The core requirements of the MAC Program take you into the world of accounting and provide a foundation for your career. You’ll learn about financial reporting and auditing, discover the intricacies of financial analysis and cost accounting, and strengthen your communication and leadership skills.
All students take these required courses.
Ensuring the accuracy of financial reporting is one of the most important functions accountants play. The modern economy and global financial markets rely on accurate financial reports from public companies and other organizations. You’ll learn the rules and standards that govern financial reporting in the United States and internationally. You’ll also learn how to research and apply those standards to the real-world scenarios you’ll encounter as an accountant.
In this overview of the Financial Reporting coursework, Dean Raedy explains why financial reporting, and the preparation of financial statements, sits at the core of the accounting process.
In finance, you’ll learn how individuals and companies make decisions about using capital. This includes analyzing risk, calculating returns, valuing cash flows and understanding the time value of money. Students learn how financial markets operate, including equity, debt and options. Accountants must understand these concepts to advise clients about their use of capital. These finance concepts can also come into play in financial reporting, tax and auditing.
Managerial and Cost Accounting
Accounting is an essential management tool for all businesses. In managerial accounting, you’ll learn about management planning, budgeting and control, with a focus on how managers use accounting information to make decisions. Accountants often are key advisers to business decision makers, or make decisions themselves. Managerial accounting allows accountants to apply their analytical and problem-solving skills to real-world business challenges. Determining how much a product costs to make or how much it costs to provide a service is critical for any business. Cost accounting also has implications for tax and financial reporting, as well as business strategy. You will also learn about the increasingly important role that information technology plays in gathering and analyzing cost information.
In the core tax curriculum, you’ll learn to understand the U.S. income tax system and how it applies to businesses and individuals. Taxes have an impact on purchasing decisions, investments, how businesses are structured and more. Though tax law changes frequently, this course is designed to provide a framework that will give you a solid grasp of U.S. tax principles. Though only some accountants choose to specialize in tax work, all accountants need to understand fundamental tax principles.
Auditing is one of the critical functions that accountants provide, ensuring investors, regulators and the public at large that reported financial information — and sometimes other information — can be relied upon. Auditing requires accounting knowledge, but you’ll also cover analytical techniques, practice communication and interpersonal skills, and learn to apply sound judgment and professional ethics. Though only some accountants choose to focus on auditing, auditing skills are useful for all accountants.
Soft skills: Leadership, Ethics, Communications
Accountants work closely with others and are trusted leaders in the business world. As such, accountants must lead with confidence, communicate effectively, and make ethical decisions. The core curriculum will help you develop skills in these areas. With an introduction to principles of human thought and behavior, you will improve your managerial decision-making, understand how to lead and work with a diverse workforce, and learn how to influence others. You’ll develop critical verbal and written communication skills that will increase your effectiveness in 1:1 correspondence or group presentations. And, you’ll learn about the importance of ethics as it relates to the accounting profession and the corporate finance world.
Collecting and analyzing data has become an important part of how many companies make decisions. Much of that data comes from accounting systems. Accountants are uniquely positioned to help companies access, analyze and make decisions from the growing mass of data they collect. This course provides an introduction to the the systems, tools and practices used to derive the most insight from data. With these skills, you can increase your value to companies and can help drive strategic business decisions.
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* Data Analytics for Accountants, currently an elective course, will become a Core Course starting in June 2018.