5 Great Accounting Degree Concentrations

Top Accounting Specializations

  • Tax Accounting
  • Financial Accounting
  • Management Accounting
  • Internal Auditing
  • Forensic Accounting

Adopting a specialty in accounting may offer an accountant the opportunity for career advancement and higher pay, and these five great accounting degree concentrations can help a student widen his or her job prospects, as well as create an interesting job environment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that accountants and auditors are a profession with “faster than average” growth, and specializing in a concentration or earning a graduate degree in one of those areas may result in even greater employment openings.

1. Tax Accounting

At the start of an exploration into an accounting major, many future students will assume that all accountants are tax accountants. In fact, tax accounting is just one of several specializations within the industry of accounting, and it requires a specific curriculum and knowledge of tax rules published by the Internal Revenue Service. An effective tax accountant will keep abreast of current tax law to ensure a timely and accurate submission of company tax returns. One of the unique features of a tax accounting specialization is that a student will usually need to complete a bachelor’s degree, as well as additional classes, to qualify to take the CPA exam.

2. Financial Accounting

A financial accountant will look at a company’s history and create reports that the company may use to make future decisions. Various departments in the organization will use the financial accountant’s reports to make internal updates and changes accordingly. A financial accountant will also use standardized guidelines to create reports, and companies will use the information provided to create routine updates on a regular schedule regarding the organization’s financial health. A financial accountant will use double-entry bookkeeping, which is a method of recording how each financial transaction affects multiple accounts.

3. Management Accounting

The role of a management accountant is to organize data on cash flow, revenue, and outstanding debts to create reports that an organization may use to make future business choices. Those reports will influence the company’s day-to-day operations, as well as major business decisions that may impact all employees working at the company. One of the interesting facets of management accounting is that it requires the accountant to combine financial data with non-financial information to create recommendations for future business decisions.

4. Internal Auditing

Accounting majors with interest in the global business community may wish to explore internal auditing as a specialty. Topics under discussion in such a specialization include risk management control, the systematic review of company operations, and evaluation of efficiencies or perceived inefficiencies. With enough time spent at an organization, an internal auditor will have an impact on virtually every facet of business operations. Accountants interested in becoming entrepreneurs or starting their own business may wish to consider an internal auditing specialization.

5. Forensic Accounting

Often used as a tool during litigation, forensic accounting is a specialty where an accountant may be called into a court session to give testimony. The Forensic CPA Society shares that a forensic accountant may calculate the losses or economic damages sustained before, during, or after a breach of contract. A forensic accountant may also investigate to solve disagreements related to business acquisitions, warranties, and lawsuits. Accountants with an eye for investigation and an interest in law may wish to pursue a concentration in forensic accounting.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs

Accounting represents a diverse profession that can provide a steady and reliable source of income, as well as the opportunity to become an entrepreneur, business owner, or a member of the executive level at a corporation. Deciding to become an accountant is just the first step in one’s path toward the working world of accountancy. The next step is choosing one of these five great accounting degree concentrations.