The major in Accounting will give you competence in financial accounting, non-financial accounting, analysis, valuation, internal control, auditing, tax and corporate law.
It is widely acknowledged that accounting is the language of business. The Accounting major provides you with knowledge and skills to master this language you need for understanding business.
Accounting will be very suitable for those who would like to work in an accounting department, become a Chief Accounting Officer or a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), or become an internal or external auditor. Moreover, the major is also suitable for a wide range of jobs using or analyzing financial reports, such as analysts, controllers, investigators of economic crime, supervisory authorities etc. The major in Accounting will give you a good understanding of how you should make, read and analyze a financial report and related information. Moreover, you will learn the important role of internal control in ensuring high quality of the companies’ reporting.
Accounting offers a wide and exiting range of courses within four different subject areas:
- Valuation and analysis
- Internal control and auditing
- Tax and corporate law
The courses combine theory and practical, real life cases, which provides you with a solid basis for meeting the needs of future employers.
Accounting offers courses within four subject areas that a Chief of Accounting, a CFO or an auditor normally work with. You may choose to specialize in one area by picking all elective courses from this area, or you may choose a broad competence by picking courses from several areas.
Financial reporting is about the preparation and reading of financial reports that are prepared for external communication. The reporting shall present the financial performance and economic health of a business. For the readers it is essential to be able to conduct proper financial reporting analyses, whether they are investors, creditors or other users that use financial information for economic decisions or to evaluate management of the business.
In many jurisdictions, financial reporting is regulated in Accounting Laws and Accounting Standards. These laws and standards are based on concepts that are important to understand both when preparing and when reading financial reports. Moreover, the laws and standards leave much judgment to the preparer of the financial report. Good reporting requires good judgement.
For financial reporting, the Accounting major pays most attention to the international accounting standards, IFRS, which are mandatory for listed companies and increasingly important for private companies. The major also pays attention to nonprofit and governmental entities’ significant role in our society, and their reporting needs that may be different from the needs of private companies.
Companies have corporate social responsibility (CSR), and report to their stakeholders and society how they perform. This reporting has developed significantly the last years, and students will learn how to report on CSR and evaluate how firms are performing.
Valuation and analysis
Valuation is about valuation of companies and shares, and of assets and liabilities in a company. Valuation is important both for investing decisions and for measuring assets and liabilities in the financial reports. Much valuation is based on judgmental assumptions, and it is important both for the preparer and for the receiver of valuations to understand the effect of judgement in the valuations.
Internal control and audit
Internal control and audit is about processes that increase confidence in financial reports and ensures compliance with laws and regulations. It takes an internal perspective by discussing how internal control routines can ensure high quality in an entity’s reporting and reduce risk for fraud and mistakes. It takes also an external perspective by teaching students how to conduct an audit of financial reports, including how to assess the quality of risk management and internal control procedures.
Tax and corporate law
In this subject area, students will learn about laws that are essential for organizing businesses and operate internationally. You will learn corporate laws – with focus on Norwegian laws, including topics such as how to form a limited company, do stock issues, do merger and demergers etc. You will learn how taxes and tax planning are important for business, both the importance of tax compliance and the magnitude of tax as an expense for the company. Hence, you will learn both national and international corporate tax rules, and tax planning in an ethical context.
- Have an extensive and updated knowledge of relevant theories for accounting
- Have a solid competence in empirical methods for accounting
- Have good insight into international frameworks for accounting
- Be able to work independently on advanced issues in accounting
- Be able to apply relevant theories, methods and relevant regulation on real world issues in accounting
- Be able to update skills and apply new knowledge on their own throughout their career
- Have the ability to communicate with specialists, as well as a wider audience, about accounting issues
- Have solid basis for operating professionally in an international setting
- Have the ability to consider ethical and sustainability issues in accounting
The Accounting major consists of 45 ECTS courses and 30 ECTS for a master thesis. The general structure of the coursework is as follows:
2 mandatory courses
- Financial Accounting
- Internal control and audit
1 method course.
- See section for “Empirical methods courses”
3 elective courses
The topic of the master thesis should be within the scope of the subject areas of Accounting. We recommend students to take work on the master thesis in the third or fourth semester.
Recommended course combinations
Recommended course combinations
You can choose any of the elective courses. However, you can demonstrate your interest in one of the subject areas by taking several courses from this area.
Many of the courses in Accounting are approved as valid courses for a Master’s Degree in Accounting and Auditing, which is required to become a State Authorized Public Accountant in Norway. However, to receive this degree, you must apply for a transfer to the Master Programme in Accounting and Auditing, and when applying, you must have taken some specific courses among the elective courses in Accounting. We refer to the web page for the Master Programme in Accounting and Auditing for further information.
Empirical method courses
Empirical method courses
You must take minimum one of the following courses:
- BUS 444 Econometrics for Business Research
- ECN 402 Econometrics
STR 402A Methodology for Master Thesis
You are required to take at least 2.5 ECTS in ethics. You can choose any course at NHH’s list of ethics courses. Following Accounting courses are approved as ethics courses:
- ACC 413 Sustainability and ESG reporting
- BUS 452 Corruption, compliance and corporate liability
- BUS 465 Detecting Corporate Crime
- Only courses with ACC-code can be chosen
- At least one of the mandatory courses
As an NHH student you have excellent opportunities to gain valuable international experience during your studies through exchange programmes, the CEMS Master's in International Management (MIM) joint degree, the Double degree programme and summer courses.