Master of Accounting

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Home » Programs » Master of Science Degree in Accounting

Sum Up Your Pathway to a Dynamic Career in Accounting

From balancing budgets and managing corporate finances to filing taxes and conducting audits, businesses of every size and type require highly skilled accounting professionals to ensure they function efficiently and profitably. National University’s Master of Accounting (MAcc) program is designed to prepare you for a career in auditing or public, corporate, and nonprofit accounting.

Our curriculum is based on published content specifications of the uniform CPA and CMA exams and is designed to prepare you with the industry-current knowledge you’ll need to pursue positions in state and local government agencies like the IRS, FBI, CIA, Franchise Tax Board, Defense Contract Audit Agency, and many others.

NU’s Master of Accounting program is unique in that it offers two pathways towards completion. If you have little or no previous accounting background, you’ll learn the basics in the core courses of your program before taking advanced courses and electives. If you already have an undergraduate degree in accounting, you’ll start by learning advanced topics in accounting without having to repeat any fundamental courses. Whichever path applies to you, you’ll receive an industry-current education from an experienced faculty and be mentored by practitioners with years of real-world experience in the accounting profession.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.

Course Details

Course Listing

Preparation for the Major

  • 9 courses; 40.5 quarter units

Course Name

Basic financial accounting theory, including the recording of business transactions and preparation of financial statements using “generally accepted accounting principles” (GAAP). Analysis and interpretation of financial data to assist users in their decision-making.  Spreadsheets and accounting system software.

PrerequisiteACC 601M

Study of the design and internal control perspectives of accounting information systems, including systems analysis, decision support systems, system implementation, and the audit of management information systems.

PrerequisiteACC 601M

The first of two courses covering a substantial portion of U.S. financial reporting principles known as GAAP, including an in-depth review of the conceptual framework and principal financial statements. Emphasis is on revenue and expense recognition, together with accounting for current assets.

PrerequisiteACC 610M

The second of a two course sequence covering a substantial portion of U.S. financial reporting principles known as GAAP, accounting for tangible assets, natural resources and intangible assets, current and long-term liabilities, leases, and shareholder equity.

A study of the statutory provisions, judicial doctrines, and implementation of the theory and practice of federal income taxation of “C” corporations, “S” corporations, and partnerships.

PrerequisiteACC 601M

This course discusses cost terminology, cost measurement concepts, cost accumulation systems, accumulating, and allocating overhead costs using various cost drivers.

Auditing procedures (compliance and substantive) for cash, receivables, inventory, payables, long-term debt, equity balances and related income statement accounts. Writing of auditor’s reports, including special reports, and review/compilation reports in accordance with AICPA standards.

Studies the fundamentals of accounting ethics focusing on case and scenarios analysis, discussions, identification of possible solutions focusing on students acquisition of good ethical judgement. The objective of the course is to increase a students ethical sensitivity to major areas of ethical concern in the study of accounting. At the present time, completion of the course provides credit for CPA licensing in the State of California.

Provides skills to input, manage, and analyze large sets of data. Other skills emphasized are the extraction of relevant data and the effective communication of that information to the end user. Exposure will be provided

Requirements for Students WITH an Undergraduate Degree in Accounting

Core Requirements

  • 6 courses; 27.0 quarter units

Course Name

A combination of accounting and investigative techniques used to discover financial crimes. Skills necessary to collect, analyze, and evaluate accounting evidence will be developed. Interpretation of suspicious activities and formal reporting thereof will be developed.

Application of accounting concepts and reporting techniques applied in a management decision-making context and analysis of accounting data from a real-world case study and present their analysis, conclusions, and recommendations.

Mechanisms, rules, and procedures implemented by a company to ensure the integrity of financial and accounting information, promote accountability and prevent fraud. Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission control standards covered.

Covers critical legal issues such as contracts, loan documents, and taxation. Emphasis on ensuring that experienced accountants make sound decisions based on sound financial and legal information.

