The online MS in Accounting curriculum at Pace University features a set of foundation accounting courses, as well as advanced coursework, tailored to help professional accountants stay current in their skills and prepare for the future of the industry. In addition to developing key accounting competencies, students will be able to gain experience with advanced auditing and analytics, strategic management, programming in Excel, and business decision-making.

We designed the program with the the philosophy of providing relevant, practical skills that our students can use right away, and that concept has guided the program’s learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of financial and managerial accounting rules and concepts, tax rules, and related business laws.
  • Use accounting and finance concepts to frame an answer to emerging accounting issues or business problems; use appropriate statistical tools, and access data sources to investigate the issue under consideration.
  • Use relevant concepts from other disciplines such as finance and economics, marketing, management, and industrial psychology to justify the hypotheses stated for a given project idea.
  • Demonstrate an ability to summarize and synthesize previous research on the issue being studied and show an awareness and use of accounting journals and databases. In the context of the problem being studied, students must clearly state a testable hypothesis in terms of the relevant literature and the arguments made in the study.
  • Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills. Students must also demonstrate the ability to identify ethical dilemmas and recommend courses of action; professional responsibilities and resolution of conflicts of interests.

To ensure that all students gain the foundational skills they need, we require students with no undergraduate accounting experience to complete the foundation courses. If you’ve taken previous business coursework, you may be able to waive many of the foundation classes and complete the program with fewer credit hours. Please contact an admission advisor if you have questions about the requirement for waiving courses.


Accounting Program and Course Waiver Requirements

Foundation Courses

Foundation courses may be waived based on coursework completed at an accredited institution according to the following criteria:

  • Completion of two directly related undergraduate courses of at least three credits within six years of initial enrollment with at least a B.
  • Completion of one directly related graduate course of three or more credits within six years of initial enrollment with at least a B.
  • Completion of 15 or more undergraduate credits in a discipline specific to the course to be waived with an average of at least a B.

The foundation courses are:

  • LAW 610 Business Law for CPA Majors (4 credits)
  • MBA 802 Business Economics for Decision Making (3 credits)
  • MBA 804 Financial Accounting for Managers (3 credits)
  • MBA 808 Essentials of Financial Management (3 credits)
  • MBA 810 Business Analytics and Statistics (3 credits)
  • TAX 503 Fundamental Concepts of Taxation (2 credits)
  • TAX 504 Sales and Exchanges of Property (2 credits)

Accounting Specialization Courses

Waiver and/or substitution may be granted based upon transcript review. Some of the guidelines are listed below:

  • A computer science or an accounting information system course with at least a B is required to waive ACC 662 Modeling of Accounting Information Systems.
  • Two cost/managerial accounting courses with at least a B are required to waive ACC 613 Accounting for Planning and Control.
  • Two intermediate financial accounting courses with at least a B are required to waive ACC 615 Financial Reporting I.
  • Intermediate Accounting II from an AACSB accredited business school with at least a B is required to waive ACC 618 Financial Reporting II.

The accounting specialization courses are:

  • ACC 060A CPA Review – Financial Accounting Reporting
  • ACC 060B CPA Review – Auditing and Attestation
  • ACC 613 Accounting for Planning and Control (4 credits)
  • ACC 615 Financial Reporting I (3 credits)
  • ACC 618 Financial Reporting II (3 credits)
  • ACC 620 Accounting Entities (3 credits)
  • ACC 632 Auditing (3 credits)
  • ACC 664 Advanced Auditing and Analytics (3 credits)
  • ACC 649 Contemporary Accounting Issues (3 credits)
  • ACC 662 Modeling of Accounting Information System (3 credits)
  • ACC 692 Research Project (3 credits)
  • TAX 612 Taxation of Entities for Accountants (3 credits)

Accounting Substitutions

Depending on the number of credits waived, students may take courses from the list below to fulfill the program’s overall credit hour requirement.

  • ACC 638 Forensic Accounting (3 credits)
  • ACC 675 International Accounting (3 credits)
  • ACC 684 Strategic Cost Management and Technologies (3 credits)
  • ACC 685 Accounting Analytics for Fraud Detection and Risk Assessment (3 credits)
  • FIN 647 Advanced Corporate Finance (3 credits)
  • TAX 625 Tax Practice, Procedure and Research (3 credits)

Breadth Elective

This is an optional elective course to prepare you for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel 2016 certification exam.

