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Earn an Accounting Degree with a Business Analytics Concentration

November 11, 2021

A master’s degree in accounting gives graduates the skills necessary to succeed as managers in the profession. Students interested in a specific area of accounting can pursue coursework related to an accounting concentration. Employers often expect job candidates to have related degree specializations or professional experience in the area (or both). With data emerging as a driving force behind business strategy and decision-making, many accounting students choose to earn a Master of Science in Accounting with a business analytics concentration.

Merrimack College offers a business analytics concentration, as well as concentrations in taxation and fraud & forensics. Students can also study any of the three concentrations as stand-alone, credit-bearing certificates.

The Importance of Business Analytics

The emergence of business analytics has removed the guesswork for executives when making decisions on their business strategy. Guided by data, business leaders now can make evidence-based choices grounded in accurate historical data and predictive analytics.

The key to success is having people on board who understand how to take vast, often unstructured data and properly analyze it, extracting useful and actionable information. Accountants with an education in business analytics can fill this crucial role.

Experts in the field have long recognized that analytics is an important, emerging area of accounting. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants identifies business analytics as a key growth area in the accounting industry. Analytics are also integrated as part of the revisions to the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam.

What You Learn in a Business Analytics Concentration

The Merrimack College MS in Accounting with a concentration in business analytics offers a high-quality online MSA program. Graduates emerge with the introductory skills they need to extract decision-guiding insights from data and synthesize them with related theoretical and experiential knowledge.

Professionals in the graduate program also learn both the theories and methods for application to real-world situations involving data management, preparation, analysis, visualization, and result interpretation and communication.

Business Analytics and the CPA Exam

Business analytics is expected to become part of the CPA Exam in the coming years. Merrimack College recognizes the need for accountants to understand the use of analytics. Accordingly, a new Accounting Analytics course was developed to cover analytics and how it is impacting the accounting profession.

Pursuing a business analytics concentration prepares students for future changes to the CPA exam and teaches skills required in the accounting industry. In the future, the CPA exam will have a section dedicated entirely to analytics which emphasizes the importance of the topic.

The Merrimack MSA not only offers the option to integrate analytics into the curriculum it also focuses on building skills in the area of ethics, advanced accounting and taxation, and integrates the option to include competencies in forensic accounting and IT Auditing all of which help students prepare for all sections of the CPA examination.