Executive Master in Accounting (EMA)

The Executive Master in Accounting (EMA) program is tailored for “high flyers” working in services and industries.

It is a modular program which enables executives to earn an Executive Master in Accounting (EMA) while pursuing full time work. The program is targeted towards:

  • Young executives from varied cultural, academic and professional backgrounds who are ambitious and have the potential and desire to work towards a successful management career.
  • Companies wishing to bring their young managers to the skill levels of top leaders while working on their company’s project.

A Life Changing Experience

One of the roles of business schools throughout the world is to provide their surrounding economy with managers who know how to add value to their company’s projects. To do so, business schools need to listen to and even anticipate the needs of businesses and translate them into skills and competencies taught in their revolving program.

Over the last two decades, the exponential growth of globalization has brought about the need to produce and sell in networks, think in multicultural terms, be global and act local and set up international projects. This new economic setting makes fundamental management skills more crucial. A proficient command of management skills, an ability to work with partners from new horizons and an understanding of the cultural aspects of markets are assets when it comes to winning contracts, delivering products and services and setting up research and development projects.

With their expertise in teaching and research, their decades of experience in business teaching HEC Liège is well equipped to deliver an EMA centered on the needs of businesses, whether local or international, large or small, and within European or on a Worldwide scope.

The Executive Master in Accounting (EMA) is an action oriented, industry driven program that meets both you and your company needs.

The Executive Master in Accounting strengthens and builds upon the global skills needed to craft a successful accounting career in business management and accounting. This program is ideal for those with accounting backgrounds and a desire to develop specialist insight into accounting from a global perspective.

The EMA is a modular program consisting of the following 6 modules and Business Game over a period of 18 – 24 months.

No. Code Module
1 EMA531 Introduction to Finance and Accounting
2 EMA532 Corporate Finance
3 EMA533 Analytical Accounting and Management Control
4 EMA534 Financial Analysis and Corporate Financing                     
5 EMA535 Audit
6 EMA536 Strategic Management
7 EMA537 Business Game
The program consisting of 6 modules and Business Game.
EMA531: Introduction in Finance and Accounting
Module Synopsis

The importance of financial information in decision making by managers, market analysts and bankers requires deep knowledge and comprehension of accounting concepts and corporate finance.

The objective of this course is to introduce students to basic accounting mechanisms and use them in financial analysis in order to make decisions. Concepts will be studied in a European approach.

After this seminar, students should be able:

  • Learn a common language
  • Learn the basic accounting principles
  • Use the accounting analysis for a deeper knowledge of some technical aspects
  • Explain the budget and cost calculation aspects
  • Analyse accounting documents in order to understand the effect of various activities (results, ratios, operating reports,…)
  • Acquire a general overview of a company’s financial situation
  • Learn about financial analysis techniques
  • Study financing methods
EMA532: Corporate Finance
Module Synopsis

The purpose of this module is to furnish students with a general understanding of the financial decision making process. The module in general concentrates on developing a high level understanding of the tactical and strategic significance of the financial management function within organizations. It covers the main financial tools of the company reporting system and the means of analyzing corporate performance.

This module will also teach you not only how to create a budget and other tools that everyone from accountants to marketing managers and decision makers use, but also the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in business. It is this combination of understanding the technique and how to apply it in the real world that empowers students to make business decisions.

EMA533: Analytical Accounting and Management Control
Module Synopsis

At the end of this course, students should be able to explain aims of cost accounting; define and classify costs in actual, standard, direct, indirect, fixed and variable costs; calculate break-even-point and security margin;; describe the various cost calculation methods; calculate costs with several methods and compare results; understand that cost calculation methods should have been chosen and applied according to specific criteria; analyse costs and margin and make decisions on that basis.


At the end of the course, students should be able to explain budgeting process from strategic planning to management control; work out standard costs and budgets; calculate and analyse variances; work out and analyse various types of budgetary control spreadsheets; understand evolution of management control and namely the growing influence of global performance measurement with management scorecards and Balanced Scorecards (with financial and non-financial indicators).

