Master's in Accounting
Bentley started in 1917 as an accounting school. Over the years, Bentley has educated tens of thousands of CPAs who fill the ranks of both large and small accounting firms, corporate finance departments, forensic audit teams, and more. The Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) was the first such program in Massachusetts to gain the prestigious separate accountancy accreditation from AACSB International — the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Our accounting roots run deep but we also understand industries change and Bentley has fused our accounting and analytics expertise to provide you with a degree that will make you a sought after leader in whichever direction your degree takes you.
- Up-to-date, high-quality education in the major areas of accounting: financial, managerial and tax accounting, auditing, and accounting information systems.
- Opportunities for students to learn from and interact with professionals working in the field.
- An option to pursue the degree while simultaneously working toward a graduate certificate in a related area.
- Scheduling flexibility that includes full-time and part-time study, and the opportunity to take some courses online.
- Completing the Bentley Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) meets the educational requirements for CPA licensing in Massachusetts.
The Bentley MSA prepares you for a wide range of careers, no matter the industry you are interested in. See below for a partial list of employers and job titles our alumni have achieved over the past year.
|Company Name||Alumni Title|
|Deloitte||Audit Associate, Advisory Consultant, Tax Associate|
|EY||Assurance Associate, Diversified Staff Group - Tax Services, Transfer Pricing Associate|
|PwC||Assurance Associate, Tax Associate, Advisory Associate, Technology Consulting|
|KPMG||Audit Associate, Deal Advisory Associate, Advisory Associate|
|Grant Thornton||Audit Associate, Tax Associate|
|RSM||Assurance Associate, Tax Associate|
|BDO||Assurance Associate, Tax Associate, IS Assurance Associate|
|State Street||Emerging Technology Consultant, Tax Analyst|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||Associate Internal Auditor|
|Analog Devices||Cost Accountant|
The Howard A. Winer Learning Lab for Economics, Accounting, and Finance (LEAF) is a welcoming and inclusive learning environment where students are encouraged to seek academic support for their accounting, economics and finance courses. Students utilizing the LEAF will find peer tutors knowledgeable in accounting, economics, and finance, ready to help and prepare students to thrive in the Bentley business curriculum.
The LEAF is designed to allow students hands-on experience by integrating technology into their areas of study and work together on group projects and case studies. Additionally, students will find peer led tutoring for the subject areas covered by the lab.
MSA listed top of 2019 in Accounting Today
Average age of students in this program
Domestic Placement Rate
Part-Time Students Enrolled
International Students Enrolled
Top Employers Hiring Our Graduates
The MSA is a specialized degree customized for each student. The program comprises four accountancy core courses, two accountancy electives, and up to four unrestricted electives, depending on the student’s background. An evaluation of each student’s background is part of the admission process. Foundation and Core courses are available in a hybrid format.
Pre Program Foundation Courses
All applicants will be evaluated for foundation waivers.
This course covers basic statistical techniques in a managerial setting, and features case studies and conceptual exercises. Statistical topics include effective use of numerical and graphical summaries, estimation and confidence intervals, hypothesis testing and regression. More advanced topics such as data mining, the Bayesian paradigm and principles of model building, may be encountered during projects.
This course examines managerial decision-making from an economic standpoint. The first half (microeconomics) explores how prices, wages and profits are determined in market economies; the advantages and disadvantages of unfettered competition; and the impact of government intervention on market outcomes. The second half (macroeconomics) investigates the factors influencing gross domestic product, interest rates, unemployment, inflation and growth; the causes of the business cycle; the role of the federal government and the Federal Reserve in stabilizing the economy; the impact of technology on productivity and growth; and the influence of international trade and finance on economic activity.
The objective of this course is to provide an applied understanding of the finance concepts and tools of analysis used in measuring firm performance and in making investment decisions that create value. This will be achieved through instructor conferences and the use of cases. The main concepts covered include financial statements, ratio analysis, financial planning, the time value of money, capital budgeting, capital structure, the cost of capital and asset valuation.
