Accounting Work

Four things to do with an accounting degree

An accounting degree opens many doors in the business world. From auditing, tax planning and compliance, to strategic financial analysis, individuals with accounting degrees are in high demand. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts over 136,000 annual openings for accountants and auditors during the next decade

The University of Florida Fisher School of Accounting offers both a bachelor’s degree (BSAc) and a master’s degree (MAcc) in accounting. Graduates have gone on to join such firms as KPMG, Deloitte, EY, PwC, Grant Thornton, Cherry Bekaert, Marcum, Alvarez & Marsal, BDO USA and Spicer Jeffries. Starting salaries typically range from $54,000 to $100,000, with an average salary of $67,565 and an average signing bonus of $3,000. As one continues in this field, salaries have been known to double every five to six years

Many accounting positions require a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license as well. While the accounting degrees offered at Fisher do not guarantee a CPA license, they can play a role in fulfilling the CPA requirement of obtaining 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting. 

In fact, the Fisher School ranked No. 5 among U.S. public universities for best colleges and No. 6 among publics for best graduate schools, according to U.S. News and World Report. As one of the top accounting schools in the country, graduates hold a degree with a prestigious reputation across the industry and have a multitude of opportunities before them. 

Combining practical business skills and specialized financial knowledge, accounting majors are an incredible asset to any team. Below are four things you can do with an accounting degree. 

1. Audit Associate 

Audit staff members conduct financial statement audits, assess risks, perform testing and verification procedures, ensure compliance with regulations, evaluate internal controls, communicate audit findings, collaborate with the audit team and participate in professional development programs. They work closely with clients to examine financial records, identify risks and validate the accuracy of financial information. Audit associates will often analyze controls, document findings and communicate results to senior team members and clients. 

2. Advisory Associate 

Many advisory associates collaborate with clients to understand their specific business challenges, analyze data, and deliver strategic solutions and recommendations. Advisory staff engage in a wide range of projects, such as process improvement, risk management, technology implementation, mergers and acquisitions and financial analysis. They conduct research, gather and analyze data and develop insights to help clients make informed business decisions. Advisory staff also help create business plans, conduct market assessments and provide recommendations for operational enhancements. They work closely with cross-functional teams, including experts from different disciplines, to deliver comprehensive and tailored solutions that address unique needs of clients. Their expertise and industry knowledge contribute to driving organizational transformation and maximizing business performance. 

3. Tax Associate 

The responsibilities of tax associates encompass various aspects of tax compliance and advisory work. Tax staff members often prepare tax returns, research and interpret tax laws and regulations, assist with tax planning strategies and maintain client relationships. They also gather and analyze financial data to calculate tax liabilities, identify potential tax deductions or credits and ensure compliance with applicable tax laws. Responding to inquiries of tax authorities, preparing tax provisions and supporting clients during tax audits often falls under their purview as well. Tax associates work alongside experienced professionals to gain knowledge and skills in tax compliance, stay updated with tax legislation changes and provide valuable tax advice to clients.

4. Forensics Advisory Associate 

As a forensic advisory associate you will often apply accounting, investigative and analytical skills to uncover financial fraud, misconduct or other financial irregularities. Forensic accountants work closely with legal teams, corporations, government agencies or individuals to investigate and analyze financial data, transactions and records. They utilize various techniques such as data analytics, forensic interviews and financial modeling to identify potentially fraudulent activities or discrepancies. Forensic accounting staff members help to trace and recover assets, assess economic damages, prepare expert reports and provide litigation support. They also collaborate with other professionals, such as auditors, lawyers and law enforcement personnel to gather evidence and support legal proceedings. The role of forensic advisory associate requires a strong understanding of accounting principles, legal regulations and investigative techniques to effectively uncover financial wrongdoing and present findings in a clear and concise manner.

An accounting degree from the Fisher School of Accounting allows graduates the adaptability and knowledge to embrace numerous challenges they may find in a variety of career fields. 

“An accounting degree is one of the most versatile business degrees that affords students the flexibility to pursue a variety of careers,” said assistant director of Undergraduate Business Career Services Sierra Bice. “There is a saying in the accounting school that an accounting degree can do anything in business, but any business degree cannot do accounting. The basis of that saying comes from the heavily researched and widely discussed notion that the language of business is accounting. Our accounting program will teach you the fundamentals of accounting and leave students with the ability to communicate all things business when they graduate.”

Interested in pursuing a degree in accounting? Visit the Fisher School of Accounting for more information.