What The Online MST Program Can Teach You About Financial Planning

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Developing long-term financial stability is one of the key functions of a business’s accounting team. Tax professionals help companies in financial planning by forecasting budgets, reducing liabilities and improving company assets. To create these advantages, tax professionals must possess strong financial planning skills.

The Online Master of Science in Taxation from Northeastern University can provide you with the advanced planning knowledge and experience you need to reach the next step in your career. Both individuals and businesses require skilled tax experts to plan for stable financial futures.


Financial planning is important to the overall functioning of businesses


Planning is essential to success

Strong business leaders understand the importance of having a plan and value the financial planning process for its ability to prepare companies for new opportunities or to shelter them from unexpected circumstances. However, not everyone realizes that planning is a skill like any other, and if you have not been trained how to plan in a strategic manner, you may struggle to develop effective plans.

Management coach and Harvard Business Review contributor Elizabeth Grace Sanders explained that planning can seem difficult to people who haven’t been trained into the habit. Fledgling planners often struggle to use their planning time wisely, or they focus on the wrong things.

Tax professionals who develop their planning abilities will have more opportunities to succeed in their work. Whether you’re helping individuals plan for their future or assisting a larger business team in the development of a long-term tax strategy, planning is essential. It leads to better results, because you’ll understand all of your options and priorities. Plus, the planning stage can reveal avoidable problems that would be much more harmful if discovered while the project was already underway. The ability to check against a plan throughout the course of project ensures it is completed efficiently and with the fewest delays.


Financial planning supports all business functions

Successful businesses plan everything they possibly can. Plans create expectations, set boundaries, develop benchmarks, and much more. Financial plans are especially important to the overall functioning of businesses. Key benefits of financial and tax planning include:


  • Accurate funds management: The ability to accurately forecast the organization’s tax responsibilities, expenses, capital outlays, salaries, and other liabilities makes it possible to manage funds carefully. The higher the level of accuracy within these forecasts, the more confidence leadership can possess when making important business decisions. Likewise, financial planning directly contributes to organizational growth, as it helps stakeholders understand how to expand operations while keeping risk low.
  • The ability to reach long-term goals: If the business can only forecast its financial responsibilities into the next month or quarter, the chances of something unexpectedly derailing its plans is more likely. Strong financial planning should give stakeholders the tools they need to address long-term goals. Modern approaches to analytics and metric tracking can provide predictive data that helps stakeholders make lasting decisions that benefit the company.
  • An understanding of company assets and liabilities: Business planning is often a matter of balancing liabilities with assets and doing what’s possible to reduce those liabilities in the future. Tax professionals support this goal by developing strategies to reduce the organization’s tax responsibilities and finding ways to maximize the organization’s assets. This concept helps businesses determine which departments require new investments.
  • Market development: Financial planning is directly tied to other business functions, such as marketing and sales. The business’s financial planners can help the marketing team determine where it needs to perform outreach tasks, how it can appeal to customers, and how it should react to broader financial trends. Likewise, financial plans are useful when developing sales quotas and goals.
  • Measurable financial outcomes: At the end of the day, businesses are meant to make money. Financial planning helps stakeholders determine if their strategies are working by providing hard evidence of profits and losses. This data helps leadership determine if current profits are sustainable and what actions need to be taken to ensure future success.


Tax professionals play an important role in keeping the business functional and risk-averse. Business leaders value financial planners for their ability to strengthen the organization’s long-term viability.


Developing your understanding of financial planning

The Online MST program at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University prepares tax professionals to take the next step in their careers by providing expert guidance on many aspects of tax issues related to planning. Students interested in pursuing a career as a tax advisor for individuals or business entities can learn about best practices for minimizing tax liabilities and preparing for future financial needs.

Ideally suited for experienced professionals, the MST program dives into advanced strategies for financial planning, in addition to courses designed to expand your knowledge of the tax code.

Three courses are specifically tailored to the planning theme:


  • ACCT 6249 – Financial Planning for Investments: This course surveys the investment products that can be used for financial planning. It emphasizes the construction of an investment plan, a policy statement, and an asset allocation strategy.
  • ACCT 6250 – Financial Planning for Insurance: This course surveys insurance products utilized in financial planning. It discusses different types of insurance, emphasizing personal risk management.
  • ACCT 6264 – Planning for Estate Tax Issues: This course examines advanced strategies for maximizing personal goals related to property passing from one generation to the next. It emphasizes trust versus will planning.


To learn more about how the 100% online MST from Northeastern University can propel you to the next stage of your career as a tax professional.


Recommended Readings

Understanding Changes in Flow-through Entities Due to Recent Tax Reforms

Expand Your Knowledge of Corporate Taxation in The Online MST Program

How The Online Master of Taxation is Ideal for Working Professionals



The Harvard Business Review

Northeastern University Online MST Program