This highly regarded programme is accredited by international associations and professional bodies, and is designed to equip students with the skills needed to solve complex accounting and business problems with a global perspective.
To complete the programme, students will need to attain a total of 36 credits of coursework, comprising of 7 core courses (Part One) and 5 elective courses (Part Two) worth 3 credits each.
Part One is accredited as a conversion programme specially designed for those without accounting degrees to fulfil the requirements of professional examinations. Part Two is designed for accountants to deepen their knowledge in various aspects of accounting and apply it to the workplace.
Accounting Analytics Concentration
MAcc students may elect to pursue the Accounting Analytics Concentration, which advances students’ knowledge and skills in this growing field. In addition to the common core courses required for all MAcc students, the 5 electives required for this concentration are:
- Accounting Data Analytics and Business Intelligence (ACCT 6141)
- At least 3 units (max. 6 units) of MAcc non-data related elective courses
- At least 6 units (max. 9 units) of courses from ACCT6142, ACCT6143, DSME-coded courses offered by the MSc in Business Analytics (BA), MSc in Information and Technology Management (ITM) and MSc in Information Science and Technology Management (ISTM) of the Faculty of Business Administration, and courses offered by the MSc in Financial Technology (FinTech) of the Faculty of Engineering (subject to availability and approval of Programme Directors concerned).
- Full-time mode (1 year)
1st TRIMESTER | September-December
3-4 core courses
1-2 elective course(s)
2nd TRIMESTER | December-March
3-4 core courses
1-2 elective course(s)
3rd TRIMESTER | March-June
3-4 elective courses
SUMMER TERM (OPTIONAL) | June-July
1-2 elective course(s)
- Part-time mode (2 years)
1ST TRIMESTER | September-December
2 core courses
2ND TRIMESTER | December-March
2 core courses
3RD TRIMESTER | March-June
2 core courses
1ST TRIMESTER | September-December
1 core course
1 elective course
2ND TRIMESTER | December-March
1-2 elective course(s)
3RD TRIMESTER | March-June
1-2 elective course(s)
SUMMER TERM (OPTIONAL) | June-July
1-2 elective course(s)
- Core and elective courses are subject to change.
- Elective courses may be offered as intensive courses every alternate year or in the summer term.
Part One – Core courses
Financial Accounting and External ReportingThis course deals with advanced aspects of financial accounting. Topics covered include the financial reporting environment in Hong Kong, fair value accounting, intangible assets, contingent liabilities, deferred income taxes, accounting for post-retirement benefits, equity and cost methods of accounting for long-term investments, business combinations (purchase and pooling), consolidation of parent/subsidiary financial statements, and interpretation of financial statements. Students will be required to critically evaluate various accounting valuation, reporting and disclosure issues.
Cost and Management AccountingThis course introduces the students to the basic concepts, techniques and application of cost and management accounting. Topics include cost concepts, cost behavior, costing systems, cost determination and allocation, standard costing and variance analysis, relevant costs, and budgetary planning and performance evaluation. Methods and techniques of cost management in the service sector and in the advanced manufacturing environment are discussed. Accounting implications for management planning, control, and decision making will be emphasized.
Auditing and Professional PracticeThis course will provide an examination of the economic theory of auditing, the role and responsibilities of auditors, the concepts and techniques employed by auditors, and auditing procedures for balance sheet and profit and loss items. Other topics include auditing and the public accounting profession, internal control, audit planning, financial statement audits, reporting on auditing financial statements, professional ethics and auditor's legal liability, accepting and planning the audit, evidential matter/working papers, internal controls, and system auditing. Other topics of current interest available in the literature will also be discussed.
Business and Company LawThis course introduces students to the institutions, doctrine and methodology of the law in the business and corporation contents. After a discussion of the legal system of Hong Kong SAR, the first part of the course examines selected subjects in contract, tort of negligence, employment, and sales of goods. The second part of the course will focus on company law, such as formation of companies, the effects of incorporations, the division of powers and obligations among various organs of the company, its relationship with outsiders, financing and dividend issues, and options available to companies in financial difficulties.
Taxation and Tax PlanningThis course covers the basic elements and statutes of Hong Kong taxation system, including salaries tax, property tax, profits tax, personal assessment, depreciation allowances, and tax administration. After this basic knowledge, the course will introduce advanced concepts of tax planning, problem solving with practical examples and the inter-relationships between different types of taxes. Local tax cases will be discussed extensively.
