Master of Business Administration (MBA): Accounting Degree Overview

Oct 20, 2019

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with a concentration in Accounting teaches students about advanced accounting concepts. Get details about the curriculum and future options for graduates.

Essential Information

The Master of Business Administration program with a concentration in Accounting provides a comprehensive overview of accounting theory and taxation. Often the curriculum includes seminars, case studies, internships and mentoring opportunities. Students may be required to complete independent scholarly research in accounting and taxation, leading to the completion of a final project.

Most programs require a bachelor's degree, sometimes in accounting or a related field. They must also submit GRE or GMAT scores and letters of recommendation. This program prepares graduates for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination.


Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting

A Master of Business Administration in Accounting program explores topics such as policy planning, corporate income taxation, accounting theory, tax ethics, estate planning, bilateral tax treaties, accounting research, auditing and accounting information systems. Coursework in a graduate accounting program usually includes business communications, finance, supply chain management, information technology and marketing subjects. MBA students may encounter courses in:

  • Digital accounting
  • Operations management
  • Fraud examination
  • Forensic accounting
  • Tax practices

Popular Career Options

This program is designed to prepare students for careers in the taxation, finance and accounting industries. Specifically, graduates might pursue career opportunities in accounting firms, bookkeeping agencies, payroll firms and government offices. Some accountants may work in freelance or contract positions. Career titles available to graduates include:

  • Public accountant
  • Management accountant
  • Internal auditor

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects from 2018-2028 that accountant and auditor employment growth will be 6%, which is faster than average (www.bls.gov). Median earnings for these professionals in May 2018 were $70,500. The BLS notes that possessing a master's degree related to accounting and the CPA qualification can improve prospects. PayScale.com reported in September 2019 that CPAs earned salaries ranging from $47,000 to $109,000.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of an MBA in accounting program are prepared to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that a CPA is required for any accountant filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition to passing the national exam, accountants must receive licensure by their State Board of Accountancy in order to receive the CPA designation. Most states require 150 semester hours of college coursework, along with work experience in accounting

Students interested in teaching and research may consider a Ph.D. in Accounting. An MBA is not required for entry into a doctoral program, although it may be beneficial. Graduate students may complete courses in auditing concepts and income taxation.

After earning an MBA in Accounting, graduates have the advanced business and accounting skills they need to sit for the CPA exam or enroll in a Ph.D. program in the field.

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