Top 4 MBA in Accounting: MBA vs Masters, Career Options, Job Responsibilities & Titles

MBA in AccountingAccounting is invaluable for any business. The performance of a company, the stock prices and strategic plans for the company depends on the company’s financial health. Accounting help executives summarize the health of a company with key metrics like Cash Flow, Assets, Liabilities and Equity.  There are 2 major types of accounting: Financial Accounting & Cost accounting. Financial accounting keeps a track on assets, debts, income & expenses. It includes the balance sheet and income statements. Cost Accounting relates to manufacturing or production costs, and helps Business to set optimum prices for its products and services.

As far as professionals are concerned, it is essential to have a basic knowledge of Accounting that would help them read and understand financial statements, and evaluate the accuracy of a company's account statements. The core curriculum in MBA programs covers the basic principles of Accounting.

Why is MBA in Accounting so important?

Specialized and niche accounting skills are must for an advanced understanding of the Financials of a company. Accountants use their skills to manage an organization's checkbook and orders, auditors analyze financial statements to determine the integrity of a business, and executives read accounting statements to check if the company's strategies have been successful. Besides these, Accounting is also vital for daily operations in a company like maintaining invoices and helping the Company make or receive payments.

Accounting's importance has increased in recent years following Enron and WorldCom crisis, which was triggered when reputed Accounting Firms played along with the company’s illegal Accounting practices. Since then, governments and companies have become stringent with regard to financial statements.

What are the various Degree Options for Accountancy?

There is a variety of options for students seeking to specialize in accountancy. One is the 2-year MBA in Accountancy. The other is a Master of Accountancy, which is a 1-year program. The MAccy program offers a variety of choices for specialization. Some of the other specializations are Master of Accountancy in Financial Accounting, Master of Accountancy in Governmental Accounting, and Master of Accountancy in Taxation. Irrespective of the degree completed, the CPA (Certified Professional Accountant) test must be passed before a professional is authorized to audit or certify accounts. Between them, the MBA in Accountancy is also the more expensive and selective program. It covers the core MBA curriculum with topics in General Management and Marketing.

What are the Career Options in Accountancy?

MAccy is ideal for those who want a career strictly in the accounting function. On the other hand, an MBA in accountancy is perfect for those seeking additional managerial responsibilities, career diversification in the future, and for those seeking an Entrepreneurial career.

There are 4 types of accountants:

1) Public Accountants work for non-profit or for-profit organizations, governments, or even individuals. Their job profile typically includes Auditing, Accounting and Taxation.

2) Management Accountants
, also known as Cost Accountants, work for a specific company, recording and analyzing financial data, and may specialize in areas like Planning & Budgeting, Financial Analysis or Cost Accounting.

3) Government Accountants, as their name implies, maintain financial records for the government while managing, analyzing and forecasting budgets. They could also serve in financial regulatory bodies.

4) Internal Auditors study a firm's records to reduce wasteful expenditure, and prevent any fraud.

MBA job responsibilities could involve managing accounts, managing accounts departments, financial tracking, tax preparation, or even managing accounting consultancies. Titles could include accountant, accounts manager, comptroller and financial accounting consultant. Ultimately, MBAs in Accounting would have the opportunity to be the Chief Financial Officer of an organization, or even become a CEO.

The most prestigious recruiters for MBAs in Accounting are the Big Four - PWC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG.

Here are our picks for the Top 4 MBAs in Accounting

1) Rutgers MBA in Accounting

The Rutgers Business School in Newark and New Brunswick offers a Professional Accounting MBA that requires just 14 months to complete. The program incorporates management skills, along with the theory and practice of accounting. The teaching methodology involves course work, team tasks, case studies, and team projects. Students can sit for the CPA exam after graduation. The curriculum is based on 4 pillars - Communication Skills, Professional Accounting Knowledge, Critical Thinking Skills for Business & Accountancy, and Ethics.

The curriculum includes Accounting Courses like Management and Cost Accounting, Auditing Concepts, Advanced Auditing and Accounting Information Systems, Income Taxation, Corporate Taxation, Accounting for Governmental & Not-for-Profit Entities and an Accounting Research Project. The Business courses include Business Communication, Business Law, Marketing for Decision Making, Managerial Economic Analysis, Operations Analysis, Ethics and Professional Responsibilities and International Business.

Rutgers has 3 research centers that serve to advance expertise in this field - Center for Governmental Accounting Education & Research, Rutgers Accounting Research Center, Rutgers Financial Institutions Center and Institute for Ethical Leadership.

Some of the recruiters are PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, Crowe Chizek & Co, Rothstein Kass and Wilkin & Guttenplan.

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