Financial ManagementThis course identifies and provides a framework for analyzing the major financial decisions made by a firm. Issues addressed include asset valuation models, investment decision making, analysis of risk, financial planning, dividend policy, working capital management, sources of long-term finances and the cost of capital, and the financial mix for the firm.
Introductory Accounting Data AnalyticsThis course is designed to prepare students with the necessary tools and skills they need to successfully perform data analytics. The course requires students to have basic financial and managerial accounting knowledge. Students will learn about using data analytics to ask and answer accounting and business questions, preparing data for analysis, performing different types of data analysis using data analysis tools such as Excel and Tableau. Finally, students will learn how to communicate the analysis results effectively using different types of visualizations. Hands-on computer laboratory sessions will form an integral part of this course.
Part Two – Elective courses
Financial Accounting TheoryThis course establishes a framework for evaluating accounting choices and categorizing the strength of authority for particular accounting treatments. This is accomplished by exposing the students to empirical accounting research and by creating an awareness of the endogenous factors affecting accounting decisions. Major themes are the integration of cash flow and accrual based measures of income from a theoretical perspective and the synthesis of accounting choice questions based on the asset valuation versus income measurement dichotomy. The end result will be a deeper understanding of both the structure and the process of accounting policy-making.
Business Valuation and AnalysisThe course introduces a framework for business valuation analysis using corporate disclosure and financial statement data. The framework identifies four key components of valuation: business strategy analysis, accounting analysis, financial analysis, and prospective analysis. Employing a case methodology, applications of this framework in a variety of decision-making contexts including securities analysis, credit analysis, and merger and acquisition decisions are examined.
Comparative Financial ReportingThis course examines the evolution of accounting under different political and economic systems and explores current theory and research on the impact of local and international institutional features on financial reporting and disclosure practices. In so doing, it provides participants with a conceptual framework for analyzing the economic causes and consequences of differences in reporting and disclosure practices and their impact on international commerce, finance, and investment. The course includes discussion of recent and proposed changes in reporting standards with a focus on the local and international reporting environment.
Management Control SystemsDesigned properly, management control systems serve to influence and structure employee behavior in ways that increase the likelihood that organizational objectives are achieved or exceeded. This course provides an advanced- level examination of the alternative control mechanisms available to organizations, theories underlying their use, and their intended--and often unintended--effects on behavior. Particular attention is directed to the critical decisions underlying the design of effective accounting based control systems including decision support and intelligent system for accounting, choice of responsibility structure, performance measures, performance standards, and incentive systems, and to emerging issues in corporate governance.
Advances in Strategic Management AccountingThis is an advanced course in management accounting examining the role of management accounting systems in strategy formation and implementation and as a potential source of sustainable competitive advantage. The course blends current research with practical exposure to the issues involved in the design and implementation of these systems. Topics include cost of capacity, activity-based management systems for operational and strategic control and contemporary approaches to performance coordination and evaluation in a decentralized environment.
Assurance Services and Information TechnologyThis course examines Hong Kong legal environment and discuss how it will affect audit risk, audit planning, internal controls, analytical procedures, and substantive tests. Building on this foundation, this course then focuses on information technology and examines its impacts on financial reporting systems. Specifically, we emphasize on how auditors can leverage information technology and use Computer-Assisted Audit Tools and Techniques (CAAT) to attest clients' financial statements.
Accounting Information Systems and Internal ControlThis course examines and discusses the relationship between accounting information systems and internal controls. This course also offers an in-depth analysis on how to take advantages of information technology to enhance an organization’s internal controls. By improving internal controls, this course will discuss how accounting information systems assist an organization to produce a set of reliable and accurate financial statements, address regulatory requirements, meet managerial decision needs, and improve the operational effectiveness and efficiency.
Taxation in ChinaThis course is designed to familiarize students with the Chinese tax law and practice. After an introduction to the normative and institutional backgrounds of tax administration, it will examine the country’s major state and local tax regimes. The course will also touch on administrative and professional aspects of tax practice in this emerging market economy.
Corporate Governance: A Global PerspectiveThe OECD Guidelines for Corporate Governance identify four elements namely objectives, transparency, benchmarks and accountability as key factors that transcend both legal and national boundaries. As a concept it delineates the rights and responsibilities of each group of stakeholders in the company by providing for appropriate checks and balance to be incorporated into the process of performance, decision making and monitoring. This course will address issues within the rubric of corporate governance from an accounting and legal perspective.
