Master of Accountancy: Degree Overview

Oct 20, 2019

A Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program is a common educational path toward becoming a financial or business professional. This program can also prepare students for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

Essential Information

Master of Accountancy (MAcc) programs are open to students with related undergraduate education. Students can specialize in auditing or taxation. The MAcc programs may offer for-credit internship opportunities to students. During an internship, students may be compensated as they gain experience working with licensed accountants. Some programs include a comprehensive examination as a capstone requirement. A thesis isn't always required for graduation. Applicants are required to have a bachelor's degree in a business field and GRE or GMAT scores.

Master's Degree in Accountancy

While MAcc programs can include some theoretical coursework, most courses focus on the practical applications of accounting. In addition to the accounting coursework, courses from the financial and business programs may be included. Course topics could include:

  • Accounting information systems
  • Taxation
  • Auditing and assurance services
  • Financial accounting
  • Operations management
  • Integrated accounting applications

Popular Career Options

Individuals who complete these programs can find work in the public and private sectors. Those who work in the private sector may manage money for individuals or corporations. Accountants employed by the government work to ensure that state and federal regulations are being followed. Some possible career options include:

  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Cost accountant
  • Staff accountant
  • Accounting manager
  • Internal auditor

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for accountants and auditors are expected to increase by 6% between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than average compared to all career sectors. In May of 2018, the BLS estimated that the annual median salary for these financial professionals was $70,500.

Continuing Education

Accountant positions that require individuals to interact with the Security and Exchange Commission require accountants to be CPAs. While the requirements for becoming a CPA vary by state, typical requirements include an age limit, education level, and passing the Uniform CPA Examination. Continuing education credits are often required to maintain and renew certification.

At the doctoral level, students may enroll in Ph.D. programs in business administration to continue their accounting studies. Accounting may be available as a concentration option within a broader business administration curriculum and can prepare students to go on to careers in academia, consulting, or research.

Students interested in a career as an accountant or auditor can continue their education with a Master of Accountancy degree to make them more desirable employees. The MAcc program can also qualify students for the CPA exam, which may bolster career prospects as well. The job outlook for accountants and auditors is good - the BLS expects a 6% uptick in job openings during the 2018-2028 decade.

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