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Masters of Science in Accounting Degree

A Master of Science in Management – Accounting degree is a post-graduate degree that prepares students to work as managers and in executive positions in the accounting field. This degree builds on the education earned through a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business through focusing on financial controls, financial management, and making management decisions. Graduates also understand corporate governance and ethics at a deep level.

Why Pursue an MSM Accounting Degree?

A MSM Accounting might be one of the best degrees that students interested in an accounting career at the management or executive level can obtain. As a post-graduate program, this degree also qualifies students to meet the 150 credit hour standard to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam in most states. It shows potential employers that a candidate is well prepared to work at high levels of responsibility in an organization. Moreover, students with such an advanced degree may have room to negotiate for more competitive salaries upon entering the workforce. Robert Half Accounting and Finance reports that Audit Managers receive starting annual salaries between $78,750 and $90,000, while Tax Managers can anticipate starting annual salaries between $79,500 and $100,250 depending on company size.1 In other management roles, such as Cost Accountant Manager and Financial Analyst Manager, qualified candidates can demand starting annual salaries anywhere between $64,750 and $81,250.1

MSM Accounting Degree Prerequisites and Requirements

Competition for admission can be heavy, so students should begin preparing their transcripts and preparing to take the graduate level examinations required by most schools offering this program well ahead of the admissions deadline. Most schools require candidates to have earned at least a 3.5 GPA during their undergraduate course of study, and may also require high scores on the GRE or GMAT examinations. As with most master’s degrees, candidates should also expect to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

Typical Coursework

This degree requires rigorous coursework focused on the theory and principles of accounting management. Students who have not taken certain accounting courses during undergraduate study may be able to take supplemental accounting courses to prepare for the more advanced theories and principles covered by this degree. Common courses include:

  • Management Control Systems
  • Risk Analysis
  • Business Analysis
  • Advanced Auditing
  • Corporate Governance

Career Opportunities for Graduates

Graduates are uniquely equipped to become managers at accounting firms and in government agencies that have an accounting focus. Most graduates are on a career track to become CEOs, CFOs, and work in similar executive positions. As one of the largest accounting firms in the world, Ernst & Young LLP has a need for accounting management professionals. As a truly global company, Ernst & Young offers its staff many challenging opportunities. This firm frequently hires managers in various accounting fields. Although Plante Moran’s offices are regionally focused, this firm also offers work that is global in scope. Plante Moran looks for highly qualified managers in audit, assurance, consulting, and other specialties. The US Internal Revenue Service also looks for qualified management and executive professionals, which it recruits through its SES Candidate Development Program. Openings are regularly posted on the IRS section of USA Jobs.

References:
1. Robert Half: http://s3.amazonaws.com/DBM/M3/2011/Downloads/SalaryGuide_RobertHalf_2013_US.pdf