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Career Opportunities

Department of Accountancy

Majoring in accounting offers students many opportunities for career paths that provide for advancement. Careers include CPA (certified public accountant), CMA (certified management accountant), internal auditor, financial analysts, CFO (chief financial officer), controller, or general business manager. All economic activity, whether conducted by business, not-for profit entities, or governments must be recorded, summarized, and analyzed in order to make appropriate decisions. All public held companies must issue financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and the financial statements must be audited by independent public accountants (a CPA firm). Non-public entities typically do this as well because they need financial statements to run their business and third parties (e.g., banks) may demand audited statements. Experts in accounting, auditing and taxation play an essential role throughout this process.

Career opportunities often start with a public accounting firm in an accounting or tax role. The audit process (which in effect is checking the financial statements) is essential for an orderly functioning of the capital markets and many people spend their whole career in public accounting advancing up the ranks to partner. Others work in private industry (often switching over after several years in public accounting and passing the CPA exam). Having the skills to prepare financial statements or establishing internal control systems, or preparing budgets and forecasts, or doing tax planning typically leads to promotion up the corporate ladder potentially to controller or chief financial officer positions. Governments and not-for-profit entities need accountants as well.

A management accountant applies his or her professional knowledge and skill in the preparation and presentation of financial and other decision oriented information to assist management in the planning and control of the operation as well as performance evaluation of the entity’s endeavors.

In summary, the accounting profession offers students virtually unlimited opportunities as well as continuous and interesting challenges throughout their careers. There will always be a need for good accountants.

For more information about career opportunities in accountancy, please visit Baruch College's Career Development Center.

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