An accounting degree can open doors to a wide range of career opportunities across various industries. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a common career path, requiring a bachelor's degree, CPA exam, experience, and ethics exam. Other accounting jobs include financial analysts, managers, auditors, tax accountants, internal auditors, forensic accountants, management accountants, financial advisors, and cost accountants. Success in the field requires a strong understanding of accounting principles, attention to detail, analytical and technical skills, strong communication, commitment to ethics, time management, and continuous learning.
If you're considering getting an accounting degree or if you’ve already acquired one, you may be thinking about what career options are available to you. The great news is that an accounting degree opens the door to a range of job opportunities in various industries.
Here are some of the jobs you can get with an accounting degree.
Professions If You Have an Accounting Degree
Take a pick from the options below.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
A common career path for accounting graduates is to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). A CPA is a licensed professional authorized to provide auditing, accounting, tax, and other financial services to clients. CPAs work in public accounting firms, government agencies, and private corporations.
To become a CPA in the US, you must meet specific requirements that vary by state. Here are the steps to become a CPA:
- Education: Obtain a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college with a major in accounting or a related field. Some states may require a certain number of accounting or business-related credit hours.
- CPA Exam: Pass the Uniform CPA Exam, which is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The exam consists of four parts: Auditing and Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and Regulation. Each part of the exam must be passed within 18 months of each other.
- Experience: Gain relevant experience in the field of accounting. Most states require a minimum of two years of accounting experience under the supervision of a CPA. Some states may also require specific types of experience, such as auditing or taxation.
- Ethics Exam: Pass an ethics exam, which covers the rules and regulations of professional ethics and conduct for CPAs.
- Licensing: Apply for a CPA license from the state board of accountancy in the state where you wish to practice. You must meet all the education, experience, and exam requirements set forth by the state board. Some states may also require a background check and fingerprinting.
Once you have obtained your CPA license, you will need to maintain it by meeting the continuing education requirements set forth by your state's board of accountancy.
Financial analysts are responsible for analyzing financial data to provide insights into a company's performance and make recommendations for improving profitability. They analyze financial statements, market trends, and other economic data to identify opportunities and risks.
Financial managers oversee the financial operations of an organization, including budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting. They are responsible for making sure that financial records are accurate and comply with regulations, and for developing strategies to improve financial performance.
Auditing managers are responsible for overseeing audits of financial records to ensure compliance with regulations and identify areas for improvement. They work with auditors to plan and execute audits, review audit reports, and make recommendations.
Tax accountants are responsible for preparing tax returns for individuals and businesses, ensuring compliance with tax regulations, and providing advice on tax planning strategies. They work with clients to identify tax credits and deductions and help them develop tax planning strategies.
Internal auditors work within organizations to ensure that financial records are accurate and comply with regulations. They evaluate internal controls, identify areas for improvement, and make recommendations.
Forensic accountants use accounting and investigative skills to detect fraud and other financial crimes. They work with law enforcement agencies and other organizations to investigate financial crimes, analyze financial data, and provide expert testimony in legal proceedings.
Management accountants work within organizations to provide financial analysis and support for decision-making. They analyze financial data to identify trends, forecast future performance, and provide insights.
Financial advisors provide investment advice and financial planning services to individuals and businesses. They analyze financial data, develop investment strategies, and provide advice on retirement planning, estate planning, and other financial matters.
Cost accountants are responsible for analyzing and reporting the costs of producing goods and services. They work with manufacturing and production teams to identify areas for cost savings and improve profitability.