My name is Anna Elsilä and I am currently coordinating the 2-year full-time Financial and Management Accounting International Master's Programme (FMA), which I would like to introduce. To me, as an FMA graduate, it is a great pleasure to write these words.
While initially accounting as a discipline was country-specific, recent globalization trends, such as expansion of multinational firms abroad as well as worldwide adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards created a possibility to establish this international program in Accounting in the University of Oulu. The first intake to the FMA programme was made in 2003 and during its ten-year-history more than 50 students coming from 20 different countries have studied in the programme.
So why studying accounting is important? A person, willing to become a writer should know the rules of the grammar. Likewise, accounting helps to understand how the business works. Accounting is also called the language of business communication, and it is implemented through the measurement of different dimensions of business. With the ongoing evolution of economic transactions, the need in accounting professionals, able to communicate and interpret the business events in a comprehensive way, is acute.
Studying accounting in the FMA programme is not simply memorizing the set of rules. Rather, the students are taught to analyze, read the accounting information “between the lines” and often to find own answers for given questions. This is achieved through a variety of study activities, such as case problems, group assignments – just to mention a few. Moreover, a mix of students of different nationalities studying in the programme enhances sharing of international experience.
Many former FMA students are nowadays employed in audit companies, financial services industry or decided to pursue a doctoral degree. The FMA graduates are also geographically scattered: while some stay in Finland, the other return to their home countries. Yet, some other move for work to the third country, implying that the FMA degree gives good opportunities for international mobility.
From my personal experience, studying in the FMA programme was a challenge. I have now learned to appreciate in full its real value. It was a path of immense self-development through critical thinking and problem solving.
Anna Elsilä, Coordinator, FMA Master's Programme
Last updated: 21.10.2015