“This result confirms our demand for the Mannheim Master of Accounting & Taxation to be the ideal starting point for a top-management career in these fields,” says Professor Christoph Spengel, Academic Director of the program’s Taxation Track. Leading to a Master of Science (M.Sc.), the program has been part of the portfolio at Mannheim Business School since 2008. Thus far around 300 students have successfully completed the Mannheim Master of Accounting & Taxation program. “Our aim is to offer a course of study that combines academic excellence with relevance to practice in equal measure as a preparation for leadership positions,” says Spengel, who considers regular content updates and structural optimization to be important factors in success. “For example, extending the program’s duration from two to three years has proven to be a good idea, as has the shift from a weekend to a modular format, plus the introduction of an on-boarding module at the start to provide students with a compact set of basic skills and enable them apply elements of their challenging studies to actual practice early on.”
The Mannheim Master of Accounting & Taxation program was developed in close cooperation with the leading companies in the industry worldwide known as the “Big Four” (Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC). A steering committee consisting of high-ranking representatives from these and other companies as well as from faculty members of the University of Mannheim supervises the ongoing further development of the program, which offers two specializations. While the Taxation Track focuses in international taxation, international tax planning, and tax structuring – a unique program in Germany – the Accounting Track, which Mannheim and selected partner universities offer in conjunction with the Big Four’s Audit Xcellence initiative, can shorten the path to a career as a public auditor. Based on the 5th amendment to the German Public Accountants Act (WPO), regulation §8a offers the possibility of exemption from part of the exams depending on successful completion of the program.
A large number of companies of different sizes and from different industries have long viewed the Mannheim Master of Accounting & Taxation degree as an ideal instrument in their talent management strategies. “The Big Four continue to send the largest number of students, but many medium-sized auditing and tax consultancy firms as well as banks and industrial companies are now also sending their young professionals to our program,” observes Professor Jens Wüstemann, President of Mannheim Business School and Academic Director of the Accounting Track. The fact that virtually all the students now come with bachelor’s degrees, Wüstemann values as a successful adaption to Bologna Process. As he notes, “Companies can use our program to provide part-time, practice-based and leadership-oriented further development precisely to employees with bachelor’s degrees.”