What Can You Do With An Accounting Degree?

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If you like stretching and scrunching numbers and helping people save money, you may be interested in pursuing a degree in accounting services. Accounting involves every step of keeping and/or monitoring financial health of individuals and businesses. Job opportunities in this field are plentiful, and compensation for performing the desired tasks of each job is not a disappointment.

Areas of Accounting

There are multiple areas, or fields, of study in accounting, some of which are listed and described below in order to help you better understand much of which accounting entails.

Cost accounting – study of ways managers keep track of and balance costs for their businesses; main factors include indirect expenses, labor, and materials needed to perform labor

Financial accounting – study of the stability of a company’s finances in addition to how money is being spent and distributed within the company

Forensic accounting – study of the gathering and analysis of finances used in court, often as evidence; not to be confused with finances within the court system

Tax accounting – the field most of us are somewhat familiar with; the study of how finances are calculated and prepared for April 15, each year (the ever-dreaded Tax Day in the United States)

How to Get Your Degree in Accounting

Many high school students get nervous during their late junior and whole senior years, loosing sleep at night, wondering, “How do I go about choosing a college, let alone getting my college degree?” It’s quite simple, really. You just look for schools higher education facilities that offer highly-rated programs in your desired field of study, in this case accounting. Why not start here?

The Accounting Degree Review ranks Brigham Young University number 1 for best accounting program in 2014. This private university was founded in 1875 and is located in Provo, UT. The Marriott School of Management at Brigham offers a Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy for undergraduate students that requires business law courses in addition to other accounting- and finance-related courses, and it provides further education opportunities for masters degrees in the fields of business and finance.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign wasn’t far behind at number 2 for top accounting programs. The university was founded in 1867, and its College of Business offers the opportunity for a combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Accountancy featuring courses like Accounting Measurement & Disclosure and Assurance and Attestation. The business and accounting courses are sure to put your brain to work in order to help build you a better future in a career that you will enjoy.

One more university with a noteworthy business and accounting program is University of Texas at Austin. Founded in 1883, this university offers a bachelors degree in accounting with in-depth courses that study not just the basics but get down to the details and keys to success in accounting to  students with a strong drive to succeed.

Careers in Accounting

With a degree in accounting, you can go very far. Climb the ladder of success by achieving a masters or even doctoral degree in accounting, and you’re set for life.

Entry Level Accounting Careers

With a bachelors degree in accounting, you can achieve many things. Just a few career paths and their descriptions and qualifications are provided here.

Tax Examiner

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If you pay strict attention to mathematical detail and are quick to detect miscalculations, you may be interested in becoming a tax examiner. Tax examiners are responsible for checking the accuracy of tax returns that have recently been filed, and they should be well versed in the basics of tax procedures and regulations.

Tax examiners typically start out at around $28,000 a year.

Staff Accountant

With nothing more than a high school degree, some companies are willing to take on entry level accountants. Of course, a bachelors degree in accounting is highly regarded, but it is not always necessary. Job responsibilities include updating and keeping track of financial records within a company. Organization skills a must-have in order to neatly file and access records quickly when necessary. High math skills and database entry experience is often desired but not always mandatory. Training is usually done on-site.

Staff accountants can make an average of $30,000 a year if they excel at their responsibilities.

Junior Internal Auditor

It is often the responsibility of a junior internal auditor to make sure records are up-to-date by inspecting and assessing company financial systems. With a bachelors degree in accounting, a junior internal editor’s goal is to ultimately keep the company he or she is employed by from having fraudulent charges pressed against it.

Junior internal auditors can start out earning about $38,000 annually.

Advanced Career Opportunities in Accounting

Once you have obtained your masters degree or even as high as your doctoral degree in accounting, more doors open up to you. You have more career path choices available and should consider them precious positions.

Certified Public Accountant

A certified public accountant (CPA) receives his or her title as such by taking and passing the Certified Public Accounting Examination, becoming quite a step up from your average accountant. CPAs need to have excellent mathematical and organization skills, because they are responsible for preparing and filing taxes for businesses among other job duties.

With a CPA title and after just a few years of experience, an accountant can expect to earn from $72,000 to over $120,000 a year.

Chief Financial Officer

Accounting managers and internal auditors are capable of receiving a promotion to a position as a chief financial officer (CFO) within the company for which they work. This position is hammered with responsibilities, but the pay is worth the work. Responsibilities for a CFO include but are not limited to directing employees who work in the accounting department of a company and assisting them with and monitoring data accountants have collected, summarized and interpreted. Because a CFO works so closely with lower level accounting personnel in addition to alongside the president of the company, he or she must have excellent communication and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.

CFOs can make over $125,000 each year.

Companies that Hire People with Degrees in Accounting

With an accounting degree, you are not just eligible for jobs at accounting firms. You can apply for jobs at nearly any large business, because businesses are always looking for people who are knowledgeable and talented in working numbers. Money and excellent customer service are what keep companies in business. Check out these companies and what they have to offer for people with degrees in accounting.

Foot Locker – one of the most popular names in sports shoe retail; business opportunities in fields like account management and financial analysis

The Murphy Insurance Group – located in Waunakee, WI; assist in the insurance process and accounting department

Chemeketa Community College – founded in 1969 in Salem, OR; openings for accounting professors

Springs Window Fashions – based in Middleton, WI; specializes in providing window blinds, shades, and decor; offers positions as demand planning analysts and more in addition to sales representatives and management positions

If you have or plan to get a degree in accounting, no matter what level, you will always have the opportunity to you become part of a large business because every industry needs the skills and services you possess and provide.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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