Accountancy Core Foundation Courses
Students who have completed equivalent coursework to the Accountancy Core Foundation may substitute electives for these courses. Course equivalency is evaluated during the admission process and students are notified with their admission letter.
First in a two-course sequence of financial accounting courses at the professional level. Examines the principles and practices of external financial reporting, with particular emphasis on balance sheet valuations and their relationship to income determination. Reviews basic accounting concepts and the essentials of the accounting process. Covers the application of present value techniques to accounting valuations. Studies in depth the measurement and disclosure problems associated with cash, receivables, inventories, fixed assets and intangibles. Alternative accounting procedures and their impact on financial statements are also examined.
This course continues the two-course sequence begun in AC 611 by exploring accounting theory and concepts which form background for external financial reporting. It examines the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) related to the preparation of financial statements, with particular emphasis on the equity side of the balance sheet. Topics covered include current liabilities, long-term debt, leases, pensions, stockholders’ equity, earnings per share, accounting for income taxes, accounting changes, and the statement of cash flows.
This course covers basic concepts and techniques of cost accounting. Topics include cost accumulation procedures, cost-volume-profit analysis, and operational budgeting. The course explores the analysis and presentation of information from a behavioral as well as a quantitative perspective.
Accountancy Core Courses
Students who have completed comparable coursework in AIS, Audit, and/or Taxation should consult with the MSA Program Director to discuss course substitution options.
This course examines typical organizational business processes and the information technology that enables those processes. Reviews qualities of information, including those established by authoritative bodies, to assess the ability of information systems to support the business processes and an organization's management. Focuses on financial and accounting information systems (AIS) and explores several typical AIS application areas. Issues addressed include the effect of emerging technologies on business processes and their related information systems; control issues pertaining to these systems; and the implications of technology-enabled organizational changes on systems design, implementation and management. Students will be introduced to state-of-the-art tools and techniques for examining business processes and information systems and will engage in a project at a company site.
This course is designed to provide a foundation in financial statement auditing. Class sessions cover the economic and social justifications for auditing; the connections between enterprise strategy, business processes, business risks, financial measures, and the audit; the role of internal control in auditing; the technical details of audit planning, testing and reporting; and the social responsibility of the auditor. Investors, analysts and the public face a significant problem in assessing the quality of the financial information that an enterprise reports as it goes about its activities. Arguably, these parties can make better decisions if they can trust the executives and management of the enterprise and if they are reasonably sure that the information they encounter is of high quality. One way to gain both that trust and that assurance is by examining the quality of the information through the process of financial statement auditing.
This course examines individuals, C corporations, S corporations, and partnerships as taxable entities. Topics include the philosophy of taxation, income determination, deductions and credits, acquisition and disposition of property, and related gains and losses. Additional topics, including distribution from and liquidation of business entities, tax planning and tax research, may be covered.
This course introduces graduate students to professional accounting research. It focuses on how research can help address measurement, uniformity and disclosure issues that regularly arise in business. It reviews and critiques research works and their implications for the practice of accounting. Investigates ethical perspectives and emerging professional issues. The course evaluates policy formulation of professional accounting standards and their impact on business reporting. Students research, analyze, develop and present proposed solutions to accounting and related business cases found in practice using modern information technology resources.
Select a minimum of two courses in Accountancy (AC) at the 700 level or higher from the below list. The remaining elective may be in the AC at the 700 level or higher, or non-accountancy courses at the 600 level or higher.
Note: Electives may be chosen according to the student's interest or to fulfill requirements for a graduate certificate in a related area - for example, fraud and forensic accounting, taxation, financial planning, business ethics or business analytics.
Affords students the opportunity to enhance self-realization and direction by integrating prior classroom study with experience in professional employment. Each student is required to prepare a research paper addressing a contemporary accounting issue and a paper on the work experience, under the supervision of a faculty adviser.
This course presents the theory and concepts regarding specialized topics in financial accounting. It examines business combinations, with emphasis on consolidated financial statements and elimination of inter-company transactions. Topics covered also include accounting for foreign operations, and financial reporting for partnerships, governmental and not-for-profit entities.
