What Can You Do With an Accounting Degree: Career Paths

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The analytical and critical thinking abilities acquired in an accounting program will better prepare you for far more career opportunities than you would expect. By obtaining a bachelor’s degree in accounting, students create a solid base in business knowledge that can be applied to several different career paths.

Students will learn how to analyze and apply financial rules and regulations, generate financial records, and communicate these reports. A degree in accounting prepares students for stable careers, regardless of which career area is more personally interesting. The broad spectrum of possibilities is displayed in these job opportunities listed below.

Jobs for Accounting Majors

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Accounting majors span almost every major industry. Many accountants tend to go on to work with private clients or in government roles. An accounting qualification and an understanding of law areas can also be an entry route into the legal profession.

Now let’s explore some positions graduates can pursue with an Accounting degree.

1. Financial Examiner

Financial examiners make sure that banks and other financial institutions abide by all the laws and regulations they are required to. They also evaluate the health of financial institutions and protect consumers from risky loans. These professionals work for banks, insurance companies, other financial organizations, and state or federal government agencies.

What does a Financial Examiner do?

A financial examiner’s duties mainly involve:

  • Establishing guidelines that comply with new regulations
  • Recommending corrective actions
  • Reviewing balance sheets and other accounting documents
  • Providing information and guidance on laws, rules, and regulations
  • Performing risk-focused financial examinations
  • Drafting reports and communicating the results of their analysis to clients

Financial Examiner salary

The average financial examiner salary is $62,319. However, the salary range typically falls between $52,414 and $68,037.

2. Budget Analyst

With a budget analysis career, you can help various institutions—governments, universities, and businesses—organize their finances, prepare budgets, and monitor spending. While government officials or top managers in a private company usually make the final decision on an organization’s budget, they rely on budget analysts’ data to come to that decision.

What does a Budget Analyst do?

A budget analyst works on tasks such as:

  • Working with project managers to develop the organization’s budget
  • Reviewing managers’ budget proposals for integrity, accuracy, and compliance with laws and other regulations
  • Estimating future financial needs
  • Monitoring organizational spending to ensure that it is within budget
  • Informing program managers of the status and availability of funds

Budget Analyst salary

The average salary for a budget analyst is $80,972 per year.

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3. Financial Analyst

Financial analysts assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other investments and work with organizations and individuals to make financial decisions of utmost importance.  Determining the best use of resources to achieve business objectives and recognizing trends as early as possible is their fundamental purpose. This helps to inform company decisions, boost profit and reduce risk.

What does a Financial Analyst do?

A financial analysts job description includes:

  • Examining financial gain and loss of mutual funds, estates, and other investment types
  • Preparing reports
  • Making recommendations based on analyzed data and market trends

Financial Analyst salary

The average salary for a financial analyst is $71,539 per year.

4. Certified Public Accountant

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) supports corporations, organizations, or individuals with tax and financial statement planning. To become CPA, professionals must pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Exam and fulfill continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.

What does a Certified Public Accountant do?

Some responsibilities of CPAs are:

  • Studying financial records,
  • Preparing tax forms
  • Overseeing audits
  • Preparing tax returns, schedules, and forms
  • Ensuring documents are filed promptly and that all taxes due are paid on time
  • Writing and maintaining ongoing reports
  • Reviewing and signing off on annual reports

Certified Public Accountant salary

Accountants and auditors’ compensation depends on whether they are self-employed, hired by a large corporation or company, or working for an accounting firm. The average salary for a certified public accountant is $80,756 per year.

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5. Internal Auditor

As you will be dealing with a large amount of data, this position needs a keen eye for details. Internal auditors are usually employed by the firm they are investigating. They examine and improve the organization’s operating practices and financial and risk management processes.

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What does an Internal Auditor do?

An internal auditor’s duties are:

  • Recognizing and evaluating areas of significant business risk
  • Ensuring complete, precise, and timely audit information is reported to management or risk committees
  • Managing resources and audit assignments
  • Developing, executing, and preparing internal audit policies and procedures
  • Implementing best audit and business practices

Internal Auditor salary

The average salary for an internal auditor is $81,473 per year.

6. Forensic Accountant

Nowadays, forensic accounting is one of the most in-demand practices in accounting. They conduct audits of records of a company, government, or non-profit to determine liability, fraud, and valuation.

These individuals conclude if a company or individual falsifies their bookkeeping, offer evidence for court cases, generate calculations for insurance companies to determine amounts owed, and calculate property tax valuations.

What does a Forensic Accountant do?

A forensic accountant’s job description consists of tasks like:

  • Assessing losses and potential damage awards
  • Working closely with law enforcement officers and agencies
  • Applying knowledge of financial accounting practices
  • Providing courtroom testimony
  • Applying knowledge of tax laws
  • Auditing internal and external financial documents
  • Conducting and assisting with internal investigations

Forensic Accountant salary

The average salary for a forensic accountant is $81,353 per year.

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7. Personal Financial Advisor

Advisors help set up retirement plans or accounts that align with client goals, such as IRAs, education funds, or other arrangements. In cases of significant life changes like a severe illness, divorce, or a child’s birth, individuals seek personal financial advisers to analyze their current financial situation and advise them on how to proceed with their financial commitments.

As a personal financial advisor, you can help other business owners manage start-up expenses and investments, create a financial plan for their company and supervise day-to-day bookkeeping.

What does a Personal Financial Advisor do?

Some duties personal financial advisors have are:

  • Meeting with clients in-person to discuss their financial goals
  • Monitoring clients’ accounts
  • Determining if changes are needed to improve the client’s economic performance
  • Instructing clients and responding to questions about investment options and potential risks
  • Recommend investments to clients or select assets on their behalf
  • Explaining the types of financial services they provide to potential clients
  • Assisting clients to plan for specific circumstances, such as education expenses or retirement
  • Researching investment opportunities

Personal Financial Advisor salary

The average salary for a personal financial advisor is $63,941.

To get the most out of your education, it’s crucial to consider career goals and interests beforehand. Those talented in accountancy will have attention to detail, be adaptable, and be organized. If you’re interested in pursuing an accounting career, take the next step and look at our Bachelor of Arts in Accounting program.

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