Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Help (new window)
Sign In

Washington University in St Louis Olin Business School

Olin Business SchoolOlin Business School


A total of 33 credits are needed to complete the MACC program, 18 of which are required courses with the balance being graduate-level elective coursework. A 3.0 GPA is required to remain in good academic standing.

Washington University undergraduates or individuals with business undergraduate degrees should consult with an adviser to determine their most appropriate course sequence. The program can be completed in a 2- or 3-semester track format.

Transfer of Credit

Olin Business School will accept up to nine credits of coursework taken at another AACSB accredited institution if the grades you earned are "B" or better, and the Academic Review Committee judges the courses to be equivalent to Olin MAAC classes in quality and content. Submit the course syllabus and transcript to your business adviser upon enrollment.

Foundation Courses

Depending on their academic background, students may be required to enroll in foundation courses upon entering the MACC program in August. These are in addition to the 33 required credits:

  • ACCT 560 Introduction to Financial Accounting (2 credits) – counts toward GPA calculation
  • ACCT 562-02 Financial Accounting II (Intermediate Accounting/ MACC Accounting Foundations Tutorial) (0 credits) – participation based on outcome of readiness exam


Fall Semester (16.5 credits)

Fall A Fall B
ACCT 503 Bus. Analytics Using Fin. Statements (1.5)
MGT 533 Effective Managerial Com. (1.5)
ACCT 503B Business Analysis Financial Statements (1.5)

ACCT 564 Auditing (3)
ACCT 567 Income Tax Fundamentals (3)

Choose six credits of electives, which may include:

Fall A sample electives:
MGT 502 Ethics & Managerial Decision Making (1.5)
MGT 511A Law & Business Mgt (1.5)
Fall B sample electives:
ACCT 500E Info. Tech. Control & Audit (1.5) Recommended
MGT 511B Legal Issues at Business Stages (1.5)

Spring Semester (16.5 credits)

Spring A Spring B

MGT 550Z Professional Communication Forum (1.5)
ACCT 563 Financial Accounting III (Adv. Accounting) (3)
ACCT 555 Accounting Policy & Research (3)

Choose six credits of electives, which may include:

Spring A sample electives:
ACCT 500C Tax & Business Strategy (1.5)
ACCT 500G Analysis of Financial Institutions & Financial Instruments (1.5)
ACCT 507 Financial Issues in Leasing (1.5)
Spring B sample electives:
ACCT 502 Managerial Control Systems (1.5)
ACCT 500D Fraud Prevention (1.5)
ACCT 508 Financial Reporting from the CFO’s Perspective (1.5)

Semesterlong sample elective:
ACCT 500F International Financial Report Standards (3) Strongly Recommended

(18 required, 7.5 degree electives, 7.5 elective credits)

Foundation Course Descriptions

ACCT 560. Introduction to Financial Accounting
In this course we will study the three fundamental financial accounting issues, including (1) recognition, (2) measurement/valuation, and (3) classification/disclosure and consider how business transactions are reflected on the financial statements using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). We will cover the four primary financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, statement of stockholders’ equity, and statement of cash flows), the supporting footnotes to these statements, and several reports (annual reports, proxy statements, and press releases). The course incorporates both a preparer’s perspective (i.e., GAAP requirements for recording and presenting financial information) and a user’s perspective (i.e. how an investor or analyst can interpret and use financial statement information. 2 credits

ACCT 562-02 Financial Accounting II (Intermediate Accounting / MACC Accounting Foundations Tutorial)
The series of independent modules is offered to all students in August before the start of the first semester. It reviews a substantial number of topics from introductory and intermediate financial accounting. The modules include inventory, depreciation, cash flows, deferred taxes, bonds, and pensions. 0 credits. (This is a workshop, not a tutorial.)

Required Course Descriptions

ACCT 503. Business Analysis Using Financial Statements
In this course we use concepts from financial accounting, finance, and strategy to develop models used by financial analysts in valuing equity securities (although we will focus on equity valuation, our approach is applicable to issues faced by managers considering investment opportunities). We will discuss/review a variety of models, including the dividend model, the free cash flow model, the method of comparables/multiples, and the asset-based valuation model. These more traditional models will be contrasted with the residual income valuation model, a relatively recent valuation innovation. Prerequisite: ACCT 562-02 1.5 credits

MGT 533. Effective Managerial Communication
This course expands SMP/MACC candidates´ competencies in writing the emphatic and active voice style for different stakeholders, presenting under difficult or unplanned circumstances, evaluating the work of others and delivering constructive feedback, running better meetings, and writing and evaluating strategic documents. Candidates benefit from constructive feedback provided by the instructor and an international range of classmates. Assignments are drawn from real organizational cases requiring solid tactical thinking to ensure that communication is received well. 1.5 credits

