Online Master of Accountancy Program Overview

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Learn more about Ohio University’s Online Master of Accountancy.

Transcript

Amanda Scaperotta:
Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today for our online Master of Accountancy Program Overview webinar. I’m Amanda Scaperotta, Program Specialist. And we have Jennifer Stevens, Program Director, with us today. I’m going to pass it over to Jennifer so she can give us a little bit about her background at Ernst & Young in Chicago and her previous employment at the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
Hi, my name is Dr. Jennifer Stevens. I am the Program Director for our Masters of Accountancy here at Ohio University. I have an undergraduate degree in accounting, Master of Accountancy, as well as a PhD in accounting. An MIS from The Ohio State University. So after my undergrad and my MAC degree, I actually went to work for Ernst & Young in their fraud and forensics practice in Chicago. Was a really great experience. After that, I went to a smaller boutique firm called Alvarez & Marsal.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
They were starting a forensic accounting practice. So I have experience both at the big four and at a smaller consulting firm. After that, I went for just a brief period of time at an investment research firm. So this gave me great exposure to the capital markets and how the capital markets work prior to entering… Going back to school to pursue a PhD and an academic career. So my first academic job was at the University of Notre Dame, and then I came to Ohio University, I think about four years ago now. I really love Ohio University. I think that the educational experience at OU is second to none. We are really focused on providing a transformative learning experience and we are extremely hands-on and giving individual attention to each individual student. So we believe in very close ties and very close relationships between our faculty and our students.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
And so we have this beautiful campus in Athens, Ohio, where we really foster this great academic environment and these relationships. And we really try and mimic that in our online programs. And so you are getting the same coursework. You’re getting the same professors that our on the ground MAC program has. It’s just in an online environment. And each individual professor does special things to try and build those relationships with our online students as well. So for instance, when I have you in my forensic accounting class, I ask for a personal introduction. And I want to know your career goals and a little bit about your background, so we can really get to know each other. And I can be there as a resource for you, not only while you’re in the program, but also throughout your career. We do have over 200,000 Bobcat alumni around the world. And we have a great alumni network that you can tap into to look for jobs, or to network, both during and following your degree.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
So I think we are going to talk a little bit today about the Master of Accountancy program at Ohio University and our online format. Which again, you’re getting the same content and professors as our underground program. It’s just in a virtual setting, which I guess we’re all very used to right now, hopefully. So this is 100% online. You will meet the requirements to sit for the CPA exam following our program. So we do ask that you double check with your enrollment advisor. Each state has different CPA requirements. And so we just want to make sure that we are meeting the requirements for your state. So in 99% of the cases we will. I know for sure we do meet the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Ohio by completing our Master of Accountancy. But please reach out to your enrollment advisor and ask about your specific state requirements.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
You can complete this in five to eight semesters depending on your educational background coming in. And we are really proud of our curriculum. So this is a fairly new program, our Master of Accountancy in general. And again, we have designed it the same, whether you’re on campus or online. And we’ve created a unique case-based curriculum. So we think that accounting is not… Some people think accounting is black or white, or just crunching numbers. But we don’t really see accounting like that at all. We see accountants as information specialists. So the problem of the 20th century was the lack of information. The problem with the 21st century is too much information. And accountants are especially well-versed and prepared to turn lots of data into usable information for decision making. So we want to train our students with the critical thinking skills, with the problem solving skills, and with the ability to transform, to take questions and be able to transform data and answer them with that data. And provide useful information for high level decision making.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
We don’t want our students coming out and taking low level bookkeeping jobs. Our students come out and they may start at a lower level position, but they work their way up very quickly, because we have trained them to look for answers using accounting information, and to be able to really understand business through looking at financial information. And so I often call accounting the universal donor of the business school, because employers know that accountants understand how business works, because everything flows through the financial statements. It all has to come down to the numbers at some point. And so, while a marketing major could not take an accounting job. An accounting major can take a job in accounting. Often can take a job in finance. Often could take a job in management or marketing as well. So employers really value the skills and the general understanding of business that accountants have and their ability to use financial information and use data for high level decision making.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
So we really have designed our program around that. And we’ve created unique cases where students, we want you to interact and discuss the gray areas. Because that’s where your competitive advantage is going to come in, is understanding the gray areas of numbers and not just… Accounting is not just black or white. It’s how to use that information for decision making. So following your Masters of Accountancy, you could take a wide variety of positions. And this is how I just mentioned, how we call accounting, the universal donor of the business school. But what I did is I went through, since I have an undergraduate degree and a Masters of Accountancy, I went through my LinkedIn profile. And I said, “What are my colleagues from my accounting degree doing 10 years after their degree?” And so I did this analysis.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
