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Major in Accounting

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“Our God is a creative master who loves to bring beauty out of chaos. When an accountant takes piles of raw date and fashions the data into a meaningful sales report he is reflecting the image of God.”  ~Stephen Altrogge

                Accounting, at its core, is the process of keeping financial accounts. It has been called “the language of business” and is the means by which financial information is organized, interpreted and communicated.

               As our economies become more globalized, the need for math-minded individuals continues to rise. Accounting can be found in almost every industry around the world—from technology to medicine to sports to advertising. An accounting degree is a valuable commodity and those who possess them are often competitive job candidates. 

               So beyond strong math skills, what traits and aptitudes are needed in this popular, business-related field? For starters, it is imperative to be organized and detail-oriented in order to meticulously track financial records. Those in accounting careers tend to be analytical and logical in order to interpret facts and figures efficiently. It is imperative to develop strong interpersonal skills and to relate financial findings in an articulate, understandable manner.  Finally, it is necessary to be open to on-going education in order to keep up with accounting industry standards and ever-changing technology applications.

               Some classes you can expect to take while in college may include: Business law, Auditing, Administrative Management and classes pertaining to various accounting specializations including Cost accounting, Computerized accounting, Tax accounting and Government and Non-Profit accounting. It is possible that you may also be required to participate in an internship before your course of study is complete.

               You may be wondering what possible careers options you could expect after completing this versatile, four-year degree. Whether you find yourself working for an individual, a business, a non-profit, the government or launching your own private practice, job opportunities abound! Common professions for someone with an accounting degree include:

  • Bookkeeper or Auditing/Accounting Clerk. These folks record financial transactions for an organization and help produce necessary financial statements. Most often this involves entering appropriate financial data but not the analysis of it.
  • Accountant or Auditor. Tasked with the examination of financial statements for accuracy, these workers determine tax amounts owed and prepare tax returns for individuals or organizations.
  • Financial examiner or Revenue agent.  These individuals may be employed at a local, state or federal level to review tax returns or conduct audits for government entities. They may send out tax notifications and work to collect those amounts.
  • Financial/Budget analyst. Those in this line of work gather and analyze financial information. They also monitor spending, estimate future expenditures and help ensure efficient, accurate, legal budgets.
  • Management analyst. Seen as a financial consultant who brings economic recommendations, this specialization may require further experience or even an advanced degree, but also produces higher earnings. This specialization is in increasing demand with a projected growth rate of 12% over the next number of years.

If God has gifted you with a “numbers brain,” you have a high standard of integrity and the desire to serve others effectively with what He’s given you then an accounting major be just the way to glorify God as your service to Him!

A Future in Accounting

By Amber Gragert

Do you have a knack for numbers, math and business? Do the details of business excite you?  Then accounting

may be just the field for you!  Accounting has long been known as the language of business and, as an accountant, you would act as the interpreter to business owners.  Knowing ‘the numbers’ is what keeps businesses and anyone’s personal finances on track.  Accountant professionals are key in keeping businesses running efficiently, records accurate and taxes paid.

Majoring in accounting would also be your foundation if you choose to continue your education to become a certified public accountant (CPA).  There are many specializations to this major and opportunities in the field of accounting that span vastly through these specific areas: public accounting, private accounting, government and not-for-profit accounting. Some of those specializations include: Public Accounting, budget accounting, government accounting (IRS) and internal auditing.

Public accountants work for clients ranging from consulting individuals - such as your parents, government organizations, non-profit organizations and even large corporations – providing their expertise in budgeting, analyzing, accounting and auditing.  Did you know there was such a thing as a forensic accountant?  They specialize in investigating white-collar crimes like embezzlement and money laundering. Interesting, right?!

In an age where women still tend to get paid less compared to their male counterparts, women do particularly well in the accounting field.  The Bureau of Labor and Statistics says that over 63% of accountants and auditors in the United States are female.  Some other distinctive personality traits and skills of Accountants are: Honesty and integrity, leadership, extreme organization, effective communication, task oriented, detail oriented and self-starters.

The picture many have in their minds of their family accountant, you know, the guy wearing a green visor in a basement office punching numbers into his 9-key -- is a dated one.  The field of accounting is ever expanding and quite revered in business.  The need for good solid accountants is unquenchable these days. AICPA says, "The need for accounting graduates continues to grow, especially for master's degree candidates."  Do you have what it takes to be the back bone of business?

Sample Occupations:

  •  Actuary
  •  Collections Agent
  •  Cost Accountant
  •  Credit Analyst
  •  FBI Agent