The accounting field tends to focus on past and current financial transactions, whereas finance focuses on projecting future cash flows — though of course, there is some overlap. After all, when you’re counting money, the past informs the future, and expectations of the future guide investments of the present.
As such, job options for accounting and finance MBA grads are virtually the same.
A Growing, High-Paying Field
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of accountants and auditors will grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.” Financial analyst positions are expected to grow slightly faster at 11 percent from 2016 to 2026.
Average mid-career earnings for accounting MBA grads is $84,000 (reported by Monster, based on salary data provided by PayScale.com, accessed January 26, 2018), but the range is exceptionally broad depending on location, size of employer and area of specialty.
Variety is one of the greatest features of the types of jobs available to accounting MBA graduates. Top Accounting Degrees lists and describes these top five career titles:
Management Analyst – Corporations often call on management analysts to find ways to be more efficient and profitable. If you choose this route, you may work for an accounting firm, or, with experience, you might branch out on your own. Significant travel may be required. Demand for analysts is expect to continue growing in the coming years.
Financial Managers – Major corporations rely on financial managers to develop goals, oversee and direct financial development, and ensure the financial well-being of the company.
“Financial managers can work in a variety of industries from healthcare to banks or insurance companies. Those who graduate with an MBA will see the best chance of obtaining a financial manager position within a major corporation,” according to Top Accounting Degrees.
Personal Financial Advisors – If you enjoy working in your own space with individuals rather than in a big corporate office, this may be the best option for you. It’s a great way to be in control of your own schedule and comes with the added satisfaction of helping improve the lives of others.
Chief Financial Officer – Ambitious analysts and managers who want to climb the corporate ladder in a mid-size or large company may be able to work their way into the executive suites by becoming the CFO.
Top Accounting Degrees says, “The CFO will drive the company in a direction that results in growth and the realization of its financial goals. The chief financial officer works closely with the CEO of the company to manage the company’s budget and forecast the needs of the business.”
Business Development Manager – If you are one of the relatively rare extroverts in this line of work, you may thrive in the fast-paced world of finding new clients and business opportunities. This is perhaps the most people-focused job in the field of accounting and finance.
Business development managers “must be motivated to find new deals constantly and integrate those deals into the current operations, which involves sales and management skills,” notes Top Accounting Degrees.
The most surprising jobs available to accounting MBAs are in the growing field of financial law enforcement. Jobs with the FBI or other law enforcement agencies involve investigating fraud, tax evasion and other financial crimes.
Overall, an accounting MBA will give your career a significant boost no matter which path you choose.
Learn more about Fitchburg State University’s online MBA in Accounting program.