Master of Accountancy in Financial Accounting Curriculum

The Master of Accountancy in Financial Accounting is a 30-credit program that is broken up into full-time and part-time sessions. Fifteen credits are earned in-person during the summer session, when students are enrolled on a full-time basis. The remaining credits are earned online and part-time in the fall and spring semesters. Advanced standing is available for qualified courses.

Core Courses

(15 credits)

The summer session is taught in two five-week sessions, with two classes per session held on the Livingston campus in New Brunswick/Piscataway and the Newark Campus. The first session begins in May, and the second session immediately follows in July. Two courses are taught in each session, with each class meeting twice a week. A fifth course, Advanced Auditing & Accounting Information Systems, spans the two five-week sessions.

Course # Title Credits
22:010:660 Accounting in the Digital Era 3
22:835:628 Advanced Accounting Research 3
22:835:626 Advanced Auditing & Accounting Information Systems 3
22:010:688 Audit Analytics 3
22:010:645 Decoding of Corporate Financial Communication 3

 

Electives
(15 credits)

Remaining electives are taken on a part-time basis online in the fall and spring semesters. Students choose from available electives designated by the Department of Accounting & Information Systems, subject to the approval of the director. Becuase of their placement on the Uniform CPA Examination, students are strongly encouraged to select Governmental Accounting and Auditing, as well as Ethics in Business as electives.

Course # Title Credits
22:010:630 Advanced Tax Research 3
22:010:692 Advanced Topics in Business Law 3
22:010:665 Business Valuations 3
22:373:619 Ethics in Business 3
22:010:682 Financial Analysis and Financial Risk Management 3
22:010:664 Forensic Accounting 3
22:010:551 Governmental Accounting and Auditing 3
22:010:627 Information Risk Management 3
22:010:666  Litigation, Support & Bankruptcy 3
22:010:607  Management Controls in Nonprofit Organizations 3
22:010:690 Special Topics in Audit Analytics 3
22:010:680 Strategic Cost Analysis for Financial Management 3

 

Course Descriptions

22:010:660 - (3 cr)
Accounting for Digital Era

This course provides the student with the evolution of accounting information to the digital economy. It explores the migration of the economy to a real time economy and the electronization of the business as well as the globalization of business. Enabling and emerging technologies provides the student with an awareness of the future of accounting, reporting and auditing in the digital age. Technologies and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act provide an understanding about future methodologies that address compliance with the Act.

22:835:628 - (3 cr)
Advanced Accounting Research

The goal of this course is to give you the opportunity to use various aspects of your analytical accounting skills to analyze real-world problems. It is an independent study in which teams address accounting issues and research authoritative literature to prepare suggested solutions to the issue. It is an excellent course for professionals who enter public accounting in that it helps a student develop a methodology in researching the authoritative literature.

22:835:626 - (3 cr)
Advanced Auditing & Accounting Information Systems

The course adds to the knowledge of future accounting and auditing professionals who have taken the prerequisite course, "Auditing," by becoming familiar with the technologies use in Accounting Information System and related IT audit methodology. The emphasis of this course is to assist students in (1) obtaining an understanding of the risks associated with key aspects of information systems including: operating systems security, databases, networks, and systems development; and the audit role of Computer Assisted Audit Tools and Techniques (CAATTs); and (2) having a working command of ACL in performing standard attest function tests and fraud detection.

22:010:630 - (3 cr)
Advanced Tax Research

This course covers the tax research environment including rules and ethics in tax practice. Emphasis is on learning how to research tax problems by locating, understanding and analyzing source materials such as the Internal Revenue Code, IRS Regulations, and Court Cases. This course is offered in August, but is technically considered a Fall course. Students interested in this course must attend an overview session on the Newark campus in July.

Prerequisite: Undergraduate Tax Course

22:010:692 - (3 cr)
Advanced Topics in Business Law

This course provides students with comprehensive coverage of advanced principles and concepts of contract law and other areas relevant to legal considerations in business operations. Many of the more complex statutes and regulations that govern the conduct of business in the United States are also discussed.

