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Job Options With an MBA in Accounting

Increasingly, business schools are offering specialized Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. For those who love numbers, for example, a Master of Business Administration in accounting can pave the way to positions with higher salaries than for those with a general MBA.

La Salle University offers an MBA in accounting that students can earn in as few as 14 months. Specialized coursework helps students prepare for careers in auditing, financial reporting, public or corporate accounting, and more. This program also helps students fulfill some of the education requirements for Certified Public Accounting (CPA) licensure.

Can an MBA in Accounting Improve Job Prospects?

Earning an MBA with a specialization can give graduates an advantage. Those with specialized degrees, such as accounting, may even receive higher salaries. PayScale places the average salary for holders of an MBA in accounting at $94K per year (Sept. 2021), which is $3K higher than the salary for a general MBA.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reinforces the value of an MBA in accounting. Employment of accountants is expected to grow 7% through 2030. BLS also reports that accounting is among business occupations in which having a master’s can lead to higher pay. The top 10% of accountants earn more than $128,680 per year.

What Are Some Career Options for MBAs in Accounting?

When it comes to accounting, people often think of bookkeeping. But an MBA in accounting can lead to wide-ranging careers.

Forensic accounting might appeal to those who want to work with law enforcement to solve financial crimes. Securities fraud is one example. According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, FBI agents in managerial positions can earn a base salary of $93,907 to $143,598 per year. Forensic accountants also work in litigation to calculate damages in insurance cases.

Here are additional careers for MBAs in accounting, with salary data from September 2021:

Public Accountant: Public accountants may work for CPA firms or have their own businesses. Accountants are known for being busy at tax time. They may also, for example, audit a company’s financial statements to provide the public with accurate information for investment purposes. According to PayScale data, MBAs in accounting earn a median salary of $94,000.

Financial Controller: Financial controllers manage a company’s accounting operations and financial reporting. Activities may include preparing budgets, producing financial reports, and ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations. According to PayScale, financial controllers earn a median annual salary of $85,714.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO): With a median salary of around $396,700 (, this position offers high earning potential. A company or organization’s CFO ensures that a company’s day-to-day financial records are solid and oversees the financing of the business and its enterprise risk. A CFO also ensures that senior management has the data they need for tactical and strategic decision-making.

Accounting Professor: Those who enjoy teaching might consider a career in higher education; an MBA can be the first step toward this goal, though a Ph.D. may be required. In addition to teaching various classes, accounting professors may advise students, conduct research and oversee internships. Based on a 2020 Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) salary survey, accounting professors earn an average of $183,220 a year.

Accounting ranks in the top 15 business jobs, according to a U.S. News & World Report Best Business Jobs for 2021 list. High scores for future growth and work/life balance are contributing factors. Many employers prefer to hire accountants with advanced degrees. An MBA in accounting can increase job prospects, while also helping graduates meet the requirements for CPA certification.

Learn more about the La Salle online MBA in Accounting program.

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