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Accountancy (MSc Accountancy and Control)
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The study programme

In the study programme of the Accountancy track, the focus is on the activities that auditors perform.

Master you skills for analysing and reporting

In the Accountancy track you will learn to analyse information needed for reporting purposes of organisations. Key emphasis is placed on studying the rules, procedures and systems that are needed to achieve these aims.

Elevate your career in 1 year

Prepare to get convinced. Take 90 seconds to find out why you should study MSc Accountancy and Control at the University of Amsterdam. View the highlights of this study programme.

The programme

Accountancy is one of the tracks of the MSc Accountancy and Control. During your Master's you will follow 6 general courses and 3 track-specific courses. You will finish with a thesis. If you have a fundamental drive to challenge the corporate environment, you can participate in our Honours programme.

  • Compulsory courses

    International Financial Reporting

    The course provides an overview of the major elements of reporting under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The emphasis is on understanding the key accounting concepts within IFRS but also the practice of applying these standards in real-life situations.

    Incentives & Control

    With this course you learn how corporations can align the interests of employees with those of their organisation. You examine the challenges of various financial and non-financial measures in incentive systems for employees, and the relationship between control, (operational) risk management and corporate governance.

    Accountability & Risk Management

    This course focusses on the roles of internal control and risk management in ensuring organisational accountability, both social and environmental. We consider and critique theories, philosophies and concepts of corporate governance and accountability emanating from a variety of theoretical perspectives and apply these to real-world examples.

    Data Analytics & Professional Skills

    Accountants need to be capable of analysing large amounts of financial and non-financial data to address business challenges. This course helps you to develop an analytical mindset and learn how to use tools to analyse both structured and unstructured data. In addition, this course develops your professional skills such as public speaking, presentation skills, and programming with python.

    Financial Statement Analysis & Valuation

    This course applies conceptual aspects of financial accounting and reporting to the financial statements of real-world companies. You will learn to analyse financial statements of well-known companies from the perspective of a financial analyst and to use the insights in company valuation analyses.

    Judgment & Decision Making in Accounting

    This course provides you with an introduction to the psychology of judgment and decision making. We discuss important behavioral models of human decision making, and contrast these with economically rational models.

  • Track-specific courses

    Financial Accounting Research

    The main objective of this course is to provide you with a thorough introduction into academic research on financial accounting and reporting to get a better understanding of the financial reporting environment.


    In this course you will learn about the role and of the auditor in society. We will cover various topics, such as the expectation gap, auditor independence, the audit risk model, the audit process, audit quality and fraudulent reporting, auditor oversight and regulation, as well as current developments in the market for audit services.

    Business Lab: Accountancy

    Apply your knowledge to solve complex business issues in the area of accountancy. Together with your fellow students, you will work on cases that an audit firm or company struggles with, such as the implementation of new accounting standards or the use of data analytics and process mining to improve an audit.

  • Thesis

    The Master’s thesis is the final requirement for your graduation. It is your chance to dive deep into a topic that you are enthusiastic about. A professor in your field of choice (track) will supervise and support you in writing your thesis.

    Upon graduation, you will be awarded the title Master of Science (MSc).

  • Honours programme

    Highly motivated students can participate in the MSc Accountancy and Control Honours programme. This challenging programme is a great chance to stand out for future employers.

    More about the Honours programme
Real-life case: how are revenues in telecom defined?

Sales revenue is crucial for stakeholders to understand performance. But revenues are not easily defined in case of long-term customer relationships. So how should a telecom firm account for up-front payment for a two-year cellphone plan? Treatment according to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is changing. Does this change influence firm valuation?

Contemporary issues

Examples of relevant issues that could be discussed in your classroom.

  1. Financial Accounting Scandals - Recently, the large accounting scandal of Wirecard in Germany raised the question how it is possible that large accounting scandals keep recurring. As a result, auditors faced renewed scrutiny from regulators, investors and the general public for big changes in the profession. However, research evidence on the effectiveness of these changes in preventing new scandals suggest that there is a permanent risk for scandals. What is driving this risk? We need more understanding of the economic determinants and consequences of this permanent risk of accounting scandals, as well as new ways to prevent future scandals.  
  2. Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive - In April 2021, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). This proposal will affect the reporting of nearly 50,000 European firms with regards  to sustainability information, and is considered the most important change in financial reporting since the introduction of IFRS. The 1st  standard is expected to be ready by mid-2022, and the Directive applicable for the 1st time for fiscal years beginning on or after 1 January 2023. How will the CSRD affect the reporting requirements of Non-Financial Information? Which training do auditors require in order to audit the sustainability data? How will investors react to this new type of annual report?  
Denitsa Pacheva, student Accountancy track
Copyright: FEB
The Amsterdam Business School has positioned itself amongst the best business schools in Europe and I can tell so by the many ambitious young people I met here. Denitsa Pacheva - track Accountancy Read about Denitsa's experiences with this Master's

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