4 answers

What types of careers can I do if I major in accounting besides a CPA?

Asked Crossett, Arkansas

I know I like numbers and math. I have only read about traditional accounting jobs. #career #accounting #math #accountant

4 answers

Mariana’s Answer


After graduation, you may begin as an entry-level associate but the potential for growth can be great. Many accounting graduates will start as staff accountants, junior auditors in public accounting or assistants in the controller’s office in private accounting as they begin to plot their career paths.

After getting established and gaining experience, career advancement can be achieved through on-the-job performance and additional education or certifications like earning an MBA or CPA.

Rose’s Answer

Updated Ashburn, Virginia

I majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and did not intend to become a CPA. None of my jobs has required the license, and I have never done individual tax returns or auditing.

My first job was as a settlement accountant with a regional bank. I made sure the right amount of money was transferred from Visa/MC and smaller credit card associations to the merchants who had accepted credit card payments. I later supervised all of the accountants who worked with multiple portfolios.

I then worked at two small companies as an Accounting Supervisor who managed Payables, Receivables, Purchasing, Payroll, Corporate Tax, Benefits, Fixed Assets, Inventory, and Cash Flow. At a large company, each of these functions would be a separate department staffed by multiple accountants. It was a good way to get a broad range of experience in a short timeframe.

After gaining about five years of work experience, I was hired as an Analyst in a very large company's Finance department and began handling Accounts Payable Close. This involves setting up automated journal entry processes in an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. I also performed a lot of account reconciliations in that position. At this point, I began a four-year part-time MBA program, with night and weekend classes. My course of study was Finance/Accounting and General & Strategic Management.

Two years later, I was promoted to Senior Analyst and began to handle Unclaimed Property reporting, define new processes and participate in an ERP implementation. This involved cross-functional project management, working directly with the public and government agencies, and researching legal regulations. During this time, I graduated from business school and subsequently studied for and passed the CPA exam.

After five years as a Senior Analyst working with Accounts Payable, I became a Finance Consultant to the Customer Service department. This position exposed me to Operations, vendor management, building business cases, and creating/managing a large, complex budget.

Donna’s Answer

Updated Round Rock, Texas

There are many different opportunities for someone with a degree in accounting. I myself have a degree in accounting and am a licensed CPA. The usual route most people take with an accounting degree is to try out various accounting jobs to find out which areas they are truly interested in pursuing. There is tax accounting, cost accounting, auditing, general ledger accounting, accounts receivable, accounts payable, internal controls and many more. I myself have worked in many of these different areas but soon found that I would like to pursue other areas outside of accounting and my knowledge and background of all these different areas has enabled me to be able to work in other roles in project management, business controls and operational readiness to name a few.

Scott’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

With an accounting degree, you could decide to work for a public accounting firm or go into industry and join a company's accounting department. With either path, you could choose to sit for the CPA exam - its a great experience and a terrific credential to have on your resume. An accounting background is a great entry point into a company and many accounting graduates transition into finance careers