I will admit I’m a little bit more than 10 years out now, but I did this at the point I was 10 years out from my MAC. And I said, “What are they doing now?” And you wouldn’t believe the wide array of positions they had taken in such a diverse array of industries. And so of course I had former colleagues that were in different public accounting firms. They were in consulting firms. I had several former colleagues that were at the Sec, Securities and Exchange Commission. Also the FBI, the Secret Service and the Federal Reserve. They all need accountants. Some went into investment banking and other banking roles. Banking, actually they appreciate they want the finance background, but they also really find an accounting background useful. So if you have the combination of the two, they especially like that in investment banking. Some went into the not-for-profit route. Being a forensic accountant and focusing in fraud investigations.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
I can tell you that not-for-profits have a ton of fraud. And it’s partly because the people running the not-for-profits often aren’t well versed in accounting and in controlling the finances around those activities. And so accounting majors, and those are the master of accounts, and a CPA, are especially valuable in the not-for-profit sector. Some went to pharma companies, biotech, healthcare, and then also food, leisure and entertainment, energy, and manufacturing, and many CPAs become small business owners. You could run your own CPA firm, or you could have another small business. Because again, you need to generate a profit and you need to understand the numbers in order to help drive business decisions in order to make a profit. So an accounting background is especially useful for small business owners. So we do have a path that is right for you.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
So we have designed the program to accommodate any undergraduate background. But the content and the number of credit hours will vary based on your educational background. So, first of all, the first path would be the accounting path. And that’s for those with an undergraduate degree. And now you are either looking to just expand your accounting knowledge and looking for those deeper level decision making skills, or you don’t yet have your 150 credit hours needed to sit for the CPA exam and you want that. So, that would be our accounting path.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
You have an undergraduate degree in accounting. And then we would have a specific track for you. If you have an undergraduate degree in business, but not accounting. So maybe your undergraduate degree was in finance or marketing. We have a path for you as well. We call that the business path. And then lastly, if you have an undergraduate degree in something non-business, we call that our non-business path. That would be a history, or a psychology, college of arts and sciences majors, or engineering. Anything non-business, we have a path for you as well.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
I would like to mention that… Could we just go back to the overview of the paths for one minute? I would like to mention that all three paths have varying levels of credit hours. However, they will all meet the requirements to sit for the CPA exam. So again, we need to get you to 150 credit hours. We need to get you a specific number of accounting hours. We do have to double-check your state, but we’ve designed all three paths to meet the requirements to sit for the CPA exam. So whether you just want to enhance your current accounting career, or whether you want to make a complete change from a completely different career into accounting, we can get you there for the CPA requirements. So just let me go into a few details about each path. Let’s talk about the accounting path first.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
You have an undergraduate degree in accounting. And so we are going to give you, this will be 30 credit hours. This is the fastest, and most efficient and effective way to get to that 150 after an undergraduate degree. So you will take the seven core accounting courses, which the seven core accounting courses are going to be the same, regardless of your path. You will take them in all. Each path will have the seven core accounting classes. And then we’re going to tack on three courses in data analytics. We think that data analytics is very important. You will get projects in data analytics in your accounting classes. But again, this is where we think the employers are telling us they need the accounting knowledge, that financial knowledge, as well as how to use and manipulate data. So you’ll have three courses in data analytics.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
Now, if you’re in on the business path. So you have a business degree, but it was not accounting. You are going to take these seven core… Can we go to the next side, please? So if you’re on the business path, again, you have an undergraduate degree in business, but not accounting. It’s going to be 42 credit hours. So it’s going to be the same 30 credit hours you just saw where we have the seven core accounting courses and the three courses in data analytics. But we’re going to give you four accounting foundational courses. So this would be a total of 42 credit hours. So, that four foundational accounting courses are basically going to be the greatest hits of an undergraduate degree in accounting.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
So this is giving you all the basics in accounting that you would have gotten from an undergraduate degree to get you up to speed, to enter the seven core accounting classes. So again, this is a 42 credit hour path. Very reasonable to get a Masters of Accountancy. And meet the requirements for the CPA. And then lastly, the non-business path is for any undergraduate degree that’s not in business. And this again would be great for people looking to completely change careers and have a solid career path, because we know that accountants almost have… We have a lot of jobs in accounting.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
So we have four, you would take your four accounting foundational courses. Again, that would get you the undergraduate accounting classes that you need. You would take the seven core accounting courses. And instead of three data analytics courses, we’re going to give you four general business courses. So you’ll still get one data analytics class, but we’re going to give you a couple other foundational business courses from our MBA program to get you the underlying business knowledge that you need in order to work in accounting.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
So I think that’s kind of a summary of our Master of Accountancy. And then the three paths that we have for you depending on your undergraduate degree. So we’re about to talk about why to choose Ohio. And I think I will hand it back over to Amanda.
