Master of Professional Accounting

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An online Master of Professional Accounting degree is a door opener in the fields of accounting, banking, finance, insurance, and business generally.

Students develop technical and strategic expertise in accounting, the language of business.

  • You come away with educational qualifications to be a fully accredited professional accountant.
  • Distance education programs give you tools to operate across diverse business settings. You learn to assess situations and solve problems – using conceptual frameworks combined with analytical skills.

Professional accountants are in demand nationally and internationally... Accountants can work in commerce and industry, in public or chartered accounting firms, in government organisations or as individual practitioners.

Online MPA Programs

Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) online programs are often used to switch careers into accounting. The MPA is a conversion course that meets the educational requirements for professional accreditation. A complete program is 3-4 semesters (1.5-2 years) if you study full-time.

Entry and advanced standing

The standard requirement for entry into an MPA program is a bachelor degree or equivalent. Some programs also accept applicants with extensive relevant experience (e.g. 5+ years working in finance).

  • If you lack a university degree, consider doing a Graduate Certificate in Accounting as a pathway program. Entry requirements are generally lower.

MPA programs often provide advanced standing for previous study and experience. You can get credit for accounting units you've completed before. Relevant professional experience can shorten programs from 2 years down to 1.5 years.

Graduate Certificates and Diplomas

MPA programs typically contain graduate certificates and diplomas. You can enroll in the shorter courses and seamlessly continue studying for an MPA. You can also enroll in an MPA program and leave part-way through with a graduate certificate or diploma.

  • A Graduate Certificate in Accounting is a 4-unit (0.5 year) introductory course. It is a good pathway course to an MPA for people without a degree. It is also useful for accounting graduates who need to pick up a few extra units for professional accreditation.
  • A Graduate Diploma in Accounting is an 8-unit (1 year) course. It is similar to a graduate certificate but provides greater instruction in accounting principles and methods.

The Graduate Certificate in Professional Accounting is a four-subject introductory course designed to provide a general understanding of accounting and related areas of business study. It provides foundation knowledge.

Distance Learning

Online professional accounting tablet.

You can complete a Master of Professional Accounting program through 100% online study. All you need is a computer and internet connection.

  • Distance education programs allow you to study whenever it is convenient for you, at any time of day or night.
  • There is also more flexibility around when you start a course or unit. Online universities have 3 or more study periods per year.

Distance learning is popular with mature-age students who are busy with work and/or family responsibilities. Typically, online learners study part-time. Online courses often allow students to study year-round, completing 1 unit at a time.

Why Get an MPA?

Professional accountant holding a newspaper.

The obvious reason for getting a Master of Professional Accounting degree is that you want to become an accountant. An MPA is how people without an accounting bachelor degree meet education requirements for professional accreditation.

But there are other reasons for getting an MPA.

  • You may want a career in financial management without being an accountant as such. An MPA prepares you for many different roles related to business finance.
  • Accountants can also extend their professional development by doing an MPA. Advanced standing means you don't have to repeat units you've done before and can instead focus on electives.

Accounting is an attractive profession because good accountants are always in demand. The role of an accountant has also undergone a fundamental shift. It has become a wide-ranging advisory role. Career opportunities in accountancy are available across many fields.

Accountants work as financial planners, investment advisers, market analysts, tax consultants, and advisers in mergers and acquisitions. They work in corporate recovery and insolvency, treasury banking, e-commerce and information technology.

Professional Accreditation

Online Master of Professional Accounting degrees with Australian universities meet education requirements for accreditation with professional bodies. These bodies have different requirements, which may include further study or work experience.

  • As a general rule, there is a close match between the units offered in MPA programs and the subjects required for professional accreditation in Australia.
  • Leading professional bodies include CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA), and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).

Common subjects in MPA programs include: accounting theory, corporate and management accounting, commercial law, auditing, corporations law, business information systems, economics, and finance.

Master of Professional Accounting Degrees

ECU Master of Professional Accounting

Edith Cowan University has a solid masters degree for graduates of other disciplines who want to move into the accounting field. The program covers all the core accounting and law subjects needed for professional accreditation. It is available for external students anywhere in Australia who wish to study part-time. Having a university degree is a prerequisite for admission.

UNE Master of Professional Accounting

The University of New England's MPA program allows students from non-accounting backgrounds to gain professional qualifications and apply for associate membership with professional accounting organisations. The course is open to graduates. Non-graduates may enter after completing UNE's Graduate Certificate in Accounting.