MAcc Valuation Program Launched

From the Fall 2011 edition of Vanderbilt Business

The Owen School has launched a new Master of Accountancy program that focuses on preparing students for highly sought-after careers in valuation services for international public accounting firms. The MAcc Valuation program is currently recrinsideowen-moneytaguiting students to join the first class starting in August 2012.

Responding to an increased demand for students able to handle functions such as assessing mark-to-model values, measuring brand goodwill and pricing acquisition targets, the new program draws on some of Owen’s core academic strengths.

“The master of accountancy program itself has been a great success story, and this next step is a logical one to take,” says Dean Jim Bradford. “This innovative new course of study will address the changing world of accounting as it relates to valuing assets and risk.”

Under the guidance of Karl Hackenbrack, Associate Professor of Accounting, Faculty Director of the MAcc Program, and Associate Dean of Evaluation and Program Development, the valuation track will graduate its first class in spring 2013. The full-time program runs 12 months and includes preparation for two of three levels of the chartered financial analyst (CFA) exams, as well as the certified public accountant (CPA) exam. Students will have the opportunity to take all three tests while in the program.

“All valuation students aspire to launch their careers with an international public accounting firm in service lines that deal primarily with business modeling, transactions and audit support,” Hackenbrack says. “This program really is at the nexus of finance and accounting. To succeed in a valuation service line, the professional must understand accounting rules and the finance behind those rules.”

Successful applicants must have solid quantitative skills, but also be well-equipped to handle client-facing roles, Hackenbrack adds.

In 2010 Bloomberg Businessweek’s recruiter survey ranked Owen’s accounting program fifth among U.S. MBA programs, ahead of institutions such as Harvard Business School and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. This year’s 28-person MAcc class had a 100-percent job placement rate, in part due to the relationships formed with partner firms Deloitte, Ernst and Young, Grant Thornton, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.