Do you enjoy working with numbers? Are you interested in money management and financial planning? If so, then a bachelor’s degree in accounting may be right for you. In an accounting degree program, you would learn foundational skills such as financial statement analysis, taxes, reporting, and much more.
But what exactly can you do with a bachelor's in accounting? More than you might think. These days, just about every business needs experienced and skilled accountants—but the possibilities for Bachelor of Accounting jobs don't end there. Many people with this degree go on to work as financial analysts, internal auditors, and even chief financial officers.
No matter where your interests lie, there's likely to be an accounting career path for you. By learning more about the bachelor’s in accounting jobs out there, as well as which industries are hiring, you'll be able to better determine your own career goals and aspirations.
Industries Hiring Graduates With Accounting Degrees
Getting an accounting degree doesn't necessarily mean working directly for an accounting or tax firm. In fact, numerous industries regularly hire accounting majors to help with various aspects of their finances and money management.
The insurance industry is complex, involving a great deal of risk management and financial acumen. Many insurance agencies will hire insurance investment accountants, financial analysts, and field auditors to maximize profitability and expedite claims. If you have a background (or interest) in insurance, this is just one of many fields in which you can work with an accounting degree.
Many accountants also move into finance roles at some point in their careers. Some common positions in the finance field where accountants tend to thrive include financial analyst, personal financial advisor, and finance manager. Whether you prefer a more hands-on position or are interested in working in a management or leadership capacity, there are plenty of job opportunities for accountants in finance.
Enterprises and Management of Companies
Companies of all sizes need experienced accountants to help manage their finances, make important financial decisions, and handle administrative tasks (such as payroll). If you have your eye on a management role within a company, working as a financial manager or even chief financial officer could be a suitable career path for you.
If you have interest in a government job, there is no shortage of options available to those with accounting degrees. Government accountants are needed at just about all levels, ranging from the city level to the federal level. As a government accountant, you may be responsible for investigating white-collar crime, ensuring public funds are being used responsibly, and performing audits for government agencies. These roles also come with a high level of job security.
Best Jobs for Graduates With a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, there are a number of jobs you could pursue with a bachelor's degree in accounting.
This might be the most obvious job that comes to mind, but it's worth noting because it is a common path that many graduates with this degree end up taking as entry-level positions. Accountants are responsible for tracking and reporting on a company's (or organization's) financial activity, keeping detailed financial records. In addition, some move on to work as certified public accountants (CPAs), though this certification is not a requirement to work as an accountant.
Organizations often have strict budgets that they must stick to when it comes to hiring, marketing, product development, and other significant aspects of running a business. To help them stay on track with their spending, many companies hire budget analysts. These professionals help companies create budgets that work based on their finances while also finding ways to optimize budgets and manage spending.
Certified Public Accountant
Many people who start with a bachelor's degree in accounting go on to become certified public accountants. To do this, you would need to first obtain your bachelor's degree with a minimum of 150 credit hours of coursework under your belt. This degree does not need to be in accounting or a related field, but it often is. From there, you'd need to take and pass the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) exam.
Working as a CPA can be an ideal option if you're interested in an accounting job that pays more than a non-CPA position. It is worth noting, however, that you need to renew your license every year or two in order to continue working as a CPA.
Chief Financial Officer
A chief financial officer (CFO) is an executive who plays a huge role in keeping a business up and running financially. These professionals oversee other accounting and finance teams within the organization, looking at the "big picture." Additionally, CFOs may be responsible for preparing and presenting financial reports to a company's board of directors.
Getting hired as a CFO isn't typically something that happens straight out of college; many CFOs start off as accountants and work their way up the proverbial ladder to achieve this type of leadership role. Still, it is a possibility worth pursuing if you dream of working in an executive-level position.
A financial analyst or business analyst is a professional who carefully analyzes and scrutinizes different aspects of a company's business model, spending, and finances. Financial analysts are needed in just about every industry and business imaginable, though some people who work in this role are actually hired on by a larger advisory firm. On the other hand, this can also be a great career opportunity for accounting professionals who want to start their own businesses or work in a freelance capacity.
Another career path to consider with a degree in accounting is that of financial manager, a leadership role that involves overseeing other members of a company's finance or accounting teams. Financial managers are responsible for a wide range of tasks, including financial planning and directing investments. This can be an excellent path for those interested in a management position that still allows them to use their accounting skills on a daily basis.
A less conventional career path that you may want to explore with an accounting degree is working as a forensic accountant. Typically, forensic accountants are hired by government agencies to investigate claims of fraud or other misuse of funds. However, it is also possible to be hired as a forensic accountant in the private sector. If you enjoy investigative work and want to combine that interest with your accounting skills, this career path could be the perfect choice for you. This is also a good role for those who thrive when faced with new challenges, as no two cases tend to be the same.
Many larger businesses and organizations need internal auditors to manually audit their financial statements on a regular basis. Doing so can make business owners aware of any discrepancies or other potential issues with financial records that may need to be addressed. Internal auditors play a critical role in ensuring that businesses are being run properly, responsibly, and within regulation and compliance standards.
Managerial accounting is another niche within the field to consider if you are skilled at problem-solving and crunching numbers. Specifically, management accountants are hired by businesses to measure, analyze, and interpret financial information for higher-ups within the company. They work as translators of sorts, communicating important financial information between departments and to upper-level decision-makers.
Personal Finance Advisor
In some cases, individuals may hire personal financial advisors to help them with specific money management needs. Most often, personal finance advisors are hired by those with a high net worth who want to make sure their assets are protected and that they're making wise investments. Personal finance advisors can help with anything from tax and estate planning to budgeting, investments, and more.
Working as a personal financial advisor can be a great option if you enjoy meeting with people one-on-one to help them achieve their goals. This type of work is also well-suited for those who want to run their own businesses or work in a freelance capacity rather than for a company or firm.
Another potential career path for those with an accounting degree is that of a tax accountant. Tax accountants help individuals and companies when it comes time to prepare and file their tax returns. This type of work demands that tax accountants stay on top of ever-changing tax laws and regulations. It also requires these professionals to be able to analyze and interpret receipts, reports, and other financial documents to help clients accurately calculate and pay their taxes.
Working as a tax accountant could be ideal if you like working with numbers and solving problems. This can be a very rewarding position, too, as you would have the opportunity to work one-on-one with clients and help alleviate their stress surrounding tax season. Tax accountants are often hired on by larger tax preparation firms, but they can also work for accounting firms or offer their services independently.
Ready to Take the Next Step Toward an Accounting Degree?
As you can see, the career possibilities with an accounting degree are nearly endless. Whether you want to work for the government or for a small but growing business, you have options. From more "traditional" accounting roles to forensic accounting and everything in between, there's sure to be a future career path that serves your interests and passions.
If you're interested in taking the first steps toward earning your bachelor's in accounting, University of the Cumberlands is here to help. We're proud to offer a bachelor's degree in accounting that can typically be completed within four years and teaches the theory and practice of working with, creating, and interpreting financial statements. With a degree in accounting, you could be ready to explore job opportunities in just about every industry imaginable.