Master of Science Degree in Accounting

With stricter laws and regulations, particularly in the financial sector, it’s expected that many businesses will seek accounting and auditing professionals to comply with new standards.* If you have successfully completed a bachelor's degree in business with a major in accounting or finance, Kaplan University’s Master of Science in Accounting could be your next step in pursuing your career potential and discovering new mid-to-senior-level opportunities. This master's degree in accounting online program is designed to provide students with critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as the fundamental knowledge relevant to successful professional practice within the field of accounting.

Master of Science in Accounting Program Highlights

The Master of Science in Accounting program is designed to prepare graduates to pursue mid-to senior-level management positions in both the public and private sectors. The curriculum is designed to enrich skills in auditing, taxation, cost accounting, and financial accounting while providing students the opportunity to choose elective courses and a concentration to meet their specific interests and goals. Graduates may be eligible to sit for professional certification examinations, which include the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA®), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA®) examinations.

The curriculum focuses on:

  • Familiarizing you with overall department management
  • Generating and analyzing accounting data
  • Creating quality improvement processes, compliance strategies, and reimbursement procedures
  • Conducting research
  • Addressing risk management and legal issues

Master of Science in Accounting Concentrations

In addition to developing a broad foundation in accounting principles, this master's in accounting program is designed to enhance your proficiency and knowledge in your desired area of concentration.

  • Audit: Focus on the development, design, and implementation of accounting systems with an emphasis on internal control. Study fraud examination and forensic accounting, and learn techniques for obtaining evidence and interviewing subjects. Apply preventive, detective, and investigative strategies to identify the causes of fraud. Design and assess internal control systems and become familiar with risk assessment and management.
  • Finance: Study research methods for assessing how accounting information impacts business and decision making. Explore the evolving nature of risk, expectations about its management, and the pressure it has placed on previous working practices. Investigate the relationship between international accounting, global business, and investment decisions, including the influences of cultural, political, and economic variations.
  • Government: Consider the financial and managerial accounting concepts specific to the planning and administration of public, quasi-public, and nonprofit organizations. Concentrate on the development, design, and implementation of accounting information systems with an emphasis on internal control. Design and assess internal control systems and become familiar with risk assessment and management.
  • Tax: Examine the United States income tax on foreign-earned income and the taxation methods of other countries. Study the concepts, processes, and information sources relevant to tax research, including the Internal Revenue Code, treasury regulations, and federal and state tax cases. Explore federal estate and gift taxes, and the impact of income tax. Topics include an introduction to interstate succession, wills, gifts, marital property, and more.
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Accreditation

Kaplan University Business Programs are accredited by ACBSP.

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Higher Education at the Highest Standards

Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and committed to the highest standards. Our specific programs hold additional industry-relevant approvals and accreditations.

What are the Career Opportunities?

Employment opportunities for graduates with an accounting degree may exist within government, private, nonprofit, and public accounting. In addition, many entrepreneurial opportunities may exist for small business accounting and consulting services. Specific careers may include public accountant, management accountant, government accountant, internal auditor, and tax accountant.

How Do I Get Started?

Kaplan University offers multiple start dates, giving you greater flexibility with your education, life, and work schedules.

11

Oct

Online Start Date

October 11, 2017

29

Nov

Online Start Date

November 29, 2017

17

Jan

Online Start Date

January 17, 2018

07

Mar

Online Start Date

March 07, 2018

18

Apr

Online Start Date

April 18, 2018

06

Jun

Online Start Date

June 06, 2018

18

Jul

Online Start Date

July 18, 2018

05

Sep

Online Start Date

September 05, 2018

17

Oct

Online Start Date

October 17, 2018

05

Dec

Online Start Date

December 05, 2018

Curriculum: All Tracks

  • Core

    Total Core Credits: 36

    Total Program Credits: 52

    • AC 501: FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING AND REPORTING Change

      This course provides a comprehensive, international perspective on accounting and financial reporting systems. Financial accounting and reporting issues are viewed from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Topics include, but are not limited to, the factors that managers and executives must consider as they confront complex and important financial accounting and reporting issues including traditional issues, such as revenue recognition, valuation allowances, and leases, and contemporary issues, such as pensions, stock options, and financial derivatives.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • AC 502: REGULATION Change

