Posts filed under 'MAcc'

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!

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program!

Every year a group of MAcc students participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). This program helps lower and middle income residents of Columbus correctly file their income taxes. The program is available on Fridays (5-8) and Saturdays (10-2:30) throughout January and February. I know this doesn’t sound like the most interesting or fun thing to do on your weekends but it actually is a very rewarding experience and we manage to have some fun!

I first volunteered when I was a sophomore at Ohio State through Beta Alpha Psi and now this year I am a Site Manager. Most volunteers work in pairs and one person prepares and then the other reviews it. This is what I initially did when I first volunteered and it is a great way to learn more about personal income taxes and learn a new software program (we use software from the IRS to prepare and file). Now, as a Site Manager, I am there to answer any questions that the students preparing and reviewing may have. This ranges from questions about tax issues, form abnormalities, or just general issues with the software. I have definitely become more confident in reviewing and answering questions after completing my first two VITA shifts, hopefully they continue to go well! If you are interested in learning more about the program, you can check it out here!


All the Volunteers from the first shift!

‘The Bad Assets’ Dance For The Kids!

This past weekend myself and six other MAcc students participated in BuckeyeThon.  BuckeyeThon is the largest student-run philanthropy at Ohio State with an ultimate goal of ending childhood cancer.  BuckeyeThon raises money to support the kids treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.  More than 5,100 students registered for the 24 hour dance marathon with the ultimate goal of raising $1,000,000.  Hearing about the event last semester we formed a MAcc team, “The Bad Assets”, and raised money all For The Kids (FTK).  BuckeyeThon is set up in 2 shifts of 12 hours each.  During your shift you are supposed to stand for all 12 hours, showing that together, as a university, we stand with the kids through their fight.  Our shift was from 11:00am to 11:00pm.  Every team was assigned a color team and The Bad Assets were part of the Pink Team, so that is why all the pictures we are wearing pink.

Before it started every color team met in an assigned room and they brought in one of the Miracle Kids and their family.  This was a great chance to meet the people we were trying so hard to benefit.  After that the official start was with the opening ceremonies which included multiple speakers ranging from the President of BuckeyeThon to the Vice President of Student Life.  One of the speakers was a mother of one of the Miracle Kids.  She told us about how her daughter was diagnosed and the struggle the family went through.  Listening to her speak really put into perspective the impact we were making.

Throughout the day they had different things we could do to keep us on our feet.  There obviously was plenty of dancing throughout the day.  They also set up a lot of games.  We played Gaga Ball for a couple hours which if you don’t know what it is look it up, its incredibly fun.  They had a tug of war competition between the different color teams (we got 2nd), and also had rooms where you could play board games or video games.  Overall there was plenty of activities going on to help keep us busy and not think about sitting down.

As it got close to 11:00pm we gathered back to watch the closing ceremony and the big reveal of how much money was raised and if we reached our goal of $1 million.  The closing ceremony had more speakers including a 14-year old Miracle Kid and three current Ohio State students who have personally been affected by cancer.  The final reveal showed that we raised a total of $1.23 million all FTK.  Overall it was a great experience and I would highly recommend participating to any students that get the chance.


What is Accounting Research?

As part of the Master of Accounting (MAcc) program at Ohio State, there are four required courses. One of these courses is called Accounting Policy and Research, and it is taught by Prof. Tzachi Zach. When I first heard the name of this course, I wasn’t too surprised that our Master’s program requires that students take a research class. However, I didn’t really know what to expect. What is accounting research anyway?

Prof. Zach started off the class by explaining to us the four primary topics of accounting research: financial accounting, managerial accounting, tax, and audit. Within each of these areas of interest, academic researchers use different tools to explore their research questions, such as accounting theories, surveys, and market data. In Prof. Zach’s class, we read and discuss accounting research papers about various market phenomena and corporate management behavior.

Right now, everyone in the MAcc program is working on Prof. Zach’s group project that’s due the last week of classes. We are tasked to conduct an event study in order to see how stock prices react to a particular trigger in the business world or in our everyday lives.

For example, my team is looking to see if stock prices of S&P 500 companies that are headquartered near NFL stadiums increase after the nearby team wins the Super Bowl. We’re looking at all of the past 49 Super Bowl games, so there’s a lot of data to collect!

Do the results of Super Bowl games affect the stock market?

Do the results of Super Bowl games affect the stock market?

We’re really curious to see if there is any difference in stock prices between the companies we’re looking at and stock markets indexes in the two days following each game. I’m looking forward to hearing all of the class presentations to see what events other groups studied. Hopefully that gives a bit of insight into what accounting research is all about!

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