Accounting

Accounting is the act of recording financial transactions within compliance regulations. It can involve summarizing or conducting analyses of stored or retrieved information, as well as providing guidance to keep a business financially healthy. Accounting degrees are available as certificates, associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s, with rare opportunities for even higher education. Good candidates for accounting degrees include those with an affinity for mathematics and organization.

Certificate Level

Earning a certificate in accounting typically takes a year or less and is considered an introduction into accounting without a long-term commitment or the associated expense. The certificate course usually covers the basics of the accounting field, including balance sheets, financial statements, cost controlling, as well as cash handling. For those with a business degree already, earning an accounting certificate can assist with understanding aspects of accounting to improve business procedure or with completing the CPA exam for a career switch.

With a certificate in accounting, career options include: Bookkeeper, Accounts Payable Clerk, Accounts Receivable Clerk, Teller. Entry-level positions usually earn a salary between $35,000-$50,000.

Baccalaureate

To acquire a mid- or senior-level position in the accounting field, a baccalaureate is typically required. Common course studies include economics, statistics, business law, and corporate finance. A bachelor’s degree is required to become a certified public accountant, or CPA, though passing this exam is not required to be an accountant. CPAs typically perform audits and represent companies during IRS audits. A CPA designation requires 150 hours of education, so many colleges offer a 5-year program since a standard BA only encompasses 120 hours. Average entry-level CPA salaries clock in at $66,000 per year.

The other option to taking your career a step further after earning a baccalaureate, rather than becoming a CPA, is becoming a CMA, or certified management accountant. CMAs have a different focus. They handle cost accounting, financial planning and analysis, decision support, professional ethics, as well as management reporting. Salaries for CMAs range between $84,000 to $127,000.

Both CPAs and CMAs are required to complete a baccalaureate degree, have some amount of work experience, take ethics courses or pass an examination, and commit to Continuing Professional Education (CPE).

Career options for graduates with a baccalaureate in accounting include: Accountant, Accounting Manager, Financial Controller, Chief Financial Officer, Tax Examiner, Internal Auditor, Actuary, Forensic Accounting, Financial Analyst, Accounts Payable/Receivable, Environmental Accountant, Real Estate Appraiser, Tax Attorney, Securities Broker, Auditor. Starting salaries are between $40,000 and $65,000.

Create a free account to find, finance and attend the college that's right for you.

Colleges

“…An outstanding university that provides limitless opportunities for superb education, involvement in various clubs and organizations, and the all-important ability to network among peers and colleagues. Penn State goes above and beyond to properly...” – Shane

“…The University of Florida is a prestigious public university dedicated on accepting prospective students with not only a yearning for higher education, but a passion for involvement in extracurricular activities which allows the student to grow...” – Shawna from Gainesville, FL

“…A 360 degree experience. You get rigorous academics, competitive sports powerhouse, and lively social scene. A place to grow and explore.” – Kelly from New Hudson, MI

“…My school is big on traditions and is overall a very friendly campus. The professors are willing to help you one on one to help you get the grade you need and deserve. I rate my school a 10 from 1-10 because its a very big happy family who look out...” – Amanda from Houston, TX

“…UCF is a very high quality university that is more affordable than most. The university has an abundance of ways to help you get through your college expenses through book and work study programs. The campus is great! All the essential necessities a...” – M from Winter Garden, FL

“…it is a great school because of the atmosphere, teachers, and everything that has to do with austin. it is at an awesome location. i feel welcomed and happily plan to live and get a job here.” – Emile from Dallas, TX

“…Boston University is an elite university that is constantly improving. It is a very expensive college but has a lot of resources for its students. Students who wish to attend should be somewhat independent and not afraid to take full advantage of the...” – Daniel from Staten Island, NY

“…Arizona State University is a great school. I attend the Walter Cronkite School for students of Mass Communication and Journalism and I love the experience I have gained from the college. I feel prepared for future jobs and work experience. ” – Kirsten from Phoenix, AZ

“…Purdue University is filled with surprises. No one would expect a school in central Indiana to be one of the most diverse, most academically rigorous, most involved, healthiest, and inspiring universities in the world. It is literally difficult to...” – Evan from Placentia, CA

“…NYU isn't for everybody, but if you want to become more independent, meet lots of interesting and diverse people, and eat a variety of food NYU is the perfect place for you. Even though sometimes it can feel like only wealthy people belong here, you...” – India from Bryn Mawr, PA

“…UNC Chapel Hill is an outstanding school with outstanding people. The school work is challenging, but it is rewarding. The university introduces you to people from all walks of life and exposes you to some of the most gifted professors and students...” – Rebecca