The Course begins with a study of the common law of contracts, and progresses from there to a detailed analysis of commercial transactions, the law of negotiable instruments, agency and employment law, and bankruptcy law. The last half of the course consists of the study of business organizations and business ethics. In this phase of the class, the student learns about the law governing the creation and operation of business entities in various forms, including proprietorships, partnerships, limited partnerships, corporations, limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies. All aspects of these organizational structures are studied in detail: formation, operation, liquidation and termination. In addition, the corporate legal structure and operation of publicly traded companies is discussed at length, with the goal of giving the student a clear and comprehensive understanding of the complexities securities law and ethical behavior and accountability in the corporate environment.

Students who successfully complete the course are expected to come away with a working knowledge of legal terms, principles, and statutes and also with an in-depth understanding the legal aspects of all commonly encountered business structures. Students will be knowledgeable about more complex ethical, and business legal issues, and will appreciate the need for an understanding of the laws that govern various business activities. Finally, students are taught additional principles and concepts critical to success on the CPA examination.

22:010:688 - (3 cr)
Audit Analytics

This course, is intended to students with the basics of the application of analytics in the (internal and external) audit process in current ubiquitous computer-based information systems and their application in organizations. The course does not primarily focus on the technical aspects of analytic methods, though these topics will be discussed largely in the context of case examples: thus, the emphasis is on the usage of statistics and the interpretation of results rather than the mathematics of specific tools and techniques.

22:010:665 - (3 cr)
Business Valuations

This course is designed in two components: 1. the principles of valuing assets and going concern and 2. various applications. FASB Statement of Standards157 contains new standards of valuation, which makes a full understanding of differing standards for valuation essential. The various methods of determining value, such as discounted cash flow, are also covered in this first section. The application section will consider accounting, tax, human resource and transaction applications of the principles and methods for valuing assets and enterprises. Course format is lecture based on an overall text, special topic material, a case study where a valuation will be performed and limited research to introduce students to met hods for identifying differing views and technical rules in application.

22:010:661 - (3 cr)
Contemporary Issues in Corporate Governance

This course introduces students to the corporate governance mechanism, especially focusing on accounting issues of corporate governance. Considerable stress is placed on internal controls and monitoring by independent auditors, which have been emphasized by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.  Other topics include earnings management, transparency and timeliness of financial disclosures, and the role of independent corporate boards, including independent audit committees, in ensuring reliability of financial disclosures.  The course also evaluates the role played by institutional investors, ownership structure and managerial compensation in the firm's operating performance and valuation.

22:010:645 - (3 cr)
Decoding of Corporate Financial Communication

This course is designed to strengthen your ability to understand and interpret key corporate reports and disclosures. The course begins with exploring incentives for corporations to communicate, user groups to which they communicate, and various forms and channels of communication. We then consider major corporate reporting mechanisms such as the Annual Report, Form 10K, Form 8K, and Form 10Q, as well as voluntary disclosures.  We will spend discuss interpreting and understanding comparison of financial information and disclosure within and across industries. Throughout the course we will discuss key financial statement analysis tools including: ratio analysis, working capital, asset management, return on assets, return on equity, the impact of debt on the capital structure. We will also study the impact of fixed and variable costs and will link this to operating and financial leverage. The ability to analyze, interpret and manage a firm's financial statements with an emphasis on understanding the reporting choices available to management is an invaluable skill-set. The course will emphasize the interpretation, evaluation, and application of financial accounting concepts and theory. We will emphasize communication skills, critical thinking, decision-making skills, and real-world issues in accounting including but not limited to financial malfeasance and ethics.

22:373:619 - (3 cr)
Ethics in Business

Covers such topics as free markets and regulation, moral responsibility of senior managers, corporate strategy and stockholder relations, the environment, product safety, employee rights, corporate culture and group think, racial and sexual discrimination, affirmative action, the responsibilities of American companies abroad, and leveraged buyouts. Text, articles, case studies, and fictional works will be employed.

