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MS n Accountancy or MBA with Accounting emphasis

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MS n Accountancy or MBA with Accounting emphasis [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2006, 12:50
The header is fairly self-explanatory. In a sense, I have been working in Finance/ Accounting operation roles for the past year and feel a strong desire to fully pursue the Acounting field. Though I do hold an undergraduate degree in Finance, I would like to also obtain the prerequisite Accounting educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam. In addition, I would like to use the prestige of the educational institution and degree to facilitate my transition to a Big 4 or smaller, but well regarded Accounting firm. The end goal is to start my own Accounting firm, but plans would put this achievement about 4 years out from the Masters.

So which would serve my interests best, Masters in Accountancy or MBA with emphasis in Accounting? So far I am looking at USC and Portland State University(MSFA but will fulfill CPA requirements) for Masters in Accountancy. What MBA options would I have?

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GPA: 3.62 (3.91 major GPA) from respectable California State school
GMAT: sitting for exam in mid-November. Will realistically score between 640-700 given preparation.
Work experience: 1 year (2 years upon commencement of Masters) Fortune 500 and also mid-sized food manufacturer
Extracirricular: Lots of material here. Clubs, collegiate athletics, Honors program, extensive international travel, study abroad, music, jiu jitsu...
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2006, 18:20
I'm assuming that you'll be able to sit for the CPA exam regardless of which program you decide on (MAcc or MBA) so I'd have to go with the Master of Accountancy program. I think most of them are 1 year so you'd have less opportunity cost. It also leaves you the option of an MBA later on if you choose to do so.

Just my two cents.
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Re: MS n Accountancy or MBA with Accounting emphasis [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2006, 12:13
I would suggest you go for the MBA while making sure you fulfill all the pre-requisites for the CPA exam. There are a bunch of business law, and management accounting requirements, so make sure you look into that. NASBA's website would be a great resource for that. I suggest the MBA because of your long-term aspirations, which are to have an accounting firm of your own. Speaking from experience, a Masters in Accounting would be very 'accounting driven' with very little room to take on other electives. The MBA program will equip you with the necessary management and marketing skills that will reap dividends for you years down the road. My .02.

EvanG wrote:
The header is fairly self-explanatory. In a sense, I have been working in Finance/ Accounting operation roles for the past year and feel a strong desire to fully pursue the Acounting field. Though I do hold an undergraduate degree in Finance, I would like to also obtain the prerequisite Accounting educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam. In addition, I would like to use the prestige of the educational institution and degree to facilitate my transition to a Big 4 or smaller, but well regarded Accounting firm. The end goal is to start my own Accounting firm, but plans would put this achievement about 4 years out from the Masters.

So which would serve my interests best, Masters in Accountancy or MBA with emphasis in Accounting? So far I am looking at USC and Portland State University(MSFA but will fulfill CPA requirements) for Masters in Accountancy. What MBA options would I have?

Profile:
GPA: 3.62 (3.91 major GPA) from respectable California State school
GMAT: sitting for exam in mid-November. Will realistically score between 640-700 given preparation.
Work experience: 1 year (2 years upon commencement of Masters) Fortune 500 and also mid-sized food manufacturer
Extracirricular: Lots of material here. Clubs, collegiate athletics, Honors program, extensive international travel, study abroad, music, jiu jitsu...
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2006, 13:38
Thanks for the input! I have decided to go with the MS in Accountancy. Though an MBA which fulfills the CPA requirement is also an excellent option, I feel it would be premature. The main goal of an MBA for me would be to refine my business plan for an entrepreneurial venture, something that is still 3-5 years out.

As far as MS in Accountancy programs are concerned. How much difference is there between universities which have Accounting AACSB accreditation? I currently live in southern California and there are basically 2 university options, USC and Cal State Fullerton. USC obviously has more prestige inherent in its name, but how much of a difference will it make? Cal State Fullerton's curriculum is practically identical, and all the same firms recruit. If my goal is to procurea job with a Big 4, should I even spend the extra 35-40k to earn a degree from USC? With Fullerton I could start in February, obtain an internship with a Big 4 for the first semester, and finish Spring '08, same as USC.

I ended up taking the GMAT this weekend, and scored 640. Considering the preparation, I am not incredibly disappointed. I had planned to take the exam in November; however after talking to the CSUF Accounting chair was informed the deadline for program commencement in February required an immediate submittal of application.

I am failry confident I can gain admittance to USC given conversations with the admissions staff, what would you suggest?

Thank-Evan
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2006, 15:09
As far as securing a job with one of the Big 4 is concerned, any program that has relations with the Big 4 would suffice. If CSF consistently places graduates into the Big 4, I don't see why one would seek another significantly expensive option, i.e. USC in this case. Having said that, USC offers a brand recognition that CSF doesn't so if you are somebody that wants to put a little 'color' to your resume`, you might want to go for USC - but that's some expensive color that I would not advise buying - unless you secure some kind of scholarship/fellowship that a lot of these 'elite' accounting programs offer.

Generally, if you stuck around with one of the Big 4 for 5 years or so, hit the manager position and then went back for the MBA, USC or CSF will not make much of a difference. It'll be your work experience, recommendations, community involvement and GMAT that will have the biggest impact on the MBA program that you get into. Hope that helps.


EvanG wrote:
Thanks for the input! I have decided to go with the MS in Accountancy. Though an MBA which fulfills the CPA requirement is also an excellent option, I feel it would be premature. The main goal of an MBA for me would be to refine my business plan for an entrepreneurial venture, something that is still 3-5 years out.

As far as MS in Accountancy programs are concerned. How much difference is there between universities which have Accounting AACSB accreditation? I currently live in southern California and there are basically 2 university options, USC and Cal State Fullerton. USC obviously has more prestige inherent in its name, but how much of a difference will it make? Cal State Fullerton's curriculum is practically identical, and all the same firms recruit. If my goal is to procurea job with a Big 4, should I even spend the extra 35-40k to earn a degree from USC? With Fullerton I could start in February, obtain an internship with a Big 4 for the first semester, and finish Spring '08, same as USC.

I ended up taking the GMAT this weekend, and scored 640. Considering the preparation, I am not incredibly disappointed. I had planned to take the exam in November; however after talking to the CSUF Accounting chair was informed the deadline for program commencement in February required an immediate submittal of application.

I am failry confident I can gain admittance to USC given conversations with the admissions staff, what would you suggest?

Thank-Evan
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Ms in Accounting [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2006, 04:01
I am the manager in Ernst&Young AABS Department. My advice is to get Ms in accounting (it's shorter and cheaper than MBA). Then at the end of study sit for CPA exams. Then join the Big 4 firm where you get necessary experience to become CPA.
Ms in Accounting   [#permalink] 07 Nov 2006, 04:01
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MS n Accountancy or MBA with Accounting emphasis

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