Choose the Right Accountancy Specialization for Your Career
If you’ve ever described yourself as a “numbers person,” accountancy might be a good career path for you. Accountancy is the field of researching, processing, and reporting financial information. It requires an eye for detail and a passion for uncovering information. One way to boost your skills in these areas and move your accountancy career forward is to pursue an accountancy degree.
One of the best features of Ashford University’s Master of Accountancy program is that it offers students two specialization options to add extra focus to their degree. Both the Accounting and Audit specializations consist of three classes that cover a specific aspect of accountancy. As such, each specialization aligns with specific career objectives.
Students who select the Accounting specialization will take ACC 611 Advanced Tax Research, ACC 612 Advanced Financial Accounting, and ACC 695 Accounting Capstone. The classes focus on building skills like researching complex tax issues, interpreting tax law, business combination reporting for corporations and partnerships, foreign currency transaction reporting, and financial statement translation. The capstone course will give students an opportunity to draw upon their knowledge and demonstrate how the various components of an accounting system work together.
The Accounting specialization could be a good choice for students looking to pursue career paths in financial accounting, managerial accounting, governmental accounting, or non-profit accounting:*
- Financial accountants collect data from external users, analyze and investigate variances, and summarize information and trends. They prepare monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements.
- Managerial accounting is similar to financial accounting, but it focuses primarily on working with internal users inside an organization. A managerial accountant will likely work with a company’s leaders to make business decisions and set goals.
- A governmental accounting position can entail a wide range of duties depending on which department it supports; however, all positions would deal with core competencies like researching and reporting data.
- Non-profit accountants perform internal accounting functions such as monthly reconciliations and reporting. They will also work with external partners, including donors and vendors.
Students who opt for the Audit specialization will enroll in ACC 616 Forensic Accounting, ACC 617 Current Issues in Advanced Auditing, and 697 Audit Capstone. These classes cover topics like detecting and preventing fraud, investigating evidence, writing investigative reports, audit risk, corporate governance, and audit execution. All of this knowledge will come together in the capstone class. Career paths in auditing tend to fall into one of three categories:*
- External auditors are independent workers hired to provide an opinion on whether a company’s financial statements are presented fairly in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). They will prepare audit reports that would be used by investors, creditors, or government agencies.
- Internal auditors are employees of the companies they audit. They provide independent and objective evaluations of the organization’s financial and operational activities. They may also perform operation efficiency reviews.
- Forensic auditors use their accounting, auditing, and investigative skills to examine a company’s financial statements. Often, these examinations will be used in court or other legal proceedings for cases where fraud is suspected.
Whether a student chooses the Accounting specialization or the Audit specialization, there are many career options available. Just about every business – no matter how big or small – needs professionals to assist with auditing and financial reporting. Make your education count with a degree in Accountancy.
Written by Erik Siwak, Communications Manager for Bridgepoint Education
*Successful completion of the Master of Accountancy program does not qualify a student to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination. All prospective students should contact individual state boards of accounting for additional information relating to licensure requirements prior to enrolling. Students seeking licensure or certification in a particular profession should carefully research the requirements prior to enrollment.
For more information about on-time completion rates, the median loan debt of students who completed each program, and other important information, please visithttp://www.ashford.edu/pd/omacc.