Banking & Finance and Higher Education

Davenport University launches Master of Accountancy

April 24, 2015
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A new graduate level program beginning this fall will embrace the diversity of the accounting field while preparing students for competency exams using a curriculum tailored to specific areas of study.

Davenport University announced earlier this month the launch of a new Master of Accountancy program for the 2015 fall semester offered through the Donald W. Maine College of Business.

The program incorporates multiple concentration areas tailored to a specific degree track from which students can choose: internal auditing, fraud investigation, management accounting, public accounting and financing.

While students can focus more broadly on a general accountancy or finance emphasis, they also can select a concentration designed to prepare them for professional exams, such as Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner or Certified Internal Auditor.

Timothy Bergsma of the accounting faculty in DU’s College of Business said the unique aspect of the Master of Accountancy program is students can select a degree track at the beginning with the end in mind. While one student may select the public accounting track and work through a curriculum designed to educate and prepare for the CPA exam, another student may select fraud examination with a curriculum tailored to help them pass the CFE exam.

“Accounting is an extremely diverse field,” said Bergsma. “If you think about it that way, what is extremely unique and interesting is the program is not only embracing the diversity that is in the accounting field and educates well, but also prepares the students to be, at least, ready for their competency exams in their respective fields.”

The 30-credit hour master’s program is divided into 15 credit hours for the specific degree track and 15 for core courses, including: accounting research and communication, accounting information systems, accounting and financial analytics, accounting responsibilities and ethics, and internship or experiential learning.

Depending on the degree track, students also will take classes such as forensic accounting; financial management; mergers, acquisitions and consolidations; case studies in internal auditing; graduate accounting or finance; or CPA prep: regulations.

While prospective students are not required to have work-related experience to enroll in the program, Bergsma said they do need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance.

“If someone applies to your program and they are already a CMA, CPA or CFE — if they already possess those but are still interested in earning a Master of Accountancy — they can likely receive credit for those certifications,” said Bergsma. “They wouldn’t have to take the review courses embedded into the curriculum.”

Irene Bembenista, interim dean for the Donald W. Maine College of Business and the College of Technology, said the new program will allow Davenport students to have an edge and the concentrated focus needed for a successful career in accounting.

“With the growth of the accounting profession, students who pass the CPA exam and hold a Master of Accountancy will have a better chance at job placement than those who do not,” said Bembenista in a press release.

In 2011, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget released “Michigan’s Hot 50: Tomorrow’s High-Demand High-Wage Careers,” which indicated employment for accountants and auditors was projected to grow by 16.9 percent from 2008 to 2018 and have an annual job opening of roughly 1,290.

Financial analyst jobs are anticipated to increase 15.4 percent in the same time period, and personal financial advisors are expected to see a 29.9 percent increase in job growth in that period, according to Michigan’s Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

Davenport’s new accountancy degree not only complements the existing Master of Business Administration program and addresses a need in the marketplace, it also benefits students by aligning them with a particular field, according to Bergsma.

“They will be well served to enter a program like this and have a deepened course offering and knowledge base in that specific field. It helps prepare them for the competency exams and, quite honestly, for any student three things have to be continuously looked at: education, experience and certification. They also need to be thinking about how to earn that CPA license, and what our program does is take that all into consideration,” said Bergsma.

“The employers benefit because we are hearing that there is a need out there for specialized, deeper roots in accounting and finance.”

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