ACCT 564. Auditing
This course deals with the professional service industry of auditing. The auditing industry provides the service of objectively obtaining, evaluating, and communicating evidence regarding managerial assertions about economic events. Specifically, auditing ascertains the degree of correspondence between managerial assertions and established criteria. The course is organized around the basic categories of: (1) the economic role of external corporate auditing in securities markets, (2) the composition of the firms in the auditing industry, (3) the regulatory environment of auditing, (4) litigation issues facing the accounting/auditing industry, and (5) the requirements for conducting audits. Topics included in the last area include a consideration of the scope and application of Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) and the general technology of auditing which are some general auditing topics typically covered on the CPA exam. Grading is based on homework, a group-based project, and two exams. Prerequisite: ACCT 562-02. 3 credits

ACCT 567. Federal Income Taxes
This course provides an introduction to federal income taxation with primary emphasis on the tax implications of business transactions. The objectives of the course are to develop a basic understanding of federal income tax laws and to provide a framework for integrating income tax planning into the decision-making process. The course is of value to all students who need to recognize the important tax consequences of many common business transactions and is not intended solely for accounting majors or those students interested in becoming tax specialists. Prerequisite: ACCT 562. 3 credits

ACCT 503B. Advanced Business Analysis Using Financial Statements
This course builds on ACCT 503. We investigate approaches to forecasting future value drivers of firms and then the preparation of pro forma financial statements based on these forecasts. The concepts will be applied by having students prepare an equity analyst report. The report is the communications of evidence collected from a systematic study of a firm, its environment, and its future prospects to justify a recommendation. Prerequisite: ACCT 503. 1.5 credits

MGT 550Z. Professional Communication Forum
This course focuses on the development and delivery of a technical presentation in a persuasive manner, reflecting a typical consulting environment. The course teaches students communication skills necessary to communicate to both technical and non-technical audience members. The students will deliver both an oral team presentation and a client proposal "leave behind." 1.5 credits

ACCT 563. Financial Accounting III (Advanced Accounting)
Examination of the nature and financial reporting aspects of various business transactions: corporate acquisitions, mergers, and the formation of other strategic alliances. Topics: accounting for business combinations and consolidations, joint ventures and foreign currency translation, accounting and financial reporting issues facing government entities. Prerequisite: ACCT 562-02. 3 credits

ACCT 555. Accounting Policy & Research
This course is designed for Students in the Masters in Accounting Program (MACC) and integrates material from previous accounting courses and professional experiences. This course will enable students to develop their knowledge and appreciation of current debates that surround the accounting profession. Students will develop critical thinking skills regarding these issues and form and defend opinions about contemporary regulatory and market issues. The course will also provide an opportunity for students to learn important technical and research tools used by accounting practictioners. Finally, students will get an appreciation of the primary methods underlying academic research in accounting. Prerequisite: ACCT 562-02. 3 credits


MGT 502. Ethics & Managerial Decision Making
This course consists of a seminar which focuses on ethical issues in management. This course is "team taught" and surveys a number of ethical standards or levels by which managers make decisions involving most functional areas of business. Course will emphasize discussion by students of cases and problem situations which confront managers and for which ethical dimensions are a significant part of the business choices. Course grade is determined by class participation and a written summary paper. See instructor for additional information. 1.5 credits

MGT 511A. Law and Business Management
We will review different rules of substantive law which affect the conduct of individuals and businesses. We will analyze different legal theories and rules of substantive law which regulate the conduct of individuals and businesses and which impose liability for damages on individuals and business entities when those rules are violated. We will survey basic rules of criminal law, intentional torts, and negligence. We will next focus on the rules affecting the making and performance of contracts, and the liability which results from breach of contractual relationships. This will include general contract law, as well as specific rules that exist in the sale of goods and merchandise, and in the purchase, ownership, and sale of real property. In addition, we will also analyze and compare the choices available for dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, and trial in court. 1.5 credits

ACCT 500E. Information Technology Control & Audit
This course is designed to provide students with an introduction and overview of the field of Information Technology (IT) Auditing. It is intended to provide students with an understanding of risks in the IT environment, general computer and application control concepts, and the basics of how to perform an IT audit. The course will also introduce students to the ISACA COBIT framework and the concepts of IT governance and assurance. Prerequisite: ACCT 562-02. 1.5 credits