Financial Instruments and Hedge AccountingThis course introduces accounting recognition, derecognition, and impairment of financial instruments which include financial assets, liabilities, equity and derivatives. In addition, hedge accounting and the framework of using derivatives to manage market risks such as foreign exchange risk, interest rate risk, inflation risk, equity risk and commodity risk are also examined. Various real-life hedging cases are studied and discussed.
Applied Corporate Governance for Capital MarketsThis course equips the student with a deeper understanding of the current state of play as regards Corporate Governance principles & rules, and the institutions through which Corporate Governance rules are applied to capital market participants, with a special focus on the Hong Kong and mainland China capital markets, but also addresses the challenges and trends in the real-life market place and how the linkages between effective Enterprise Governance, Risk Management and Compliance can contribute to superior business performance and thereby to enhanced investor confidence in the capital markets.
Accounting and Management Planning for EnterprisesEntrepreneurial activities have become a potent source of economic power that generates enormous job opportunities and business innovation globally. This is particularly spectacular in the context of China where there are numerous cases of successful and failure cases of privately owned enterprises and collectively owned township and village enterprises growing from an embryonic stage into a larger firm. The course adopts a “life-cycle” approach and develops a set of accounting and managerial skills to analyze companies from the start-up stage to eventually cashing out.
Independent Study in AccountingIndependent study gives students added flexibility to design study programmes suited to a particular area of interest or to delve more deeply into a specific topic. Students need to find a faculty member willing to serve as your supervisor, and together, devise a format. There are a wide range of possibilities under independent study. The more common alternatives are: (a) Selection of a topic not normally covered in our curriculum in which the student has an interest. Normally the student would prepare a literature review on the selected topic. It would then be common for the student to perform some application or extension of this body of knowledge by extending or substantiating that knowledge by some data collection. (b) Preparation of a case and accompanying teacher's note. The case must be based on real organizations and substantial data collection would be expected. The student would be expected to demonstrate application of theory in preparation of the teacher's note.
Financial Markets and InstrumentsFinancial markets play a pivotal and central role in the formation of investment capital and, therefore, societal wealth. This function, in addition to many others, is explored in this course. Attention will also focus on the forms and structures of financial markets (i.e. equity, debt, derivatives, gold and foreign exchange markets) both locally and internationally. Within this brief, detailed consideration is also given to the various institutions participating in the markets and to the form and functions of instruments quoted.
Accounting Data Analytics and Business IntelligenceThis course is designed to provide students with hands-on experience with data analytics and exposure to the challenges and opportunities big data presents to the profession. It will provide a basis for handling and analyzing large-scale data stored within and outside an organization and finding business insights from analyses. Basic concepts and techniques related to data preprocessing, data exploration, model building and results interpretation will be covered. Instead of digging deep into technical details, a broad survey of common approaches and focus on the pragmatic implementation of data analytics will be provided. The emerging trends in big data and their applications in the accounting profession as well as other industries will be discussed. The course will try to utilize real datasets related to accounting and finance and enable students to “learn by doing” through hands-on experience with data.
International Taxation Planning and ManagementThis course introduces the tax concern of cross-border economic activities. It introduces the key concepts of international taxation, such as the tax jurisdiction of residence and source, international double taxation, relief from double taxation under domestic law and double taxation agreements. It also examines measures to prevent international tax avoidance, procedural mechanisms by which international tax issues are resolved, and bilateral administrative issues.
Accounting Field StudyThe course is designed to expose students to a wide spectrum of global accounting related issues in a non-local business environment. Students will take a week-long residential programme in various countries or regions. Course learning activities include lectures at universities, case projects, seminars and discussions with local accounting professionals and/or government officials, and site visits to enterprises.
Data-Driven Applications of Accounting Information in Capital MarketsThis course explores the use of financial and non-financial data in the capital market contexts. Students will gain exposure to different data analytics techniques and predictive models to predict fundamentals and bankruptcies, to detect accounting fraud, and to identify trading strategies based on accounting anomalies. Students will gain knowledge and hands-on experience in applying these techniques generate value from accounting data.
