Draft master of Accounting (mac)



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DRAFT

Master of Accounting (MAC)

Background

Changes in Pennsylvania’s CPA Law require 150 credit hours and one year of public accounting experience—in addition to the successful completion of the CPA Exam—before granting a CPA license. Currently, 45 of 50 states have passed legislation requiring 150 credit hours.


After January 1, 2012, candidates will need to have graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree and completed at least 150 credit hours, with 36 semester-credits in accounting subjects. These subjects include accounting and auditing, business law, finance, and tax subjects acceptable to the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy. To be minimally compliant with the new law, Juniata College must offer twelve more credits in accounting.
Juniata has the unique opportunity to provide a Master of Accounting (MAC) program in a liberal arts setting. Given the increasing fiduciary, legal, and ethical responsibilities of accountants and business leaders, graduates of the MAC would receive an education that exposes them to viewpoints from other academic disciplines.
According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), "the additional academic work needed to acquire the technical competence and develop the skills required by today's CPA is best obtained at the graduate level. Graduate-level programs are an excellent way to more fully develop skills such as communication, presentation, and interpersonal relations, and to integrate them with the technical knowledge being acquired."
Additionally, MAC graduates will be adequately prepared to pursue a doctorate in accounting. With the demand for accounting education predicted to increase, colleges and universities will need a healthy supply of PhDs. Currently, the pool of doctoral candidates pursuing accounting is insufficient to meet anticipated demand. Starting salaries for new Accounting PhDs reach well into the six-figure range—far beyond that of other new business and economics faculty members.
Description of the Program Mission Statement

Consistent with the mission statement of the Juniata College and the Department of Accounting, Business, and Economics, the MAC program is dedicated to producing student-centered outcomes. We are particularly concerned with the development of students' capabilities in reading with insight, in using written and spoken language clearly and effectively, and in thinking analytically. We want our students to lead fulfilling and useful lives by helping them develop a set of broad-based capabilities useful not only in accounting but in all aspects of their lives.


The program strives to prepare students for entry into a world where individuals must have a command of relevant knowledge about accounting, management, and economics, and have a capacity to apply that knowledge in addressing problems and making decisions.
Accounting education should not focus exclusively on narrow, technical, short-term objectives. Rather, a firm understanding of accounting theories and concepts and the development of skills necessary for a productive long-term career should be emphasized.
The primary purpose of the MAC program is to prepare students for lifelong learning and fulfilling careers. The learning philosophy of the MAC emphasizes fundamental accounting concepts, theories, and skills, which students can apply to a wide variety of decision-making contexts.
Major Learning Objectives

Graduates of this program will meet the educational requirements of Pennsylvania (and all other states) to become a Certified Public Accountant.


More importantly, the MAC program is designed to develop the following seven capabilities and skills of our graduates:
Having technical capabilities means understanding and using the technical methods, processes, procedures and techniques of accounting and related disciplines. This capability involves specialized knowledge, analytical ability, and facility in the use of the tools and techniques of accounting.
Decision-making capabilities involve the use quantitative and qualitative decision techniques to design and implement a practical solution to a problem. This capability means thinking in terms of relative emphases and priorities among conflicting objectives and criteria, relative tendencies and probabilities as well as certainties, and rough correlations and patterns among elements as well as clear-cut cause-and-effect relationships.
Having communication capabilities means using spoken, written, non-verbal and visual processes with a sensitivity to the appropriateness and timeliness of any given message or medium.
Having conceptual capabilities means seeing the whole organization as a system, recognizing how the various components of the system depend upon one another and how a change in any one part affects all the others. Also involved are understanding the relationships between an organization and its external uncontrollable environment, including its industry and the political, social, economic, and technological systems within which it operates.
To work effectively as a group member, whether as a leader or a participant, requires human interaction capabilities. These capabilities involve correctly perceiving the interrelationships within a group of persons and controlling one's own behavior so as to make conscious, effective interventions in the group process.
Information capabilities mean the student can locate, collect, and transform data into information using modern technologies. This capability involves discerning what information is needed in a situation, what data underlies the needed information, and what technologies, systems, and manipulation procedures must be used to create the information.
International capabilities involve the comprehension of the international environment in which business and economic activities must take place. Students must develop openness to multi-cultural experiences and the knowledge of the complexities which such experiences bring to managerial and economic activities.
Market Analysis

Only one liberal arts college in Pennsylvania offers a MAC (Chatham University in Pittsburgh). Some of our private baccalaureate college competitors offer or plan to offer a 150-hour bachelor’s degree, an unappealing option for most students. In fact, the AICPA dubbed the 150-hour undergraduate degree “impractical.” An alumnus who recruits for Deloitte, a Big Four accounting firm, indicated his firm is already seeing students shift to master’s degree programs.


