As it has grown over the years, Gainesville, Georgia-based accounting firm Rushton has hired a number of University of North Georgia alumni. And, with such immense growth, their hiring needs have grown as well.
"At Rushton, we’ve seen significant growth in the past few years," said Perry Barnett, a Certified Public Accountant at Rushton. "We hire a number of UNG alumni to support our growth and both our organization and our clients constantly need new CPA-qualified individuals to help their organizations thrive."
Recently, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved UNG's Master of Accountancy degree program.
"UNG supports the educational needs of the entirety of the north Georgia region," said Barnett. "Many of those individuals working in the area have not had meaningful access to a MAcc program until now."
Dr. Donna Mayo, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business, agrees.
"We are delighted to deliver this program to our students," said Dr. Donna Mayo, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business. "Double-majoring in another business discipline or leaving UNG to pursue a master’s degree elsewhere are not the best solutions for our students who want or need to stay in our region. Now, we can meet the needs of our students and those that employ our students post-graduation."
Steven Kronenberg, director of graduate programs for the Mike Cottrell College of Business at UNG, said students will be able to advance seamlessly from a bachelor's degree in accounting to the MAcc.
"Almost all of the students taking the MAcc are doing so to become CPAs," Kronenberg said. "We started recruiting students for the program as soon as the Board of Regents announcement was made."
Plans are to offer courses for the new MAcc program only on UNG's Gainesville Campus in classroom sessions, with classes on two afternoons and nights per week. There are six required core courses and four elective courses necessary to complete the 30 hours for the degree.
"The MAcc will be offered on the Gainesville campus due to its proximity to students with accounting degrees working in the Gainesville and north metro Atlanta area," said Dr. Ann Duke, associate dean of faculty and graduate programs. "We have a number of faculty and are in the process of hiring others on the Gainesville campus to teach the first cohort of students."
Currently, the Mike Cottrell College of Business offers one graduate degree program, a Master's of Business Administration, as well as three graduate certificate programs in cybersecurity, entrepreneurship and innovation and technology leadership.
"To attract the best and brightest students who desire a career as a CPA, it is critical for UNG to offer the MAcc," said Martha Merritt, assistant professor of accounting. "More accounting firms are increasing educational standards by requiring a master's degree. Our students are less competitive in that regard, not because they don't have the professional and technical skills, but because they didn't have access to a MAcc at UNG. Now, they do."
For more information on the Master of Accountancy program at UNG, contact Steven Kronenberg at 470-239-3123.