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Careers with an Accounting Major

Discussion in 'Jobs & Careers' started by kingN8, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Aug 19, 2010 at 1:58 PM
    #1
    kingN8

    kingN8 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hola gentlemen, I was just curious if anyone here has a Bachelors or Masters in Accounting and if they pursued the CPA. I'm starting my sophmore year tomorrow:D:eek: and although it is still a little bit of basic classes I am sure I am going to love it. Especially after taking Business Calculus, awesome class. Anyway I was wondering what kind of careers some have pursued.
     
  2. Aug 19, 2010 at 2:28 PM
    #2
    CPA_Taco

    CPA_Taco Well-Known Member

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    Well I guess my name is a little misleading as I am not officially a CPA as of yet, but I have been taking the tests all summer. This basically means I’ve had a craptastic summer. But I actually opted out of obtaining a Master’s in Accounting and instead decided to be a double major in Accounting and Finance. I didn’t see the justification of spending the extra money on a Masters, because as soon as you have your CPA that’s all employers care about. Not saying a Master’s isn’t a good way to go because it would probably get you a little more prepared for the CPA exam, but you can still pass it without going that route.

    But I've actually worked in both the public accounting sector and the private. There really are a bunch of different areas to go into with an accounting degree. As of right now I'm working for a public accounting firm and really enjoy it. You get to work on a ton of different things and get to experience a lot of different areas in the industry. More specifically; Taxes for individuals, corps, partnerships, estates & trusts; Auditing for corps, not for profit, governments; Payroll and Bookkeeping/Business services, consulting, tax planning.....those are just the main things that I, and the people in the firm, work with for the most part.

    You could also go into corporate accounting which could be either financial or cost accounting. You could also end up in the corporate tax department as well. Not to mention the Payables and Receivables.

    A CPA could also help you into a CFO/CEO type of position and is pretty much mandatory if you have aspirations to become partner in an accounting firm.

    Jobs in the accounting field are fairly safe (not saying you won’t ever get laid off) comparatively speaking. I think you are headed into a really good field (I’m not bias or anything lol) so keep up the good work. Just take a bunch of accounting classes and see which one you enjoy the most. And I cannot stress this enough but do an internship or co-op if at all possible. I did two of them and they were basically what got me a job in this terrible economy. So sign up for an internship through your school tomorrow!!!!! Lol

    If you have any other questions feel free to send me a PM or post here. I know there are a few other Accountants specifically in the corporate sector that could give you a few more details in that regard.
     
  3. Aug 19, 2010 at 3:26 PM
    #3
    kingN8

    kingN8 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Sounds great man. I appreciate all the info and the offer of asking for more. When I attend the University of Southern Alabama my Junior year I will sign up for an internship/co-op. I won't have a job so I'll have plenty of time to do that my Junior and Senior year. I was looking into Casino Analyst. I love living on the coast and my dream is to have that job at our MGM Casino: Beau Rivage. We'll see what happens though. I really feel like this major will lead to my passion and that is the main thing I care about. Enjoying what I do and supporting a future family. Good Money is a plus too:D.
     
  4. Aug 19, 2010 at 3:28 PM
    #4
    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    You might consider something in accounting.
     
  5. Aug 19, 2010 at 3:33 PM
    #5
    kingN8

    kingN8 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking something more in Nuclear Medicine :p;)
     
  6. Aug 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM
    #6
    Lost_Humanity

    Lost_Humanity Bad decisions make great stories.

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  7. Aug 19, 2010 at 3:39 PM
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    CPA_Taco

    CPA_Taco Well-Known Member

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    So would a position like that require a CPA? Even if you are thinking about getting a CPA you should hammer out the required 150 credit hours now while you are still in school, young, and before you start a family (assuming you haven't already) instead of regretting it and wishing you had later on down the road. Plus it's only an extra year after you obtain a BS in Accounting so it's not too big a deal. And you can take 25 credit hours of underwater basket weaving if you want as long as you have the BS in Accounting.

    I'd almost encourage you to go ahead and get the CPA even if the Casino job doesn’t require it also. I've heard a lot of people say they regretted not getting their CPA because they didn't think they would ever need it after they graduated. Granted these people were in their 40-50’s. You might also want to look into some finance classes if you’re looking at an Analyst position.

    But again that's all just my 2 cents, and if you do go ahead and get the CPA it'll give you that much more job security (and more $$$$$ for mods lol) which as we have learned in this economy you can't have enough of.
     
  8. Aug 19, 2010 at 6:08 PM
    #8
    kingN8

    kingN8 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Oh yea I am definitely getting my CPA. I might end up doing a BS in Accounting, a minor in Finance and my CPA. Might do those three instead of pursuing the Masters in Accounting.

    **Edit: I'm not sure if the Analyst position requires a CPA.
     
  9. Aug 20, 2010 at 7:32 AM
    #9
    CPA_Taco

    CPA_Taco Well-Known Member

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    No offense but a minor isn't going to do anything for you. You'll probably only be 6-12 hours away from a full blown BS degree and that will look 10000000 times better on your resume. And it just goes to show your future employee that you're willing to put in the extra work that's not necessarily required because you wanted to go above and beyond. Or you could at least sell that too them in your interviews, which is what I did. Plus for me, I finished my BS in Accounting with 125 credit hours and needed 25 to reach the required 150 for the CPA exam. After my Finance degree I was sitting at 149, so I just took another credit hour for my internship I was doing (which is super easy way to obtain credits btw).

