To be successful as an accountant, you will need more than just strong skills in the area of mathematics. The profession requires a range of other skills, such as organizing financial records, assessing operations, and preparing tax returns. This means that you will need to understand a fairly large number of concepts relating to the operation and organization of a business. A bachelor of accounting will help you understand these concepts and how they relate to the profession.
The Bachelor’s Degree and the CPA
In order to become a Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, you will need a bachelor of accounting degree at a minimum. The CPA credential is a very important signal to many employers that you hold the appropriate level of education and expertise needed to attain a qualification from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Becoming a CPA has different requirements from state to state, but generally, you will need to earn a bachelor of accounting, pass the Uniform CPA Examination, go through a state-specific education program, and have a certain level of practical experience in the field of accounting.
Not all working accountants will qualify to be CPAs, and a CPA credential is required for certain responsibilities within an organization. Naturally, a CPA will earn more than a regular accountant and will handle several key operations in a business, such as giving accounting advice, analyzing financial statements, and signing off on documents that have to be submitted to the SEC.
In order to qualify for the CPA exam, you will need either a 120 or 150-credit bachelor’s degree in accounting. These credits can be split in many ways, depending on your previous education level. For example, the 60 credits earned via an associate degree can be counted toward the total number of credits needed to sit for the CPA exam.
The Bachelor of Accounting degree opens up numerous career paths, including nontraditional job options, since numerous organizations require various accounting services. These options can include:
- Public accountant: As a public accountant, you will be responsible for the preparation, examination, and audit of the financial statements of publicly traded companies. The median salary for this position is $69,350, with the highest paying organizations being in the financial and insurance sectors. A CPA is required in some organizations for this position.
- Management accountant: Management accountants have several responsibilities, which include budget preparation, cost management, and legal financial compliance. This position can either be on staff or in a consulting role. The median salary for management accountants is $72,160. Extra certifications such as the CMA or CGMA can help during the hiring process.
- Forensic accountant: Forensic accountants are tasked with the analysis of financial records, and their job is to detect whether fraud, corruption, or embezzlement of funds has occurred. The job will also require the accountant to relay their findings and testify in criminal court cases. A CPA is sometimes required for the position, and a CIFF credential can help during the hiring process and salary negotiations.
- Tax examiner: An accountant who works as a tax examiner will conduct reviews, returns, and audits in order to determine the amount of money owed by a business or individual to the local, state, and federal treasuries. The median salary for this position is $53,130 per year. The accountant has to be qualified to work as a government employee.
These are just a few of the career paths that are available to you when you have a Bachelor of Accounting in Chicago. If you would like to know more about this degree, or find out more information about enrolling in a top tier accounting school in Chicago, contact Robert Morris University today.