“…The University is a wonderful school because of its diverse student body, strong academics, and recreational facilities. There are so many great tutoring and advising resources available for me whenever they need help with certain classes. Also, I...” – Maria from Tucson, AZ

“…USC is the place for opportunities. You are not only paying for a great education, but also connections and resume builders that will help you get where you want in life. USC is a school for leaders and overachievers. ” – Madison from Los Angeles, CA

“…This school is inclusive, and has a great sense of community. I love visiting my friends here. The education is amazing.” – Peyton from Ellensburg, WA

“…I rate UPenn at a 10 out of 10, I love my school and everything about it. I think what really makes us great is the oppurtunity to have a well rounded education so critical thinking is put at the center of all classes. In addition it is a beautiful...” – Ami from Philadelphia, PA

“…The campus, food, organizations, people, academics, and nightlife of Michigan State University are unlike any other. MSU is full of down-to-earth, nice people who want to have fun but also focus on their academics. Though it is a big campus, it is...” – Lauren from Westland, MI

“…There is no other place I would have chosen to pursue my higher education. Ohio State offers rigorous academics as well as plenty of organizations for students to participate in! In short, Ohio State offers everything you could ever want.” – Cherieanne from Chattanooga, TN

“…The Campus is basically a miniature city within Syracuse. There are always activities to attend and ways to get involved. The classes are tough, but very rewarding if you put in the effort.” – Catherine from North Sutton, NH

“…Great friendly campus in the middle of cornfield, USA. Classes are theoretical and challenging in the engineering dept. However, it's easy to take a variety of other classes (art, history, dance, etc), regardless of your major.” – Alleycats from Urbana, IL

“…UC Davis is a beautiful campus, with endless opportunities in all areas of interest. There are many research and academic internships, as well as being well-rounded with sport, music, and art opportunities. Every student can find clubs and academic...” – Kaitlyn from San Jose, CA

“…UGA offers an ivy league education, for a public school price. Situated in Athens, GA: ranked the #1 College Town that Rocks by Rolling Stones magazine in 2007 and one of 29 Must Visit places by LA Times magazine in 2009, there are plenty of things...” – Darien from Senoia, GA

“…FSU is an immense college with a beautiful campus and diverse student body. The college boasts hundreds of extracurricular programs and clubs, so there is something for everyone. Florida State is a leader in many disciplines and builds leaders.” – Carla from Tallahassee, FL

“…The University of Miami is a prestigious school with a lot to offer. The school is diverse and gives a small university feel in a big town environment. The University of Miami is a great place to go to school because it provides a good degree, has...” – Maureen from Webster City, IA

“…San Diego State University provides an amazing academic experience for all students who enroll here. There is always something happening on campus no matter what time of day. The environment is so welcoming, and everyone you meet is so nice and...” – Anonymous

“…Georgetown University Law Center is an amazing combination of high quality academics and networking opportunities. Everyday there is something going on..an Alumni cocktail, the book launch of a member of staff, judge, politician etc. There are many...” – Charlene from Washington, DC

“…indiana university has the most beautiful campus in all of indiana and is surprisingly very easy to get around despite how large it is. the students and professors are great and really easy to get along with, and are always willing to help out in any...” – Kyle from Merrillville, IN

“…UCI is a very quiet school in terms of partying, but there are always activities going on throughout the day that any student can participate in. The school is fantastic in Academics and has many research opportunities. ” – Bi0N3rd

“…The perfect place for stars looking to shine. Our stars do not only show up at night. They shine during the good times of our country, contributing to society in a positive way. They also shine during the bad times of our country, standing up for...” – Khiana from Newark, NJ

“…The atmosphere of Baylor is very relaxing. The people on campus are really friendly. It is easy to make friends on a campus this size.” – Chalice from Pflugerville, TX

“…The University of Oregon is not only a beautiful campus but offers the kind of liberal arts studies that I prefer. The excitement of living on campus and attending favored sporting events has contributed to my enjoyment at this school. I look forward...” – Katharine from Claremont, CA

“…WSU has become my home away from home. The people are great and you truly feel like you're part of a family (I recommend going to the football games if you don't feel this way). The only bad part is the cold weather, so be prepared!” – Isabella from Hoquiam, WA

“…UMD, College Park is a school full of opportunities and great education. It has a campus feel, but is large enough to feel like it's own town and easy access to Washington, D.C. and other commercial areas, providing plenty of opportunities for...” – Jennifer from Western Maryland

“…Clemson University is a community that strives to promote equality among it's students, promote environmental sustainability through numerous on-campus programs, and provide a rigorous education for preparation for their career field. Clemson also...” – Matthew from Mount Pleasant, SC

