An undergraduate degree program in corporate accounting can prepare graduates for work as certified accountants or accounting directors within large corporations. One such degree is a Bachelor of Science in Corporate Accounting. Meanwhile, students in graduate degree programs might gain the knowledge necessary to take on more advanced responsibilities or to teach at the collegiate level.
Within these programs, students can expect to learn about financial strategies, accounting fundamentals, international finance, and mergers and acquisitions. In addition to working as an accountant, the following programs might lead to positions such as stock broker, financial analyst, auditor and investment banker. Depending upon their specific career goals, some accountants are required to become licensed.
Bachelor of Science in Corporate Accounting
A 4-year bachelor's degree program in corporate accounting is generally similar to a regular undergraduate degree program in accounting. Students are expected to learn about the basics of financial accounting, financial statement analysis, cost management and taxation policies. However, corporate accounting students also gain a strong understanding of how corporations run and what particular taxation and financial regulations apply to large business organizations.
Other topics relevant to students enrolled in a corporate accounting degree program include costs control, business planning, management strategy and asset management. Students enrolled in such a program learn not only how to become an accountant for a large corporation, but how to manage or oversee an entire accounting division.
Most 4-year universities offering a degree program in accounting or corporate accounting require that incoming students have at least a high school diploma or GED. Freshmen interested in declaring an accounting major typically need a strong academic background in mathematics, statistics and communication.
In addition to core accounting courses, undergraduate programs in corporate accounting also feature courses related specifically to the culture of corporations. Some examples of both types of courses include:
- Financial accounting and reporting
- International finance
- Cost management
- Corporate finance and accounting
- Managerial communication and professional ethics
- Business economics
Bachelor's Degree in Corporate Finance
A bachelor's degree program for corporate finance teaches a range of subjects, including communications, management and accounting. Areas of study typically broach financial reporting, organizational psychology and international markets. General education courses in history, sociology and linguistics round out the degree program. This program typically results in a Bachelor of Science, but may also be offered as a Bachelor of Business Administration.
A high school diploma is a basic requirement for any student hoping to earn a bachelor's degree in corporate finance. Along with an admissions essay, most admission programs often require applicants to submit scores from either SAT or ACT examinations.
Classes for credit toward a bachelor's degree in corporate finance commonly include:
- Personal investment strategies
- Performance evaluation
- Managerial finance
- Fundamentals of accounting
- Business finance strategies
Graduate Degrees in Finance
Graduate-level finance programs incorporate subjects in corporate record keeping, real estate valuation and risk analysis. Students learn about an array of global institutions and markets. Candidates for a master's or doctoral degree in finance typically focus on a specific area, such as corporate finance, financial management or real estate finance.
The primary requirement for admission to a graduate finance program is a bachelor's degree, preferably in a related field. Favored applicants perform highly on standardized tests, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). A statement of intent, copy of a resume or letters of recommendation may also be asked.
The curriculum for a graduate degree in finance comprises an array of classes in economics, financial technologies and asset management. Sample topics are:
- Theories of international trade
- Revenue optimization
- Financial engineering
- Mergers and acquisitions
- International monetary policies
Popular Career Options
Those with a bachelor's degree in corporate finance can find employment opportunities in the following occupations:
- Stock broker
- Investment adviser
- Financial reporter
- Fraud investigator
- Investment banker
Individuals with graduate degrees in finance might find employment with brokerage houses, banks or financial regulation agencies. Career titles may include:
- Financial analyst
- Fund manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not differentiate corporate accountants from other types of accountants within its reports (www.bls.gov). However, the organization has found that accountants and auditors in general numbered about 1.2 million in 2018. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for accountants was $70,500 in 2018.
The Institute of Management Accountants offers certification relevant to the field of corporate accounting. Professionals in the industry can apply to earn a Certified Management Accountant designation proving they have mastered the skills of managerial accounting. Any accountant looking to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must also gain licensure from a state Board of Accountancy and become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Accounting offers a couple of different options for specialization, including corporate finance and corporate accounting. Many graduates take positions in finance and investments, but some will go on to pursue CPA status from their state boards.