A concentration in tax strategy can enhance performance in core tax roles. It will also allow students to explore career opportunities with large firms that have tax compliance and consulting practice lines. Almost all public accounting firms offer extensive tax strategy advisory services to their clients.
Rather than a downstream outcome of corporate strategies and related transactions, tax is increasingly viewed by corporations as a strategic element that must be aligned with overall corporate strategy. Viewing tax as a strategic tool requires taking into account the tax implications of business activities and transactions with the goal of minimizing tax risks (compliance risks, reputational risks and so on) while at the same time adding value to the rest of the business.
A company’s tax strategy actively considers the impact of taxes on a variety of business decisions including but not limited to organization form (choice of business entity), mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation, multistate and global business expansion and supply chain management with the goal of managing tax risk and optimizing the effective tax rate.
As part of the core curriculum, all students take Advanced Tax. Students in the Tax Strategy specialization will also take two business management courses in the tax area with wide application to tax strategy issues. They will also take three, one hour credit tax modules.
- MBA 525 – Taxes and Business Strategy (3 credits)
This course focuses on the importance of tax considerations in business decisions, and provides a framework for understanding how taxes affect business strategy and financing decisions in a wide variety of settings.
- BUS 590 – Corporate Tax Strategy (3 credits)
Discusses the tax and auditing aspects related to income tax provisions of publicly-held multinational corporations’ financial statements and accompanying disclosures. Particular emphasis is placed on income tax risks, controls to help mitigate such risks, and substantive audit procedures related to the income tax provision.
- Tax Modules (3 total credits)
ACC 561 – Database Management in Tax ( 1 hour credit)
Students will learn the skills needed to understand and identify many aspects of the state income tax apportionment process. Focus will be placed on calculations and analyses required to present the state and local tax information in such a manner as to assist upper management in the business expansion decision-making process. This module utilizes Microsoft Access
ACC 564 – Project Management and Process Documentation in Tax (1 hour credit)
Students will learn tax project management and tax process documentation skills. Students will develop an understanding of project management in the context of a tax provision process assessment for a hypothetical company. This module utilizes Microsoft Project and Visio.
ACC 565 – Visual Analytics in Tax (1 hour credit)
The goal of visual analytics is to enhance the value and quality of the information provided to decision makers in an organization. Focus will be on state and local nexus, sales and use taxes and foreign bank account reporting requirements. This module utilizes Excel power tools