Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) Programs

Jul 18, 2018

Students interested in pursuing their CPA credential may wish to earn a Master of Professional Accountancy degree. Learn about some of the common courses and admission requirements for these programs.

Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) degree programs are fairly common and typically take 1 to 2 years to complete. These degree programs help prepare students to be accounting and auditing professionals and sit for the CPA exam. Explore the program and some of its requirements here.

Information for Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) Programs

Some MPAc programs offer additional concentrations, such as tax, as well as different tracks based on an applicant's undergraduate education. Specific courses in these programs may vary, but some of the more common courses are discussed below.

Accounting Ethics

It is common for these degree programs to require students to take a course that focuses on the ethical responsibilities of auditors and accountants. Students explore ethics in business and discuss ethical decision-making as well as codes of conduct and laws pertaining to accountants and auditors. Some of these courses may be used as a capstone course and include a comprehensive exam.

Auditing and Assurance Services

Students in these programs typically take a foundational and/or advanced course in auditing and assurance services. Foundational courses may provide a broader overview of the history of the subject and explore foundational concepts, like audit evidence, measurement theory, internal control and risk assessment. Advanced courses examine such topics as fraud and how to detect it as well as other current issues in auditing.

Financial Statement Analysis

Financial statement analysis courses train students to properly analyze data from financial reports and interpret financial accounting information. Students may then learn how to apply this information to forecasting and help predict an organization's financial performance. Specific topics in these courses may include cash flow analysis, valuation, profitability and financial reporting quality.

Managerial and Cost Accounting

These courses study the different accounting information that needs to be incorporated into managerial planning and control. Students examine the design of cost information and the procedures used to monitor program costs. These courses may discuss topics in cost estimation, the use of computers in cost accounting, performance evaluation and budgeting.

Research and Communication

Courses in research and communication introduce students to professional research in the field and further develop their oral and written communication skills. Students familiarize themselves with different financial databases used in business research and study technical topics within current accounting literature. Typically, these courses then require students to write and/or present their findings on a particular topic of research.

Common Entrance Requirements

Applicants from any educational background are usually welcome to apply to MPAc degree programs, but some programs require specific business-related coursework to be completed prior to entrance (hence different tracks in some programs). Some of these programs require students to take the GMAT, but other programs may also accept GRE scores. Applicants are typically asked to complete the appropriate application and submit official transcripts and test scores, letters of recommendation, a resume/CV and a statement of purpose and/or essays. Some programs may invite applicants to then participate in an interview process.

MPAc degree programs are designed for individuals wanting to become accounting and auditing professionals. These programs prepare students for the CPA exam and can be completed in as little as a year.

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