New graduate program trains tomorrow’s leaders in corporate responsibility

The global financial crisis – nearing its one-year anniversary – has companies and organizations rethinking the way they do business. Employers everywhere are changing the way they make financial decisions, engaging in risk management, evaluating their accountability to stakeholders and the public, and taking on the challenge of making themselves more financially transparent.

York University’s new Master of Financial Accountability (MFAc) Program, which took in its first cohort of students this fall, will enhance the skills and expertise of accounting and other management professionals working in business, government and non-profit organizations in the areas of finance, accounting, information systems, auditing, corporate governance and risk management.

“Our vision is for MFAc graduates to become influential leaders working in the public, private and non-profit sector,” says Sung Kwon, director of the program and professor in the School of Administrative Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. “MFAc graduates will have the expertise necessary to solve the complex challenges related to financial reporting today. We hope that they will become agents of change who can motivate management to engage in corporate social responsibility through ethical and accountable decision-making.”

Right: Sung Kwon

Designed to advance the careers of corporate managers, regulators and professional accountants, the MFAc Program is the only one of its kind in Canada. It was created in consultation with accounting bodies, professional organizations, government, and various businesses and employers in an attempt to respond directly to the challenges arising in the financial reporting environment.

Students in the program will typically have a professional designation – for example, a CA, CMA, CGA, CPA or even a CFA, CIA or LLB – and significant work experience in the accounting field. They will enjoy the flexibility of studying part time so they can apply the critical knowledge and practical skills they learn in class immediately to their current position.

The MFAc Program focuses on four conceptual cornerstones: corporate ethics; regulatory requirements and legislative standards; effective information systems; and transparency in financial reporting. It differentiates itself from other graduate programs in accounting by providing students with a set of in-depth skills and competencies relevant to financial accountability in the areas of accounting, business ethics, management, information technology and law, and by addressing the increasingly complex risk measurement and reporting challenges that private, public and non-profit organizations currently face.

For more information, click here to watch a video about the program, or visit the MFAc Program Web site.