Whether it’s for business or personal reasons, everyone could use help managing their finances and taxes. That’s where accountants enter the scene with their expert financial advice and assistance. If you have a knack for business and numbers, this could be the career path for you.
Many Master of Business Administration programs offer accounting tracks, including the one offered by the nationally ranked Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Read on to learn more about the accounting specialization offered through the Smith Online MBA degree program:
The Smith MBA program is designed to broaden and define students’ understanding of the diverse world of business. In addition, we provide focused learning in the areas that most interest our students. Those who choose to specialize in accounting will learn how to analyze, track and communicate the financial information necessary to formulate effective business strategies and manage business assets.
As a Smith MBA graduate, you can pursue your accounting career with confidence, well-equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge, including:
- Insightful analysis and interpretation of financial statements
- Advanced understanding of accounting information systems
- Ability to conduct audits and prepare reports
- Working knowledge of relevant laws, regulations, programs and software
- Tactful application of financial concepts and theories
Once you complete your advanced degree, you’ll open the door to elite career opportunities, better earnings and new professional endeavors.
As a Smith MBA student, you’ll begin with foundational coursework that includes two accounting courses. Introduction to Financial Accounting provides students with the concepts and tools necessary to use accounting information systems, including financial statements, balance sheets and cash flows. Managerial Accounting introduces students to the planning, control and decision-making elements. The course demonstrates how accountants can help managers make financially effective decisions as they relate to concepts like utilization of resources, cost analysis and performance evaluation.
From there, you can enroll in more in-depth courses, such as Fraud, Examination, Detection and Deterrence in the Business Environment. This course identifies strategies and conditions for deterring fraud, discusses fraud detection and prevention plans and introduces students to the necessary courses of action after fraud occurs. Another course, the Impact of Taxation on Business Entities, dives into the tax aspects of business decisions and transactions. The curriculum covers C and S corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies for a well-rounded discussion. Financial Planning and Control Systems for Managers and Consultants covers topics like management system design, financial performance measures, management accounting and competitor analysis.
As you pursue your online degree, you can take advantage of the advanced digital learning tools that allow you to collaborate with professors and peers, such as audio and video messaging, integrated multimedia and digital workspaces. This dynamic learning allows students to effectively retain and apply accounting skills and knowledge beyond their studies and well into their careers.
When you choose to become a Smith student, you’ll be privy to learning from some of the industry’s most influential and established professionals. Our faculty members have decades of both teaching and working experience, and many have earned various professional and academic awards. You’ll learn from professors who research financial trends, capital markets and accounting education. Many are published in leading accounting journals and respected publications. They’ve led financial departments, held prestigious roles in the field and supported teams working to solve accounting and tax issues. They bring truly relevant experiences and insights to the online classroom.
Plus, Smith professors are valuable connections to have as you begin your career in accounting. Along with your professors, you can also lean on a network of over 60,000 alumni once you graduate from the Smith School of Business.
Beyond the degree
The accounting specialization introduces you to the skills and detailed knowledge necessary to manage money and interpret financial data across multiple sectors and industries. Along with accounting roles, you can also become a successful leader with those valuable and sought-after financial skills. Advanced learning opens the door to accounting opportunities in public, private and government roles.
Your degree can qualify you for professional accounting positions, including:
- Account Manager
- Accounting Consultant
- Accounting Specialist
- Accounting Supervisor
- Auditing Manager
- Budget Analyst
- Chief Financial Officer
- Director of Accounting
- Finance Director
- Financial Analyst
- Financial Controller
- Financial Manager
- Financial Planner
- Revenue Manager
- Tax Consultant
- Tax Fraud Examiner
- Tax Manager
- Technical Account Manager
- Vice President of Finance
While you’re managing the finances for your company or clients, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts. According to Monster, accounting is one of the highest-paying MBA degree concentrations, with an average salary of $84,000. PayScale highlighted the average annual earnings for various professional number crunching positions, such as:
- Accountant: $53,416
- Senior Accountant: $67,887
- Senior Tax Accountant: $70,462
- Certified Public Accountant: $73,171
- Accounting Manager: $76,203
- Accounting Director: $89,154
- Financial Controller: $89,767
- Finance Director: $122,517
The bottom line
Whether you’re looking to enhance your skills to move up the ladder in your current position, seek new career opportunities or focus your business acumen on accounting for the first time, the Smith Online MBA program can provide you with the advanced learning necessary to pursue your professional endeavors. The flexibility of online learning allows you to pursue your advanced degree without forfeiting your current position or personal commitments. In as few as two years, you could have the degree that sets you up for success in the world of accounting.
Ready to jumpstart your career in accounting? Reach out to an advisor to learn more about the online MBA program and accounting specialization offered at the Smith School of Business.