“…Northeastern has an excellent sense of community and immediately upon entering you feel right at home. The professors are helpful and they want to see their students succeed. The athletics and the multitude of on-campus activities give students a...” – Bailey from Queensbury, NY

“…in my opinion, this school is underrated. it is an excellent university with excellent professors and spectacular school spirit. it can definitely compete with other texas universities. ” – Christopher from Houston, TX

“…The University of Notre Dame is a privately funded, Catholic, liberal arts university. It is most well-known for athletics, especially football, ethics and social justice studies, and the Mendoza School of Business. Notre Dame also boasts a beautiful...” – Marcus from WI

“…Central Michigan University has the best professors for the Recreation Department! Everyone here is a family and the people really do care about your well being and future. This college has made me a better person through it's programs.” – Jelina from Mt. Pleasant, MI

“…It is a beautiful campus and will make you proud to be a bull. There is always stuff going on around campus and a lot of fun ways to get involved. Academics are taken seriously and managable with work. ” – Brenna from St. Petersburg, FL

“…I transferred to OU from Marietta College and I believe it was one of the best decisions I've made in my life. I had much anxiety being a minority student on a campus with about 30,000 students but OU offers so many organizations that cater to the...” – Proud Bobkitty

“…Pitt literally has something for everyone. There are majors/minors/certificates in nearly anything you could think of, over 400 clubs, and Pittsburgh is a city that offers a wide variety of living arrangements, tons of restaurants, and entertainment...” – Angelica from Pittsburgh, PA

Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA

“…bc is a great university that is geared for all types of students. it is a liberal arts university with schools in business, nursings, arts and sciences, and education. everyone at bc is friendly and outgoing, and it is a great choice for a college...” – Anonymous from Chestnut Hill, MA

Auburn University
Auburn University, AL

“…auburn has something special about it that i cannot quite put into words. you have to experience it to understand what people mean by the auburn family, and after you are there, you will never be the same. i have learned the value of being an auburn...” – Sara from Auburn, AL

“…Vanderbilt University is an institution geared towards challenging its students academically in order to ensure a successful future. However, there are resources such as 24-hour tutoring and extensive office hours to help with the rigorous work. With...” – C from Georgia

“…Great school for adventurous students. If you want to start a career, this is your first step. You get to enjoy the city while getting a great education.” – Katie Rose from Northampton, PA

“…The University of Virginia is an excellent school for prospective students seeking a challenge. UVA presents a traditional atmosphere for personal, social, academic and professional development. The school's reputation is well deserved and I have...” – Andrew from Purcellville, VA

“…texas state is a picturesque school full of life, diverse, with a river that runs through it, and also full of people that are willing to help you on anything from personal problems, to math homework. ” – Genesis from Houston, TX

“…The campus is beautiful and not too spread out. All of my classes have been wonderful thus far, and really are shaped to my interests. There are so many study enhancements in this community to make sure that students do succeed. ” – Taelor from Columbia, SC

“…OSU & Corvallis has so much to offer (year-round) it's sometimes hard to know where to start. It has a beautiful, relaxed campus with nearly 25,000 students & Corvallis' central location provides easy access to plenty of activities in less than 3...” – Earl from Tangent, OR

“…lsu is culturally and socially diverse, making it an exceedingly welcoming place. classes are varied and pander to the interests of many different types of students. every event is culturally rich and provides a fantastic experience.” – Nicholas from Cypress, TX

“…Colorado State University has given me the best college experience I could dream of. There are opportunities for anything you could imagine - and these opportunities are everywhere! Everyone is friendly, and all anyone wants is for each and every...” – Bailey

“…Georgia State is full of diversity! I love how many different people I can meet in just one hour. Many majors, opportunities, clubs, and organizations are offered here.” – Lydia from Lawrenceville, GA

“…Virginia Tech is a beautiful place full a good people and food. The community is very welcoming and engaging to students. There is a wide variety of courses and you will always find something to do that you like.” – Delaney

“…Liberty is the most exciting university in the world. I love being able to have professors who care about not only my educational career, but my spiritual life. There are more opportunities than can be counted offered to me here.” – Carrie from Ruckersville, VA

“…Emory is surprisingly the perfect grounds for culturing new ideas. Even though it doesn't have a football team, Emory is still high in spirit and makes up for it in swimming and soccer. Above all, Emory is the perfect combination of nature-esque...” – Sindhu from GA

“…U of Iowa is an institution that invites young minds to grow and develop with the help of highly educated leaders. Family values are important within the administration and add value to the environment within the grounds of the university. Service is...” – Eric from Pingrey Grove, IL

“…Rice is outstanding in all areas of college life, from academics, to partying, right down to the weather. I was a little hesitant to leave New York for Texas and pay a little bit more than my other college options, but honestly Rice was worth the...” – Janet from Carmel, NY

“…this school offers a diverse curriculum. studying abroad is heavily encouraged, and mandatory for multiple majors. the professors want you to succeed, you need only ask!” – Scott from San Diego, CA

“…1. George Mason has a compact campus, but plenty of people. 2. There are a ton of fun unique activities to try out. 3. GMU is definitely diverse!” – Anon.

