Is a Master of Accountancy for Me?

The career path of the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) learner may be in various specialty areas for a CPA of forensic accounting, auditing, taxes, preparing financial information for public and private companies, or, they may be working toward a Controller or Chief Financial Officer position. A learner could also choose to pursue a MAcc for personal or professional growth and development outside of these areas. The MAcc learner enters the program with considerable accounting, finance, and economics coursework, or equivalent accounting work experience.

The MAcc curriculum is mapped to the four areas of the Uniform CPA Exam*: Auditing and Attestation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Regulation, and Business Environment and Concepts. Essential skills for successfully completing the program include attention to detail, knowledge in word processing and spreadsheets, business procedures, mathematics, and organizational communication skills. Learners develop skills in organizational budgeting, financial decision-making, and ethical reasoning.

What can I do with this degree?

With the MACC, you can be a strong candidate for the CPA exam, which will allow you to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). The options available to accountants, especially with this level of education, are quite varied.

Job Options:

  • Auditor – Corporations and government agencies employ auditors to analyze and check account ledgers and financial statements. It often involves understanding how money is being made within an organization.
  • Budget Analyst – A variety of organizations employ budget analysts to analyze and manage financial plans. Often, negotiations are involved in this type of work.
  • Financial Accountant – A broader reaching accounting position would be a financial accountant who would prepare financial statements and be involved in an organization’s important financial decisions. This could also include long-term financial projections for the organization.
  • Management Accountant – Another broader reaching accounting position would be management accountants. Many different organizations employ management accountants to do capital budgeting and business/cost analysis. This position often manages the organization’s expenses to see that money is being spent where it should be and that financial goals are being met.
  • Tax Accountant – Corporations and individuals alike can be served by tax accountants. This would involve preparing tax statements and determining tax strategies. For corporations, a tax accountant may also assist in financial decisions such as when to expense items and any tax deferrals.

Whether you choose to work for a corporation, a public accounting firm, the government, or even open your own business, a degree in accounting can take you a long way and a master’s degree can take you even farther.

Required Courses

Major Courses

MGMT510 Financial Accounting
MGMT515 Managerial Accounting
MACC511 Legal Aspects of Financial & Commercial Transactions
MACC518 Governmental & Not-for-Profit Accounting Theory & Application
MACC521 Ethics & Regulatory Compliance
MACC531 Federal Income Tax: Planning & Decision Making
MACC541 Accounting Systems & Analysis
MACC551 Managing International Standards
MACC561 Auditing & Forensic Accounting
MACC601 Graduate Project

Course Descriptions

MGMT510 Financial Accounting

Learners concentrate on interpreting financial statement information, using accounting information for decision making and evaluation, and examining current trends in accounting of importance to the manager.

MGMT515 Managerial Accounting

Learners examine the use of accounting information to assist management in planning, analyzing, and implementing business decisions and activities. The course focuses on strategic and operational performance analysis and evaluation.

MACC511 Legal Aspects of Financial and Commercial Transactions

This course is designed to provide learners with sufficient knowledge and understanding to identify and manage legal issues in financial and commercial transactions. This type of understanding requires a knowledge of the operation of business organizations, the various provisions in the Uniform Commercial Code that govern commercial transactions, federal securities regulations, and various other pertinent laws. Accordingly, learners examine the relation of the legal, regulatory, and ethical environment to commercial transactions. These topics are viewed in a real world application or case-study approach. Prerequisites: MGMT510 and MGMT515

MACC518 Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting Theory and Application

This course examines the foundations and applications of accounting theory, practice and reporting issues as they relate to governmental or not-for-profit organizations. Topics include the governmental accounting, accounting records in government, fund allocation, government-wide reporting, not-for-profit accounting, financial reporting, and governmental performance measures. An introduction to government and not-for-profit auditing is also provided. Prerequisites: MGMT510 and MGMT515

MACC521 Ethics and Regulatory Compliance

The role of professional ethics is explored in detail and considered in the context of laws, regulatory compliance, and the organization’s culture. Current state, national and international regulatory developments are addressed. Analysis of situations of potential and actual ethical conflict, professional responsibility and values, legal requirements, and codes of professional conduct related to the accounting profession will be highlighted. Prerequisites: MGMT510 and MGMT515

