Accountancy

Degree Offered

  • Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

Given the changing environment in both the public and private sectors of the economy, many accountants will need an educational background that goes beyond that obtained in an undergraduate degree program. Accountants must be proficient in applying professional concepts and principles to a wide variety of existing and emerging situations as an effective member of a team and also have the ability to adapt to new standards and methods of doing business. Competing in such an environment requires a solid technical foundation, adeptness in analyzing complex business situations, and the ability to effectively communicate recommended solutions and conclusions. Thus, the objectives of the MAcc program include the integration of financial and non-financial data in problem-solving and decision-making, the application of relevant research techniques and information technologies, the integration of varying viewpoints and techniques of conflict resolution, and the importance of adhering to a strong ethical code.

The accounting programs at WVU, both undergraduate and graduate, have separate accounting accreditation by the AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Students pursuing the MAcc program can also pursue a certificate in forensic accounting and fraud examination.

Program

The MAcc. program is a thirty credit-hour program, which can be completed in approximately twelve months of full-time study. The program requires that the student has an undergraduate degree and meets very specific accounting and business course prerequisites. Work experience is not a requirement for admission. Careful selection of degree candidates limits the size of classes, leads to high-quality efforts in the program, and permits frequent and direct contact between students and faculty. The full-time program consists of two twelve credit-hour semesters and a six credit-hour summer session.

No thesis is required in the program, but communication skills are emphasized in all courses. Extensive use is made of information technology in accounting applications.

Academic Standards

A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in all course work towards the MAcc. degree is required for graduation from the program. A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.75 will be placed on probation. If the average is not brought up to 2.75 by the end of the following semester, the student will be suspended from the program. A grade below C- in more than one course taken while enrolled as a graduate student will result in suspension from the graduate program. A course with a grade below C- will not count for the thirty semester credit-hour requirement for graduation unless repeated with a grade of C- or above. Complete information about the MAcc. program may be obtained from http://www.be.wvu.edu/macc/index.htm.

Requirements to Sit for C.P.A. Examination

The specific requirements to sit for the Uniform C.P.A. Examination vary with each state board of accountancy. Some states (or other jurisdictions such as the District of Columbia or Guam) require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree with a specified distribution of accounting and business courses as the minimum educational requirement to take the examination, whereas others require a bachelor’s degree and the completion of 150 semester hours of academic credit (including a specified distribution of courses) as the minimum. These standards are subject to change; thus, students should review the requirements (including the distribution of courses) of the board in the jurisdiction in which they plan to sit for the examination. Incidentally, these are the requirements to sit for the examination, not to be certified. Most boards of accountancy require 150 semester hours of academic credit for certification.

For the specific requirements to sit for the C.P.A. examination in West Virginia, go to the Board’s website at https://www.boa.wv.gov/ or call (304) 558-3557. For requirements in other jurisdictions, go to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s website at http://www.nasba.org.

Content specification of the C.P.A. examination and related information may be found at http://www.cpa-exam.org.

Admission to Program

Admission to the MAcc program is determined by a committee of accounting faculty members. The committee acts upon individual applications within a short period of time after receipt of the completed application.

The admission committee seeks applicants who ideally possess a 3.2 cumulative grade point average and a total GMAT score in the 60 percentile or higher. The GMAT score is used in consideration for awarding graduate assistantship.

Applicants who have passed the Certified Public Accountant examination are exempt from the GMAT requirement. Candidates who meet most of the above requirements will still be considered. Other factors such as work experience and other graduate degree work may also be a part of the committee’s decision-making.

International students should note that the College of Business and Economics TOEFL requirement is higher than the university’s requirement. Applicants must have a TOEFL score of 580 (paper), 237 (computer), or 92 (internet-based). If applicants have taken the IELTS instead of the TOEFL, the minimum score is 7.0.

