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Executive Education in Accounting: Degree Overview

Many business schools offer executive education programs. These seminars provide four to five days of intense financial instruction for professionals who do not have finance backgrounds but need to know how to use financial data in business.

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Essential Information

Programs in executive accounting are open to executives who want to update their financial knowledge. These programs do not award degrees, although graduates may receive certificates. Over the course of these programs, experienced executives will learn to use the basic principles of accounting and finance to make sound business decisions through hands-on training, workshops, discussions and case studies. Understanding how financial statements are generated is an important aspect of these education programs.

There are no firm educational requirements, but participants should have at least a bachelor's degree. These programs are best suited to middle to senior-level managers and executives who have little academic background in finance or accounting. Some programs are recommended for executives with five or more years of experience.


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  • Accounting with Computers, General
  • Auditing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Taxation, General

Executive Education Programs in Accounting

Executive education programs in accounting teach participants the language of finance and how to communicate with the finance professionals in their own companies. Students learn to analyze financial statements, make use of the information they contain and use that information to help make financial decisions. Executives study the relationships between growth, profitability, cash flow and liquidity. They also learn about differing financial approaches and how to apply them in various situations. Topics covered during these programs may include:

  • Calculating ratios
  • Shareholder value management
  • Effective budgeting
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Reducing risk exposure
  • Working capital management

Popular Career Options

An executive education program is useful to people in many areas of business, including executives in marketing, sales, human resources, engineering and manufacturing.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Accountants and auditors earned a median annual salary of $67,190, reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2015. Jobs were expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations, at 11%, from 2014-2024, the BLS said.

Continuing Education Options

For those interested in a more thorough study of accounting and finance, many universities offer graduate programs with such a focus. For instance, there are MBA programs that would allow students to further their knowledge in the field through courses in taxation, financial accounting and managerial accounting, to name a few. These programs usually take 1-2 years to complete and have flexible schedules to accommodate working professionals.

Executive education programs in accounting are a useful way for experienced professionals to learn the basics of accounting and its applications to the business world. These rigorous programs are short, so they allow executives to get necessary education without interrupting their careers.

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