MACC531 Federal Income Tax: Planning and Decision Making

This course is a case study–based, problem oriented examination of fundamental federal tax process, procedures, accounting and planning. Tax consequences of common business and property transactions, issues and controversies are explored in-depth. The course will cover the topics of gift and estate transactions, taxation of property transactions, individuals and entities (which include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability entities, C corporations, S corporations, joint ventures, trusts, estates, and tax exempt organizations). Emphasis is on applying tax laws with regards to taxation of entities and individuals, as opposed to learning individual tax rules. Prerequisites: MGMT510 and MGMT515

MACC541 Accounting Systems and Analysis

Learners focus on the analytical tools necessary to evaluate users’ accounting information needs and to design, implement and maintain an accounting information system to support business processes and cycles. This will include computerized accounting information or relational database management systems, management needs and reporting objectives, transaction trails, traditional flow charts and data-flow diagrams, documentation, application access controls, security and internal controls, internet-related controls particularly in e-commerce environments, and integration of accounting systems in software evaluation and selection. Prerequisites: MGMT510 and MGMT515

MACC551 Managing International Standards

This course examines the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by leveraging comparisons between US GAAP and IFRS. Key to the course are the links between underlying transactions, the application of reporting standards for those transactions, and the financial reports prepared under IFRS. A theoretical and technical examination of the implications of IFRS adoption or convergence in the United States will be highlighted and consideration will be given to international organizations and the role of regulators. Prerequisites: MGMT510 and MGMT515

MACC561 Auditing and Forensic Accounting

This course provides an in-depth examination of generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS), as well as standards for attestation and other review services. Professional ethical and legal responsibilities are examined as they relate to internal controls, audit risk, risk assessment and audit program planning. Emphasis is on the use of forensic accounting techniques to analyze what is behind the data generated by the accounting system, to detect internal control weaknesses and to map out a fraud investigation program. Prerequisites: MGMT510 and MGMT515

MACC601 Graduate Project

All learners in the Master of Accountancy program will be required to submit a professional electronic capstone portfolio as a requirement in this course. Learners integrate the college’s core learning outcomes (e.g., critical thinking, communication, ethical reasoning, leadership, use of technology) relating to both treasury and accounting responsibilities from the perspective of a chief financial officer. For example, learners may prepare a set of financial statements for a public company including the quarterly 10Q and the annual 10K. Learners’ projects from this course are included in the final capstone portfolio. The capstone portfolio is a tool for learners to document and demonstrate they have met specific institutional and program learning outcomes.Prerequisite: Completion of all courses in the learners’ program.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted into the Master of Accountancy program, candidates must submit the following:

Southwestern College Professional Studies Graduate Program Application form – Application forms are accepted on an ongoing basis. No application admission fee is charged. Complete the online application.

Official transcripts of all prior college/university coursework – Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree in accounting or in any related area of study from a regionally accredited institution with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).

Print a copy of the transcript request form and mail the request to the institution which awarded your bachelor’s degree.

Two confidential letters of recommendation – using the Graduate Recommendation Form (at least one from a current or former employer).

A one page Admissions Essay – submit your written statement electronically to or via mail or fax to 316.688.5218.

Resume- Applicants should have at least three years of professional work experience.

All international learners must show evidence of their English language ability by providing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) report. A score of 550 (paper test) or 213 (computer-based test) on the TOEFL is considered the minimum acceptable for admission to the MSL program.

Applicants who hold bachelor’s degrees from a U.S. institution or from an institution in another English-only speaking country will receive a waiver of the TOEFL. Applicants who are from native English speaking countries are not required to take the TOEFL.

Admission requirements may differ for international learners, or for learners whose undergraduate degrees were awarded outside of the United States. Please contact an admissions counselor for more details.

In addition to the above, it is recommended that candidates have a working knowledge of word processing and presentation software.

A candidate’s file must be complete before an admissions decision may be made. It is the responsibility of each candidate to provide all of the information requested above. Candidates will receive a letter of admission to the program.