Graduate School

The University of Mississippi

Two New Accounting Masters Programs Join Already Stellar Accountancy Program

 By Jordan Orris


Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

In collaboration with KPMG, the Patterson School of Accountancy has added two new master’s programs. By joining the KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program, the University now provides the only Master of Accountancy and Data Analytics and Master of Taxation and Data Analytics programs in the state. The M.T.D.A. program is the only program in the country.

30 University of Mississippi students will receive tuition funding, an internship on a KPMG audit or tax team, and the opportunity to pursue a full-time position with KPMG through an advanced entry program upon graduation.

“KPMG’s expanded investment in the data and analytics program demonstrates the firm’s commitment to the future of the audit and tax professions,” said Frank Casal, KPMG’s U.S. Vice Chair – Audit. “We’re pleased to include prestigious institutions like the University of Mississippi, who share this focus and are equally passionate about their students building advanced skills in accounting, tax and data analytics that they can bring into the marketplace.”

The two new programs join an already highly ranked Accountancy program, with both the Master’s and Doctoral programs ranking in the Top 10 Accountancy schools in the nation, according to the 2018 Public Accounting Report rankings. The undergraduate program also ranks in the Top 10, so all three levels of the Accountancy program are ranked among the best in the country. This builds upon a previous legacy of success, as the School has ranked in the Top 10 for each of the last seven years. Additionally, preliminary reports detail that enrollment in the school’s master’s programs increased dramatically, by 70 percent this fall.

Dr. Dale Flesher, Associate Dean and the holder of the Burns Chair of Accountancy stated that, “two new Big Data degree programs are an integral part of the University’s ‘Big Data Flagship Constellation’ program.  Accountants are at the heart of the use of Big Data.” Flesher added that “…Big Data allows us to find the needle in the haystack without looking at every piece of hay.  The same type of analysis is useful for tax purposes.  During a tax audit, the IRS wants to see only a handful of transactions; data analysis techniques help us to quickly pull out the entries with the desired attributes.” A study published in the Journal of Accountancyreferred to data analytics as the “next frontier” for accountants and business leaders alike, emphasizing the importance of new and advanced technologies in auditing, financial planning, consumer behavior, and market trends.

The KPMG program provides additional resources to one of the top campuses for accountancy. The University is the host location of the National Library of the Accounting Profession, which is the largest accountancy library in the world, with accounting and finance resources that are almost triple that of any other library anywhere.

By joining the KPMG program, the University will have access to proprietary KPMG technologies, which will familiarize students with professional software. Additionally, KPMG has now partnered with a total of 9 schools, further connecting professors and students to achieve academic networking.

Those interested in learning more about the program, including how to apply, should visit