What Are the Different Types of Accountancy Degrees?

December 21, 2022

An accountant shows a client a financial report.

What Are the Different Types of Accountancy Degrees?

An accountant shows a client a financial report.

Certified public accountants (CPAs) are licensed accounting professionals who’ve met state education and experience requirements and passed the CPA exam. Thanks to data and automation technology advancements, the CPA profession is moving forward with critical changes to accounting standards, reflected in the 2024 CPA Evolution initiative. Accountants interested in advancing in a CPA career need to understand which types of accountancy degrees can best prepare them for the future. 

Accountancy Degree Options

Accountants are critical to business success as they help ensure that an organization has the financial resources to continue to operate. To prepare for an accounting role and perform duties such as recording transactions, preparing financial statements, preparing tax returns, and closing the books at the end of an accounting cycle, individuals have several education options. Accountancy degrees include the following:

Benefits of Earning a Master of Accountancy Degree

Completing a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree offers graduates several advantages, including in-depth preparation for the CPA exam. With a focus on accounting, auditing, and taxation, a Master of Accountancy program covers the core concepts outlined in the CPA Evolution initiative. Students also have opportunities to explore key disciplines, such as business analytics and reporting, information systems and controls, and tax compliance and planning.

Below are some of the benefits of earning a Master of Accountancy degree.

Prepare for the CPA Exam

While CPA certification isn’t required for all accounting positions, many organizations prefer candidates with that credential. Additionally, it can open up opportunities to work in organizations where CPAs are required or preferred for some roles, such as an auditor in a large public accounting firm. 

Before taking the CPA exam, most state accountancy boards require students to complete 150 semester hours of study. Graduating from a bachelor’s program provides about 120 credit hours. A master’s degree in accounting program, such as the online Master of Accountancy program at Athens State University, is built with a curriculum that provides students in-depth preparation for the CPA exam.

Take on Leadership Roles

Master of Accountancy degrees build knowledge and skills in cost analysis, auditing, and taxation, as well as technical competencies in accounting software and data analytics, which is increasingly critical for shaping business strategy. Many employers prefer candidates with the skills mastered in a Master of Accountancy program for senior and management positions.

What Can I Do With a Master’s in Accounting Degree?

A critical step for individuals interested in advancing their accounting careers is understanding the role that a degree can play in moving forward. Professional outcomes for Master of Accountancy graduates may vary depending on factors such as:

Below are some positions that Master of Accountancy graduates can choose.

Senior Accountant

Senior accountants oversee accounting divisions to ensure effective accounting operations. They often manage teams of accountants. The median annual salary for senior accountants was approximately $71,000 as of August 2022, according to Payscale.

Senior Financial Analyst

Senior financial analysts often oversee other financial analysts, compile and analyze accounting data, assess financial risks, and organize presentations for the C-suite. The median annual salary for senior financial analysts was around $83,000 as of August 2022, according to Payscale.

Director of Accounting

A director of accounting’s primary responsibility is to lead accounting efforts in an organization, including oversight of accounting standards, regulations, and policies. The median annual salary for directors of accounting was approximately $108,338 as of August 2022, according to Payscale.

Chief Financial Officer

The CFO is the top financial and accounting role, reporting directly to an organization’s CEO. CFOs focus on overall strategy to maximize their companies’ financial position. CFO salaries can vary depending on the organization’s size, whether it’s a public or private company, and geographic location. The median annual salary for CFOs was approximately $141,000 as of August 2022, according to Payscale.

Take Your Accounting Career to New Heights

The Master of Accountancy is an advanced accountancy degree that offers a pathway to new opportunities in the field. It helps students develop leadership, management, and communication skills to advance to senior roles, which can lead to more responsibility and higher salaries. 

The Master of Accountancy degree also enables individuals interested in CPA certification to acquire the right skills and required coursework hours. Professionals who want to master the core concepts and explore the new disciplines featured in the CPA Evolution initiative should consider earning a Master of Accountancy degree. 

Discover how the online Master of Accountancy program at Athens State University can help you cultivate the expertise to achieve your professional goals in an evolving profession. 

Sources:

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 150 Hour Requirement for Obtaining a CPA License

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, How to Choose the Right Specialty

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, “The New CPA Evolution CPA Exam”

Indeed, “Types of Accounting Degrees”

Investopedia, “The 8 Important Steps in the Accounting Cycle”

Payscale, Average Accounting Director Salary

Payscale, Average Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Salary

Payscale, Average Senior Accountant Salary

Payscale, Average Senior Financial Analyst Salary

Payscale, Master of Accounting (MAcc) Degree

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accountants and Auditors

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