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What is the Lehigh MSAIA core?

The MSAIA program consists of 18 credits in the core courses shown below, and 30 credits overall. Designed specifically for this program, and dedicated to it, these innovative core courses seek to develop a set of skills and experiences not available in undergraduate programs that enhance MSAIA students' ability to perform throughout their chosen careers. Core courses are offered once each academic year.

MACC 401: Professional Issues in AccountingNegotiation (1) adopts a hands-on, experiential approach to negotiation by emphasizing interactive role plays, vicarious observation of negotiation, and discussion of experiences in the context of conflict and negotiation principles.

  • Preparing for negotiation and understanding personal styles of conflict resolution
  • Strategies and tactics of distributive bargaining and integrative bargaining
  • The importance of and challenges raised by relationships, repeated bargaining, and trust
  • Using communication effectively in negotiation
  • Negotiating in team and organizational contexts
  • Requires an individual paper that integrates students' learning and personal experiences

MACC 402: Professional Issues in AccountingCase Analysis (1) improves students' qualitative and quantitative skills in analyzing business cases; emphasizes group interaction and dynamics in case analysis. Class discussion, small group case analyses and presentations, and final case project help students to:

  • Understand the characteristics of effective case analysis
  • Appreciate the importance of turning data into information
  • Recognize the importance of presentation and structure in developing professional cases
  • Effectively write case problem statements
  • Understand how to link recommendations to problems
  • Propose detailed recommendations that provide managerial guidance and are actionable

MACC 403: Professional Issues in Accounting—Ethics (1) examines ethical issues in business, including the international environment. Class discussion, case studies and a group exercise help students identify acceptable and unacceptable business practices and behavior.

  • Defining ethics; administering a corporate ethics policy in multinational corporations.
  • Global ethics cases include settings in Korea, Poland, Ghana, USA, Russia and Taiwan
  • Viewing the Enron debacle as a failure in ethical values.
  • Reconciling ethical behavior, foreign agents and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Managing ethics in foreign cartels—a Taiwanese joint venture and a Polish acquisition

MACC 412: Information Systems Auditing (3) studies information systems (IS) and information technology (IT) audit implications of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) legislation. Covers advanced topics needed to be successful in today's accounting profession.

  • General control issues related to SOX section 404, including IT governance, system security, and system development and change procedures
  • Application control issues in an IT environment
  • Competence in the use of ACL, a leading Computer Aided Audit Tool (CAAT)
  • Familiarity with SAP, the leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) system
  • Perform audit tests in an SAP environment

MACC 413: The Corporate Financial Reporting Environment (3) considers how financial reporting copes with information asymmetry (unequal access to information) with discussion of readings, assignments that incorporate real world developments, and a group project.

  • The financial reporting revolution, information and measurement perspectives
  • Economic consequences and Positive Accounting Theory
  • Agency theory and owner/manager conflict
  • Executive compensation and earnings management
  • International financial reporting standards and U.S. GAAP
  • Standard-setting and the conceptual framework of accounting

MACC 420: Consulting Process and Practice in Professional Accounting (3) presents the business consulting process used in public accounting and consulting firms, and in internal corporate projects. Case studies, class discussion and outside speakers helps students:

  • Learn skills for effective consulting and auditing engagements
  • Understand how to market and deliver professional services
  • Prepare and present client proposals
  • Apply effective project management skills and techniques
  • Assess appropriate methods of data collection and analysis
  • Communicate deliverables and recommendations effectively

MACC 424: Corporate Governance and Business Risk (3) relates economics, assurance, risk, business strategy and ethics to corporate governance and risk management related issues. Uses interactive class discussions, group exercises and cases to involve students.

  • Ethics as the foundation for good corporate governance
  • Characteristics and impact of good governance practices on organizational performance
  • Roles and responsibilities of board of directors and how board committees affect corporate governance
  • Effects of Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) and other regulatory requirements on corporate governance, including certifying internal controls over financial reporting
  • Assessing business risks and understanding enterprise-wide risk management strategies
  • Linking an organization's strategy to its value chain and underlying business risks

MACC 427: Analyzing Accounting Information for Management and Business Solutions (3) draws on much of what students learned in their undergraduate and MSAIA programs. From an accounting perspective the course explores the relationship between internal operations and external markets.

  • Use of accounting information to develop successful corporate and business strategies
  • How profit plans facilitate testing and communicating alternative ways to generate value, assess resource availability, and ration resources
  • Linking internal operations and external capital, supplier and customer markets
  • Identifying and managing strategic risks
  • Role of performance measurement and control systems to encourage growth
  • Extensive use of Harvard Business School cases and class discussion

Electives. The MSAIA curriculum provides for twelve elective credits that students may use to specialize in an area of interest or to augment one's general business education. Frequently taken electives include graduate level courses in forensic accounting and auditing, taxation and business decisions, financial statement analysis, corporate financial management, investments, strategic supply management, managerial economics and strategic marketing management. The MSAIA Program Director approves all electives.

Waiver Policy. There are no waivers for courses in the MSAIA program, nor may courses be transferred in from other institutions.

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