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Everything you wanted to know or should know about accounting

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Replies to: Everything you wanted to know or should know about accounting

  • NYCguy2020NYCguy2020 Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    I think economics is rather different than economics. So disliking one doesn't particularly mean you will dislike the other.
  • HopeToPastHopeToPast Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    3.5 in grad or undergrad?
  • Robby2306Robby2306 Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    A couple questions: im very interested in majoring in accounting. Im not great at math in general but i am very detail oriented, great at analyzing, planning, budgeting and solving. I would be majoring in accounting with a 4 year bachleor degree. My plan would be to see if i can be satisfied with that and kf necessary or i want to go further take the cpa. (That isnt my intention at first though). With an accounting degree is it releastic to work 9-5 (5/6 days a week) at a local bank and make 40,000-50,000? I want to have time for family etc but have a career as well. Also i have great people skills and communication.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Yes, it is realistic if you don 't work for a public accounting firm.
  • lirit166lirit166 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Hello, I am looking for some advice. I am 34 years old from Las Vegas, and about to finish an Associate of Business from the local community college. I am contemplating where to transfer to complete my BS in accounting (and also whether I should go for the accelerated BS to MS track so I could be ready to take the CPA exam right after college). I would really like to get an online degree, as it is much more convenient for me, and I have found a few options that seem to be on many top ranking online degree lists, such as Southern New Hampshire University and Colorado State College (global campus) These online programs seem to be highly rated, yet are not AACSB accredited. On the other hand the local university, UNLV has a bachelor's business program with a concentration in accounting that is AACSB accredited (both for business and accounting). They do not offer online classes, and as far as I can tell the reviews for the school are very mixed - it is accredited but many people consider it mediocre. I have also read here that usually recruiters will come to the local school, so I am worried about missing out on that if I choose to get an online degree. My main questions are:

    1. How important is the AACSB accreditation for a BS in accounting?

    2. Does anyone know how UNLV is perceived by employers, and whether it would be beneficial to attend there in person vs. getting an online degree?

    3. Would an AACSB accredited online degree be just as good as the one from my local university, when it comes to finding a job here in Vegas?

    4. How recommended is it to get a CPA certification?What can I expect to make if I don't get the CPA certification?

    5. Is it realistic to want a job in accounting that is 40 hours a week?

    Any advice on these matters would be greatly appreciated.

  • jotucker83jotucker83 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    edited August 2014
    Well, you are 34 and going after Accounting at this point in life? Do you have any prior experience? You do realize that there's a promotional ladder involved here and without experience you might only obtain low level bookkeeper/accounting clerk positions that you would work at for about 2 years making $20k - $30k a year, before you can qualify for the Staff Accountant positions in the $40k - $50k a year range? Just giving you the heads up, here's some of the answers to your questions:


    1. How important is the AACSB accreditation for a BS in accounting?

    Answer: AACSB isn't truly important at all when it comes to business degree accreditation in terms of what type of jobs you will be open to and not open to. The major difference is in a Ranked Business Degree program and a Non-Ranked program. The Ranked programs are the ones that the recruiters recruit directly out of into the large financial corporations, the non-ranked programs are the ones where you will need to utilize your networking/interview/job skills to obtain decent positions in small-medium sized employers. AACSB is promoted by Non-Ranked schools because the Ranked schools all are under AACSB, so it's a way for them to try and make themselves "appear" to be on the same level of quality. However, quality in terms of a Business Degree Program is directly tied to it's direct recruiting/network aspects, rather than the actual educational content which is the SAME across the board. Accounting is Accounting, Finance is Finance, Marketing is Marketing, it truly doesn't matter what college you go to for a Business related education just as long as it's regionally accredited. Furthermore, as mentioned, if you want to get into a large corporation you would want to be recruited and thus you want a Ranked school. If you are seeking to network/interview for small-medium sized employers you do not need to go to a Ranked school.


    2. Does anyone know how UNLV is perceived by employers, and whether it would be beneficial to attend there in person vs. getting an online degree?

    Answer: I would research this through networking with individuals at UNLV through LinkedIn.


