Career Options for Accountants with MBA Degrees

A Master of Business Administration in accounting provides students with the tools to make sound managerial and accounting decisions. An MBA is often a requirement for promotion to careers such as senior accountant, chief financial officer and other business leadership positions.

Career Options for Accountants With MBAs

Senior auditors employ financial forensics techniques to prevent fraud, wasteful spending and mismanagement within companies. Some auditors work as private consultants for major corporations, while others work for government agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission. Information technology auditors review their organization’s computer systems for reliability. Within large companies, a senior auditor may oversee a team of auditors. According to data from PayScale as of September 2018, the median salary for a senior internal auditor is $75,729 per year, with top wage earners taking in over $95,000.

Senior financial analysts help businesses and clients make sound investment decisions. These business leaders are often called upon to advise companies on important financial matters such as bonds, mergers and acquisitions, the timing of a stock split, and other areas of financial concern. Financial analysts must know the inner workings of their business’s accounts and resources in order to give informed investment advice. There are many specializations among financial analysts, including ratings analysts (who assess a company’s ability to pay off debt) and portfolio managers. According to PayScale (September 2018) the average salary for senior financial analysts is $78,256.

Chief financial officers (CFOs) oversee a business’s administrative and financial operations. Major financial decisions, including long-term operational strategies, tax filing decisions and large purchases, often require the CFO’s approval. CFOs also provide leadership and guidance to accounting and finance departments to ensure those departments run efficiently and in compliance with regulations and company policies. As part of a company’s executive team, CFOs regularly update management on important financial and policy matters. The average annual salary for a CFO is $95,904, according to PayScale (September 2018).

Senior accountants are responsible for keeping companies financially organized. These lead accountants oversee reporting costs, daily expenditures, internal auditing and other financial tasks in order to ensure a company runs efficiently and within regulations and guidelines. Senior accountants frequently provide updates to upper management on the company’s finances and may oversee a team of accountants. This position often requires leadership and communication skills in addition to advanced accounting acumen. Senior accounts can expect an average salary of $65,371, according to PayScale as of September 2018.

Job Outlook for Accounting Jobs and the Benefits of an Online MBA

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.” The benefits of an MBA in accounting, according to the online degree ranking website Best Accounting Schools, include increased management training, preparation for the CPA exam, a greater number of career options, higher earnings potential and an increased likelihood of running a successful business.

Whether seeking a career as a CFO, senior financial analyst or in any other upper-management position, an online MBA from the University of South Carolina Aiken is the first step toward a rich and rewarding experience as a business leader.

Learn more about the USC Aiken online MBA program with a Specialization in Accounting.


PayScale: Senior Internal Auditor

PayScale: Chief Financial Analyst

PayScale: Chief Financial Officer

PayScale: Senior Accountant

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Accountants and Auditors

Best Accounting Schools: 5 Benefits of an MBA in Accounting

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