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Financial Accountability

Financial Accountability

All Programs

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School of Administrative Studies,
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

The Master of Financial Accountability degree will provide a value added educational experience through seeking solutions to some of the toughest and most pressing challenges in society such as the global financial crisis, the lack of accountability by organizations to their stakeholders and the threats to our environment from unsustainable business practices.

The Graduate Program in Financial Accountability is the only graduate program in Canada to offer a specialized focus in financial accountability and consists of four dynamic and interrelated conceptual cornerstones: (1) accountability (2) ethical standards (3) sustainable business policies (4) good governance. Collectively they represent a concept called corporate social responsibility.

The degree is called a Master of Financial Accountability instead of a Master of Accountability because stakeholders in business organizations are mostly concerned with the economic consequences of actions and also since the primary conduit for reporting accountability is still the financial statements. Some accounting literacy is needed for this degree but it is primarily a management degree to prepare managers for board level responsibilities.

Admission Requirements

Master of Financial Accountability Program

To be considered for admission to the Master of Financial Accountability, candidates must have either:

  1. an honours bachelor’s degree in business (a four-year program recognized by York University) with a minimum B average in the final two years of full-time equivalent study.


  1. an honours bachelor’s degree in another field with at least three years of demonstrated management experience. A Graduate Management Aptitude Test test score of at least 550 is required to demonstrate competency in business.
    • All applicants are expected to demonstrate some competency in accounting in their application either through academic study or work experience.
    • Applicants with 3 year business degrees will have to show supplemental evidence of academic achievement through possession of a graduate diploma in business or a professional designation.
    • Senior executives with distinguished careers in management but without the requisite academic background can have their applications considered on a case-by-case basis.

All applicants must:

  • submit a curriculum vitae; and
  • provide three letters of reference.

Students interested in the major research paper options must also:

  • submit a written statement describing their proposed areas of research (1-2 pages).

Courses are conducted as seminars and good business communication skills (writing, speaking and listening) are essential for success in the program. Applicants whose first language is not English must show an acceptable level of English by completing a language proficiency test. Applicants who have completed at least one year at an accredited university in a country (or institution) where English is the official language of instruction may be exempt from this requirement.

The program follows the general standards for language proficiency at York. Specifically, scores of: Canadian English Language Proficient Test overall score of: 70 with no component score less than 60; Certificate in Advanced English minimum score of: B; Certificate of Proficiency in English minimum score of: C; International English Language Testing System overall band score: 7.0; Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test: 100; Michigan English Language Assessment Battery overall score of: 85 with no component score less than 80; York English Language Test band: 1; York English Language Institute level: 6 with distinction.

  • A personal statement must be submitted with all applications. It is used in conjunction with background and test scores to assess language competency.
  • The program at its discretion may conduct interviews with applicants holding marginally lower scores than the above cutoffs to assess English literacy. Additional writing samples may be requested and candidates will have to make the case why the standard should be waived. Conditional admissions to the program may be offered in these circumstances requiring simultaneous enrolment in York’s English Language Institute.

Degree Requirements

Students may choose from two options to complete the Master of Financial Accountability degree:

Master of Financial Accountability Program

Students must complete 9 required courses (27 credits) and a major research paper (6 credits).

Students must complete 11 courses (33 credits).

The maximum course load for this option is one course per term. However, students are cautioned that some courses are always offered in the day and others always at night, so students hoping to combine studies with outside employment would require an agreement with their employer to have a flex-time schedule. The program accepts no responsibility for offering courses to cater to outside commitments. Course timetables are normally set a year in advance so students must complete a study plan on admission and have it approved by both their employer and the Graduate Program Director to ensure that their study plan is feasible.

Students must successfully complete 9 required core courses and 2 electives (coursework option) OR 9 required courses and a major research paper (major research paper option).

Required Courses

Financial Accountability 6000 3.0: Introduction to Accountability and Governance

Financial Accountability 6100 3.0: Corporate Responsibility and Ethics

Financial Accountability 6200 3.0: Performance Measurement Systems

Financial Accountability 6300 3.0: Enterprise Risk Management

Financial Accountability 6400 3.0: Research Methods and Statistical Inference

Financial Accountability 6500 3.0: Corporate Governance

Financial Accountability 6600 3.0: Accountability Issues in the Public Sector

Financial Accountability 6700 3.0: Executive Compensation

Financial Accountability 6800 3.0: Synthesis: Accountability and Governance

Elective Courses


Financial Accountability 6850 3.0: Financial Accountability Practicum

Accountability Reporting:

Financial Accountability 6870 3.0: Advanced Techniques of Financial Analysis

Financial Accountability 6880 3.0: Information Technology Governance

Financial Accountability 6885 3.0: Regulation of Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrencies

Financial Accountability 6890 3.0: Earnings Management and Forensic Auditing

Law and Governance:

Financial Accountability 6280 3.0: Directors’ Duties in Discharging the Board’s Accountability Responsibilities

Financial Accountability 6290 3.0: Legal and Regulatory Compliance to Promote Accountability and Good Governance

Financial Accountability 6886 3.0: Governance and Regulation of Privacy

Ethics and Sustainability:

Financial Accountability 6180 3.0: Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility

Financial Accountability 6190 3.0: Case Studies in Stakeholder Accountability for Sustainability

Financial Accountability 6900 3.0: Leadership and Management Skills for Emerging Leaders Charged with Governance

Public Sector Accountability:

Financial Accountability 6380 3.0: Performance Reporting to Enhance Accountability in the Public Sector

Financial Accountability 6390 3.0: Ethics Issues Impeding Accountability in the Public Sector

Financial Accountability 6550 3.0: Governance and Regulation of Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Financial Accountability 6555 3.0: Regulation of Canadian Banking, Clearing and Payment Systems

  • The program also has a directed reading course, Financial Accountability 6990 3.0. This is normally only offered when the student is missing a course to complete graduation requirements.
  • Students select any two electives from the list above. York University does not permit degree notations of specializations. However, if both courses are from one area of specialization this will be noted in a letter from the Graduate Program Director so graduates may informally declare a specialization to assist in postgraduation job searches.

The MFAc program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Entry is fall, winter or summer term.

The expected degree completion time for full-time master’s students is 4 terms. For those students who complete degree requirements earlier than 4 terms, they must register and pay fees for a minimum of the equivalent of 4 terms of full-time study. All requirements for a master’s degree must be fulfilled within 12 terms (4 years) of registration as a full-time or part-time master’s student in accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies’ registration policies.