This course examines current financial reporting and disclosure practices and financial reporting trends. It develops the students' skills in financial reporting measures for solvency, earnings, investment and forecasting implications. The course looks at internal measures useful for management decision-making. It discusses behavioral implications of internal and external reporting through use of current research findings.
This course, designed for students who will be accountants and information systems professionals, shows how they can help management use information technology to effectively control the execution of business activities, while capturing accurate and complete data about those activities in real time. Students will model, analyze and evaluate accounting information systems that support intra- and inter-organizational business processes as well as management control and decision-making. Students will learn to determine and document user requirements, communicate results, and support decision-making. By analyzing and discussing case studies, students will develop the ability to identify key issues, wrestle with conflicting information, and formulate appropriate and feasible recommendations. The course incorporates large-scale projects to enrich the student's experience with an appreciation for the accounting challenges and opportunities posed by information technology.
This course introduces three typical aspects of information technology (IT) audits: the audits of computerized information systems, the computer facility, and the process of developing and implementing information systems. Through readings, case studies, exercises and discussion, students will learn to plan, conduct and report on these three types of IT audits. Additional topics may include challenges posed by emerging information technologies, advanced audit software, business continuity planning, and the role of the IT auditor as an adviser to management.
This course explores in detail the duties and responsibilities of the internal auditor. Topics covered include the organization of the internal audit department, staff qualifications and development, long- and short-range audit plans, and the elements of internal auditing (i.e., preliminary survey, audit programs, fieldwork activities, reporting and management review).
This course examines the effect of taxation on business decisions and accounting policies. Topics include choice of business entity, valuation of assets and related cost recovery methods, and compensation issues related to equity-holders and employees. Tax planning and tax research will be integrated into all topics.
The primary objective of this course is to understand taxation in financial reporting. Students will obtain detailed knowledge of accounting methods and periods and should understand how tax provisions are prepared and reflected in all areas of the financial statements. The course will provide a wide knowledge base for professionals to understand the regulations surrounding accounting for income taxes. This course is intended for students who will work in public accounting, either in an audit or tax role, or as a member of a corporate accounting department that would assist with financial statement preparation.
This course deals with the measurement and financial reporting problems unique to federal, state and local governments. It covers various aspects of financial statement preparation and interpretation. Reference is made to pronouncements of the AICPA, FASB, GASB and other authoritative sources. Budgeting, budgetary control, and public sector auditing are introduced.
The course exposes students to the environment of financial fraud, with a focus on asset misappropriation and fraud perpetrated against the organization. It explores the prevailing theories of criminal behavior related to white collar crime, as well as the basics of the regulatory, criminal justice and civil justice systems, relevant federal and state statutes and regulations, and common law related to fraud. The course covers fraud prevention, and detection and investigation tools related to asset misappropriation. It also introduces the digital environment of fraud, including identity theft, cyber crimes and Internet forensics.
This course focuses on complex frauds (including financial statement fraud, tax fraud and money laundering), and on non-fraud forensic accounting engagements (including cases of patent infringement, commercial damages and anti-trust). It covers related investigation methods and legal issues, valuation models, reporting and communicating findings, testifying as an expert witness, and other litigation advisory services.
Building on the premise that sensitivity to international accounting issues is important for professional success in the global business environment, this course examines financial and managerial accounting topics relevant in the international context. It addresses topics such as the differences between U.S. GAAP and IFRS, accounting for foreign currency transactions and translations, international financial statement analysis, contemporary accounting issues, performance evaluation of foreign operations, and international transfer pricing and taxation.
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Meet Your Program Director
Len Pepe is an accounting lecturer and the program director of the MS in Accountancy and Accounting Analytics at Bentley University. Len was a partner in the audit department of Grant Thornton, LLP Boston and has experience as a managing partner of the CCR LLP, Boston Office and as a partner at BDO Seidman, Boston. His research interest is in professional practice and has been honored with Bentley’s Adamian Award for Teaching Excellence — Part Time in 2017.
Contact Len to schedule a time to discuss your background and career goals and how these align with Bentley's MSA and MSAA programs.