      This course will advance your knowledge of business law as it applies to accounting. You will be introduced to the major legal requirements that will be encountered by the professional accountant. Topics include, but are not limited to, the Uniform Commercial Code, contracts, and the legal liability and responsibilities of agencies and accountants.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • AC 503: ADVANCED AUDITING Change

      This course addresses the examination of financial statements and systems from the viewpoint of an independent auditor. Emphasis is on the application of auditing techniques and the professional standards that direct audit performance and reporting. Topics include, but are not limited to, external audit services, audit reports, auditor and management responsibilities, professional standards of external auditors, and how information technologies enhance internal control and procedures used to audit through a computerized system.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • AC 504: ETHICAL ISSUES IN BUSINESS AND ACCOUNTING Change

      This course examines moral development and ethical choices within the framework of business and accounting. Psychological, social, and other theories used to predict human choices are introduced and applied to the current practice and environments of public and corporate accounting. A review of the development of the post-Sarbanes-Oxley ethical environment in the U.S. is included. The dilemmas commonly encountered by accounting professionals and their accepted solutions are also examined.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • AC 505: ADVANCED MANAGERIAL/COST ACCOUNTING Change

      This course focuses on the role of cost accounting as a tool for managerial decision making and the application of these skills to the overall operation of a business. Topics include, but are not limited to: budgeting, cost-volume-profit analysis, job order costing, absorption costing, differential analysis, and capital budgeting.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • AC 507: CORPORATE TAX DECISIONS AND STRATEGIES Change

      This course will emphasize the effect of the federal income tax on business, the federal income tax structure, and the concept of taxable income as it relates to business. Business transactions are influenced by the rules of taxation. Examples of particular interest include, but are not limited to: buying and selling business assets, mortgages, liquidating or reorganizing a business, and transactions between a business and an employee.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • GB 512: BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS Change

      Business Communications focuses on effective communication strategies for various stakeholders using oral and written formats for different purposes, including one-on-one communication and engagement with larger audiences.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • GB 540: ECONOMICS FOR GLOBAL DECISION MAKERS Change

      This course covers micro- and macroeconomic principles with an emphasis on decision making and strategic applications. Microeconomic topics include scarcity, supply and demand, elasticity, utility, profit maximization, cost structures, economic systems, labor markets, and entrepreneurship. Macroeconomic topics include international trade, national income accounting, exchange rates, money and banking, economic growth, and fiscal policy.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • AC 599: GRADUATE CAPSTONE IN ACCOUNTING Change

      This capstone course builds on the concepts of all the courses taken within the Master of Science in Accounting and provides students with an opportunity to integrate their previous coursework in a meaningful review of their learning and to assess their level of mastery of the stated outcomes of their degree program.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      Last term or permission from the Dean

  • Electives

    Total Electives Credits: 16

    Total Program Credits: 52

Curriculum: Concentration

Concentration
Select a Concentration
  • Select a Concentration
  • Audit Concentration
  • Finance Concentration
  • Government Concentration
  • Tax Concentration
  • Please Select a Concentration Above
  • Audit Concentration

    Total Audit Concentration Credits: 12

    Total Program Credits: 52

    • AC 550: ACCOUNTING INFORMATION SYSTEMS Change

      This course is focused on the development, design, and implementation of accounting information systems with an emphasis on internal control. Students will examine how to develop new information systems or modify existing systems. Identifying and using controls to uncover security strengths and weaknesses will be a major emphasis.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Concentration courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • AC 555: FRAUD EXAMINATION Change

      This course provides an overview of fraud examination, which includes the introduction of techniques for obtaining documentary evidence, interviewing witnesses and potential suspects, writing investigative reports, testifying to findings, and forensic document examination. You will learn to apply prevention, detection, and investigative strategies to determine why and how occupational fraud is committed. You will analyze human behaviors such as greed, deception, and cheating.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Concentration courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • AC 557: INTERNAL CONTROL ASSESSMENT AND DESIGN Change

      This course prepares students to design and assess the internal control system or process. Students will become familiar with risk assessment and management, and compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and COSO. Control concepts introduced will include control types, the cost/ benefit of control, control responsibilities, the plan-do-check-act concepts, and the control responsibilities and standards issued by the FASB, SEC, New York Stock Exchange, AICPA, and other similar organizations.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Concentration courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

