If you love numbers and business you should consider a career in the field of accounting by earning a Master’s Degree in Accounting. A Master’s degree in Accounting is often referred to as an MAcc degree to differentiate it from the MBA degree with a focus in accounting. A Master’s in Accounting (MAcc) will prepare you for a position in forensic, public or tax accounting. Forensic accountants focus on investigating financial fraud, tax accountants focus on business taxes while public accountants audit accounts, conduct tax returns and provide financial reporting.
Entry-level accounting positions already pay well, but with the addition of a Master’s degree you could earn between $87,564-$123,387 a year in positions such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Financial Controller, or Senior Auditor.
How To Find The Top Master’s Degree in Accounting Programs
There are many different colleges and universities that offer a Master’s degree in Accounting. If flexibility and work-life balance are your main considerations, you might consider an online accounting degree. If you hope to land a position with a large corporation, then a “big name” college may be a better fit.
It is important to research the best Master’s Degree in Accounting programs before making your decision. According to PayScale job research, the best Master’s Degree in Accounting programs are currently at Brigham Young University (BYU), University of Florida (UF) and University of Georgia (UGA). The best online Master’s Degree in Accounting programs listed by PayScale researchers are at University of Phoenix (UOP) and Florida International University (FIU).
It is important to look for college or university accreditation and program accreditation when seeking a higher education program. This means that an educational governing body is monitoring the quality of the programs offered at the school and the credits that you earn in these programs are much more likely to be recognized by other schools and employers than those from a non-accredited school.
Ranking is another important consideration when researching Master’s degree programs in Accounting. Popular lists rank higher education programs based on a variety of factors (e.g. cost, quality, graduation rate, etc.) and are published in print and online each year. The U.S. News and World Report college rankings and review list is a popular guide.
In 2012, U.S. News and World Report gave the highest Master of Accounting ratings to University of Texas, University of Illinois and Brigham Young University.
Careers and Salaries For Individuals With a Master’s Degree in Accounting
Job titles that may require a Master’s degree in Accounting include: Accountant, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Staff Accountant, Senior Accountant, Financial Controller, Auditor and Senior Auditor. Popular accounting employers are: Ernst and Young LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, LLP, Deloitte & Touche LLP and Grant Thornton LLP.
Master’s Degree in Accounting salaries start at $35,465 annually with a large range all the way up to $123,387. A Certified Public Accountant makes an average salary between $42,729-$80,673 while a Senior Accountant makes $46,010-$72,910. An Auditor makes $41,584-$70,870 and a Senior Auditor makes $50,807-$75,597 a year.
Master’s Degree in Accounting careers offer opportunities for career growth and advancement and allow for work across many different business sectors. A Master’s Degree in Accounting will open the doors to small and large companies alike where you can make a difference by applying your accounting knowledge to real-life business situations.