    We had the CEO of Pepsi come and speak at our business school a couple years ago and someone asked him what he would recommend for the classes/degree for his job or for an executive level type job. Without hesitation he said Accounting and Finance. That's what first got me interested in the whole Accounting/Finance idea.

    Again that's just my 2 cents, so take it for what it's worth.
     
  10. Aug 20, 2010 at 9:08 AM
    #10
    kingN8

    kingN8 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Definitely man I hear ya. Sounds like a good idea to be thinking about. My instructor for my accounting class has a CPA!!!! so thats awesome I can also talk to him about somethings.
     
  11. Aug 20, 2010 at 10:11 AM
    #11
    CPA_Taco

    CPA_Taco Well-Known Member

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    Ya he'd be a good person to talk to as well. Basically as long as you get your CPA you'll be pretty well off no matter which direction you should go. If you need anything just shoot me a PM
     
  12. Aug 20, 2010 at 10:30 AM
    #12
    kingN8

    kingN8 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Will do sir, thank you
     
  13. Aug 20, 2010 at 10:35 AM
    #13
    blackhawke88

    blackhawke88 wo ai ni bao bei ^_^

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    I was an accounting major at Santa Clara University up until Junior year when i interned with PricewaterhouseCoopers. I hated that internship and transferred to Finance major. Now im working with a large insurance brokerage and Im having way more fun than at PwC.

    Accounting is pretty tough, they treat you like a machine. The work is very monotonous, and it takes 10-11 years to become a partner, which is where you really start to make money.

    Big 4 firms are really competitive to get into (PwC, KPMG, E&Y and Deloitte). Once you get in, it's a 11 year haul, with very small pay raises each year. However, if you really like accounting and can guarantee a 3.5 or above GPA going into interviews, then go ahead :)

    EDIT: btw, PwC made me an offer after my internship and I rejected it for something in the financial industry....expect $50K starting salary with a Big 4 firm coming out of college. You can get your CPAs while you work with an accounting firm as they will pay for it and give you study leave.

    Oh, and accounting has very little to do with math, it has a lot of memorizing rules and procedures...A LOT OF MEMORIZATION
     
  14. Aug 20, 2010 at 11:06 AM
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    rob_s

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  15. Aug 20, 2010 at 11:09 AM
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    blackhawke88

    blackhawke88 wo ai ni bao bei ^_^

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    IRS more likely, or finance branch of the Army if you want to go government. I know a girl that got recruited to the IRS as an agent from my school and was issued a firearm, but she hated guns, so she took a tazer instead :laugh:
     
  16. Aug 20, 2010 at 3:28 PM
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    CPA_Taco

    CPA_Taco Well-Known Member

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    Accounting definitely isn't for everyone, but there are people out there that enjoy their job in the accounting field as well.

    I actually did an internship with a national accounting firm while I was in school and I just don’t like the big firm scene. I much prefer the smaller accounting firms where you’re not just another filled cubicle and get worked to death with little gratification. Plus in the bigger accounting firms you’re highly encouraged to pick a department to work in (Tax, Audit, Business services) and you kind of get stuck there; at least where I did my internship. Whereas working for a smaller firm you get to do all those listed above and make yourself very valuable and open a lot of different jobs down the road with that diversified work experience. But I suppose if you just love tax to death and absolutely refuse to touch audit it might be better to look at a big 4 type firm.

    And in regards to the pay raises, it differs all across the board. But in this economy it’s going to be hard to get too much of a raise anywhere. It sucks for the generation that has graduated the past couple years and will be graduating the next year or 2.
     
  17. Aug 20, 2010 at 3:31 PM
    #17
    blackhawke88

    blackhawke88 wo ai ni bao bei ^_^

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    ^ X2 smaller accounting firms are pretty cool because you have a deeper relationship with your clients and you feel as though you make a deeper impact in your company. A lot of people will do or die to work for a Big 4 because it will look good on a resume, but working with a smaller firm will definitely be a better experience.
     
  18. Aug 20, 2010 at 3:41 PM
    #18
    woodygg

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    since we're going down this road... there is a HUGE flip side to this....

    IF you can get a job at a big 4, you're nuts leaving before 4-5 years, as you will have access to significantly more jobs and opportunities right away. few people have the makeup to make partner, nor are truly interested in even trying. Yes the pay is low (relatively) and the hours are long, but if you pay you dues for a few years, you will be head and shoulders above non-big 4 accountants. Not to mention you'll be working with the best, and get excellent experience. It's not for everyone, but it is a great path if you can get into a big 4.
     
  19. Aug 20, 2010 at 3:45 PM
    #19
    CPA_Taco

    CPA_Taco Well-Known Member

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    If you ask me, the experience you gain working at a smaller firm is more valuable than being able to say you worked at a big four accounting firm. This is exactly why I looked only at smaller firms. Plus I wanted to have that closer relationship with all the clients and not just a couple of them. Gives you a little something more to work for when you know the person you're doing the work for.

    So what industry are you working in specifically?
     
  20. Aug 20, 2010 at 3:45 PM
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    woodygg

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    IF you can get into a big 4 - do it. Put in a few years AND THEN you'll have your pick of the smaller firms. It will have a significant impact on you later. Spend some time looking at good corporate job openings, you will be shocked at how many of the REQUIRE big 4 experience. If I had known what I know now, I would've absolutely make every effort to have gone that path.

    This is coming from someone with a BA in Finance, BS in Accounting, my MBA and my CPA (not in any way bragging - just giving my background) - with a lot of experience in public and private company accounting/finance. I'm currently the controller for a medical device startup that is using E&Y as our auditors.

    Best of luck!
     
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