7 Careers for an Accountant With an MBA
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) remains the gold standard for those aspiring to top jobs in the business world.
An MBA prepares students to take on leadership roles, guiding business strategy. These leadership positions play a key role in formulating both long and short-term goals for an organization.
Many MBA programs now also offer concentrations that prepare students as knowledge experts in specific fields. For example, Touro University Worldwide offers MBA degree programs in eight different specialty areas.
One of those is an MBA with a concentration in accounting. Like all MBA programs from Touro, the degree is offered 100% online.
There are many reasons to earn a graduate degree with a concentration in accounting. The accounting field is among the fastest-growing jobs in the country, with 10 percent growth projected by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The BLS also reports that median salaries in accounting as of May 2016 reached $68,150, with the top 10 percent in the profession earning more than $120,910.
An MBA with a concentration in accounting also opens the door to many different fields. Some of the top careers for accountants with MBA are:
1. Certified Public Accountant
This is not a career field, but it’s worth mentioning first. Those who earn an MBA with a concentration in accounting establish a solid foundation of coursework to become a Certified Public Accountant. Continuing on to earning such a designation makes you a more attractive candidate for the jobs listed below, as well as putting you in position for the best salaries and highest positions in the field.
2. Financial Accounting
This is the field most associated with accounting. Financial accountants primarily work on the preparation of reports on a business’ activities. This work involves three major areas of financial statements – cash flow, balance sheets and income statements. If a company is private, these reports are shared with the owners and investors. For public companies traded on major stock exchanges, the reports are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This work requires not only expertise in dealing with company finances, but also in-depth knowledge of tax codes and international financial reporting standards (if a company does business globally).
Those in this role have a leadership position. They oversee all accounting procedures in an organization to ensure both accuracy of financial records and compliance with government and industry regulatory standards. This involves a wide range of activities that include overseeing both internal and external financial reports and audits, advising executives on new processes that are needed and continuously evaluating accounting systems within an organization. This is one of the top jobs in the field.
4. Forensic Accounting
Accountants who work in this field combine their accounting expertise with the investigative skills of a detective. The need for such experts continues to grow. For example, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners released a study in 2016 that found businesses lose 5 percent of revenues annually because of fraud, for a total worldwide loss of $6.3 billion. Forensic accountants can work for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. They are also employed by accounting firms and large organizations to monitor practices for the misuse of funds and fraud.
5. Business Valuation
Accounting firms have increasingly added those with business valuations skills into the mix. That’s because many clients are older individuals who need assets valued properly while doing estate planning, creating a will or transferring a business to family members. Work in this field requires expert knowledge in valuation as well as the applicable tax codes. Those who specialize in business valuation also work with larger companies as part of merger and acquisition deals. In this area, accountants must determine the value of assets, work that includes interpreting financial statements and cash flow models to accurately estimate the sale value of a company.
6. Managerial Accounting
In this area, accountants work directly with an organization’s leadership to focus on getting actionable data from the company’s finances in making strategic decisions. This includes providing information on past financial activities and building models that project future profits and expenditures.
7. Senior Compliance Accountant
In this role, accountants keep up-to-date on the latest government and industry regulations. They use this information to determine the impact of these factors on an organization’s finances and financial reporting practices. Work in this area typically involves performing internal audits and working with individual department heads on compliance issues. Senior compliance accountants then prepare documentation for businesses that comply with all regulatory standards. They may also provide input on any training the company does to teach managers on the latest compliance standards.
These represent just some of the challenging and rewarding jobs available in accounting. For those with ambitions to reach the pinnacle of the profession, earning an MBA with a concentration in accounting can prove a smart step in the right direction.