Financial Accounting and Assurance Track

Photo of graduate student Alec Schon, Master of Science Accounting 2016

Auditors ask "Why?"

Most accounting courses focus on learning the rules, techniques and computations required to prepare and analyze financial information. Auditing courses focus on the analytical and logical skills necessary to evaluate the relevance and reliability of the information. Therefore, the study of auditing is more conceptual in nature. 

Are you ready for the next step in your accounting career?

  • Sharpen your critical-thinking skills as you learn to systematically investigate and evaluate financial reports and data.
  • Take courses in accounting and auditing research, global financial reporting, forensic investigation, data analytics and financial statement analysis.
  • Join a CPA firm’s audit team to assess the financial statements of corporations, using data analytics and fraud investigation techniques to provide assurance that businesses are presented fairly.
  • Advance to consulting opportunities in mergers and acquisitions, international expansion and IPOs, building on coursework in advanced issues in financial accounting, accounting research, global reporting and business valuation.
  • Participate in accounting policy decisions of a corporation or government agency, using your accounting research, critical-thinking and analytical skills developed in the MS Accounting program.
  • Climb the corporate ladder in financial accounting and reporting, on your path to becoming a controller or chief financial officer.


MGA 612LEC Taxation of Business Entities

An examination of the tax provisions governing C corporations, S corporations and partnerships throughout the business lifecycle, including transactions between the entity and the owner, conducted primarily through the study of tax law and case studies. Current and emerging tax policy issues will also be a key component of the course.

Credits: 3.00
Semesters offered: Fall 2019
Pre-Requisite: MGA 611.

MGA 614LEC Advanced Auditing

Advanced-level examination of external auditing issues and practice, with major emphasis on the analysis and evaluation of audit risk. Emphasis is on case analyses using internet-based cases and high risk real life audit cases, presented in an Advanced Auditing publication. The use of the casebook provides student with opportunities to develop a much richer understanding of the essential underlying issues involved in auditing, while developing critical thinking, communication and interpersonal relationship skills. Emerging issues in auditing are identified and analyzed using audit concepts learned in the introductory auditing course.

Credits: 3.00
Semesters offered: Fall 2019
Pre-Requisite: MGA 613.

MGA 623LEC Introduction to Professional Tax Research

The objective of this course is to develop a working knowledge of the basics of federal income tax research. The course will examine the major sources of federal income tax authority and their application and hierarchy; develop familiarity with major professional tax research tools; apply critical thinking and ethical standards in researching, analyzing and reaching conclusions regarding tax scenarios; and expand professional communication skills.

Credits: 1.50
Semesters offered: Fall 2019

MGA 624LEC Research in Accounting & Auditing Standards

The objective of this course is to develop students' skills in performing and communicating accounting and auditing research. To achieve this objective, students will: 1) Learn to apply a step-by-step research process to open-ended accounting and auditing problems; 2) Become familiar with the research databases applicable to different research environments (corporate, governmental, auditing, and international); 3) Become proficient using key research databases, particularly the FASB Codification, eIFRS, and GARS Online (from the GASB); and 4) Improve oral and written communication skills through discussions of accounting issues and written analysis of accounting problems.

Credits: 1.50
Semesters offered: Fall 2019

Track Courses:

MGA 635LEC Global Financial Accounting

Study of the institutional structure of global capital markets, international reporting standards, and financial reporting practices worldwide. Analysis of financial statements of non-U.S. firms from various regions, with particular attention to reporting and disclosure incentives. The economic consequences of adopting international reporting standards are studied using various cross-sectional and event-study approaches.

Credits: 3.00
Semesters offered: Fall 2019

MGA 643LEC Fraud Examination and Forensic Investigation

An in-depth study of the methods used by forensic and/or investigative accountants to conduct financial fraud investigations. Topics include fraud auditing and fraud examination, litigation support, valuation, identity theft, public record research, interview and interrogations and other emerging forensic techniques and data analytic procedures. Students will be challenged to think "beyond the numbers," integrating and applying knowledge of related disciplines such as accounting, economics, finance, criminology, psychology, organizational behavior, law, and computer science to think like investigators and develop skills leading to the presentation of investigative/research results in a clear, concise, and professional manner.

Credits: 3.00
Semesters offered: Fall 2019