Why an MBA in Accounting?

If you are preparing for a rewarding career in accounting, you may want to consider the benefits of earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in accounting. A graduate degree can open the door to high-paying CPA (Certified Public Accountant) positions and competitive starting salaries.

The online MBA with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Southern Indiana (USI) will help you develop managerial and leadership skills while cultivating your ability to analyze complex corporate problems from a global perspective. The courses in this 100% online program can give you the knowledge you need to take your accounting career anywhere you want to go in the field.

Benefits of Earning an MBA in Accounting

MBAs in accounting offer the opportunity for higher salaries, promotions and certifications. Here are a few of the reasons business professionals choose to further their studies and training with an MBA in accounting:

  • Higher Salary

According to the 2022 Corporate Recruiters Survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the median starting salary for MBA grads in the U.S. is $115,000, compared to $75,000 for bachelor’s grads. This represents a significant pay bump of $40,000 for MBA grads.

Plus, interestingly, GMAC reports the median starting salary for Master of Accounting grads to be $95,000, still falling $20,000 short of the versatile, management-focused MBA. Thus, an MBA with a concentration in accounting could be the best of both worlds, offering the potential MBA wage premium, advanced accounting studies and well-rounded management and leadership skill-development.

  • CPA Certification

Many accountants aspire to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). That title is only possible after passing the comprehensive CPA exam. Many states require individuals to fulfill upper-level courses such as Accounting Regulation & Compliance or Financial Statement Analysis. Those courses are not available at the undergraduate level, but they are often taught as part of an MBA program in accounting.

Following CPA certification, accountants can pursue full CPA licensure through meeting all other state requirements. CPA licensure can open a variety of opportunities and career paths, as can the in-demand MBA credential. CPA licensure and the MBA credential together can make for a potent combination of qualifications when pursuing high-level jobs.

  • CPA Exam Preparation

Many of the concepts that are tested by the CPA exam are taught in accounting MBA programs. By completing an MBA in accounting, you can fulfill the upper-level course requirements while simultaneously studying many of the topics tested by the CPA exam. The four tests of the CPA exam cover: Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Auditing and Attestation (AUD) and Regulation (REG).

  • Leadership Opportunities

MBA graduates are better prepared to pursue upper-management positions because many management and leadership positions require candidates to hold more than an undergraduate degree. Many of the highest-paying positions within accounting firms require some level of leadership training.

Plus, advancing technologies capable of automating mundane, repetitive accounting tasks are enabling a shift toward strategic advisory and leadership roles for highly qualified and educated accountants. MBA grads are well-prepared to take advantage of this shift and excel in new roles. Potential leadership positions include business consultant, chief financial officer, chief accounting officer, revenue manager, financial manager, management analyst and technical account manager.

Propel Your Career Forward With an MBA

Whether you are finishing your undergraduate degree in accounting or wish to further your existing accounting career, an online MBA from USI can propel your career forward while preparing you for the comprehensive CPA exam. In addition to learning key leadership skills, this program cultivates students’ ability to navigate complex business problems from a global perspective. Each course is taught by the same USI faculty you would find on campus.

Learn more about the USI online MBA with a concentration in Accounting program.

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