MBA vs. Accounting Master’s Degree

MBA vs. Accounting Master/s Degree

If you are interested in a managerial position in the accounting field, two courses of study available to you are the Master of Accounting (MAcc) or aMasters in Business Administration (MBA) with a focus in accounting. Generally, an MBA will give a broader base of business skills applicable to other areas, whereas an MAcc gives a more directed accounting education with specialized training for the CPA(Ceritified Public Accountants) exam (some MBA programs also offer some CPA-required credit hours). Any business needs accounting information in order to run smoothly, and either choice gives you a start into an accounting career.

Choosing an MBA in accounting is for the student who wishes to learn the business strategies used in management and wishes to go into business accounts administration. Study begins broadly, giving students a solid understanding of business management before moving into the more specific areas of accounting. Armed with the accounting MBA, a person can go on to a lucrative career as a treasurer, controller or even CFO (Chief Financial Officer), as well as open his or her own accounting firm. The median salary for a recent MBA graduate can be a significant pay raise from the basic CPA with no higher education, as well as a slight cut above the individual with an MAcc.

The MAcc course of study is specific to accounting without the base of business administration on which to place it. One advantage is that it takes a far shorter time to walk out with a degree (one year as compared with two). The other is that the focus is on preparing a student for the CPA exam, thus getting you into the workforce faster.

MAcc students will take courses such as accounting theory, budgeting, strategic planning, and more. A student with an MAcc is prepared to take not only the CPA, but other certification exams as well, such as the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and the Certified Financial Manager (CFM). A graduate can then go on to a career in mid-to-upper-level accounting positions, such as an independent CPA, an auditor or a financial controller in the private, public or government industries.

The course of study you choose, the MAcc or the accounting MBA, is whichever one fits in with your immediate situation and your short-term as well as long-term career goals. You may not have the time or financial investment right now to pursue an MBA. You may be excited about getting started as an independent CPA in your town, and therefore, eager to get your master’s in accounting. Or you may have plans of overseeing your own staff of auditors in a large corporation. Consider choosing either of these methods of advancing your education today.