  • IS 522 Advanced Spreadsheet Skills (3 credits)

Course Descriptions

Foundation Courses

Introduces and reviews the law of contracts, sales property, commercial paper, business organizations, and bankruptcy. Course satisfies the CPA Examination Law requirement.
Introduces students to the economic concepts relevant to managerial decisions and to the global economic environment in which firms operate. Key topics include demand and supply, elasticity, marginal analysis, market structures, economic growth and productivity, income determination, fiscal and monetary policy, and international trade and monetary systems. Students will acquire skill in applying economic concepts to complex business situations, learn to analyze economic policy issues and how these issues influence firm decision-making, and enhance their ability to analyze and communicate complex economic data.
Provides a graduate level overview of financial accounting principles for students in the MBA program. Accounting is the language of business. Companies communicate their performance to investors, creditors and government agencies using information generated by accounting systems. Learning the language of accounting is essential for all business managers.
Introduces students to the financial system and presents fundamental financial concepts such as the time value of money, the relationship between risk and return, security valuation and the financing of firms. Students will learn how the governance of corporations affects their operation and what managers and security-holders need to do to create value for themselves and for their organizations. They will be able to manipulate valuation formulas, interpret a firm’s financial statements and understand the basics of how to best raise funds to finance different kinds of projects and companies.
Covers statistical and business analytics tools useful for making effective managerial decisions in a disorganized and uncertain environment in all functional areas of business. Students learn the essential statistical topics of description, probability, inference and regression, and how to apply them using Microsoft Excel. They learn how to choose appropriate statistical methods in realistic business contexts and how to interpret and effectively communicate results. Students also learn how to use data visualization tools, pivot tables and charts, data tables, linear programming models and Monte Carlo simulation.
Analysis of fundamental concepts of income taxation pertaining to individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates and trusts, exemptions and deductions.
Analyzes fundamental concepts of income taxation pertaining to sales and exchanges of property, including recognition and computation of gain or loss, amount realized, adjusted basis, installment or deferred payment method of reporting gain, private annuity transactions, common nontaxable exchanges, disallowed losses, treatment of capital gains or losses, capital asset qualifications, meaning of sales or exchange, holding period problems and special provisions concerning capital gains or losses.

Accounting Specialization Courses

Topics align with the Financial Accounting Reporting topics on the CPA Exam, and include: Cash, marketable securities, accounts receivables, inventory, property plant and equipment, intangibles, bonds, liabilities, leases, postemployment benefits, owners’ equity, results of operations, accounting for income taxes, statement of cash flows, foreign operations, consolidated financial statements, governmental accounting and not-for-profit accounting.
Topics align with the Auditing topics on the CPA Exam and include: Auditing standards, planning, internal control, evidence and procedures, audit programs, audit sampling, IT systems, reports on audited financial statements, reports on compilations and review, reports under attestation standards and other professional services.
Discusses cost accounting as a major component of management processes. Investigates planning and control functions with major emphasis on the impact of the budgeting concept on goal optimization. Exams the decision-making implications of cost and revenue in both the manufacturing and distribution processes. Covers the interaction of material, labor and overhead in both process and job order cost systems. Investigates the impact of standard cost procedures, utilizing predetermined rates and variance analysis, as well as other cost techniques on inventory valuation, income determination and performance evaluation.
Studies the preparation of financial statements. This course provides students with a comprehensive coverage of financial reporting and the accounting rules governing the preparation of financial statements. It analyzes the environment of accounting including the need for financial reporting, the role of certified public accountants, the nature of accounting rules, and the institutions involved in the process of setting accounting standards. Emphasis is then devoted to: I) understanding and mastering the accounting standards and techniques in preparing financial statements; II) evaluating accounting information; and III) understanding the effect of selecting specific rules from the acceptable set of accounting standards.
The second part of a two-semester curriculum covering financial reporting and the rules governing the preparation of financial statements. Analyzes the accounting and reporting of Shareholders’ Equity. Analysis is extended to cover the accounting treatment of several special and important subjects such as leasing, pensions and post-retirement benefits, taxes, and the statement of cash flows. Financial reporting guides of advanced and problematic topics such as derivatives and financial instruments, stock based compensation, software, and restructuring of troubled debt are also extensively discussed and analyzed.
Analyzes the accounting problems inherent in such areas as partnerships and joint ventures, consolidated statements, segment and interim statement reporting, estates and trusts, multinational companies, government, and nonprofit entities.
A course in auditing principles designed primarily for students who may enter public practice (CPA). Considers auditing standards and procedures, and the responsibilities of the independent public auditor in the expression of opinion within the framework of the code of professional ethics.
Studies advanced accounting theory and practice with emphasis on the applications and limitations of accounting; the nature and measurement of income; problems connected with matching cost and revenue. Covers the current thinking of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the American Accounting Association, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Accounting Standards Board as reflected in their official releases.
This course covers conceptual and practical issues in designing and using accounting information systems. The course includes three modules. The first discusses topics such as data flow diagrams, flowcharts, relational database, query language, and REA modeling. The second focuses on internal control and how an organization’s business processes are integrated with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The third uses the revenue and expenditure accounting cycles to illustrate the ERP concepts, while implementing a system from scratch using the general ledger software programs, culminating in the financial analysis of company performances. In addition to accounting software, the course exposes students to relational database management and advanced spreadsheet techniques (validation, spinner/scrolls, regression, vlookup, solver, scenario analysis etc.).
Under direct guidance of faculty, this course provides an integrative experience for students allowing them to pull together data analytics, technologies, and contemporary issues in auditing, financial and managerial accounting into a research project with data from actual companies, a key objective of the program. Students will learn to apply statistical modeling, inference, database management, data visualization, and data mining, etc., to analyze Accounting Big Data in order to identify red flags in firm internal control and financial reporting systems. Students will assess the risk of fraud and earnings management and the overall financial reporting risk from an auditor’s perspective. Students can also choose projects in designing and managing ERP systems for business enterprises.
Examines essential federal taxation issues for corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts. Topics include corporate organizations, operations, distributions, reorganizations and liquidations. S corporations and partnerships are examined and contrasted. Income and estate and gift taxation of estates and trusts are discussed.

