Top 4 MBA in Accounting: Who Should take it?

MBA in Accounting Part 2If you have missed the first part of the Series - Top 4 MBA in Accounting, Click Here to Read: Top 4 MBA in Accounting: MBA vs Masters, Career Options, Job Responsibilities & Titles

2) University of Texas--Austin (McCombs)

The McCombs School of Business offers a Full-time MBA program with a concentration in Accounting. The concentration is offered by the renowned McCombs Department of Accounting. The program covers in details: Corporate financial reporting, making and analyzing corporate financial statements and financial reporting. It has 2 areas of focus - Investment Banking and Corporations.

The core curriculum
is the same as that of the general MBA program, covering Financial Accounting, Financial Management, Statistics, Marketing Management, Operations Management, Managerial Economics and Strategic Management. The flexible core has the option of a Responsibility and Integrity Requirement. The subjects offered as part of the concentration include Financial Accounting Standards and Analysis, Strategic Controls, Advanced Corporate Finance, Law of Finance, Advanced Topics in Financial Reporting, Computer Auditing and Systems Security, Fraud Examination and Consulting Capstone Practicum.

The C. Aubrey Smith Center for Auditing Education and Research
spearheads the school's research efforts. The possible career paths offered by the McCombs MBA include roles like Internal Auditor, Management Accountant, Tax Accountant/Consultant and Senior Financial Analyst.

In 2012, Finance & Accounting jobs were offered in various functions, including Corporate Finance/Treasury at 14% and mean salary of $95,770, Investment Banking at 7% and mean salary of $102,500, Investment Management at 6% and mean salary of $98,750, Venture Capital/Private Equity at 3% and mean salary of $95,833 and Sales &Trading at 1% and mean salary of $100,000.

Top recruiters include Citi, Goldman Sachs & Co., PricewaterhouseCoopers, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Deloitte Consulting, UBS Investment Bank and Deutsche Bank.

3) Wharton

Wharton's Accounting Department offers an Accounting major that empowers students with the skills to analyze and communicate a company’s economic activities and status. This is used to inform outsiders, aid in operations & performance evaluation, and help external agencies collect taxes. The major, stresses on procedures, concepts and applications of accounting information, and its reliability. The curriculum is flexible enough to allow students to study the required courses for CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or CMA (Chartered Management Accountant).

The Fixed Core Curriculum covers subjects like Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership, Marketing Management, Operations Management, Microeconomic Foundations, Advanced Topics in Managerial Economics and Regression Analysis for Managers. The Flexible Core Curriculum offers Accounting subjects like Fundamentals of Financial Accounting, Fundamentals of Financial and Managerial Accounting and Accelerated Financial Accounting. The Accounting major offers a set of electives like Tax Planning & Administration, Advanced Managerial Accounting, Auditing, Problems in Financial Reporting, Accounting for Mergers, Acquisitions, & Complex Financial Structures, Taxes & Business Strategy, and Corporate Valuation.

The Accounting major at Wharton suits students seeking careers in corporate finance, investment banking, treasury, private equity, consumer finance, as well as in the government and military.

In 2011, the Financial Services Industry hired 38.54% of the class, with a median salary of $107,500. Do note that these may not be related to accounting functions and is just an indicator of this major's potential.

Prominent recruiters include American Express Company, Bain Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BlackRock, Inc, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deloitte Consulting, Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs & Company, J.P. Morgan, Latham & Watkins, Moody’s Investors Service, Nomura Holding America, QVT Financial, Standard Chartered Bank and Wells Fargo Securities.

4) University of Chicago (Booth)

Booth is well known for its emphasis on finance and quants. Its MBA program offers a concentration in Accounting, taught by faculty that is renowned for accounting practice and policymaking, including Philip G. Berger, recipient of many research prizes and author of one of the most widely referred papers. The Workshop in Accounting Research is another opportunity for students to learn from peers and experts by discussing papers on current topics prepared by students, faculty, as well as guests.

The core curriculum itself has a focus on financial subjects, besides the financial core. It covers courses like Financial Accounting, Microeconomics, Statistics, Finance, Marketing, Operations, Decisions, People, Strategy and Business Environment. Some of the electives covered by the Accounting major include Managerial Accounting, Accounting and Financial Analysis, Taxes and Business Strategy and Financial Statement Analysis.

In addition to the Accounting Research Center
, Booth has as many as 5 research centers for economics/finance. In 2012, 48.6% of the class was hired for Finance functions, with a median salary of $100,000, which also includes accounting roles.  

Top companies include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Deloitte Consulting, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Barclays Capital, Pacific Investment Management, Wells Fargo Securities, M&T Bank Consulting and Sears Holdings Corporation.


An MBA in Accountancy is well suited for people with an interest for numbers, and an ambition to reach the top echelons of a company. 1-year programs like MS, MAccy and MPA are a cheaper option that leads straight to careers in accountancy, but they tend to limit future growth to just one field. On the other hand, MBA programs can broader the career options to more than just Accounting.

Recommended Resources

1) Rutgers Professional MBA Program
McCombs MBA Accounting
3) Wharton MBA Accounting
4) Booth Accounting Research Center

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