As an iMSA student you will be taking 12 semester credits in elective courses. At least 4 semester elective credits must be in non-accountancy courses.

Accountancy Electives

Current authoritative accounting standards and applications to accounting practice. Topics do not represent the full range of financial reporting issues, but are selected based on relevance of the underlying business transaction, complexity of the topic, consistency of applicable standard with underlying reporting concepts, and transferability of the standard to other accounting issues.

Total Credit Hours: 4

The first half of the course provides an introduction to the U.S. federal income taxation of corporations and their shareholders. The course focuses on the relevant provisions of Subchapter C of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as related Treasury Regulations and judicial opinions, governing corporate formation, operations, distributions, and liquidation. The second half of the course provides an introduction to the U.S. federal income taxation of pass-through business entities, including Subchapter S corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. It focuses on the relevant provisions of Subchapters S and K of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as related Treasury Regulations and judicial opinions, governing the formation, operation, and termination of pass-through entities. Practical in-class study problems facilitate self-discovery of technical tax knowledge along with the development of a variety of professional skills and attitudes.

Total Credit Hours: 4

This course covers key principles of accountants’ professional responsibility in their jobs, organizations, and careers, and adopts both theoretical and practical perspectives of the role of ethics and morals within the accounting discipline. The course begins with a general overview of these key constructs and principles, including various philosophies from a variety of disciplines and cultures. Next, the course provides a historical perspective of major instances of accounting-related “failures” and “successes” in the area of professional responsibility and ethics. This historical perspective provides the underlying reasoning for many contemporary codes of conduct, ethics, and professional guidelines. A variety of experiential learning opportunities will help students explore and develop their own perspective on ethics and morals, and how these principles affect their professional roles, responsibilities, and choices.

Total Credit Hours: 3

This course examines the tools and techniques of financial statement analysis and company valuation from the perspective of investors and creditors; emphasizes theoretical and empirical properties of financial ratios as well as valuation methods used in practice.

Total Credit Hours: 4

This course examines state and local tax laws prevalent in the United States. The course will consider the historical progression of state and local taxation, the power of states to tax (and the limitations on that power), and planning strategies for minimizing the impact of state and local taxation. Income taxes are emphasized; however, other taxes such as sales and use taxes and property taxes will be discussed.

Total Credit Hours: 2

This course analyzes the tax treatment, issues, planning techniques and underlying government policies involved in doing business internationally. The course incorporates concepts learned in all of the tax courses as they relate to the impact on cross border outbound transactions (i.e., the taxation of US taxpayers doing business abroad). Topics include the source of income, transfer pricing, controlled foreign corporations (CFCs), Subpart F income, foreign tax credits, Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI), Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT), and Foreign Derived Intangible Income (FDII).

Total Credit Hours: 2

This course prepares students to use analytic software to explore, visualize, and statistically analyze accounting data. It first introduces students to the need for analytics in accounting by sampling problems from different accounting domains. Students then learn to frame problems in a way that can be answered by using data, and how to structure data so that it’s ready to be analyzed. Students create interactive visualizations in Excel and Tableau to examine data, identify patterns and relationships in the data, and then communicate the findings. This course also introduces students to statistical analyses (i.e. regression and clustering) for quantifying patterns and relationships that are observed in the data. Finally, this course introduces accounting students to programming via macros and the VisualBasic editor in Excel to automate data preparation and data analyses.

Total Credit Hours: 2

This course focuses on developing Python skills for assembling business data, taught within the context of multiple accounting settings (e.g., financial statement data, stock data, loan data, point-of-sale data, etc.). The first half of the course uses an integrated development environment to automate data analytic tasks. We discuss how to manage code and share results within Jupyter Notebook, a popular development environment for data analytic software like Python and R. We then review some fundamental programming skills, such as mathematical operators, functions, conditional statements and loops using Python software. The second half of the course focuses on assembling data for machine learning purposes. We introduce students to Pandas dataframes and Numpy for structuring and manipulating data. We then analyze the data using visualizations and linear regressions. Finally, we explain how to use Python for interacting with SQL data.

Total Credit Hours: 2

This course introduces machine learning algorithms and their applications in accounting problems. It covers classification, regression, clustering, text analysis, time series analysis. It also discusses feature importance and model optimization. This course provides an entry point for students to be able to apply proper machine learning algorithms on business related datasets to solve various problems. By end of the course, combined with the skills learned from ACCY 576, students should be able to complete an entire data analytics process with Python.

Total Credit Hours: 2

ACCY 578-A (Fall) allows students to use analytics-based tools in a performance-evaluation system context. Specifically, students will investigate and assess the strengths and weaknesses of a firm’s implementation of a new performance evaluation system. Total Credit Hours: 1

ACCY 578-B (Fall) explores fraud analytics. Specifically, students will learn and apply fraud analytical techniques, with a special focus on the interaction between analytical tools and human judgment. Total Credit Hours: 1

In ACCY 578-1 (Spring), students will complete an extensive case, in which they must analyze purchase transactions. Students will use both Excel and Python, and communicate the results of their analyses via data visualization techniques. Total Credit Hours: 1

In ACCY 578-2 (Spring), students will use public data available from the City of Chicago to help taxicab companies – and individual drivers – maximize revenue. The focus of this course is on developing skills to use unstructured data. Total Credit Hours: 1

Non-Accountancy Electives

Most non-accountancy electives are eight-week, four-credit hour courses and can be taken year round (fall, spring, and summer semesters.)  You can view a list of currently available elective course here.