Accounting & Finance Certification and Degree Programs

Despite usually being offered as separate degree programs, the fields of finance and accounting are somewhat related, and degree programs focusing on one subject also typically include instruction on the other. Certifications in the field are voluntary depending on your intended career path. Read on to learn more about these areas of study and the certification options available in each field. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

The field of accounting involves bookkeeping, valuation and reporting of assets. The field of finance involves consideration of the general function of capital as well as the valuation and allocation of financial resources.

Courses Financial reporting, tax accounting, accounting regulations, cost management, budget control
Degrees Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting; generalized majors in finance and business
Certifications CPA certification granted by the state's accountancy board (must typically have a master's degree and work experience); Certified Managerial Accountant exam; Chartered Financial Analyst certification

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Accounting Degree Programs Are Available?

Associate's degrees prepare you to work as an auditing or accounting clerk or as a bookkeeper. An Associate in Applied Science in Accounting, Business Studies may be offered. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most employers require that accountants have at least a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree in accountancy may be an option to consider in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

What About Graduate Degrees?

A master's degree is required to work as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), the certification required to offer accounting services to the public and file documents with government agencies. A Master of Accounting degree might be available.

What Finance Degree Programs Are Available?

Finance degree programs are typically offered through a school's business department as a major, but may also sometimes be offered as a concentration within a general business degree program. Generally, bachelor's and master's degrees are available. In these programs, you learn about currency, investments and banking. You might be able to find a Master of Science in Finance degree program. A Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance could be offered as well.

Dual finance and accounting master's degree programs are available. These programs require approximately 12 months of study in both finance and accounting subjects.

What Accounting Certifications Can I Earn?

CPA certification is granted by each state's accountancy board. To become certified you must usually have a master's degree in the field, experience working as an accountant and pass an exam. According to the BLS, to file documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission you must be a CPA.

If you are a licensed accountant interested in assuming a managerial position, you can also become a Certified Management Accountant. To earn this certification, you must be a member of the Institute of Management Accountants, have a bachelor's degree and one year of experience and pass an exam.

What Finance Certifications Can I Earn?

You can earn the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification from the CFA Institute. To earn this certification, you must pass a series of three exams focusing on investment concepts such as the time value of money, inflation, derivatives and dividend policy.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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