Becoming an accounting specialist is a very popular career choice for recent college graduates who are pursuing a job in the business/finance field. For those interested in earning their MBA, a focus on accounting has significant potential. Beyond a solid grasp on math, accounting entails understanding and employing numerous financial concepts that are essential to the health and growth of businesses. An MBA with a specialization in accounting is an incredible way to develop and build accounting skills that businesses in any industry need.
What is an accounting specialist?
An accounting specialist is someone who oversees the overall accounting operations of a business or organization. At its core, the job is simply about being an accountant but with more responsibilities in some cases.
Why Become An Accountant?
The most obvious reason accounting is such a fruitful career is that every company usually needs at least one accountant. This means that demand for accountants is usually steady and predictable. Even during recessions, being an accountant is a very stable job and brings about a high degree of job security.
While some investment on your part is necessary in order to become an accountant, the returns are worth it.
Accountants are important to businesses, and are usually compensated quite well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that accountants made $71,550 in 2019. US News reported that the highest 25% made over $90,000. In 2019, the average accountant made over $70,000 a year.
Other fields within accounting can pay even more. Becoming a forensic accountant or fraud examiner can pay upwards of $100,000 yearly with the median being $81,090 according to the BLS. A forensic accountant helps to identify potential cases of fraud and noncompliance with government regulations and laws. Forensic accountants are especially valuable at the government level, in branches such as the FBI. The investigators who uncovered the Enron scandal were forensic accountants and fraud examiners.
Flexible work schedule
The movie stereotype of an accountant working in a cubicle hunched over an old computer is no longer the reality for many in the field. Many accountants are able to work remotely and can set their own hours to work around their life. Since technology has streamlined the way people purchase goods and services, all an accountant really needs is access to a company’s online financial records. This generally makes it easy to work from home. Further, accountants have the option to work for themselves on a freelance or contract basis, further increasing their flexibility.
How to Become an Accounting Specialist
Most accountants have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. However, many also pursue an MBA and specialize in Accounting. Getting your MBA has multiple advantages and can help you earn a higher salary right out of school.
If you have a job or are are interested in working from home, getting your MBA online might be the perfect solution. Online MBAs are just a different way of getting to the same result: becoming an accountant.
Once you get your degree, you will likely need to become a Certified Public Accountant or CPA. Passing CPA examinations, which are essentially a requirement, will make you an officially licensed accountant.
Beyond that, it is always helpful to join some professional organizations. They will help you network, learn and become better at your profession. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), among many others, can benefit you throughout your career.
Are you interested in forensic or fraud examination accounting? Getting applicable bachelors and masters degrees is a good starting point. Fraud examiners typically also need a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) certification from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).