MGT 511B. Legal Issues at Business Stages
An analysis of legal issues affecting business from startup, operation, and the sale or closing of the business, including mergers and acquisitions. Startup analysis will include a comparison of business entities available and the factors to be considered in choosing one form of entity over another. We will compare general partnership, limited partnership, corporate and limited liability company forms of doing business, and basic rules of taxation of business entities, including and understanding of Apass through entities for tax purposes. Specific issues to be considered in the operation and conduct of the business will include a review of the law of agency, employment law, intellectual property law, securities regulation, and antitrust. We will conclude with a review of legal issues affecting the sale or closing of a business, including mergers and acquisitions. We will discuss specific issues affecting sellers and buyers including representations and warranties by sellers, successor liabilities, and indemnification arrangements. 1.5 credits

ACCT 500C. Tax & Business Strategy
This course is intended to provide business students with an overall framework for taking tax considerations into account when making business decisions. More specifically, as the textbook authors point out in the preface to the book, the course is intended to provide students with "a solid understanding of the decision contexts that give rise to tax planning opportunities, how to integrate tax strategy into the bigger picture of corporate decision making, and the dramatic impact that changes the transaction structure can have on after-tax cash flows." This course is not intended to provide students with an understanding of the technical tax rules that will be discussed during the course. However, many technical tax rules will be mentioned throughout the course and a general framework of the tax rules will be provided so as to facilitate a discussion of how these tax rules affect business decision-making. Prerequisite: ACCT 562-02. 1.5 credits

ACCT 500G. Analysis of Financial Institutions & Financial Instruments
The main goal of the course is to give students an in-depth understanding of how financial reports provide unusually accurate and detailed (but not perfect) information about the risks and performance of firms in the financial services industries. These firms´ financial statements increasingly are based on fair value accounting and their financial reports typically include extensive risk and estimation sensitivity disclosures. Both fair value accounting and risk and estimation sensitivity disclosures are necessary ingredients for financial reports to convey the risk and performance of financial services firms in today´s world of complex, structured, and risk-partitioning financial instruments and transactions. While financial services firms often apply fair value accounting and risk and estimation sensitivity disclosures imperfectly (or worse), careful joint analysis of the information they do provide invariably yields important clues about their risks and performance. 1.5 credits

ACCT 507. Financial Issues in Leasing
This course is devoted to studying the various elements that are involved in identifying leasing opportunities and structuring a lease. Topics to be covered include the legal and financial structure of a lease, options embedded in lease agreements, accounting and tax issues related to leases, and the marketing and negotiation of leases. 1.5 credits

ACCT 502. Managerial Control Systems
Organizations face both information and incentive problems, usually simultaneously. Managerial control involves developing policies and systems to cost-effectively minimize these problems while helping the organization achieve its objectives. The course focuses on control issues by analyzing the financial aspects of planning, feedback, and performance measurement. Topics include: responsibility accounting, budgeting, benchmarking, target costing, variance analysis, productivity measures, transfer pricing and optimal design of performance measures. 1.5 credits

ACCT 500D. Fraud Prevention & Internal Controls
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of various forms of fraud, the role of auditors and forensic accountants in detecting the fraud, and how internal controls may be designed to prevent such activity. The course will draw extensively on cases that illustrate the various types of fraud. In each topical area, students will examine the techniques that may enable an investigator to detect the fraudulent practices and also develop appropriate internal controls that would help a corporation minimize or prevent the fraudulent practices. Prerequisite: ACCT 562-02. 1.5 credits

ACCT 508. Financial Reporting from the CFO's Perspective
This course will (1) enhance students´ understanding of the role of the CFO (of publicly traded firms) in financial reporting and the related roles of the CFO in issues of corporate governance and investor relations, (2) provide students with a strong understanding of the impact of Sarbannes-Oxley on financial reporting for public companies, as well as requirements of the SEC in financial reporting, (3) develop students´ skills in using the authoritative accounting and regulatory literatures when preparing financial reports, (4) examine issues related to financial reporting for specific accounting issues and in times of financial crisis, and (5) provide a basis of understanding the technological changes affecting financial reporting. 1.5 credits

ACCT 500F. International Financial Reporting Standards Strongly Recommended
This course examines the advantages and disadvantages of using International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) rather than the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) commonly applied in the US. It reviews the arguments for and against the adoption of IFRS, the Security and Exchange Commission´s roadmap for the adoption of IFRS in the US, and the International Accounting Standards Board´s and the Financial Accounting Standards Board´s convergence project. Key differences between IFRS and GAAP in revenue recognition, inventories, long-term and intangible assets, research and development costs, borrowing costs, taxes, and employee benefits are explored. Prerequisite: ACCT 563. 3 credits