coursework in accounting through a Master of Accountancy program. This program prepares students with the skills needed to make financial decisions with courses such as taxation, communication, and cost analysis.