Do you possess strong organizational and mathematical abilities? Are you seeking a lucrative, challenging, recession-resistant career? An MBA in accounting could unlock exciting opportunities in personal, corporate and forensic accounting spanning various industries.

The online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Accounting program from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) hones students’ skills in crucial areas such as financial statement analysis, advanced cost accounting and global accounting. By blending the fundamental training of an MBA with specialized accounting courses, the curriculum equips graduates to contribute their accounting expertise while fostering collaboration between different business departments in a wide range of roles.

Below are some common positions that MBA in accounting graduates often pursue, accompanied by compensation details (as of June 2023) and an overview of responsibilities.

Job Outlook and Compensation

Professionals with an MBA in accounting earn an average annual salary of $98k, according to Payscale. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows a median pay of $95,570 per year for financial analysts. Globalization, a growing economy and a complex tax and regulatory environment should continue causing strong demand, with 9% projected job growth between 2021 and 2031 (faster than average).

1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

The CPA designation grants individuals the authority to offer a wide range of public accounting services, including bookkeeping, audits, tax advising, financial document preparation, financial planning, fraud investigation and business valuations. CPAs pursue roles within large accounting firms, small accounting practices, public accounting, business and industry, nonprofit organizations and government institutions. In government, CPAs play a vital role in investigating white-collar crimes, conducting financial statement audits and research and analysis on financial management matters.

In private accounting practices, CPAs serve individual and business clients. They oversee financial records, prepare financial statements, review and create budgets, ensure compliance with legal and tax regulations, engage in strategic planning, manage cash flow and enhance financial management systems for their clients. The median salary for CPAs is $265,624 a year.

If you want to become a CPA, the TAMU-CC program’s four accounting concentration courses — Forensic Accounting; Advanced Auditing & Assurance Services; Taxes & Business Strategy; and Oil, Gas & Energy Accounting — will prepare you for the exam. TAMU-CC also offers an online Master of Accountancy program, which provides a path to the CPA designation.

2. Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants specialize in addressing a wide range of areas such as securities fraud, asset misappropriation, identity theft, compensation disputes and trademark and patent infringements. Their investigative methods involve analyzing financial records and transactions, tracing assets and employing other techniques to uncover evidence. These accounting specialists earn an average annual salary of $75,712.

Law enforcement agencies like the FBI and IRS, as well as fraud investigation units within major corporations and financial institutions, rely on forensic accountants to analyze and uncover evidence for the prosecution of financial crimes. Legal teams also engage them as expert witnesses in legal proceedings. As a growing trend, corporations are increasingly incorporating the services of forensic accountants within their internal audit, finance, compliance and global investigation departments.

3. Financial Analyst

This position plays a crucial role in asset management firms, investment banks, commercial banks, corporations, insurance companies, nonprofits and government agencies. Financial analysts thoroughly review and interpret financial statements — including income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements — to evaluate the company’s financial performance. They analyze key financial ratios and trends to assess profitability, liquidity and overall financial well-being. By conducting in-depth research, they gain insights into market dynamics and develop financial models and forecasts. Those in this role collaborate with executives, managers, department heads and other stakeholders and earn a median salary of $77,284.

4. Financial Reporting Manager

This position oversees corporate financial departments, including financial analysts and accountants. The financial reporting manager plays a key role in formulating strategies to enhance profits and revenues while providing insights to improve financial practices.

One primary responsibility is preparing and disseminating periodic financial statements for external stakeholders. They ensure that these reports, filings and documentation adhere to company regulations, professional standards and the reporting guidelines set by SEC and GAAP. Those in this role also collaborate with external auditors to provide requested information and assist in preparing materials for board meetings or shareholders. Financial reporting managers earn an average annual salary of $113,300.

5. Auditing Manager

This supervisory role entails ensuring the accuracy and reliability of financial and accounting data within a business. This position establishes and implements audit policies and procedures and prepares recommendations for enhancing related processes and systems. One essential duty involves examining the company’s financial records to assess compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

The auditing manager also monitors data and conducts analysis to ensure that employees adhere to compliance protocols, mitigating any potential risks. This role also guides a team of junior accountants or auditors, fostering their professional development. Auditing managers earn an average salary of $111,511.

6. Controller

This senior position oversees accounting operations within a company. Primary responsibilities revolve around accounting, budgets, transactions and compliance duties. In accounting, the role supervises day-to-day accounting operations, ensuring the accurate and timely recording of financial transactions. The controller is responsible for implementing accounting systems and internal controls that safeguard assets and ensure compliance with accounting standards.

Collaborating across departments, the controller helps develop annual budgets and financial forecasts. The role diligently monitors budget performance, analyzes variances and offers recommendations for cost optimization. The position also prepares and presents financial reports to stakeholders and ensures compliance with financial regulations and principles, such as generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Controllers earn a median salary of $245,862 a year.

Professional Possibilities for TAMU-CC MBA in Accounting Graduates

Accounting roles across sectors, environments and functions have been increasing for years, and the field shows every sign of vitality looking forward. If you would like to combine your innate talents with intensive business and accounting training, TAMU-CC’s online MBA – Accounting program can prepare you for a diverse array of rewarding roles.

Learn more about TAMU-CC’s online MBA with a Concentration in Accounting program.