Master of Science in Accountancy – Tax Consulting Track

The Tax Consulting track of Wake Forest’s Master of Science in Accountancy provides extensive preparation for a tax-related career, one of the most in-demand professions in the public accounting field.

As the U.S. tax code changes each year, there is always a need for highly-skilled and knowledgeable tax professionals. Students in this accountancy track will learn about the U.S. federal income taxation of corporations, partnerships, S corporations, estates and gifts, and not-for-profit entities.

What You Will Learn

Through Wake Forest’s rigorous Tax Consulting MSA program, students gain knowledge of the federal tax research process as it relates to tax planning and compliance issues. This includes understanding both primary and secondary sources of tax authority and the proper use of each.

This track also explores ethical issues related to providing tax advice, including the administration of the tax laws and the rules governing practice before the IRS. Furthermore, the well-rounded curriculum dives into how the U.S. tax policies can impact the economy, the major differences between tax expense for GAAP and tax purposes, the impact of deferred tax assets and liabilities, and the tax impacts of corporate acquisitions and divisions.


Courses in the Tax Consulting track include:

  • Tax Research and Communication
  • Selected Topics in Taxation (Periods & Methods, International Tax, State and Local Tax)
  • Tax Policy & Administration
  • Taxation of M&A
  • Tax Aspects of Financial Statement Presentations
  • Introduction to Partnership Taxation
  • Advanced Partnership Taxation

Review the full MSA degree curriculum, including foundational courses. 

Why pursue the tax consulting track?

Accountants are always in demand. In particular, organizations in both the public and private sectors depend on skilled tax professionals to help them navigate the complexities of the tax law landscape. With this selective pool of skilled tax professionals, many Wake Forest MSA graduates enter into positions with higher starting salaries, reflecting the demand for this role. 

Furthermore, clients are abundant for tax consultants, as organizations are always seeking ways to reduce tax liability, meaning work can easily be found locally without the need for significant travel. 

Jumpstarting a path to this exciting career, Wake Forest’s renowned MSA program is open to all academic backgrounds and touts CPA pass rates over 30 percentage points higher than the national average. This reflects Wake Forest’s wrap around academic and career support that fosters unmatched student success.

Program Structure

The Tax Consulting track of coursework is delivered through both synchronous and asynchronous classes, seamlessly fitting within busy schedules while maximizing community engagement and active application of course materials.

Synchronous Classes

Students solve problems together in class, review current events in accounting, and complete quizzes on the material.

Asynchronous Materials

Class materials are also available online for asynchronous work and study.

World-Class MSA Faculty

Students in the Tax Consulting track benefit from access to expert faculty that have decades of professional experience specializing in tax consulting and compliance both in their careers and as academic professionals. This connects students with the leading theories and methodologies in the ever-evolving landscape of taxation law and policy.

Jim Willis

Professor of the Practice
336-758-2970 | email

Professor Jim Willis is a Professor of the Practice and the Former Dean of Accountancy Programs at Wake Forest University School of Business. Jim joined Wake Forest in August of 2013 after spending over 30 years in the accounting profession.

Prior to joining Wake Forest, Jim served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Gray Holdings, LLC a large multi-family real estate company. Prior to joining Gray Holdings, Jim spent 24 years in public accounting, most recently as the partner in charge of tax services for the Atlantic Region of BDO USA, LLP.

He has also held positions in the tax departments of Ernst & Young and Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC). His prior teaching experience includes graduate tax courses in Taxation of Property Transactions and Partnership Taxation in the Master of Taxation program at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jim received his B.S. in Accounting and his Master of Taxation from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he later received the VCU Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Alumnus Award. Professor Willis teaches Tax Research & Communication, Selected Topics in Tax, Tax for Mergers & Acquisitions, Partnership Tax, and Tax Aspects of Financial Statements.

Whitney Simpson

Associate Professor of the Practice
336-758-7240 | email

Professor Whitney Simpson is an Associate Professor of the Practice at Wake Forest University School of Business. Professor Simpson earned her undergraduate degree from Davidson College and her Master’s in Tax from the University of South Carolina. She worked in the tax service lines of both BDO and Cherry, Bekaert, & Holland, before joining Bank of America.

Professor Simpson served as a Tax Manager and Senior Tax Manager for over six years before joining Wake Forest in 2017. Profesor Simpson teaches Tax Policy & Administration and Federal Taxation of Corporations & Partnerships.

Join the In-Demand Tax Accounting Field

The Tax Consulting track of Wake Forest University’s MSA degree provides the pathway to an exciting, highly coveted career in the tax accounting field.

Get started at Wake Forest by requesting more information.