Posts filed under 'MAcc'

Negotiations

This entire post is dedicated to one class, because it is just that awesome. As an SMF, you have the opportunity to take classes outside of Finance. Negotiations is one of them. Take it. Absolutely, under any circumstances, sign up for this. It is taught by either Professor Lount of Professor Lewicki. I currently have the night class with Dr. Lewicki. I could go on and on about Dr. Lewicki’s achievements in the field of negotiations, but I will stick to the class.

I hate night classes. Simply put. There are hundreds of things I would rather be doing at the end of March from 6-9 at night and I am sure most of you feel the same way. Negotiations happens to fall in this category of things I would rather be doing. This is one of the two most engaging classes I have had at Fisher (Dr. Wruck’s Corporate 3&4 are the others). Almost every night you are participating in some sort of negotiation. You have free reign to stretch the truth, never reach a deal, anything. The thrill of winning a negotiation, even with fake money, is something that is hard to compare with. This class also gives you the opportunity to work with Working Professional MBA’s, Full-Time MBA’s, JDMBA and MHRM students. With this in mind, you know you will never be negotiating with someone of the same background or goals.

I will warn you. You might look up after laughing, cheating, and lying in your negotiation to the point where you will enjoy it so much, that you actually might be a little depressed that you have to leave for the night. The 3 hours in negotiations passes by entirely too quickly, to say the least.


Channel Stuffing aka the MAcc Soccer Team

One great thing about Ohio State is the wide variety of activities to participate in during the school year! One popular choice this term was intramural soccer. The MAcc team, Channel Stuffing, competes every Monday night against other groups of students. While I (unfortunately) am not able to bless the team with my (non-existent) soccer talent, I was able to go cheer them on! The team they played had another MAcc student on it, I guess this is okay even though I consider it borderline treason to be on any team besides the official MAcc team. Below are some pictures from the game!

SoccerAction1

Action on the field

 

J&H

Intensity during the game

The Fans!

The Fans!

theteam

Channel Stuffing!!

Unfortunately, Channel Stuffing did not prevail but because they have already won a game they are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. It was a lot of fun to go see everyone play! If you are interested in learning more about intramural sports at Ohio State, click here! There are so many options it is hard to choose!

 


Tackling the CPA Exam

We only have about a month left in the MAcc program, and so many of my peers are studying for the CPA Exam. Some students have even started taking sections of the exam. We get a lot of questions about the CPA Exam in our admissions inbox, so here are some Q&As that will hopefully clear up some things:

1.  What’s on the CPA Exam?
The CPA Exam is a computer-based test that has four sections:

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD): 4 hours (90 questions & seven task-based simulations)
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): 3 hours (72 questions and three written communication tasks)
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): 4 hours (90 questions and seven task-based simulations)
  • Regulation (REG): 3 hours (72 questions and six tasked-based simulations)

You can take the sections in any order you choose, and you must complete all four sections within 18 months.

2.  Am I eligible to sit for the CPA Exam?
It depends! The requirements vary by state, so I will use Ohio as an example. Please look up the state you intend to practice in on NASBA’s website to find that state’s specific requirements. For Ohio, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • have completed 150 semester hours of college education and meet one of four educational requirements. (For more information, click here)

After completing the MAcc program, you are eligible to sit in Ohio.

3.  Does the MAcc program help prepare you for the CPA Exam?
While the MAcc program does not teach towards the CPA Exam, a lot of the topics covered in MAcc classes are on the exam.

4.  How much does the CPA Exam cost?
The application fee and examination fees for all four sections total $869.08 for first-time applicants. You can apply for one or more sections at a time, and you are advised to only apply for a section if you are ready to take it within the next six months. If you need to retake any section, there are additional fees.The other cost of taking the CPA Exam is the cost of a preparatory course, but a lot employers, especially public accounting firms, will help subsidize the cost of a CPA review course. Some also cover the fees to take the four sections the first time.

5.  When do most MAcc students take the CPA Exam?
With the credits that they have earned thus far, some of my peers are already eligible to take the CPA Exam. On the other hand, some students, including myself, have to wait until the end of the program before they can start taking sections of the Exam. Most of my peers who will be working for public accounting firms have start dates in the late summer or early autumn. Therefore, many intend on taking all four sections of the exam (or as many as they can) during the summer.