Examination of concepts of accounting for business combinations, with emphasis on the consolidation and financial reporting of parent/subsidiary relationships. Accounting for the formation, operation, and liquidation of partnerships, foreign currency translation and hedging, segment reporting, and international financial reporting standards.

Accounting principles used by governmental units and non-profit organizations. Concepts of fund accounting and the analysis and interpretation of the financial statements.

Students must select one area of specialization.

Capstone Requirement

  • 1 course; 4.5 quarter units

Course Name

Performance Management (PM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) require metrics and indicators to measure value, weaknesses and opportunities through business intelligence. Using data to set objectives and measure the internal and external performances through analytics has been a proven method to business success. Business analytics provide a proactive approach to identify and solve problems before it takes place. Data improvement, data quality assessment, data cleansing and normalization, methods and process improvements will be discussed.

Electives for Students WITH an Undergraduate Degree in Accounting

  • 3 courses; 13.5 quarter units

***Students who received a BS in Accounting degree from National University, and already completed ACC515 and ACC555 as a part of your undergraduate degree requirements, CANNOT retake these courses to satisfy graduate degree units for the MAcc.

Course Name

Studies the fundamentals of accounting ethics focusing on case and scenarios analysis, discussions, identification of possible solutions focusing on students acquisition of good ethical judgement. The objective of the course is to increase a students ethical sensitivity to major areas of ethical concern in the study of accounting. At the present time, completion of the course provides credit for CPA licensing in the State of California.

Provides skills to input, manage, and analyze large sets of data. Other skills emphasized are the extraction of relevant data and the effective communication of that information to the end user. Exposure will be provided

Study of the statutory provisions, judicial doctrines, and implementation of the theory and practice of federal income taxation of individuals.

Course topics will focus on the dynamics of change, organizational redesign, and the essential skills necessary for leaders to initiate corporate and organizational transformations. Resistance and acceptance of change initiatives, including the impact of organizational culture will be examined. Students will strengthen their leadership skills and strategies in order to initiate and implement change through problem-solving experiences across a broad range of organizational contexts.

Integration of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to design, conduct, and evaluate effective conflict resolution and negotiation practices. Course topics include interpersonal and intra-group conflict resolution; persuasion, problem solving techniques and decision-making in conflict resolution; overcoming bias, anger, and retaliation. Students will develop leadership and dialogue skills used to navigate conflict situations, and begin to detect conflicts as potential clues of organizational challenges.

Degree and Course Requirements

To receive a Master of Accounting degree from National University, students must complete at least 45 quarter units of graduate work. A total of 4.5 quarter units of graduate credit may be granted for equivalent graduate work completed at another institution, as it applies to this degree and provided the units were not used in earning another advanced degree. Students should refer to the section on graduate admission requirements for specific information regarding application and evaluation.

Students with an undergraduate degree in accounting are also required to take 10 courses, 7 are specifically supplemented by 3 electives. Students with a BS in Accounting (BSACC) from National University, who have taken ACC 515 Accounting Ethics, and ACC 555 Data Analytics as part of their Undergraduate degree requirements CANNOT retake these courses to satisfy degree units for MAcc.

The Academic Program Director, or a designee, shall review the application and transcripts of every new student to determine the correct pathway and any necessary electives and prerequisites.

National University’s Master’s in Accounting program is structured to prepare anyone with an interest in crunching numbers for a future in accounting, auditing, and many other in-demand, finance-related careers. Whether or not you have any previous accounting experience or schooling, NU offers a career-focused pathway to an industry-current understanding of today’s complex marketplace.

You’ll also benefit from learning from faculty members who have real-world experience in accounting and bring their passion and expertise into their classrooms. You’ll be mentored by experienced professionals who’ve been there, done that, and are ready to support you in your pursuit of your MAcc degree. With your master’s credential, you’ll be able to pursue positions like:

  • Financial Analysts & Managers
  • Accountants
  • Controllers
  • Directors of Finance
  • Tax Managers
  • Budget Analysts


SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at https://www.economicmodeling.com/company/ Report viewed: April 19, 2022. DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, globalization, a growing economy, and a complex tax and regulatory environment are expected to continue to lead to strong demand for accountants and auditors. About 135,000 openings for accountants and auditors are projected each year. The BLS also notes that the median annual wage for accountants and auditors was $77,250 in May 2021, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $128,970.

