A master’s degree in accounting is a popular choice for many people either entering or already working in the accounting industry. If you’re looking into starting a masters accounting degree, you might be wondering where it could get you in the future.
There are two main reasons why people study for a masters accounting degree. Firstly, people with an undergraduate degree in a different subject can obtain a master’s degree in accounting as a way of learning the accounting skills necessary to move into that field. And, in fact, there are specific accounting master’s degrees that are designed as conversion accounting courses for people to move into accounting jobs.
But a master’s degree in accounting isn’t just useful as a conversion course for people who want to switch careers to accounting. They are also useful for accounting graduates who want to further their careers. A bachelor’s degree in accounting can be enough for you to work in a variety of accounting jobs but for many high-level accounting jobs, a master’s degree in accounting and a chartered accountant qualification can be an important achievement for accounting graduates to have on their CVs.
What accounting jobs can a master’s degree in accounting help with?
As a graduate degree, a master’s degree in accounting can provide the extra accounting knowledge and specialist to access a wide range of jobs with a higher average salary and a more demanding role. Let’s take a look at a few of those accounting jobs that master’s accounting programs can help you to access.
Chief financial officer
A chief financial officer (CFO) is a senior executive who is in charge of the financial management of an entire company. CFO is the highest financial role possible in a company and it is the third highest role overall. So anyone going aiming to reach this level needs to have a high level of academic qualifications and experience under their belt, and the average salary is very high as a result. Many master’s degree accounting programs can help with gaining these necessary skills.
Chief financial officers are involved in business strategy, company performance, cash flow, financial risk management, taxation issues, ensuring that financial statements meet official financial standards, and more.
Management accountants have an important role within a company. While they are involved in financial records, they are also an invaluable resource when it comes to financial planning. A bachelor’s accounting degree is generally the minimum requirement for the job role but it is competitive and master’s degrees from accredited accounting programs can certainly help people to stand out amongst the crowd.
Management accountants are responsible for planning and preparing financial statements and financial reports, budgeting, financial and cost-based planning and strategising, financial forecasting, financial decision making, and more.
A financial analyst is a vital role for many companies. Financial analysts are involved in high-level investment decisions from a financial data perspective. And this data-driven analysis can be an invaluable tool for these types of business decisions. This is another competitive role that masters accounting programs can help you to prepare for, even though a bachelor’s degree is technically the minimum requirement.
Financial analysts use financial data to identify business opportunities and make investment recommendations to the company. They might be involved in financial modelling, creating investment theses, or even marketing ideas.
The role of a financial manager really depends on the scale of the company where they work. If it is a smaller company, financial managers might be in charge of the entire organization’s accounting department. Whereas at a larger company, they might be in charge of a specific aspect of finance, such as risk management. In either case, an accounting master’s degree can be a useful way of honing the specialist skills needed for the role.
A financial manager might be involved in financial reporting, cash flow, financial projections, budgeting, forecasting, financial advice, and more.
Auditors like those at Auditox Accountancy are in charge of inspecting a company’s financial records to ensure that they are accurate and reliable. Auditors can work internally and report their findings to the company itself or they can work externally for accounting firms or other organisations such as the government and report their findings to external bodies. It is a varied role that requires a high level of analytic skill, which a master’s degree in accounting can help you to develop.
An auditor might check that taxes are properly filed, that financial statements comply with the relevant laws, and give best practice recommendations.
Can an accounting master’s degree help me become a certified public accountant?
Many of the roles we have mentioned so far are also far more obtainable if you are a certified public accountant. This is a recognised qualification that gives you a professional license to practice accountancy and demonstrates that you adhere to a high level of professional standards.
Certified public accountants require a bachelor’s degree in a related field as well as 150 hours worth of education. A master of accounting can count towards those 150 hours, so it can help you to move forwards more quickly with your CPA qualification. And there is a definite benefit to having both qualifications under your belt.
A master of accounting will grant you a higher level of analytical skill that will be extremely useful in reaching those top accounting and financial roles, and it will demonstrate your intellectual capability as well as your financial skills. Trainee chartered certified accountants will also benefit from having a master of accounting when it comes to passing their CPA exam.
The bottom line
If you are looking to enter the accounting profession a master’s in accounting is an important boost to your CV and it can help you to gain important specialist skills. This helps you to practice accounting at a higher level and it will open the door to a career path that involves a wider range of top financial jobs.