Accounting has always been a field that provides many of the attributes conscientious and ambitious professionals seek in a career:
- A broad range of positions.
- Opportunities for advancement.
- Great earning potential.
- Leadership potential.
- Ability to work in many industries.
- Recession resistance.
Now is an ideal time to earn a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree. Projected job growth into the next decade is strong, and the skills graduates take into the field are in high demand. The median pay in the field is $69,350 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of June 2018. This figure would be considerably higher for those who have earned the MAcc degree, which provides the breadth and depth of study in the field that top employers demand.
Accounting.edu defines four distinct career paths in the field, each of which offers a unique set of possibilities:
- Business and Finance
- Government and Nonprofit
5 Representative Positions
Below are five positions representative of the four career paths for which the MAcc degree provides the necessary educational foundation. Descriptions are provided for each, along with current yearly salaries as of July 2018:
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
CPAs generally handle the accounting, tax, reporting and/or audit processes for governments, corporations, or individual clients. Their duties vary but commonly include reviewing their company’s financial information; preparing documentation related to finances, taxes or audits; and staying current with government regulations. They may also perform audits for their organization and provide guidance for improving bookkeeping practices.
Median Salary: $63,795 (PayScale)
Average Salary: $119,000 + bonuses (Journal of Accountancy)
(Accounting/Business and Finance)
This position oversees all of the financial and accounting functions of a business including billing, accounts payable and receivable, budgeting, and other functions. Professionals in this role perform cross-functional management duties, oversee systems for financial and accounting procedures, and supervise a variety of other functions. These may include accounts payable, payroll processing, financial reports, statements, budgets, and forecasts.
Median Salary: $190,670 (Salary.com)
Chief Financial Officer
(Business and Finance)
CFOs oversee the financial operations of their companies and provide leadership and focus to accounting departments. Their work helps to ensure their businesses operate efficiently and in compliance with applicable laws and company policies. The work of a CFO is essential to maximizing resources, minimizing expenses, and projecting a favorable image to potential investors.
Median Salary: $365,4078 (Salary.com)
This position audits for companies to ensure compliance and efficiency in financial and operational areas. Senior auditors keep their businesses operating smoothly by overseeing the auditing process. They analyze financial data, oversee junior auditors, develop risk appraisal guidelines, conduct audits, repair reports, and inspect records for cases of waste and fraud.
Median Salary: $67,856 (PayScale)
Average Salary: $75,467 (Indeed)
(Government and Nonprofit)
IRS auditors work for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to review, audit, and collect federal taxes and levies owed by individuals and businesses. Auditors often manage multiple cases and work to educate and assist taxpayers with the auditing process.
Average Salary: $73,000 (PayScale)
These positions represent a small sampling of the career opportunities available to MAcc graduates. The salary links above will lead you to many more opportunities within the four accounting career paths. Your research may inform your future professional experiences for a rewarding career as a MAcc graduate.
Learn more about Emporia State University’s online Master of Accountancy program.
PayScale: Master of Accounting Degree Average Salary
U.S. BLS: Occupational Outlook for Accountants and Auditors
AccountingEDU.org: Become an Accountant