Fraud Examination and Forensic InvestigationForensic Accounting and Fraud Examinations is increasingly important nowadays. This course helps students to understand the roles of forensic accountants in today’s economy and how forensic accountants identify various types of fraud. Course topics include fraud principles and fraud risk assessment; fraud investigation and engagement processes; evidence collection process; fraud impact on business enterprises and how forensic accountants can help the management to prevent, detect, and correct fraud etc. This course also explores how analytics tools help forensic accountants to detect frauds.
Blockchain Technology and the Future of Accounting IndustryThis course aims to provide students with fundamental yet comprehensive knowledge of blockchain technology. Students who wish to explore what blockchain technology’s potential applications are and how they can change the accounting industry are encouraged to take this course. By the end of the course, students are expected to appreciate and reflect on their role as a professional accountant and be ready for the upcoming transition to the new business environment. In the first building block, we introduce the history and fundamentals of blockchain technology. Although technical, this part is essential to establish a foundation to understand the capabilities and limitations of blockchain technology. The programming assignment will give practical experience of interacting with blockchain technology. In the second building block, we discuss the practical applications of blockchain technology, such as how to buy, mine, store, and use cryptocurrencies, enterprise applications of blockchain (e.g., decentralized applications (DApps) and decentralized finance (DeFi)), and the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and metaverse. Industry experts and entrepreneurs will give guest lectures on the real-world blockchain applications and interact with students. In the final building block, we discuss the accounting policies related to valuing and accounting for various crypto assets. We will also discover the regulatory risk and opportunities of the crypto markets in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and the US. The course concludes by exploring how blockchain technology can shape the future landscape of the accounting industry.
ESG and AccountingThis course helps students to understand and analyse ESG issues from the perspective of corporations and the capital markets. Course topics include reasons for the popularity of ESG issues in the business world; core elements of ESG and how they are measured; current reporting requirements and reporting practices; the impact of ESG on firm value; and ESG investing strategies. The course emphasizes critical thinking and uses a combination of lectures and cases.
Other elective courses
Students may take up to two elective courses from other MSc programmes or MBA programme within CUHK Business School, and MSc in Financial Technology of the Faculty of Engineering, subject to approval from Programme Directors.
Fundamental business programme
This programme consists of 7 non-credit courses with pass/fail options. Students with non-accounting background are required to take all/partial FBP courses to fulfill the competency requirements for admission to HKICPA’s Qualification Programme (QP).
Intermediate Accounting IThis course is essentially an introduction to financial accounting. It emphasizes accounting concepts and principles, and introduces the use of accounting data in controlling and planning business operations. Major topics include basic structure of accounting; accounting for current assets, current liabilities, and long-term assets.
Intermediate Accounting IIThis course is the extension of Intermediate Accounting I. For those who do not have a business degree, we strongly advise you take both Intermediate Accounting I and II for better understanding of the core course Financial Accounting and External Reporting.
ManagementThis course introduces you to concepts and theories of organization and management that will help you to understand and analyze various aspects of management. However, management is practical concept, and just learning concepts and theories is not enough. Students need to integrate them with their own observations and experience and apply them in case studies and real-life situations. Upon completion of this course, students are expected to gain a basic understanding of key management skills, including planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
EconomicsThis course is a general introduction to the theory of price in a market economy. Topics include basic economic concepts, the theory of demand, production and cost, the operation of firms in competitive, oligopolistic and monopolistic market, cost and benefits of government intervention in market economy, and introductory issues to game theory and informational economics. Analytical approach is used whenever appropriate. Applications on practical business problems are emphasized.
Statistical Analysis for Business DecisionsThis course deals with fundamentals of statistical methods including descriptive statistics, probability, statistical inference from both large and small samples, F test for equality of variances, tests using Chi-square in categorical data analysis, and simple correlation. Application of statistical methods to problems pertaining to business will be emphasized.
Computer-Based Information SystemsThis course provides students a conceptual knowledge concerning contemporary information technology and information processing. It also introduces students to the basic computer concept, communications and networks (The internet, intranet, WWW and E-Commerce Applications), Information System and Its Development, Security, Ethics and Privacy Issues, etc.
Marketing ManagementThis course aims to provide participants with practical and conceptual training in marketing management with specific objectives as follows: - Provide participants with knowledge of new and fundamental marketing concepts and techniques. - Increase participants' understanding and awareness of marketing environment in HK. - Enhance participants' ability in analyzing marketing issues in local and international markets. - Develop and sharpen participants' marketing skills in doing business in local and international markets.
