So you have a head for numbers and you’re thinking about pursuing a Master’s degree in accounting.
Working in finance is something that is sure to always offer plenty of opportunities. After all, money has been around for a long time. Although it’s strict origin is difficult to tell, many historians believe metal pieces were first used as money as early as 5000 B.C.
That’s some pretty decent job security!
So what exactly can you use a MAcc degree for? Let’s find out!
What Is a MAcc Degree?
A MAcc degree is an advanced degree in accounting. If you feel like your career has stalled or want to move in a little different direction, a MAcc degree could get you there.
It can be relatively quick to earn. With many programs, you can get it in one year.
It’s also very versatile. A MAcc degree can help you in many fields including finance and banking, construction, insurance, government, manufacturing, and much more.
To get a better idea, let’s look at 4 possible career paths that you can take with a MAcc degree.
1. Financial Planning
Financial planners work hands-on with their clients to improve their financial position. The same basic position is known by several different names including financial advisor, financial consultant, or portfolio manager.
But regardless of which job title you go by, the responsibilities are basically the same.
Simply put, the job of a financial planner is to help people plan their finances. They offer advice on investing, planning for retirement and planning estates. Their expertise is particularly useful when people are trying to plan for big expenses like college for their kids, weddings, or buying a house.
Financial planners also need to be up on current tax laws and be able to offer sound advice to their clients. Taxes and financial regulations in the US is a veritable minefield and people need help planning how to handle their finances to get the best benefit.
As a financial planner, you split your time between two major facets. Researching and learning about new financial products and strategies and sitting face to face with your customers.
Thus, you’ll need good research skills. Plus, you’ll need to have excellent social skills. People are often wary when it comes to handling their money so you’ll need to be able to put them at ease.
You can begin as an entry-level financial planner with a Bachelor’s degree. However, if you want to advance or have higher earning opportunities, the MAcc degree can set you up for that.
2. CPA/Public Accounting
For a career path with great job security, look into public accounting. To enter this line of work you’ll need a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential. Much of the coursework for a MAcc will help you prepare for the CPA exam so you can kill two birds with one stone.
There is plenty of room for movement and advancement within the field of public accounting. You can start out as a humble staff accountant and eventually become a senior level partner.
Major job responsibilities include auditing financial records and ensuring compliance with rules and regulations. CPAs also provide financial advice for expenditures, costs, and other financial practices. Calculating and preparing taxes is another large portion of the job.
CPAs also may review and sign off on Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) documents. As a great CPA, you may even be invited to sit on a corporate board. If you can score a position there, it’s a great way to earn extra money.
3. Fraud Investigator
Financial fraud is a big problem that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Losses in 2017 totaled $16.8 billion dollars. As a result, working as a fraud investigator provides plenty of job security.
Fraud investigators work on both civil and criminal fraud cases. This can include credit card and insurance fraud. Investigators spend some time interviewing affected parties, but much of their time is spent combing through transactions and records. They can also serve and execute search warrants, as well as set up surveillance to catch fraudsters.
For this career track, you’ll want to enjoy research and pay close attention to detail. Like financial planning, entry-level positions probably won’t require an advanced degree. However, a MAcc will help you to advance to a higher position with more responsibility and better pay.
Becoming an auditor is a great career track for anyone with great attention to detail and a knack for spotting errors. There will always be a need for someone to review and ensure that financial transactions happen the way they should and that complete and correct records are being kept.
Examples of situations that require a meticulous auditor are merging and acquisitions transactions, and reporting on SEC filings.
Companies also employ auditors to ensure that their internal records are being kept correctly. While an accountant may generate and keep the records, an auditor simply reviews the information, points out errors and advises on how to fix them.
What Will You Choose?
In an ever-changing and fast-paced world, working in finance and accounting is never going to go out of style. Virtually any position within these fields will provide a good salary and strong job security.
These are only 4 of the career paths that will open up to you with a MAcc degree. Of course, not all positions within these career paths will require an advanced degree. But if you want to move up and earn more money in your field a MAcc degree can help you do that.
Ready to get started on earning your MAcc degree? Be sure to check out this post highlighting the top 17 programs for this degree.