EMA534: Financial Analysis and Corporate Financing
Module Synopsis

Learning unit contents:

  • Based on Belgian and international accounting regulation.
  • Corporate financial balance analysis (working capital, working capital need, teasury).
  • Ratio analysis (liguidity, solvency, profitability).
  • Cash flow analysis (cash flow statement, flow of funds).
  • Corporate financing, business plan, valuation models.
Learning Outcome
  • Pass on 30 years of experience in banking industry, by illustrating theoretical financial and accounting concepts through the analysis of companies financing, their risks and needs.
  • Highlight the ultimate importance of cash management, through ratio methods and practical illustrations.
EMA535:  Audit
Module Synopsis

Learning Outcome :

Auditing defines as a process of critical analysis of systems, documents and other audit evidences in order to determine the validity of accounting records and management assertions related to financial information or to assess the compliance with defined procedures or contractual engagements.

Financial audit is an assurance engagement as defined in the framework of the International Audit and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)

Having studied the importance of control systems in the organization of business, the objective is to study the successive steps of a financial audit, up to the final phase which is reporting to external users.

The accent is placed on the application of International Standards on Auditing applied to the audit of Belgian companies.

The targeted level of competence includes:

C.1. Essential knowledge of internal control, theory of assurance engagements and basic concepts that underlie the audit process and how to apply these concepts in financial audit.

C.2. Implementation of this knowledge through case studies developed during and after the lectures.

C.3. Understanding how audit procedures can interact to justify the professional judgment of the auditor in his report. This course contributes to the following Intended Learning Outcomes:

ILO-1: To strengthen knowledge and understanding of management disciplines and its legal, policy and social context

ILO-2: Gaining the knowledge and understanding of one of the proposed fields of concentration or to gain deep knowledge in the field of the management being already specialized thru a first University Master Degree.

ILO-4: To acquire the capacity to research autonomously and methodically the information needed to solve a complex, transversal management problem,

ILO-5: Integrate autonomously researched information, tools, knowledge and context to build and propose, either individually or as part of a team, original, creative and viable solutions to concrete complex management problems, whether real or simulated, taking into account, when necessary, the human, social and legal context.

ILO-6: Ability to speak 2 foreign languages: C1 in English and B2 in one other language.

ILO-8: Developing leadership

ILO-9: Developing a critical sense (arguing)

ILO-10: Developing a transversal, global vision

ILO-11: Creative conception of solutions

ILO-12: Professional capacity for oral communication

ILO-13: Professional capacity for written communication

ILO-14: Faced with a management problem, suggesting solutions that are ethical and socially responsible and that respect the principles of good governance.


EMA536: Strategic Management
Module Synopsis

Learning unit contents:

Business value management Stakeholders’ theory and agency cost Creating and developing strategies Strategy execution: Mapping, balanced Scorecard, road map Holistic view of business system and performance: performance management and measurement

Learning Outcome
After this seminar, students should be able to: master basic concepts of business value management ; integrate in a holistic view business systems and the relationship among their components such as strategy, people, management systems, working processes and leadership, as well as taking into account stakeholders perspectives, change management dimensions and performances management and measurement ; understand best practices to develop and implement strategies through situation appraisal, competition analysis and environmental scan ; use tools such as Porter’s models (Five forces model and value chain analysis), PESTEL Analysis, SWOT Analysis, Balanced Scorecard, etc. ; map strategies and setting effective performance objectives ; determine the maturity stage of a Performance Management System ; assess effectiveness of strategy execution.


EMA537:  Business Game
Module Synopsis
This course aims at having participants (working in teams):
  • discover the interaction between the major functions of a company (production, finance, marketing, human resources);
  • learn how to define policies, infer objectives & compare results with objectives;
  • train at decision-making
After this Course, participants should be able:
  • To recognize the Key Factors of Success of a project and to have some directions about how to leverage them.
  • To identify the role and the specific goals of the various players (inside and outside the project team) and to understand their influence, goals and expected benefits.
  • To integrate the benefit of an agile management.
  • To realize the importance of a good communication, especially in a multicultural environment.

The simulation game consists of 5 teams of 5 participants each. Each team represents a company on a market, and competes with the four others. The participants make up the board of the company. The first half-day is devoted to presenting the game and briefing all participants. Each team makes 12 decisions, which comes down to one decision per quarter for 3 years. According to its decisions, and the decisions of competitors, the company receives a quarterly result sheet. After 3 simulated years of company life, the board has to present their results to their partners (shareholders, bank, works council). In the game, those partners are represented by all participants. The decisions of each team are analyzed and synthesized in a final report drawn up by the organizers.


To be eligible for the EMA program, applicants have to fulfil the following requirements:
  • Working experience of 5 years or a Bachelor degree.
  • Behaviour Skills and motivation.