New Master of Accountancy Offered at Carroll College

Friday, December 1, 2017

HELENA – Carroll College is pleased to announce the establishment of a new Master of Accountancy program. The first-of-its-kind for the college, the master’s program is delivered in a hybrid format with 90% of the classes conducted online with several in-person residencies. Full-time students are able to complete the program in one year.

The Master of Accountancy (MACC) degree is designed to be accessible to both full-time and part-time students, as well as those who are already professionals in their communities, by providing a comprehensive program that is flexible for students in various geographic locations. The specialized curriculum at Carroll College is designed not only to prepare students to take the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam, but also provides a specialized, forward-thinking curriculum focused on ethics, forensic accounting, and integrated or sustainability reporting. The degree also includes specialized curriculum in not-for-profit accounting, designed to assist future CPAs in the increasingly complex and dynamic not-for-profit world. In addition, because accountants are held to a high ethical standard in today’s business world, Carroll graduates complete a certification in Ethical Leadership from the National Association of the State Boards of Accountancy.

“The market and need for strong certified public accountants cannot be understated. As an internationally recognized and respected credential, high-quality CPAs are in heavy demand in the workforce in both the state of Montana and throughout the nation,” said Dr. Ashley Hope, assistant professor of accounting. CPAs, as trusted business advisors, will be needed to meet the challenge of an increasingly dynamic and complex business environment. The Carroll College Masters of Accountancy aims to provide students in the program with the opportunity and encouragement to achieve this credential," continued Hope.

Changes in the educational requirements for individuals to become licensed as a CPA have made master of accounting degrees more desirable. In 1997, Montana was one of the early adopters of the 150 credit hour requirement to become a certified public accountant. With the new MACC, Carroll students have the ability to earn a master’s degree while meeting the 150 hour requirement and gaining the breadth and depth of knowledge necessary for a successful accounting career.

“I’m excited for the opportunities that our new Master of Accountancy program will offer for Carroll students and their future employers,” said Dr. Belle Marie, professor of accounting at Carroll College. “I’m grateful for the support from regional accounting firms and the Carroll community in establishing the MACC, and I’m looking forward to working with students and colleagues in the program,” said Marie.

Working in partnership with Carroll College, Anderson ZurMuehlen and Wipfli LLP were instrumental in providing monetary support to help launch the program.

“Anderson ZurMuehlen is pleased to continue our support of Carroll College through the Master of Accountancy program. The firm has a long history with Carroll and we are thrilled to see a Master’s program offered to Carroll students. We currently have 12 full-time staff and two interns from Carroll and look forward to hiring more graduates from this program,” said Maggie (O’Malley) Long, ‘93, HR Talent and Development Specialist, Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co. P.C.

The outlook for accounting students is overwhelmingly positive. Demand for accountants and accounting salaries have remained high and both the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics expect the trend to continue. According to the human resource consulting firm of Robert Half, the CPA designation continues “to inspire confidence in employers and remains the most frequently requested and versatile credential” in accounting and finance. In 2017, CNNMoney included CPA in the 100 Best Jobs in America.

“The Carroll College accounting department has been strong historically in preparing students for the accounting profession and we are excited to see Carroll taking the next step of investing in these students through the Masters of Accountancy program. This program will provide further knowledge and training that will benefit the Carroll accounting graduates throughout their careers,” said Nate McCarthy, CPA, Partner, Wipfli LLP.

To learn more about the Master of Accountancy program at Carroll College or for information on how to apply, visit