SOURCE: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-1

People with accounting skills are needed in every industry, and professionals who earn their master’s in accounting can expect their knowledge and credentials to be in demand throughout the industry. From financial managers and accountants to auditors, controllers, tax professionals, and investment analysts, you’ll find myriad opportunities in consulting firms, finance organizations, insurance companies, manufacturing companies, and many other types of organizations.

Some of the top employers of accounting professionals in today’s marketplace include:

  • Wells Fargo
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • Anthem
  • Amazon
  • BDO
  • Humana
  • Northrop Grumman
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • RSM
  • Citigroup

SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at https://www.economicmodeling.com/company/ (Report viewed: April 19, 2022. DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

Accounting careers with higher levels of responsibility and pay tend to go to professionals with certain specializations, and each accounting specialization serves different purposes and has its own certification exams and licensing requirements.

You should know that NU’s MAcc program focuses largely on the published content specifications of the uniform CPA Exam and the CMA exam. (Students should enroll in an external, recognized exam review course to fully prepare for CPA and CMA exams.)

  • A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) provides assurances to external parties about a company’s financial information and health. Often employed by a public accounting firm, a CPA examines a company’s financial statements and attests to their integrity. CPAs also prepare and file taxes for companies and individuals. Many CPAs hold high-level positions within corporations and government organizations.
  • A Certified Management Accountant (CMA) has expertise in advanced accounting and financial procedures in critical areas such as financial planning, analysis, control, and decision support. They analyze budgets, assess risks, and make strategic decisions based on internal financial data.

Click here to learn more about specializations in accounting.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Integrate current information technologies to report and analyze financial information
  • Evaluate accounting information based upon mastery of a common body of accounting knowledge
  • Analyze ethical issues within the accounting profession
  • Effectively conduct and present accounting research
  • Collaborate effectively as a team to enhance critical thinking

Hear From Our Faculty

Learn more about NU’s Master of Accounting degree, which can prepare you for a wide range of careers, including public accounting and corporate accounting.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re focused on a career in the accounting industry and interested in pursuing
positions at the top level of the industry, earning your MAcc can help lay the
groundwork for your professional trajectory.

While many MBA programs require coursework in accounting and auditing, NU’s Master of
Accounting curriculum is based on published content specifications of the uniform CPA
and CMA exams. It’s designed to prepare you for a future in accounting, regardless of
whether you have a background or bachelor’s degree in accounting.

You’ll need to have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting and then sit
for and pass all four parts of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Examination. Fortunately, NU’s MAcc curriculum is based on published content
specifications of the uniform CPA and CMA exams. (Students should enroll in an external,
recognized exam review course to fully prepare for CPA and CMA exams.)

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) does not
specifically require CPA candidates to have a graduate level degree. However, you’ll
need to complete 150 credit hours of college coursework before you start taking the exam
and complete 150 credit hours before you can become a licensed CPA.

Since most bachelor’s degrees require about 120 hours to complete, you’ll need to fill
that 30-hour gap. A master’s degree in accounting, like NU’s MAcc program, offers
numerous benefits. For one thing, you’ll develop a stronger understanding of high-level
accounting concepts and principles. A Master’s in Accounting can also position you to
pursue senior-level positions throughout your career and, correspondingly, earn a higher
salary.

Having a CPA credential on your resume means a lot in the world of business and finance.
It’s considered to the gold standard of expertise in the field and can have a positive
impact on your salary, job security, and can expand your career opportunities as
globalization continues to create a demand for International Financing Reporting
Standards around the world.

According to a published report in the Wall Street Journal, about 36% of the CFO’s at America’s top 1,000 public companies are Certified Public Accountants. However, the Journal also points out that the typical role of a CFO has broadened to include increasingly complex expertise in areas such as taxes and treasury and investor relations – the types of knowledge and skills that can be acquired through an industry-current master’s curriculum.

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Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.

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