Top Five Specializations for a Master’s In Accounting
- Financial Reporting
- Information Systems
With the growth of the profession, master’s in accounting concentrations now include dozens of different service lines. That means that accountants are slowly becoming the go-to professionals for any business-related inquiries. So, the days of imagining CPAs as a group of people who constantly crunch numbers are over.
Currently, auditing is the largest sub-area of accounting. When looking at the top Big Four accounting firms, all of them earn the majority of annual revenues from their assurance practices. For those unfamiliar, this is where millions of accountants work as public auditors that review companies’ financial statements at the end of a fiscal year. This is done to ensure that the numbers disclosed by the company are correct and investors can rely on them when making financial decisions. Consequently, almost every single accounting master’s program has concentration revolving around the auditing practice.
The next largest piece of the pie when it comes to the revenues that accountants bring in relates to tax. Every country has a complicated set of tax laws that are subjected to frequent changes. Additionally, conglomerate businesses that cross international borders must obey foreign standards of taxation. This is where accountants must help businesses and individuals file their returns correctly while maximizing tax avoidance and not doing any tax evasion. Naturally, taxation is certainly one of the top five concentration for a master’s in accounting. It is also one of the very few sub-service lines where professionals can start their own practices almost effortlessly.
With the growth of information available to businesses, analytics never played a more important role. Nowadays, almost every corporation in the world relies on some type of big data that allows them to interpret performance and focus on areas that need improvement. For future accountants, this is a great line of work where one will aim to help the company that they work for internally. It is not necessarily based on serving clients and that makes it quite different from what an average accountant would expect to do. Nevertheless, the work is truly exciting and comes with an extremely unique skill set.
4. Financial Reporting
Another popular alternative for accounting majors pertains to financial reporting. It is a program that teaches students the necessary rules of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as well as all the ins and outs of the International Financial Reporting Standards. Once they go through the graduate school, they attain the necessary qualifications to work as financial reporting agents for companies. Unlike most concentrations, this one is extremely versatile when it comes to job opportunities. Meaning, accountants here can work anywhere from an airplane firm to a popular sporting club that reports revenue.
5. Information Systems
A list of top five lucrative concentrations for a master’s in accounting would not be complete without some variation of information systems. These programs teach students how to create software that helps firms conduct everyday accounting tasks. According to Investopedia, information systems actually include everything from collecting and managing to processing and reporting information. Consider tax CPAs to better comprehend the idea. Although they must know how to handle specific scenarios, all tax liabilities are calculated by a software. Thus, working as someone in information systems enables accountants to make programs that will help increase efficiency and effectiveness.
The list of potential service lines one can work in goes on. In fact, most of the ones mentioned here branch off into more specific sub-areas. So, those interested in lucrative master’s in accounting concentrations certainly have numerous alternatives to choose from.