Benedictine’s new master’s programs meet need for tax, analytics expertise

August 28, 2013

Lisle, Illinois ~ Think filling out a Form 1040 is complicated? Imagine trying to stay abreast of all the changes in small business and corporate tax codes.

Benedictine University, a leader in business programs for more than 50 years, is now offering two new graduate degrees – a Master of Science (M.S.) in Taxation and an M.S. in Business Analytics – designed to meet the growing need in the corporate world for experts in taxation and tax law and for managers who can analyze data to improve business performance.

Knowledge of tax is essential for people engaged in any type of business. Two years ago, AT&T and the federal government reached a settlement that forced the communications giant to repay customers nearly $1 billion after it improperly collected millions of dollars in taxes contrary to the Internet Tax Freedom Act.

About the same time, a private contractor in North Carolina who had previously run afoul of the law failed to withhold state and federal taxes from employees who performed 76,000 hours of work on a $125 million county detention facility. The company itself earned more than $1 million for the work. Workers claimed they were not given the tax forms they needed to settle their tax obligations.

The role that tax plays in society is crucial. Business leaders in the 21st century must navigate their way through a maze of changing federal and state tax regulations, the impact of globalization on tax exposures, and the continuous drive by corporations to lower their tax liabilities and improve profitability.

Benedictine University’s newly designed M.S. in Taxation program is designed to address the new trends in the tax preparation field and to provide astute management skills in guiding corporations toward sound tax policies.   

“Since the beginning of 2001, there have been more than 3,250 changes to the tax code, an average of more than one a day, including more than 500 changes in 2008 alone,” said John Draut, M.B.A., an instructor in the Department of Business Administration at Benedictine. “Still, the tax code is nowhere close to being simple. That’s the reason why a complete overhaul of the tax code is being considered. The time is high and so are the costs.”

Changes to the tax code are not the only factor in the growing need for tax professionals.

“The need for competent tax professionals is rising as the older generation of tax professionals is retiring and there seems to be no end in sight to the complexity and critical nature taxes play in the business environment and personal tax arena,” Draut said.

“Our program is managed by practicing tax professionals with decades of experience and the ability to dissect the tax code in a manner that will provide taxation candidates with a learning experience that will distinguish them from other graduate taxation programs,” he added.

Taxes and tax law are not the only items that affect a company’s bottom line. Most successful companies have found that by studying past performance and previous outcomes, they can gain insight into what drives business performance. Information-driven companies treat their data as an asset and leverage it to gain a competitive advantage.

The new M.S. in Business Analytics program at Benedictine focuses on the skills, technologies, applications and practices necessary to explore past business performance. It makes use of data, statistical and quantitative analysis, and predictive modeling to explain why a certain result occurred and to forecast future results.

“Business analytics has become a requirement of conducting business today,” said Nathan Patrick Taylor, M.P.H., M.S., lecturer in the M.S. in Business Analytics program at Benedictine. “It’s no longer optional. Analytics provides an infrastructure for making informed decisions. Today’s data-driven companies are able to remain competitive by relying on decisions derived from analytics rather than anecdotal evidence.

“Companies are moving beyond basic reporting and dashboards to robust predictive analysis and optimization,” he added. “The demand for analytics professionals has far outstripped the supply of competent analysts. To be successful, today's analysts need to pair technical skills with business knowledge. Balancing technical skill and business knowledge is critical for any analytics implementation to be successful.”

Students who pursue an M.S. in Business Analytics at Benedictine may choose from concentrations in Business Administration, Forensic Accounting, Health Information Systems Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing and Professional Internship. They may also consider earning a second graduate degree by completing an additional 32 credit hours in Accountancy, Business Administration or Management Information Systems.

Benedictine’s graduate business programs have been preparing professionals for rapid advances in technology, intense global competition and more complex business environments for more than 50 years. The Benedictine Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program was listed as the fifth largest in the Chicago area in 2012 by Crain’s Chicago Business.

For more information about Benedictine’s graduate business programs, call (630) 829-6300, email admissions@ben.edu or visit www.ben.edu.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2000-2010 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the third consecutive year in 2013. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area in 2012.


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BENEDICTINE UNIVERSITY
Elliott Peppers, Associate Director of Media Relations
Email: epeppers@ben.edu
Direct: (630) 829-6079
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