    3. Would an AACSB accredited online degree be just as good as the one from my local university, when it comes to finding a job here in Vegas?

    Answer: I think I answered this above.


    4. How recommended is it to get a CPA certification? What can I expect to make if I don't get the CPA certification?

    Answer: Depends on what you are looking to do, Accounting is a subset of Finance, and just like the broad Finance area, Accounting is very broad. You can be an Internal Auditor, work in Public Accounting (for a small, medium or large firm or start your own firm), you can do Tax Returns only, you can go into Forensic Accounting, you can go into Personal Financing Planning, etc. Also, you can go into Commercial Finance, Personal Finance, etc. It's hard to answer this question because it depends on your career plan, the market you will be working in, targeting, etc. I will tell you though, if you are going to go through the hassle of obtaining an Accounting degree, why NOT grab the CPA? You will still need a CPA Review course to pass the exam but it's not like you haven't already been through majority of the material.

    5. Is it realistic to want a job in accounting that is 40 hours a week?

    Answer: Again, depends on the market you will be working in, the position(s) you will be working in, etc. If you are going into a medium or large Public Accounting firm you are going to be pulling more than 40 hours a week.
  • lirit166lirit166 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Thank you for the information. Yes I realize it is a late start but I have taken many detours during my 20s that led me nowhere in the career front, and most of my experience is as a food server, which I decided I did not want to do for the rest of my life.
  • jotucker83jotucker83 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    edited August 2014
    Have you looked into Restaurant Management? That might be better for you seeing that the bulk of your experience is from working within a restaurant setting. Whatever you do, understand that it's an experience component and education component for promotion to the "good positions." For most professional positions that pay the $50k - $70k and up level, you have to come to it with not just a bachelor's or master's, but you have to have a solid 3-6 years of professional experience as well.
  • MSAgradMSAgrad Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Lirit166...Just thought I would chime in here. I just recently graduated with a MSA at 36. Life is short and you should follow your dream. Yes, it is tough at this age to break into the business. I found that big4 firms are not interested in older graduates unless you have earned your license. There are plenty of small to midsize firms to get your experience in. Good luck!
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    JoeTucker83's post wasn". How important is the AACSB accreditation for a BS in accounting?

    Answer: AACSB isn't truly important at all when it comes to business degree accreditation in terms of what type of jobs you will be open to and not open to. The major difference is in a Ranked Business Degree program and a Non-Ranked program. The Ranked programs are the ones that the recruiters recruit directly out of into the large financial corporations, the non-ranked programs are the ones where you will need to utilize your networking/interview/job skills to obtain decent positions in small-medium sized employers. AACSB is promoted by Non-Ranked schools because the Ranked schools all are under AACSB, so it's a way for them to try and make themselves "appear" to be on the same level of quality. However, quality in terms of a Business Degree Program is directly tied to it's direct recruiting/network aspects, rather than the actual educational content which is the SAME across the board. Accounting is Accounting, Finance is Finance, Marketing is Marketing, it truly doesn't matter what college you go to for a Business related education just as long as it's regionally accredited. Furthermore, as mentioned, if you want to get into a large corporation you would want to be recruited and thus you want a Ranked school. If you are seeking to network/interview for small-medium sized employers you do not need to go to a Ranked school."