  • Finance Concentration

    Total Finance Concentration Credits: 12

    Total Program Credits: 52

    • AC 551: ACCOUNTING RESEARCH Change

      This course focuses on research methods used to assess the impact of accounting information on business and business decision making. In this survey of research on accounting theory, students learn how to assess empirical studies and initiate and develop research projects through research paper discussions and replicating and extending existing research studies. This course is devoted to the analysis of current financial reporting issues.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Concentration courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • AC 554: ENTERPRISE RISK ANALYSIS AND PLANNING Change

      This course explores the evolving nature of risk, expectations about its management, and the pressure it has placed on previous working practices. Risk management has traditionally been segmented and carried out in silos. Enterprise risk management (ERM) is a response to the sense of inadequacy caused by using a silo-based approach to manage increasingly interdependent risks. You will gain an understanding of the interdependencies between risks and how risks in one business area may increase the impact of risks in another business area.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Concentration courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • AC 558: INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING STANDARDS AND GLOBAL FINANCIAL REPORTING Change

      This course focuses on the development and possible implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in the United States. Topics examined include, but are not limited to, the history of global financial reporting, the conceptual framework underlying International Financial Reporting Standards, and the key differences between International Financial Reporting Standards and United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). In addition, a review of the United States' progress towards harmonization and the possible approaches to future implementation is provided.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Concentration courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

  • Government Concentration

    Total Government Concentration Credits: 12

    Total Program Credits: 52

    • AC 550: ACCOUNTING INFORMATION SYSTEMS Change

      This course is focused on the development, design, and implementation of accounting information systems with an emphasis on internal control. Students will examine how to develop new information systems or modify existing systems. Identifying and using controls to uncover security strengths and weaknesses will be a major emphasis.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Concentration courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • AC 556: GOVERNMENT AND NOT-FOR-PROFIT ACCOUNTING Change

      This course examines the financial and managerial accounting concepts peculiar to the planning and administration of public and quasi-public organizations, such as governmental units, educational institutions, and charitable organizations. Topics include, but are not limited to, budgeting, financial reporting, and governmental auditing standards.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Concentration courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • AC 557: INTERNAL CONTROL ASSESSMENT AND DESIGN Change

      This course prepares students to design and assess the internal control system or process. Students will become familiar with risk assessment and management, and compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and COSO. Control concepts introduced will include control types, the cost/ benefit of control, control responsibilities, the plan-do-check-act concepts, and the control responsibilities and standards issued by the FASB, SEC, New York Stock Exchange, AICPA, and other similar organizations.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Concentration courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

  • Tax Concentration

    Total Tax Concentration Credits: 12

    Total Program Credits: 52

    • AC 559: INTERNATIONAL TAX PLANNING AND ISSUES Change

      This course focuses on U.S. income tax on foreign-earned income and the taxation methods of other countries. The effect of U.S. taxation on international transactions and its impact on multinational businesses will be examined and discussed. The tax laws of other countries will be surveyed with emphasis on the treatment of capital gains, dividends, and depreciation. Various tax treaties will be identified and discussed.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Concentration courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • AC 560: TAX RESEARCH AND THE IRS Change

      This course introduces students to the concepts, processes, and information sources relevant to tax research. The Internal Revenue Code, treasury regulations, and federal and state tax cases are examined. Topics include, but are not limited to, interpretations of the tax code, ethical considerations, sources for research, and appropriate presentation of results.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Concentration courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • AC 561: TAXATION OF ESTATES AND TRUSTS Change

      This course is a study of the federal estate and gift taxes, and the impact of income tax. Topics will include an introduction to interstate succession, the drafting and enforcement of wills, living trusts, gifts, marital property, and the avoidance of probate. The course covers the preparation of fiduciary income tax returns with an emphasis on unique tax issues such as income of a descendent, distributable net income, and fiduciary accounting.

      Credits:

      4

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Concentration courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

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*Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Accountants and Auditors, on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Certain accounting positions may require further certification and/or licensing by individual states.

Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.

Although certain programs at Kaplan University are designed to prepare students to take various certification or licensing exams, the University cannot guarantee the student will pass those exams. In some cases, field experience, additional coursework, and/or background checks may be necessary to take or to successfully pass the exams. Students should research the requirements in the state in which they intend to seek employment.