Amanda Scaperotta:
Thank you, Jennifer. So guys, I wanted to talk about our accreditation here at Ohio University, Ohio University’s College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which recognizes the best business schools on a global scale. Our College of Business has been one of the earliest accredited schools and we’ve maintained our AACSB accreditation for over 70 years now.
Amanda Scaperotta:
Also-
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
… Amanda, could I just mention one thing?
Amanda Scaperotta:
Go ahead.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
We are actually double accredited. So our College of Business is accredited by the AACSB and our School of Accountancy is separately accredited by the AACSB. So this dual accreditation is very, very difficult to find. Okay, great. Thank you, Amanda.
Amanda Scaperotta:
Indeed. Thank you so much. Also, I know a few of you already have questions regarding this. I wanted to talk about our scholarships here at Ohio University. We offer scholarships for alumni. So folks that have their undergraduate degree from Ohio University. We also offer scholarships for student veterans, members of active and retired military, and corporate partners. I’ll also be sharing in our group chat on the screen, our scholarship page. So you all have all of the extra detail you need regarding the scholarships. What the alumni, and student veteran, and corporate partnership scholarship offer is $5,000 towards the online Master of Accountancy degree.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
Amanda, I would like to interject one more time. You also could check your State Society of CPAs, often would offer scholarships for a Master of Accountancy degree. So that would be a scholarship not directly offered through Ohio University, but your State Society of CPAs would offer degrees, as would the AICPA. And that’s the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. So again, check those two sources for scholarships that might be available independent of Ohio University.
Amanda Scaperotta:
Thank you, Jennifer. I appreciate that. Also, I wanted to go over our tuition here for the program. As Jennifer talked about extensively, is the three paths for our accountancy program based on your undergrad education. So depending on your path, your tuition will vary slightly. As you can see here on this screen is the cost per credit hour. And then based on your path, the accounting path, the business path, and the non-business path, depending on the credit hours, the tuition will vary slightly.
Amanda Scaperotta:
What we also wanted to talk about today, by earning an online Master of Accountancy degree, and Jennifer also alluded to this as well. It’s just not about crunching the numbers or earning an accountancy degree. You’re developing leadership capabilities. You’re learning a self form of leadership, and you’ll be able to take this wherever in whatever career field that you choose to go in. Taking online classes really requires that self discipline and time management, and never being afraid to speak up, and to ask questions and to get those questions answered.
Amanda Scaperotta:
Also, within the program, we have an on campus leadership development program. And I’m going to go to the next slide and speak about our LDP, which again is the leadership development program. So our LDP is a requirement of the program. It’s only required that you come once to campus during taking the online Master of Accountancy program. And it’s offered two times a year. And you can choose one to attend. And you go to campus for two days. And it really is a world class seminar. And we have folks that come from around the US to speak at this summit for two days. You’re also able to interact with your classmates that you’ve been able to talk to via our Blackboard platform. So it really does bring everything full circle during your two days on campus in Athens, Ohio. And Jennifer, did you want to add anything about the LDP?
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
Sure. I mean, I think this is a really unique feature of our program. And I think that our students really love this aspect of the program. So we find that if a student comes once, they often come more than once. You’re only required to come one time throughout your time in the program, but you’re welcome to come more than once. We find that students do, do that once they actually attend one. So it’s an opportunity to meet your faculty, to get some career coaching, to hear these world class speakers and to network with your fellow students that you’ve been working with now for a long time. And also build your professional network for when you go out into the workforce. So it is two days, it’s not a huge time commitment. The lodging and the program is paid for through the program. So it’s a great experience and our students really enjoy it.
Amanda Scaperotta:
Thank you, Jennifer. I also wanted to note, I know a lot of us are working remotely during this time and have been, or might be for some time in the remainder of 2020. But we really wanted to add, and Jennifer spoke about this earlier, online doesn’t mean out of touch. Really the same professors that are teaching on campus in the classroom are teaching these online courses as well. It’s not a separate set of faculty or teachers. Also, you don’t get lost in the crowd at Ohio. They really like that one-to-one ratio, making sure that you are heard within your online class. They offer virtual class hours as well. And many students find that they get to know each other within the cohort via texting each other, email groups outside of the Blackboard system, or just solely communicating within the Blackboard system that we have here for our online program. At Ohio, we are student centered. And students receive high touch support from faculty who are really experts and leaders within their field. At Ohio, you’re not an afterthought. You’re not a secondary citizen. You really are a part of Ohio University.