“…the university is a very beautiful place if you ignore all the construction being done at the moment. everyone at the school are extremely nice people and are there help you. there are tons of opportunities for you to have fun and also be successful...” – adrian from pittsburgh, pa

“…If I were to describe DePaul in three sentences i'd have to say, it's very unique, as in location, religion, as well as culturally. There are so many different kinds of people here, ones you wouldn't expect to have similar interests, and ones that...” – Gina from Edina, MN

“…Rutgers New Brunswick has the prestige of being one of the 8 earliest founded colleges in the nation and is often ranked within the 100 best colleges in the world, for less than half the cost of an Ivy League school. Research opportunities,...” – Joanna

“…University of Denver is an AWESOME school! The small and focused class sizes allow students to get a wonderful education and the professors truly care about the students well being. It also offers a wonderful social life with sororities/fraternities,...” – Tara from Highlands Ranch, CO

“…The George Washington University is full of internship and job opportunities. Studying at the center of politics, many students share valuable connections and memorable experiences. With embassies, museums, monuments, students can always find...” – Washington, DC

“…Pace University is a great school that has afforded me so many fantastic opportunities I would not have received had I gone elsewhere. Pace has the most fantastic location in the heart of downtown Manhattan, making it ideal for anyone who wants to...” – Sarah in Brooklyn, NY

“…The place where God wants me. The place that makes that's helping me become a better person. The place where I will make lasting friendships and life-changing, world-impacting decisions.” – Camila from Encino, CA

“…Lots of walking.Great scenery. Many fun extracurricular and exciting course opportunities.” – Arlandra from Cincinnati, OH

“…An open and beautiful campus with people who also share those qualities. The staff here are amazing and do their jobs here with the goal to educate the students that pass through so that they may carry the wisdom gained throughout their lives....” – Mehigan from King George, VA

“…utsa has a diverse student population, a wide range of student services (including an excellent gym facility, complete with cooking courses, personal trainers, and rock-climbing wall), and a rapidly growing academic program with professors from all...” – Catherine from Helotes, TX

“…The college is in a commuter type of college so most people there do not live on the dorms. However, the people that I have met at this college are really nice and the academic advisers (at least for my major) are extremely helpful. The only con I...” – Jazmin C.

“…i attended girl's state at ku this summer. ku has an absolutely gorgeous campus, a friendly environment, and so many great programs to choose from. i cannot wait to attend ku in the fall of 2017. ” – adrienne from dodge city, ks

“…Drexel is an incredible school because of its focus on experiential learning. Students here have a huge advantage over their peers if they take advantage of the co-ops. Some can graduate with up to a year and a half of major-related job experience.” – Xavier from Littlestown, PA

“…Iowa State has a beautiful campus: a large lake, a scenic atmosphere, and beautiful buildings. I could not believe the outstanding facilities I was able to tour nor the close but large feeling of the campus itself. Definitely ready to start my...” – Kaitlyn from De Witt, IA

“…The Open Curriculum serves the purpose for student to explore ad take their academic path into their own hands. The University is known for its music school: Eastman School of Music. An Awesome Science and Engineering College, with the added bonus...” – Orin from Brooklyn, NY

“…Beautiful campus, friendly and happy students, excellent academics. Amazing campus life, great school spirit, and great sports. Inviting atmosphere and great amenities!” – Jonna from Chapel Hill, NC

“…I actually applied to the University of San Francisco last minute. It was a choice that always lingered in my brain, but I never thought I would go that far from home. Without touring the school or talking to anyone from the school, I chose this...” – Amie from Phoenix, AZ

“…NC State is a large school with a small school feel. You can walk around campus and always see a familiar face. There are always new people to meet as well. ” – Shayna from Germantown, MD

“…west virginia university offers an amazing experience that is second to none. not only are there very competitive programs on campus, but the mountaineers have become a staple in the world of college athletics. excitement looms in the classroom and...” – Jonathon from Morgantown, WV