    Response: I do agree that business and accounting firms probably don't base hiring decisions on AACSB accreditation. Thus, I agree with Joe about this. HOWEVER, AACSB accreditation does come in handy if you want to attend an AACCB graduate program. They prefer people who graduate from an AACSB undergrad program. However, for jobs, it doesn't matter.
  • UCBUSCalumUCBUSCalum Registered User Posts: 864 Member
    Taxguy: excellent post and discussion on majoring in accounting and accounting career and related careers. There are two points I would like to add. The first is that the Big 4 firms prefer big name and elite universities. They will favor elite schools over the other schools. Secondly, it is difficult to get into investment banking directly from accounting. Generally, one would need to get an Ivy league or an elite/top 15 MBA such as one from Stanford, MIT, Northwestern, Univ. of Chicago, Haas, etc. Years ago, I worked in a Big 8 firm and a friend of mine was one of the very few who got into investment banking without getting an MBA or an MBA from an elite school. He did it by going overseas and then coming back to the US. He has a Haas undergraduate degree and was accepted into Columbia's MBA program, but turned it down to continue working. Quite a few of my public accounting friend (after getting their CPA licenses from the working in the Big 8 firm I was at) went on to MBA schools at Wharton, Chicago, Stanford, Harvard and Northwestern. After the MBA, they all went into investment banking.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    edited October 2014
    USCUSCalum, Year ago, I graduated from Baruch College of the CUNY. I did NOT attend an elite college although I did have a very strong gpa in accounting and overall. I had no trouble getting offers from several big 8 firms. Maybe things changed since then, but I doubt it. My son has friends who majored in accounting at Towson University and University of Maryland, some of whom got offers from big firms. The key has always been to get at least an overall 3.5+ in accounting related subjects and at least a 3.4+ overall GPA. Today, these requirements might be a bit higher due to grade inflation and competition. I would also bet with you that if we were to check out all of the people who work at a big 4, most of them didn't attend the top 10-15 elite schools or the top 10 ranked accounting programs.

    As far as getting into Wall Street or working in Investment banking, you maybe right. However, again, I had a wall street job for a summer job during school and was offered a full time job upon graduation. I would have taken it had I not already been accepted into law school.
  • UCBUSCalumUCBUSCalum Registered User Posts: 864 Member
    Taxguy, I worked in LA and the San Francisco offices early in my public accounting career. The Big 8 (now Big 4) back then did hire quite a few from smaller schools and less known schools. However in LA, it seems like about 50% of the new hires were mostly from USC, UCLA plus few more from big name schools or prestigious schools like Notre Dame, Cornell, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, other UC's, etc. The rest of the other 30 to 50% were from other less known schools. Maybe other offices around LA were not like that. In the SF office, the new hires were around 50% mostly from UC Berkeley, a few from USC, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, Notre Dame, Cornell, etc. The rest of the 30 to 50% were from less known schools. I know some of the surrounding Bay Area offices like Oakland, Walnut Creek, San Jose did not have the high representation from UC Berkeley.

    My friend from the Big 8 firm I worked at got into investment banking and went with a little known boutique investment banking firm. The friends I have from the Big 8 firm got into big name investment banking firms like Goldman Sachs, Banker's Trust, JP Morgan (Morgan Stanley), etc. by getting elite MBA's from Stanford, Ivy League, Chicago, etc. First, they got their CPA licenses and then quit their jobs at the Big 8 firm to get their MBA's (generally 2 year programs).

    This is an excellent discussion for young kids comtemplating a career in accounting. These kids will still have to get top grades and the work is hard. Even in industry, it is hard work (because of all the cost cutting done the past few decades and the numerous deadlines), but the hours are not as long as in public accounting. Other professions such as law, computer science, etc. also require hard work.. The salaries in accounting and the other mentioned professions are good. I think the health professions (optometry, dental, pharmacy, medical, etc., which are the most competitive to get into) provides the best work - life balance and the income is good.
  • kmwjeskmwjes Registered User Posts: 169 Junior Member
    Agree that this is an excellent discussion for young kids considering accounting. Thanks to TAXGUY and other posters, DS was able to sagely strategize his college path as an accounting major with a goal to work for a big 4 in New York or large city and he is on track! 1)chose university with active Big 4 recruiting; 2)High GPA - 4.2; 3) Leadership roles, excellent resume 4) Excellent interview skills
    DS landed internship with Big 4 in New York. He was accepted into McCombs (UT), TAMU, and others full freight but chose to attend The University of Alabama on scholarship leaving his college fund intact for his MBA.
  • Acc0untin9Acc0untin9 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Hello I had a question for any Accounting majors out there. Do any of you dislike Finance classes as much as I do? I find corporate finance extremely difficult and hard to get an A in the course as well. Is it normal for an accounting major to dislike finance and find it difficult?
This discussion has been closed.