Master's in Accounting Specializations
- International Accounting
- Certified Public Accountant
- Certified Internal Auditing
- Forensic Accounting
You've decided to pursue a Master's in Accounting, and you're probably wondering what the best specializations would be. What many people may be surprised to know is that there are quite a few different avenues for accountants to go down when determining a specialty. An accountant is not just someone sitting behind a desk crunching numbers all day. Instead, you could pursue international, a CPA license, a CIA license, bookkeeping, or even forensics working in offices all around the country, from Washington, DC to San Francisco, CA. Getting a specialized degree will only further your career and make you even more invaluable to future employers in this increasingly competitive field.
1. International Accounting
Living in the 21st century, it's hard to ignore that more and more businesses are spreading their work and customer base around the globe. By specializing in this field, you can ensure your success at any modern business. This specialty teaches you the ropes of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which is imperative to any business accountant that works for a global company. By specializing in this field during your degree training, you will be showing potential employers that you are prepared to deal with an international market and can handle any curveballs thrown your way when dealing with customers and suppliers around the world.
2. Certified Public Accountant
Getting a masters degree to become a Certified Public Accountant is perhaps one of the best decisions an accounting major can make. The CPA license gives accountants a chance to choose from a diverse career path. From taxes to financial planning, assurance services to consulting, a Certified Public Accountant has the world open to them. CPAs are also highly sought after to work for international companies due to the diversity of the Certified Public Accountant's knowledge. By specializing to become a CPA, you can choose virtually any company to work for, and more often than not, they will be pleased to have you on board.
3. Certified Internal Auditing
Auditing is a word that instills fear in most hearts and brings to mind thoughts of the IRS and the dreaded tax season. However, companies often employ a Certified Internal Auditor to review the books regularly to make sure that the business is following all the tax laws and other regulations. All CIAs are required to sit for an examination prior to receiving the certification and are expected to have 24 months of job experience with internal auditing. Luckily, by obtaining a Masters degree, you can use the degree as the equivalent of 12 months of work experience. Certified Internal Auditors are a must-have for any modern business and will always be in demand.
If you find yourself working for a small business, your skills may be put to use in the bookkeeping department. The biggest difference between a traditional accountant and a bookkeeper is the day-to-day work. If you enjoy the hands-on of knowing the cash flow of a business, including transactions with suppliers, sales, and other business expenses, bookkeeping would be a great choice for your specialization. Traditional accountants, in turn, take the daily numbers and analyze them on a grander scale, turning it into a report on how the business is functioning overall. Bookkeepers are vital to any business, big or small, making this a great specialization choice.
5. Forensic Accounting
If you watch any white collar crime shows, then chances are that you've heard of a forensic accountant. The forensic accountant scours a business' financial records when they are being investigated for fraud, embezzlement, and more. However, individuals can also become the focus of a forensic accountant's investigation, especially if they are suspected of a crime or other civil court matter. By specializing in this, you can expect to work for police stations, the FBI, or even a private investigation firm. This specialization is perhaps one of the most exciting and fulfilling choices you can make when determining which program to attend.
Overall, it will always be in your best interest to obtain a specialized degree. Such a degree opens up a world of possibilities and will help you to climb the corporate, or government, ladder all the way to the C-suite.