“…Fordham University is a family with open arms waiting for you to walk in. Once you enter into the family, you are embraced and encouraged to tap into all of the family's resources. These resources WILL help your intellectual, moral and...” – Constantine from Randolph, NJ

“…The campus, really nice... The professors, friendly if you know how to network and talk to them... The people here, really friendly and getting to meet/know new people isn't a task at all. The school is very nice, they provide fun activities almost...” – Joe, On Campus, Stony Brook University

“…the university of colorado at boulder is a an amazing school with not only a great location but also a great academic program. boulder is a great city for any kind of person, athletic or not. with so much to offer both academically and with extra...” – Ana from Parker, CO

“…I have had a great time during my four years at AU. Not only did I receive an excellent in-class education, but I was able to supplement this part of my education with an internship every semester. In addition, the study abroad program that I did was...” – Kaitlyn from Frankenmuth, MI

“…On a Scale of one to ten I give Florida International University an eight. FIU deserves an eight because they really care about the student and try and help in everyway they can to make sure each and every student is successful. They provide...” – Saxon from Tampa, FL

“…the campus is beautiful and there are so many helpful students and staff (and plus all of the student programs they offer!). there are plenty of ways to get involved on campus through clubs or greek life or even a job on campus. the academics are a...” – Kaitlin from Merced, CA

“…Florida Atlantic University is a fantastic school. Florida Atlantic University has a beautiful, growing campus in sunny Boca Raton. Florida Atlantic University has excellent professors that are more than happy to help students in all aspects of...” – Andy from Coconut Creek, FL

“…Brigham young stands as a precedent for student education. It is a pinnacle of cleanliness of word and of character. It is a school like no other with the honor code as a standing tradition to be upheld by the students and the faculty. ” – Kaitlyn from Riverton, UT

“…Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, a wonderfully-crafted university, is located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. IUPUI has a vast array of majors and minors; for aspiring business students, the IUPUI Kelley School of Business--...” – Danielle from Indianapolis, IN

“…University of Delaware is amazing, it instantly became home to me. Residence living is fun and offers a lot, professors are approachable and easy to understand, and the campus is a perfect size. I love the look of the campus also, the long greens and...” – Tara from Mount Laurel, NJ

“…Cal Poly is fantastic for education, social life, and extracurricular activities. My classes have always been great with good teachers and interesting coursework. It's also so much fun, from the party scene to opportunities to get involved on campus!” – Zoe from Santa Barbara, CA

“…I don't know what I love more, this school or this city! You get to experience New Orleans, but live in the nicer area! I really feel as though I am receiving a first-rate education!” – Alyssa from Clermont, FL

“…UNLV is a multicultural community. The staff members provides help to students who need or seek them. Also, it creates a welcoming invitation to newcomers. ” – Kim

University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT

“…The university is a fun place to meet new people. It gives you a great education and the professors are really interested in teaching the topic. The location of the university is also great and has many surroundings to help you enjoy your college...” – Kayla from West Jordan, UT

“…Hofstra is a great college, with an at home feel that will increase your chance of success. The campus is clean, the professors helpful, and the food is good! There is no other college I would have rather attended.” – Lorie from Minnesota

“…university of california riverside is an exceptional higher education institution that dedicates itself to providing quality education. the university is among the most diverse schools in the nation which makes it unique. there are multiple...” – Denise from Riverside, CA

“…Carnegie Mellon University is a strong university for anyone interested in modern technology and the changing world. The people here are enterprising and ambitious, and you will be sure to find yourself in inspiring companionship. For someone who...” – Sanjana from San Jose, CA

“…diverse student population, lots of nontraditional students and commuters. lots of options for food on campus. great teachers and class sizes.” – Mia from Dallas, TX

“…sam houston state university has an amazing environment. the teacher-student ratio is perfect. the atmosphere is perfect for anyone who doesn't want to get lost in the crowd.” – Felicia from Cedar Park, TX

“…Small classrooms and good teachers.” – Garrett from Portland, OR

“…It was my privilege to be accepted by the Nova Southeastern University pre-law program, but Nova has a degree program for almost everyone. Its science programs, especially in the area of oceanography, are second to none. My objective is to attend the...” – Eugene from Coral Springs, FL

“…Illinois State University (ISU) is a great way to get a great education and experience different things. You have adults and students that want to get involve with your career and future. It is a fantastic place to meet lots of unique and different...” – Amber from Chicago, IL

“…Miami University is a great mid-sized university for academics and social life. There are various organizations students can join and activities provided by the school to participate in. Big companies are always here recruiting, so there are many...” – Randy from Oxford, OH