Program Description

Thank you for visiting our website. Most of you are here because you are contemplating taking a graduate degree in business and we believe the MFAc should definitely be on your short list. There is a good discussion in our FAQ section on the features of the MFAc compared to the MBA and other business degrees.

The MFAc is unique. This is a relatively new degree and the only one of its kind. It was spawned out of the public outcry at scandals such as Enron that culminated in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the United States. While that legislation has created a new industry in regulatory reporting, the basic problems surrounding the lack of accountability and good governance still persist. The global financial credit crisis of 2008 has unequivocally shown there is currently a dire need for graduates of our Program.

Here is a sample of questions we address in our program:

  1. Does the world face a crisis in accountability? 
  2. Could environmental damage be averted if firms had better governance systems in place? 
  3. Can government leaders be called to task for mismanagement? 
  4. Are corporations socially responsible when they place trillions of dollars of profits in untaxed overseas havens? Should corporations and wealthy investors be allowed to transfer resources to secret offshore banks for the purpose of tax evasion? 
  5. Can firms operate factories in third world sweatshops using child labor and claim to be responsible corporate citizens? 
  6. Can political leaders continue to ignore climate change? 
  7. Why do industries like tobacco or vaping that make carcinogenic products continue to be allowed to put products on store shelves? 
  8. What are the governance implications of an emerging industry like cannabis, or of technology use, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things? 
  9. Should profit maximization be allowed to be the sole goal of a corporation? 
  10. What are the governance and risk implications for companies of the emergence of political populism? 

 Government attempts to address these issues legislatively have largely failed because governments are mired in their own scandals. For example, the US government bail out of the banking sector was supposed to come with new oversight regulations to prevent a reoccurrence. None of this proposed oversight is in place today and the public is as much at risk as it ever was. The current federal government of Canada was elected largely on a platform of more transparency and accountability riding on the coat-tails of scandal in the previous administration and yet accountability and transparency in government in Canada have fallen to lows never witnessed before in this country. Other countries report similar scenarios.

York's MFAc program addresses these complex questions and challenges. You'll acquire strong critical knowledge and practical skills from across the areas of accounting, management, information technology and law. You'll also deepen and extend your knowledge by linking conceptual frameworks and research with professional experience and practice. You will be recognized as the leading authority on accountability and governance in your organization.

MFAc graduates can and will play a major role in restoring public trust in our private and public sector organizations. The most coveted leadership skill for private and public sector managers today is the ability to instill appropriate accountability and governance relationships in the organization…. this is the essence of the MFAc.

The MFAc degree is based on the following conceptual pillars:

  1.  Establishing guidelines for corporate ethics and sustainability, and ensuring that the firm's actions are socially responsible 
  2. Compliance with regulatory standards and laws 
  3. Building effective information systems, reporting systems and control systems 
  4. Promoting transparency in reporting 
  5. Proper management of risk 
  6. Establishing proper governance relationships in the organization. 

These themes pervade our courses as we look at the issues both from a theoretical perspective and in terms of real world impact through extensive use of case studies. Many of our classroom discussions, led by distinguished researchers and industry experts, are shaped by current events in the headlines and frequent guest lectures by recognized leaders of government and industry. 

MFAc graduates possess the expertise necessary to solve the increasingly complex problems related to good governance and have the tools and motivation to become influential agents of change holding senior management positions in the private or public sector. We invite you to explore our innovative program further and to consider the meaningful opportunities it can provide you.