Nearly all MAC programs are housed in large public universities, many of whom cater only to their own undergraduates or have limited capacity. Many of these programs are full-time and cohort-driven, making part-time study impossible. Several for-profit universities now offer expensive online masters programs possessing varying levels of quality.
Juniata has, for the past decade, graduated roughly 10-15 students annually with POEs in Accounting and Finance. Thus, at any given time, we have at least 40 students interested in a degree in Accounting or Finance. Without the MAC, at least some of these students will choose to study elsewhere. With the MAC, Juniata will retain students and be positioned to attract additional undergraduate students.
Three students paying tuition of $12,800 per year will cover the modest annual budget for the MAC. A target enrollment goal for the first 3 years of the program will be 8-10 student students annually (See “Resource Implications” for further detail).
With careful planning, students in nearly any current undergraduate program could complete a bachelor’s degree in another field and the MAC within five years. The coupling of a bachelor’s degree and the one-year MAC is likely to be popular with students. Non-accounting ABE students could decide as late as the second semester junior year to complete the MAC during a fifth year of study. Non-ABE students could decide after the sophomore year and still complete the MAC program during a fifth year.
The coursework in the MAC program will be offered on a traditional daytime basis. The clientele for this program will not include current working professionals as many of them already hold CPA licenses or MBA degrees. Our main clientele will include those students interested in practicing pubic accounting at either the outset of their undergraduate careers or following the completion of another undergraduate degree.
Accounting continues to be a high growth field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports


  • Accountants and auditors are expected to experience much faster than average employment growth from 2008-18. Job opportunities should be favorable; accountants and auditors who have a professional certification, especially CPAs, should have the best prospects.




  • Employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.



  • There is a growing movement towards International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which uses a judgment-based system to determine the fair market value of assets and liabilities, which should increase demand for accountants and auditors because of their specialized expertise.



  • Job opportunities should be favorable. Accountants and auditors who have earned professional recognition through certification or other designation, especially a CPA, should have the best job prospects. Applicants with a master's degree in accounting or a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting also may have an advantage.

The AICPA’s 2009 trend report concerning the supply of accounting graduates and the demand for public accounting recruits indicates that accounting enrollments continue on an upward trend. From 2001/2002 to 2007/2008, the number of accounting degrees awarded in the U.S. increased 40 percent. Additionally, capacity constraints in accounting programs continue to be a concern as many large, public university accounting programs report declining admission to candidates.


Analysis of Current Major

Our current POE in Accounting is insufficient to meet the requirements of the new CPA Law. However, in addition to the MAC, we plan to redesign the undergraduate accounting POE. The MAC is designed to meet legislative requirements to be a CPA, practice in public accounting, and continue graduate study at the doctoral level. The the undergraduate accounting POE will be focused on accounting theories, concepts, and skills relevant to corporate, governmental, and non-profit organizations. (See the proposed revisions to the accounting POE attached.)


Sources Used in Designing the Proposed Curriculum

Starting January 1, 2012, the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy requires CPA candidates to have graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree and completed at least 150 credit hours, with 36 semester-credits in accounting subjects. These subjects include accounting and auditing, business law, finance, and tax subjects acceptable to the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy. Accounting-related credits can be accomplished through undergraduate, graduate, or a combination of both levels of study.


The proposed curriculum is consistent with the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy requirements and with the guidance provided by the AICPA.
In conjunction with the guidance provided by the above sources, we surveyed the accounting curricula of dozens of MAC programs and generally modeled the MAC program similarly given available resources. The Juniata MAC is designed to prepare students for professional careers in accounting and for further academic work in accounting. The MAC differs from many other programs in that coursework in financial economics is required and economic theory and policy is incorporated in much of the accounting coursework. Additionally, this MAC includes a requirement for an accounting research project, a rare requirement in MAC curricula.
Consistency of Proposal with Institution-Wide Objectives for Programs

Some students may state their intent to pursue this program at the beginning of their college experience. However, assuming an undergraduate student has met the prerequisite requirements, he or she could begin the MAC program immediately after earning a baccalaureate degree. A cohort system for incoming students is not appropriate for the MAC, as it would limit the potential to attract part-time students.


