About the Program
Hiding billions of dollars in debt, shredding key documents, overstating cash flows—these are just some of the damaging corporate behaviours that companies such as Enron and Worldcom have engaged in over the last decade. In an effort to eradicate these behaviours and to set a higher standard of transparency, the United States passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, formalizing the roles and fiduciary responsibilities of both accountants and managers. Since then, in North America and abroad, financial accountability has increasingly been recognized as an essential component of good governance.
York's MFAc program addresses the complex challenges arising from these rapid changes in the financial reporting environment. It's designed primarily as a part-time program to accommodate the needs of working professionals. You’ll have the flexibility to pursue courses over eight terms during the evening and on weekends. A full-time, four term option is also available for those who have the flexibility to commit to a more intensive program of study.
The program focuses primarily on four interrelated conceptual cornerstones: corporate ethics; regulative requirements and legislative standards; effective information systems; and transparency in financial reporting. You’ll acquire strong critical knowledge and practical skills from across the areas of accounting, management, information technology and law. You’ll also deepen and extend your accounting knowledge while linking accounting conceptual frameworks and research with professional experience and practice.
MFAc is designed to advance the careers of corporate managers, regulators and professional accountants by providing the skills required to promote compliance with corporate governance in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. As a graduate, you’ll have the expertise needed to
- critically engage with contemporary theory and research in the areas of financial accountability and corporate governance;
- understand key statutory and regulatory frameworks and their role in shaping the contemporary context of financial reporting;
- understand normative and ethical debates as they relate to financial accountability and to the transformation of corporate governance more broadly;
- critically assess external and internal audit functions as they contribute to financial accountability;
- optimize internal financial and information management systems and controls to maximize transparency and access for stakeholders;
- manage and evaluate performance measurement systems and enterprise risk;
- implement and maintain reporting systems that demonstrate statutory and regulatory compliance; and
- contribute to the development of critical theoretical inquiry, research and practical applications concerning corporate reporting.
"The MFAc program's unique focus on governance and accountability has enhanced my understanding and broadened my perspective on key issues facing many companies today."
Gord Piercey, CA
VP Finance, TD Back Financial Group
"MFAc differs from traditional business master's programs by providing students with leading-edge specialization in an emerging business field. Small class sizes and highly skilled professors allow for an enriched learning environment."
"The MFAc program is helping me to refine and enhance the professional skills required to meet and fulfill my fiduciary responsibilities as a corporate employee and as a board member on the corporate boards on which I serve."
John A. Sabo
Chair of the Board, OMERS Administration Corporation
Chair of the Audit & Resources Committee, Ontario Education Collaborative Marketplace
Associate Director & Treasurer of the Board, York Catholic District School Board
“Our vision is for MFAc graduates to become influential leaders working in the public, private and non-profit sector. MFAc graduates will have the expertise necessary to solve the complex challenges related to financial reporting today. We hope that they will become agents of change who can motivate management to engage in corporate social responsibility through ethical and accountable decision-making.”
Dr. Sung Kwon
"We are in the midst of tectonic shifts and game-changers in the way corporations are run and governed in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-09. Governments and standard-setters all over the world are enacting significant legislation and codes to include shareholder engagement, governance of executive compensation, risk-adjusted compensation, diversity, governance of stakeholder relations, and leading disclosure and integrated sustainability practices. Our graduates of the MFAc program are truly fortunate that the program reflects all of these developments and faculty have expertise assisting regulators and significant companies to adapt to—and lead—these changes."
Dr. Richard Leblanc
"Financial accountability is not only a challenge for all business firms, both big and small, but is also the key to sustainable growth and long-term success. The MFAc program provides students with an opportunity to expand their knowledge base, making them better prepared to understand and address the often difficult ethical, governance, and financial reporting issues they will inevitably face. As an instructor in the MFAc program, it is a tremendous privilege to discuss the cases and material with experienced professionals in the unique setting of a small class environment."
Dr. Mark Schwartz
"Each MFAc class is an enriching experience for all involved. We have cohorts of very qualified and experienced students that truly enrich our debates on, and our probing of, ethical issues, governance dilemma, and real world problems. Both students and faculty leave each class with a rejuvenating look at a number of angles on key financial accountability issues that are totally relevant, yet nowhere to be found in textbooks."
Dr. Patrice Gélinas