Today’s accountants are nothing like your father’s pencil-pushing bean counters. Accounting has become one of the most dynamic and cutting-edge fields for those with expertise to advance into business leadership positions. Professionals with accounting chops now fill the executive ranks of major corporations. They are key players in their organizations’ most important projects and decisions, from big data analytics to technology investments.
University of Southern Indiana’s specialized online MBA with a concentration in Accounting can broaden your career options with leadership opportunities in many industries and organizational functions. Focusing on the high-demand area of managerial accounting, graduates are prepared to enhance their organizations in financial analysis, corporate valuation, global commerce, revenue management and auditing.
Here are three ways in which this degree program can expand your leadership opportunities:
- Expertise in Managerial Accounting
Whereas financial accounting deals with reporting factual historical information, managerial accounting deals with strategic planning and execution. This discipline provides the tools to capture relevant information, make accurate predictions with it, and, finally, assess the entire decision-making process.
Managerial accountants can determine future costs and project returns on investments, which is essential for growth. They identify which technologies, such as automation, would yield the greatest ROI, and they can create complete capital budgeting plans for business expansions. Managerial accountants combine critical thinking and insights with learned expertise to drive their organizations forward.
- Ability to Apply Valuation Models
USI’s specialized accounting MBA online program provides extensive training in applying valuation models, beginning with the assets a corporation already owns, including machinery, property and inventory, known as “assets in place.” Students also learn how to find the present-day value of operations and the importance of growth opportunities like global marketing or the addition of new product lines.
Executives with managerial accounting expertise can also appraise the value of non-operating assets, including bonds, real estate and other assets that may fluctuate in value. Estimating intangible assets such as brands and community goodwill before mergers and acquisitions is a must as they raise the value of a company to investors. Similarly, management entrenchment – that is, the difficulty a buyer may have in removing underperforming leaders – must figure in estimations of a company’s worth, and managerial accounting provides the tools to make these assessments.
- Executive Opportunities Under the Chief Financial Officer
The top finance job in most corporations has a larger staff than ever before, as multinationals navigate the waters of international finance and need a team of specialists to assist them. The CFO needs a team of experts who can apply financial theories to international markets, oversee accounting regulation and compliance in the various markets, and stay on top of risk management, all of which feature in the USI MBA with a concentration in Accounting online.
Furthermore, the CFO job requires a broader background than it once did, making an MBA an ideal launching pad for those who aspire to the C-suite’s top finance role. CFOs are engaged in operations and other corporate functions like spearheading investor communications, managing the company’s finances and reducing costs.
If you want a well-traveled path to the top ranks of corporate leadership, consider others with accounting expertise who have paved the way: CEOs David Wichmann of UnitedHealth Group, Randall Stephenson of AT&T and Mark Hooper of Sigma Healthcare all started as accountants. An accounting concentration alongside a comprehensive MBA education will enhance broad exposure to a wide range of business operations. Taking this path positions graduates for success at the highest ranks of corporate leadership.
Learn more about USI’s online MBA program with a concentration in Accounting.