Finishing your undergraduate accounting major in college will earn you an Accounting degree. This degree offers several specializations:
• Auditing. With this specialization you will be tasked to evaluate the financial statements of a company. You’ll assess the efficiency of the system being used, and you’ll also check for errors and inconsistencies. This may also involve forensic accounting, which involves checking if a possible embezzlement is occurring within a company.
• Tax. With this specialty, your job is to help a company pay the correct amount of taxes. Tax regulations are very complicated, and they tend to change all the time. You may also help in devising legal ways so that the company you work for pay as low an amount in taxes as possible.
• Risk assessment. You will your knowledge in accounting in order to determine probable outcomes. When a company makes certain investment decisions, your job is to evaluate possible dangers/risks to the company and predict their likelihood, as well as their effects.
What Can You Do with an Accounting Degree?
The answer to this question is simple: you can be an accountant. While there are notable exceptions here (the comedian Ray Romano and the musician Kenny G both have Bachelor’s Degrees in Accounting), the degree helps you toward becoming an accountant, plain and simple. It’s like playing in the baseball minor leagues so that you can become a Major League Player.
And at the entry level, you can be considered major league. First of all, every business needs an accountant. There are no exceptions to this. Either a business hires an accountant or the business owners train themselves in basic accounting. The pay is very good—the median salary for accountants and auditors is about double the national median salary.
With your Accounting degree, you also need to think about passing the CPA exam. This is a certification exam, and it’s quite difficult actually. But often your firm will help you prepare for the exam—it’s to their advantage as well if you receive the review and the certification.
Your accounting degree can help you enter a lot of positions in banking and finance. But in reality, if a company in any industry has an accounting department, then you can find a position there. And if a company has enough workers, then it’s likely that there will be an accounting department. You can also set up your own firm, by offering accounting services to small businesses which don’t have an accounting department of their own.
What Are The Best Schools To Get an Accounting Degree?
There are quite a few lists out there regarding the best schools to get your Accounting degree. But most of these lists tend to place the following universities at the top:
1. Brigham Young University
2. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
3. University of Notre Dame
4. University of Texas at Austin
Of course, the Accounting degree you obtain from Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and the University of Chicago will also be highly regarded as well.