George Mason University School of Business recently announced its new Graduate Certificate in Accounting for Government Contracts which will launch in fall 2021. This unique certificate program is designed to train specialist accounting professionals who can support the specific needs of the $500 billion government contracting industry.
“Students in the certificate program will learn how to implement federal acquisition regulation compliant accounting systems, create job cost reports and budgets, analyze indirect rate calculations and cost allocations, and facilitate internal control and federal audit compliance,” says JK Aier, area chair and associate professor of accounting at the School of Business.
The certificate program is supported by a generous grant of $300,000 from Unanet, a leading provider of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and technology solutions for the government contracting industry.
“We are proud to partner with George Mason University to support their curriculum for government contract accounting,” says Kevin Singh, vice president of business strategy and operations at Unanet and member of the School of Business’ Center for Government Contracting Advisory Board. “This course prepares accounting students to become leaders in the complex and evolving government contracting industry.”
According to Aier, employers, whether government contractors or service providers of government contractors, such as accounting firms and consultants, have significant need of employees with a sound base of knowledge encompassing acquisition regulations, project (cost) accounting, and the processes and systems required to remain compliant.
“Today, these employers must hire and train employees, which is a long-term effort as the skills required can take years to learn; and then must vigilantly work to keep those employees on staff while competitors attempt to recruit them away,” says Aier. “There is significant supply gap, and the number of qualified applicants for job vacancies does not fill the market need.”
Singh says that Unanet has strong relationships and representation with leading organizations in the industry and the local business community. “By collaborating with these groups, we can help drive economic growth for all, be a voice for inclusion, give our customers the latest information, and ensure our entire industry can rise up to meet the challenges that lay before it.”
For Jerry McGinn, executive director of the Center for Government Contracting, “this certificate builds unique credentials that enable students in the School of Business and practitioners in the industry to excel and contribute to a vital sector of the national economy.”
This new certificate joins the portfolio of certificates offered through the accounting department at the School of Business including graduate certificates in Accounting Analytics, Forensic Accounting, and Government Accounting. All certificate programs can be applied towards the 150-hour CPA requirement, as well as the MS in Accounting Program.