To learn more about the accounting profession and the CPA Exam, check out this website by the AICPA. Oh, and remember:

CRUSH-THE-EXAM


Asset Misappropriation

Last term I took a class that focused on fraudulent financial reporting.  This course focused on methods to detect whether the financial statements can be analyzed in ways to determine if fraud is being perpetrated by the company.  This would normally involve managers or executives.  This term I am in another fraud class, asset misappropriation.  This course focuses on ways employees one way or another steal assets from the company.  This type of fraud tends to be more common amongst companies but usually results in a smaller amount of loss as compared to fraudulent financial reporting.

In the course we have been learning about different ways employees steal from their company.  Usually it involves employees with trusted responsibilities over some type of asset.  This can range from an employee taking cash out of the register to more elaborate payroll or billing schemes.  While there are way too many different methods for us to cover in 7 weeks, we hit the major and most common approaches used by fraudsters.  As part of the class we also talk about how to prevent or detect these frauds.  This is clearly a very useful skill to acquire when going into a career as an accountant.

I have really enjoyed this class so far.  It is interesting to discuss how creative some of these fraudsters get when perpetrating the crime.  Classes involve a mix of discussion about schemes, cases, and videos featuring real world examples.  I am looking forward to learn about other kinds of fraud schemes as the course continues.


Dat CPA Life

It is almost given that all MAcc students will be ~*aTteMPTing*~ to pass their CPA at some point in the upcoming year. While taking the exam is a given, the real decision is when you want to begin studying.

Depending on what state you want to sit in, you may or may not have the requirements to sit before you graduate. Most students who have the hours to sit are trying to get at least a couple done during the school year. Some eager beavers are even sitting in other states to begin taking the exam even if the state they will be practicing in doesn’t let them sit yet.

Unfortunately, I am one of the students who has begun studying for the CPA. I figured it would be better to start now and have more time this summer before I actually start working. Balancing the normal amount of school work with the additional amount of studying for the CPA can be difficult, but it is definitely manageable.

One thing I would recommend if you are planning to sit is to start in the spring term. I loaded up on coursework in the autumn and specifically enrolled in fewer courses in the spring in order to balance my CPA studying. If you have an offer from a Big 4 firm, you will more than likely be using Becker to study, but there are plenty of other options if you have a different offer or if you are looking for a more financially friendly way to study.

I would say the biggest hurdle to CPA studying is actually ordering your books and starting to study. It’s a big step to order the books, but an even bigger step to actually crack them open and begin to study. The MAcc program is not tailored to CPA studying but I know the information I have learned in the MAcc will help me a lot on the CPA, especially with Reg and FAR, with many topics being introduced and explained in the classroom. I am also happy I have begun to study while I am in school because I am already in the studying mindset! If I started this summer I would be used to break and would not be as motivated to get studying started and completed.

Overall, the CPA is manageable but it takes some dedication to consistently study and prep!


The Homestretch

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs the Fisher MAcc program is broken up into four 7 week terms.  With the first three terms already done and over with, we have reached the homestretch.  It’s hard to believe that there is already less than seven weeks left in the MAcc until we graduate.  With that being said, there is still plenty of things going on that I am looking forward to this final term:

  • MAcc Field Day: The MAcc Council and MAcc Social Chair have been working hard to plan a field day for the MAcc program.  With winter coming to an end and the weather warming up, it’ll be nice to spend an afternoon in the park doing some field day activities.  This will be a great chance to spend some more time with the other students before we all go our separate ways.
  • March MAcc-ness: It’s that time of year again and College Basketball is taking over.  Clearly at Ohio State football is king, but everyone still loves March Madness.  Everyone enjoys filling out a bracket and seeing if they can get any upsets right or pick which team will be Cinderella.  Our program has set up a bracket online to compete against each other and find out who picked the best bracket.
  • MAcc Gives Back: MAcc Gives Back happens once a semester, so you may have read a blog about this event in the Fall.  Unfortunately I was unable to participate in the Fall.  This semester I am looking forward to being able to participate in this service event the MAcc program helps with.  MAcc Gives Back has multiple locations available to volunteer and I am excited to be able to be part of this service activity.

Nonprofit and Governmental Accounting

Our last session, Spring Session 2, is now underway, which means new classes for Fisher MAcc students! A popular elective for students this term is AMIS 7250: Nonprofit and Governmental Accounting, and it’s taught by Prof. Brian Mittendorf. So far in our accounting education, the focus has been on for-profit companies and learning about their financial reporting requirements, auditing, and taxation. Thus, many MAcc students were interested in learning about the nonprofit sector. Also, nonprofit and governmental accounting is 16-24% of the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the CPA Exam (it’s on the minds of most MAcc students nowadays as some have begun studying for it).