Accounting Substitutions

Forensic Accounting is the application of investigative and analytical skills for the purpose of resolving financial issues in a manner that meets standards required by courts of law. The course focuses on the process of gathering data to support litigation and other legal procedures. Forensic Accountants need an understanding of accounting, criminology, law and investigative auditing techniques. This course will provide business students with the tools to integrate these functional areas into the desired knowledge base needed as Forensic Accountants. Therefore, this course emphasizes the detection of fraudulent financial reporting and employee fraud.
This course focuses on data analytics skills and critical thinking that are required to be an effective Data Age auditor. It covers topics on computer assisted audit techniques, data analytics, business and artificial intelligences, and continuous auditing. Students will gain knowledge in data retrieval, visualization, simulation, integrated test facility and program documentation and maintenance issues. A hands-on term project and report will be required in the course.
The course first covers the issues uniquely confronted by companies involved in international business. Students will learn issues related to foreign currency transactions, foreign exchange risk exposures, inflation, and multinational consolidated transactions requiring the translation of foreign currency financial statements. The course then studies the accounting and financial reporting issues in today’s global financial market. Students will gain an appreciation for the pattern of international accounting diversity and the environmental influences, such as the cultural, political, legal and business environments, on a country’s accounting system. The course will review the convergence or harmonization of accounting rules and underlying concepts of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The challenges in analyzing foreign financial reports are addressed along with the effects of different sets of national GAAP on reported profits and shareholders’ equity.
Studies actual design of computer-based cost accounting and control systems for manufacturing and service organizations at the professional level. The course focuses on data-driven cost reporting, analysis and decision making. Students will learn using Big Data and business intelligence in managerial/cost accounting. Students will design computer-based cost accounting and control systems such as ERP for manufacturing and service organizations. The course will also include a critical look at the implications of various cost management systems in today’s global context, a study of the strategic cost management approach and various manufacturing and service operation modes, and actual design of computer-based cost systems.
This course aims to explore Accounting Big Data and develop data analytics skills for fraud detection and risk assessment. It consists of two modules. Module 1 builds the foundation for accounting data analytics; and Module 2 focuses on the theory and methodology for identifying anomalies and red flags and assessing risk factors. A comprehensive research project will be required.
This course provides students with the tools and concepts of modern financial theory and how to apply them to corporate financial decisions, building upon the basic principles of finance developed in introductory finance. It covers issues such as capital budgeting, working capital management, capital structure, corporate control, corporate governance and dividend policy. In addition, advanced topics such as mergers and acquisitions and the use of real option theory in making corporate financial decisions may be addressed.
This course covers the history and organization of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal judiciary as it relates to tax controversies. Emphasis is placed upon the examination and collection powers of the Service and the legal and technical responsibilities imposed upon representatives, with special emphasis on those imposed upon accountants. The deficiency and refund procedures are covered from the beginning of a tax controversy through its resolution by way of litigation. Included are the process by which returns are selected for examination, the conduct of examinations, the conduct of administrative conference proceedings, the Service’s investigatory and collection power, and those provisions available to taxpayers. The sources and nature of the Federal tax law and its legislative, administrative and judicial explanations and interpretations are covered. This course also introduces students to the research tools available to accountants, their uses and limitations, and the processes by which tax professionals identify issues and apply controlling precedents in order to formulate research conclusions and professional recommendations.

Breadth Elective

This is an online course that introduces students to the features of Microsoft Excel and prepares them for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Excel 2016 certification exam. This is a hands-on course that covers the fundamentals of good spreadsheet design and management. Topics include: Creating and saving an Excel workbook; learning concepts, terms and jargon; brushing up on math skills; entering labels, formulas, and functions; printing worksheets and workbooks; creating and using charts; creating and using Excel tables; creating and using PivotTables and macros; and using the decision making strength of Excel.

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