Other foundation courses
Students my take other non-credit foundation courses at their own discretions.
Artificial Intelligence for Auditing and Accounting
This introductory course in Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) aims to provide students with basic concepts and knowledge about AI and to understand the advantages and limitations of applying modern AI methods in accounting and auditing practices. The course does not focus on technical implementation details but on explaining AI’s basics and fundamental concepts. It does not require a prior understanding of the subject matter or a mathematical/computer science background. Students will be-encouraged to use this course as motivation and a basis for further studies.
Graduates of the CUHK’s Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Accountancy (PDPA) programme with a GPA of 3.0 and above are exempt from taking six core courses of the Part One curriculum. Prospective students who have an accounting degree or a postgraduate diploma from a recognised university or a recognised accounting professional qualification may be considered on case-by-case basis upon admission. However, replacement elective courses of the same credit units are required. All course exemption is subject to the discretion of the Programme Director and approval from the Dean of the Graduate School.
Enhancing academic life
Students can gain work experience with established accounting firms in Hong Kong and Mainland China, such as Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC, plus a number of other companies in accounting and finance industry.
Students can spend up to one-term study abroad at one of our partner universities worldwide.
Master of Accountancy student 2020
Exchange at The George Washington University
“It is always challenging to adapt to a brand new environment, but getting out of my comfort zone and studying in such a diversified city like Washington D.C. broadened my global perspective and facilitated my personal development to a great extent. I exchanged lots of ideas from people with different academic, professional and cultural backgrounds, and this made a great impact on how I see the world. ”
Master of Accountancy student 2019
Exchange at ESSEC Business School
“Even though starting a new term in France is full of challenges and unknowns, life here is surrounded by museums, historical sites, humanistic stories, and romantic temperament. Collaborating with classmates from different countries to investigate the cutting-edge management issue and sharing experience with local students to understand the culture shock have rewarded me global perspective and autonomy, enabling me to interface well with others, confidently solving problems. ”
We often invite business leaders to share their valuable industry experience and expertise through seminars or guest lectures. This allows students access to the latest insights from leading professionals in the industry.
We organise visits to local and overseas companies in various industries and government bodies to provide students with opportunities to gain industry insights.
- Bloomberg L.P.
- D-Link Corporation
- Franz Collection Inc.
- Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited
- Hong Kong Monetary Authority
- Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS
- Kerry Logistics Network Limited
- Phoenix Satellite Television
- Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong
- Synnex Technology International Corporation
- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited
- UBS Switzerland
- Uni-President Enterprises Corporation
- United Nations
- Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Corporation
Overseas study tours
Our overseas study tours are a great way to broaden students’ horizons. By visiting companies and interacting with fellow postgraduates abroad, students can gain fresh views on the industry.
We offer Cantonese workshops to help international students adapt to life in Hong Kong.
To kick-start the new school year, we organise a fun orientation day for freshmen before the semester begins. It includes a number of team-building games, a campus tour and a dinner reception.
Ensuring a friendly study environment, the class committee facilitates communication between teachers and students, and organises various class bonding activities throughout the year.
- Christmas Party
- BBQ Gathering
Students’ performance is assessed according to CUHK’s grading system.
To graduate, students must complete the prescribed coursework and achieve a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.50.
Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.50 in the term assessment will be put on academic probation. If the probation is not lifted after two consecutive terms, the student will be required to discontinue his or her studies.
Students who receive a grade D+ or below in a course must repeat the course or take an approved substitute course.
MAcc Top Academic Performance Award
The graduate with the highest cumulative GPA in full-time / part-time mode will receive this monetary award.
Dean’s list award
Graduates with an overall GPA above 3.60 are eligible to be put on the Dean’s List. However, the total number of students on the Dean’s List for each academic year cannot exceed 20% of the graduates. In all cases, the Faculty reserves the right to make the final decision. Award recipients will receive a certificate of recognition.
Outstanding student award
In addition to the certificate, top 10% of MAcc graduates in terms of the overall GPA will receive a monetary award.
The best performer with the highest overall mark in individual core subjects will receive the Subject Prize.
Professional exam scholarships
Outstanding students will be nominated to the accounting professional bodies, including ACCA, CPA Australia and TIHK, for the professional exam scholarships.
Check out our latest brochure now to learn more about the programmes!