At this point, the MAC includes no electives. The program can be completed with one year of full-time study if prerequisites are met. In terms of institutional efficiency, a net of four new courses will be added to current catalog and instructional workload.
The capstone course of the MAC is Accounting Research in which students are required to research an accounting topic and prepare both a paper and presentation. The output of two semesters of work is essentially a master’s paper. The course, Federal Taxation for Individuals, requires students to perform a service learning project and the course in Government and Nonprofit Accounting may be an option for the proposed master’s degree in nonprofit leadership. All courses will be offered in a traditional classroom context but online instruction is possible for all MAC courses. Online course offerings will be considered in the future given changes in both student demand and technological infrastructure.
Again, the MAC will necessitate changes in the undergraduate accounting POE. Please see revised POE attached.
Catalog Description and Model Degree Plan


Fall Semester







Course Number

Title

Credits

AC 535*

Auditing

4

AC 537*

Cost Accounting

4

AC 532*

Corporate Taxation

4

AC 534

Advanced Accounting

3

AC 539

Accounting Research

1




Total Credits

16










Spring Semester:







AC 533*

Governmental & Nonprofit Acct

4

AC 536

Federal Taxation of Individuals

3

AC 538

Forensic Accounting

3

AC 539

Accounting Research

2

EB 563* or 565*

Financial Markets & Institutions or Financial Theory & Analysis

4




Total Credits

16




Entry to the MAC program requires students complete the following courses or comparable equivalents:

EB 131

Financial Accounting

3

EB 232

Intermediate Accounting I

4

EB 233

Intermediate Accounting II

4

EB 203 or EB 204

Introduction to Business Law or Legal Regulations of Business

3

EB 223

Principles of Microeconomics

3

PL 230

Business Ethics (or PL 106 Introduction to Ethics)

3

EB 211

Business Statistics or approved substitute stats course

3

MA 130

Calculus

4




Total Credits

27

* These four-credit courses may meet with undergraduate students. Graduate students are required to complete “additional requirements” during the fourth hour. This is neither a unique nor unacceptable practice. For instance, The University of Pittsburgh offers a 30-credit MS in Accounting in which half of the 30 credits come from undergraduate courses with “additional requirements.”
Please see the accompanying syllabi for individual course descriptions and objectives.
Resource Implications

The MAC program repurposes and adjusts existing courses while adding a net of only four courses to instructional workloads.


Instructional compensation for new courses, “additional requirements” courses, and stipends for supervision of AC 539 Accounting Research is approximately $23,000 per year. Annual marketing, administrative, and course development costs are approximately $15,000. Total estimated costs equal $38,000. With projected net tuition per student at $12,800 (a minimum of $400 per credit), three enrolled students surpass the break-even point. Tuition at comparable master’s programs ranges from roughly $400 to $700 per credit.


MAC Courses













AC 535

Auditing










AC 537

Cost Accounting










AC 532

Corporate Taxation










AC 534

Advanced Accounting










AC 539

Accounting Research










AC 533

Governmental & Nonprofit Acct










AC 536

Federal Taxation of Individuals










AC 538

Forensic Accounting










EB 563 or 565

Financial Markets & Institutions or Financial Theory & Analysis




























Total MAC courses

9



















Existing courses (to be cross listed)










AC 535

Auditing










AC 537

Cost Accounting










EB 563 or 565

Financial Markets & Institutions or Financial Theory & Analysis










Less existing cross listed courses

3



















Existing courses (to be moved into the MAC)










AC 534

Advanced Accounting










AC 536

Federal Taxation of Individuals










Less existing courses moved into MAC

2





































New courses offered by ABE

























AC 532

Corporate Taxation










AC 539

Accounting Research










AC 533

Governmental & Nonprofit Acct










AC 538

Forensic Accounting













New courses

4




Proposed revision to Accounting POE













Course Number

Title

Credits

EB 131

Financial Accounting

3

EB 201

The Management Process

3

EB 203

Introduction to Business Law

3

EB 204

Legal Regulations of Business

3

EB 211

Business Statistics or approved substitute stats course

3

EB 223

Principles of Microeconomics

3

EB 232

Intermediate Accounting I

4

EB 233

Intermediate Accounting II

4

EB 236

Managerial Accounting

4

EB 337 (AC 537)

Cost Accounting

3

EB 333 (AC 533)

Governmental & Nonprofit Acct

3

EB 335 (AC 535)

Auditing

3

EB 332 (AC 532)

Corporate Taxation

3

EB 342

Management Information Systems

3

EB 351

Marketing Management

3

EB 361

Financial Management I

3

MA 130

Calculus or EB 210 Quantitative Business Analysis (3 credits)*

4

PL 230

Business Ethics (or PL 106 Introduction to Ethics)

3

 

 Total credits

58




* EB 210 does not satisfy the requirements for the Masters of Accounting degree.





This POE is designed to support accounting careers in private industry, governmental and nonprofit sectors. To pursue a career in public accounting, students will need to complete 150 hours of higher education with requirements for additional accounting coursework. Please check with your state board of accountancy for state-specific requirements.

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