Prerequisites

To assure that all students in the program have the same foundation in business, the following prerequisite courses (or their equivalent) must be completed before enrolling in MAcc graduate courses:

  • principles of accounting (six hours)
  • intermediate accounting (six hours)
  • cost accounting
  • income tax accounting
  • auditing
  • principles of microeconomics
  • principles of marketing
  • principles of management
  • principles of finance
  • statistics
  • business law (six hours, three of which may be taken concurrently with graduate courses) 
  • accounting systems

Master of Accountancy Curriculum Requirements

Core Requirements
ACCT 501Accounting/Economic Decision Making3
ACCT 511Financial Accounting Theory and Practice3
ACCT 512Mergers and Acquisitions3
ACCT 551Assurance Services and Professional Standards3
ACCT 571Accounting/Business Consulting3
ACCT 581Fraud Investigation3
ACCT 582Fraud Data Analysis3
Select one of the following tracks:9
Assurance Track
Advanced Topics (Income Tax 2)
Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting
Life Insurance and Estate Planning
Advanced Topics (Advanced Tech for Accounting)
Advanced Topics (Advanced Corporate Tax)
Federal Tax Research and Writing
Tax Track
Advanced Topics (Income Tax 2)
Nonprofit Organizations
Federal Tax Research and Writing
Advanced Topics (Advanced Corporate Tax)
Estate and Gift Taxation
Life Insurance and Estate Planning
Total Hours30

Suggested Plan of Study for Assurance Track

FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
ACCT 5113ACCT 5013ACCT 5813
ACCT 5123Select one of the following:3ACCT 5823
ACCT 5513  
Select one of the following:3
ACCT 591 (Advanced Corporate Tax)
  
ACCT 591 (Income Tax 2)
 ACCT 5713 
 ACCT 591 (Advanced Tech for Accounting)3 
   
 12 12 6
Total credit hours: 30

Suggested Plan of Study for Tax Track

FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
ACCT 5113ACCT 5013ACCT 5813
ACCT 5123ACCT 5413ACCT 5823
ACCT 5513ACCT 5713 
Select one of the following:3Select one of the following:3 
ACCT 591 (Income Tax 2)
   
 
LAW 753 (Advanced Corporate Tax)
  
 
ACCT 591 (Advanced Corporate Tax)
  
 12 12 6
Total credit hours: 30

Major Learning Goals

accountancy

Goal 1: Students will demonstrate competence in advanced technical topics.

Goal 2:  Students will demonstrate research skills by finding and interpreting authoritative literature.

Goal 3:  Students will communicate the results of research and/or analysis.

Goal 4: Students will identify an ethical dilemma and propose a solution.

Courses

ACCT 501. Accounting/Economic Decision Making. 3 Hours.

PR: Admission into the Master's of Professional Accountancy program. This course exposes students to the theory and application within the accounting profession of the topics of corporate governance, economic theory, financial management, cost accounting, and strategic planning, particularly as it relates to decision making.

ACCT 511. Financial Accounting Theory and Practice. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Comprehensive examination of financial accounting theory as established by the opinions, statements and interpretation of professional organizations with special emphasis on their application and problem solving.

ACCT 512. Mergers and Acquisitions. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Strategic perspectives of mergers and acquisitions, their valuation, and evaluation of their subsequent performance. Accounting for business combinations and foreign operations and related financial accounting and reporting issues.

ACCT 521. Information Technology Auditing. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Information technology auditing techniques, issues, and current topics, including risk assessment, general and application control testing, computer assisted audit tools and techniques, and testing of databases and local area networks.

ACCT 522. Electronic Commerce and Internet Security. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Electronic commerce business models. Real options evaluations, accounting distinctions, and case analysis of Web-based business models, with emphasis on the Internet security risks to the integrity of financial information.

ACCT 541. Federal Tax Research and Writing. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Study of federal tax authorities and hierarchy, the research resources available, development of federal tax research and writing skills, and the application thereof.

ACCT 551. Assurance Services and Professional Standards. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Professional objectives, principles, and standards for assurance services, including risk assessment, attestation reports, and related communications. Case studies covering sampling, professional ethics, legal liability and reporting.

ACCT 556. Fraud Detection and Deterrence. 3 Hours.

PR: Restricted to MPA Students. The auditor's responsibility with respect to fraud detection and investigation and management's responsibility for fraud deterrence and implementation of effective prevention measures. Identification, analysis and examination of fraud using actual and simulated data.

ACCT 561. Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Theory and practice of accounting for governmental and not-for-profit entities with an emphasis on the conceptual foundation of fund accounting, budgetary control and accountability.