The course makes you think about accounting in a new light. Not only does the terminology change when you are talking about nonprofits, but the way in which you think about profits and expenses shifts as well. Nonprofits do, in fact, make “profits!” What differentiates them from for-profit companies is that nonprofits don’t have owners or shareholders. The “owner” of the organization is its mission, and all profits are reinvested to carry out that mission.

I really like this elective course so far and am looking forward to see what else we learn. In addition to rounding out my accounting education, I will also be able to apply what we learn in this course as soon I will be volunteering as treasurer for a 501(c)(7) nonprofit and would love to undertake other roles in the nonprofit sector in the future.

We watched the TED talk below for class, which proposes that that the way we evaluate charities (and their spending habits) is flawed. Enjoy!

 


Scheduling Woes and Wins

Scheduling can either be a walk in the park or it can be a stressful experience. Unfortunately, no matter how much you prepare and plan for your next semester’s schedule, something is likely to go awry. Whether this is missing out on a class or getting wait-listed there are always some issues regarding your new schedule. Because of this likelihood, I am glad that I will never have to schedule classes again! While there are issues with every schedule, there aren’t any bad classes to take within the MAcc program so that can serve as some comfort.

Scheduling classes in the MAcc can be especially interesting because of all the elective options. With all of the different courses you can definitely find something that is unique and will grab your attention for the term or the entire semester. I think some of the best advice for scheduling classes is to try and talk to the students who have already taken the classes. Before I started the program I talked to some current students and got the lowdown on what classes to take. This turned out to be valuable information and I will make sure to write a future post about some of my favorite classes to ensure that future MAcc generations receive the same knowledge I did!

Another piece of advice around scheduling is to talk with the professors. They will be able to provide greater insight into the main goal of their course and the workload associated with it. I have learned that the accounting faculty are always willing to discuss their courses and what you may learn from the material. This will help when it comes down to narrowing your elective choices.

Finally, I would say the last piece of advice I have regarding scheduling courses is to go outside your comfort zone! There are so many wonderful courses here and just because you may not have a ton of background or prior knowledge about a subject matter, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the course. You can find unique courses both within the accounting electives and outside of accounting through the MBA, Finance, and Human Resources programs.

If you prepare ahead of time and plan out your year, scheduling becomes a whole lot easier and much more fun!

 

 

 


Daymond John Comes to OSU

One perk of being part of Ohio State is being able to take advantage of all the events the Ohio Union Activities Board (OUAB) puts on.  Last month they welcomed Daymond John to the Union.  For those of you who don’t know, Daymond John is one of the judges on ABC’s Shark Tank, as well as founder, president, and CEO of FUBU.  They set up his presentation into two separate sections.  First, they allowed four individuals/groups to present a pitch for their product to the “sharks”.  The “sharks” consisted of three professors and John.  All of the product pitches were very interesting and John provided great constructive feedback to the students.

After the pitches were over they started a moderated Q&A.  John shared with the audience his story of starting his own business to his experiences on Shark Tank.  John was able to provide a lot of solid advice for future entrepreneurs and businessmen and women.  One major piece of advice he gave was to learn how to be financially responsible. It doesn’t matter whether you learn this “on the job” or through formal education, just as long as you become financially educated.  He stressed too many times startups fail due to poor financial decisions or poor financial structuring.  He also talked a lot about his perseverance and how it is important to set goals and attain those goals.  His strategy was to set long-term goals and short-term goals to gradually achieve the long-term goal.  Through his perseverance and his dedication to completing his goals he became a successful entrepreneur and investor.


Trivia Night!

One of my favorite things that I do weekly is Trivia Night with some MAcc friends at a local bar called The Grandview Cafe. The place is packed (usually 20+ teams) with grad students and young professionals every Thursday night for a competitive and challenging round of trivia. Some friends and I started going early in the semester and have gotten hooked. We’ve finished in second and third in the past, but we’re still striving for gold!

Prof. Zach heard about our Trivia Night tradition and decided that he wanted to join in on the fun. He’s gone with us the last two weeks and definitely carries his weight, particularly with his knowledge of sports and world geography. One of the great things about the MAcc program is that our faculty and staff are down-to-earth and genuinely interested in what we are doing. Whenever I see Prof. Arya, our program director, he likes to check in to see how our trivia team is doing. There is such a fun, relaxed learning environment here with a great work hard, play hard mentality. Trivia Night is just one example of the many things that MAcc students are up to outside of the classroom!

Prof. Zach joins us for Trivia Night!

Prof. Zach joins us for Trivia Night!

Check out Columbus Trivia Challenge if you want to play – they host trivia Sundays through Thursdays at different locations throughout Columbus!


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