22:010:682 - (3 cr)
Financial Analysis and Financial Risk Management

The Financial Analysis and Financial Risk Management course is designed to create an understanding of the application of strategic cost management principles for business organizations, and to provide an opportunity to develop skills in applying these principles through problems and cases.  The management accountant’s role is to provide timely and accurate information to assist management in achieving the firm’s goals.  This is an integrative role, which requires the management accountant to understand the firm’s strategy, and to understand how both financial and non-financial information is developed across all the management functions – finance, marketing, operations, information technology, and human resources.

The main objectives of this course are to understand the fundamentals of management accounting, including the strategic role of cost management, basic cost terms and concepts, the accountant’s ethical responsibility, and determining product costs. Learn how to use costs and other critical success factors in management planning and decision-making and apply the use of costs and other critical success factors in operational control.

22:010:664 - (3 cr)
Forensic Accounting

Forensic accountants must be able to recognize various types of fraud and have the skills to investigate fraud. Having the skills to investigate fraud requires a keen mind, skillful observation, careful documentation, perceptive interviewing, tracing transactions, etc., through a documentary record, and the ability to reconstruct a documentary record, as needs be. Obviously, as well, forensic accountants should be skilled at drawing evidence from the facts/evidence gathered during the investigation. Given that preventing fraud is more efficient than detecting it, forensic accountants should know how to prevent fraud as well.

22:010:551 - (3 cr)
Governmental Accounting and Auditing

The basic principles of fund accounting are covered, including the analysis of financial management systems applicable to local government units. This course also introduces students to major pronouncements of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). An introduction to government auditing is also provided, including a review of Government Auditing Standards, promulgated by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO). The Single Audit requirements for state and local governments are also covered.

22:010:627 - (3 cr)
Information Risk Management

The Litigation and Bankruptcy course will expose students to practical litigation concepts and issues relating to calculating economic damages and lost profits, marital distributions, deposition and trial testimony techniques, providing bankruptcy services to attorneys and trustees, and models used in preparing various related reports. This course is intended to provide students with an understanding of the various roles an accountant, economist or other financial related individual may have in the litigation arena.

22:010:666 - (3 cr)
Litigation, Support & Bankruptcy

The Litigation and Bankruptcy course will expose students to practical litigation concepts and issues relating to calculating economic damages and lost profits, marital distributions, deposition and trial testimony techniques, providing bankruptcy services to attorneys and trustees, and models used in preparing various related reports. This course is intended to provide students with an understanding of the various roles an accountant, economist or other financial related individual may have in the litigation arena.

22:010:607 - (3 cr)
Management Controls in Nonprofit Organizations

This course presents the most commonly used accounting and control programs in nonprofit organizations. The course is heavily case oriented in order to get students to consider accounting and control problems in specific nonprofit organizations, including hospitals, governmental units, colleges and universities, and federal and state agencies.

22:010:690 - (3 cr)
Special Topics in Audit Analytics

The objective of the course is to teach students audit analytic techniques and how to apply them in practice. The first part of the course is intended to develop students' understanding of what statistical inference is and how it is related to audit and audit data. Students will learn how to apply some basic statistical models to the auditing problems, how to interpret the results, and troubleshoot some common problems. The second part of the course covers some specialized audit analytic techniques such as visualization, neural networks and continuity equations. The course is practice-oriented featuring presenter demonstrations and student.

22:010:680 - (3 cr)
Strategic Cost Analysis for Financial Management

The objective of the course is to teach students audit analytic techniques and how to apply them in practice. The first part of the course is intended to develop students' understanding of what statistical inference is and how it is related to audit and audit data. Students will learn how to apply some basic statistical models to the auditing problems, how to interpret the results, and troubleshoot some common problems. The second part of the course covers some specialized audit analytic techniques such as visualization, neural networks and continuity equations. The course is practice-oriented featuring presenter demonstrations and student.

 

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