Amanda Scaperotta:
All right, guys, we’re going to go into the admission requirements for the program. Here are the general admission requirements. I know I’ve also seen some questions around this. Again, your application fee is going to be $50. Also, to apply for the program there are no GRE or GMAT scores required. We will need a copy of your current and updated resume. And transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
Amanda Scaperotta:
All right, I’m going to hop into some of the questions. And please feel free throughout Jennifer and I speaking, to add in any other questions. Jennifer, we had a question back on the accountancy path. They were wondering if they had a business degree, how many credit hours was that again, if you had a business undergraduate degree, which path, but that puts that person in?
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
So if you have a business undergraduate degree, that is non-accounting, it’s the business path. And it would be 42 credit hours. So it’s the same 30 credit hours that you would get on the accounting path, your seven core accounting classes, plus your three data analytics. But you would have to get the four foundational accounting courses, which is the high level summary of the undergraduate concepts and accounting that you missed. So, 42 credit hours.
Amanda Scaperotta:
Awesome. Thank you. And also, one other question they were wondering is this program, regardless of which path you choose, is this asynchronous?
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
There are some components of our program that are synchronous and some components that are asynchronous. I think there will always be the opportunity for a synchronous component in any of Ohio University’s College of Business online graduate classes. So by that, I mean, we hold live classes Tuesday night and they will always be recorded. So in any of our programs, you will have the opportunity for live interaction at some point during the week. And those sessions are recorded. So you can watch them later, if that time didn’t meet your scheduling needs. In our seven core accounting classes, we do have a synchronous component where we will require you to attend some sessions live. So again, out of your 10 to 14 courses, 14-15 courses, the seven core accounting courses will have some live component.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
And that will be some Tuesday nights. So if you are required to attend live, it would be a Tuesday night at 8:00 PM Eastern. Usually eight to nine, or 9:30 PM. Eastern. It depends on the instructor if how many of those sessions they require. But we believe that really the value and a lot of the skills we’re trying to teach is in discussion around these cases. And so we need people in the classroom in order to have a discussion. And so, we think that there is great value because this mimics the real world meetings. And so again, there will always be the availability or the option to have synchronous learning in all your classes. But in your seven core accounting classes, there will be some mandatory requirement for some Tuesday nights. And again, the instructor will lay out their requirements at the beginning of the semester. And we have encouraged them all to build flexibility into that.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
So you can choose the Tuesday nights that you do attend in order to meet the needs of your personal and professional obligations. Because we know that you’re working professionals and we have designed this program to meet the needs of a working professional. But we also believe that the higher level learning that really sets our program out from others is the case-based discussions. And we need some people in the room. We need you to participate in these in order to get the value out of them. Does that answer your question?
Amanda Scaperotta:
Thank you, Jennifer. I really appreciate you going into detail about that. And I really wanted to piggyback off of that, because what Jennifer really alluded to was the convenience and flexibility to fit your lifestyle. This is designed for working professionals. And I had a question earlier yesterday via an email that says, “What does a successful student look like in this program?” And really that’s a self motivated individual. Having those effective time management skills, trying to have a good working environment for when you do your assignments and your discussion boards. And never be afraid to ask questions. You’re going to be able to network with other students within your classes who are located around the world. As well as with your faculty and student support specialists here at Ohio University. So don’t be afraid to ask questions and use these resources if you require further information or get stuck.
Amanda Scaperotta:
Does anyone else have any questions? We’re going to wrap up this webinar with any last minute questions? I see one about GMAT and GRE. Again, GMAT and GRE scores are not required to apply and, or be accepted into the program. Jennifer, were there any last comments or statements you wanted to make before we wrapped up today’s webinar?
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
Sure. Thank you, Amanda. I would just like to reiterate that accounting is a really great career. I think it opens a lot of doors. You may not end up working in accounting, but the accounting educational background will open up doors for you. And it’s a great foundation for a very successful, longterm career. There’s always jobs in accounting. Always jobs. And then I would also like to mention that we are so student centered at Ohio University, and we are really committed to each individual student and helping you meet your goals.
Dr. Jennifer Stevens:
So the more you can reach out to us and really use us as a resource. The more helpful we will be to you. And the more we will help you meet your personal career goals. So I hope to see you in the online Masters of Accountancy at Ohio University starting this Fall. And I think for now, I hope that you have a great rest of your week.
Amanda Scaperotta:
Thank you so much, Jennifer. And thank you all for joining today. I just wanted to remind everyone that we have three starts per year, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Our Fall term is approaching and that application deadline is July 31st. Also, as soon as this webinar concludes, I’ll go ahead and drop this information in the group chat as well. Just where you can get additional questions answered via email or telephone. Thank you all for joining today.