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Data Analytics Integrated into MAC Program Coursework

Downtown Raleigh double exposure scene
Downtown Raleigh double exposure scene

Students entering the NC State Jenkins Master of Accounting program this fall will start the semester with an immersion in data analytics.

“To increase the data analytics skills of our MAC students, the MAC Curriculum Committee decided to dedicate the first two weeks in our four required MAC courses to teaching from the first four chapters of the textbook ‘Data Analytics for Accounting’,” said Scott Showalter, professor of practice and NC State Jenkins MAC Program director.

“The skills learned in these chapters will provide a foundation needed for the faculty to add data analytics cases and exercises into additional MAC courses, such as Advanced Taxes and Advanced Auditing”, he said. “Six Poole College accounting professors are developing the modules, with the goal of assuring all MAC graduates develop a solid foundation in data analytics and how to apply the skills in the accounting profession.” 

Showalter, who led the college’s development of an undergraduate data analytics honors program at Poole College prior to being named director of the MAC program, is one of the professors who has developed a module. The others are Kathy Krawczyk, Robin Pennington, Don Pagach, Bonnie Hancock and Jennifer Dirienzo.

“We are teaching the tools and then using real world applications in each of our areas of expertise – audit, tax, systems, financial, enterprise risk management,” Pennington said.

“With all the movement within the accounting profession to leverage data analytics, the MAC Curriculum Committee concluded we could no longer wait to ensure our students possessed these skills as they entered into the accounting profession,” added Showalter.

“Each professor teaching in the fall has reviewed and updated their course content to accommodate the new modules,” Showalter said, “assuring that students’ time is focused on developing skills and knowledge essential for today’s accounting profession and successful completion of the CPA exam.”

The new modules will provide students with understanding and experience in the role and application of data analytics, as it relates to all aspects of the accounting profession. They will be able to apply this new knowledge in their courses and as they begin their careers, he said.

“In providing students with these skills currently being demanded by the marketplace, we believe the employers who hire our students will be pleased with the enhanced skills and the students’ careers will accelerate as a result,” Showalter said.