ACCT 571. Accounting/Business Consulting. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Translating complex information into critical knowledge for engagements beyond basic financial/managerial accounting, assurance, and tax services. Consulting experience examined through exposure to consulting professionals, cases and/or a business simulation.

ACCT 580. Accounting for Forensic and Fraud Investigators. 3 Hours.

A basic introduction to financial and managerial accounting, auditing, and technology applicable to accounting, and the relationship of those areas with forensic accounting and fraud examination.

ACCT 581. Fraud Investigation. 3 Hours.

PR: Restricted to FAFI students. Types of fraud, documents, sources of evidence, and analysis of internal and external fraud schemes with an emphasis on the skills needed to identify and investigate fraud.

ACCT 582. Fraud Data Analysis. 3 Hours.

PR: Restricted to FAFI students. Computer-aided data analysis techniques for detecting and investigating fraud cases, issues related to the collection and use of digital evidence, and collection of data from electronic devices.

ACCT 583. Fraud: Criminology/Legal Issues. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Theories of criminal behavior, laws, rules of evidence, rights of persons under interrogation and interviewing, report writing and ethics, as these topics relate to forensic accounting with a focus on the behavioral aspects of fraud.

ACCT 584. Advanced Fraud Investigation. 3 Hours.

PR: ACCT 581 and ACCT 582. Major fraud case investigation with an emphasis on forensic and litigation support aspects, including presentation of cases in moot court setting.

ACCT 585. Forensic and Fraud Examination Advanced Analytical Techniques. 3 Hours.

An examination and use of advanced analytical techniques with respect to three forensic accounting and fraud examination special topics: civil litigation support and damage claims, valuations and financial statement fraud.

ACCT 591A-Z. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of advanced topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ACCT 592A-Z. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.

Directed Study, reading, and/or research.

ACCT 593A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

ACCT 594A-Z. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.

Seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.

ACCT 595. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

ACCT 691A-Z. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of advanced topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ACCT 692A-Z. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.

Directed Study, reading, and/or research.

ACCT 693A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

ACCT 694A-Z. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.

ACCT 694Z. Seminar. I, II, S. 1-6 hr. Special seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.

ACCT 695. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

ACCT 696. Graduate Seminar. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.

ACCT 697. Research. 1-15 Hours.

PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U.).

ACCT 698. Thesis or Dissertation. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. This is an optional course for programs that wish to provide formal supervision during the writing of student reports (698), or dissertations (798). Grading is normal.

ACCT 699. Graduate Colloquium. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. For graduate students not seeking coursework credit but who wish to meet residency requirements, use the University's facilities, and participate in its academic and cultural programs. Note: Graduate students who are not actively involved in coursework or research are entitled, through enrollment in their department's 699/799 Graduate Colloquium to consult with graduate faculty, participate in both formal and informal academic activities sponsored by their program, and retain all of the rights and privileges of duly enrolled students. Grading is P/F; colloquium credit may not be counted against credit requirements for masters programs. Registration for one credit of 699/799 graduate colloquium satisfies the University requirement of registration in the semester in which graduation occurs.

ACCT 711. Behavioral Accounting Research. 3 Hours.

This is a doctoral-level course designed to familiarize students to various behavioral topics within the accounting literature. The goal of the course is to survey some of the major theories, issues, and empirical findings within the behavioral-accounting literature. This approach is designed to build a foundation upon which the student may consider their own areas of research.

ACCT 712. Archival Accounting Research. 3 Hours.

PR: Admission to PhD program and STAT 511. This doctoral-level course is designed to familiarize students to various capital markets topics within the accounting literature. The goal of the course is to survey some of the major theories, issues, and empirical findings within the archival literature. This approach is designed to build a foundation upon which the student may consider their own areas of interest.

ACCT 713. Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination. 3 Hours.

This course familiarizes students with various special topics as it relates to forensic accounting and fraud examination. It surveys some of the major theories, issues, and empirical findings within and without the accounting literature.

ACCT 794A-C. Archival Accounting Research. 1-6 Hours.

ACCT 795. Independent Study. 1-9 Hours.

Faculty-supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

ACCT 797. Research. 1-15 Hours.

PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading will be S/U.).

ACCT 798. Thesis or Dissertation. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. This is an optional course for programs that wish to provide formal supervision during the writing of student reports (698), or dissertations (798). Grading is normal.