Controllership Master's Degree Programs

By earning a master's degree in controllership, you can prepare for a great career as a certified public accountant. This article goes over the usual classes that are a part of a master's program and how you can earn credits online. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Why Should I Pursue a Controllership Master's Degree?

Controllership refers specifically to accounting and finance on the management level. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that most financial managers need a bachelor's degree. However, the BLS goes on to say that a master's degree will put you in better stead when looking for a position, such as controller, in financial management.

The BLS further states that controllers often supervise the operation of the budget, auditing and accounting departments. It's likely that such a position would require you to be a certified public accountant (CPA). A master's degree program may fulfill the specific education requirements for you to be eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination administered by the American Institute of CPAs. Since requirements differ by state, you should look into those of the state in which you plan to become licensed.

You may be able to locate a program through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The AACSB maintains an online directory of schools that have been accredited and present undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting and business.

AccreditationThe AACSB accredits schools in business and accounting
Program LengthOne to two years
Class FormatIn person or online
Career Advancement Certified Management Accountant (CMA) examination
Median Salary (2018)$127,990 (Financial Managers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)19% (Financial Managers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Can I Expect in a Program?

In order to qualify for admission, you must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. If the degree isn't in accounting, you may have to complete some appropriate prerequisite courses prior to beginning the program.

A master's degree program usually consists of about 30-36 credits and can take 1-2 years to finish. Completion can lead to a Master of Accounting or Master of Science in Accounting degree. You may be able to choose a finance, managerial accounting or controllership track in the program. In other cases, you'll find individual courses dealing with varied controllership functions within a general accounting program. Your choice of advisor-approved electives may effectively establish a concentration in controllership.

Typical courses can include financial analysis and reporting, controllership, accounting research, cost accounting, accounting information systems, commercial transactions and auditing. Schools may offer you the opportunity to complete an internship at a school-partnered firm or organization.

What Are Some Online Opportunities?

You may be able to complete all required courses by way of an online delivery program. Usually, programs are presented asynchronously. This means you can access the courses and discussion rooms or submit assignments at your convenience, within a specified time frame. This flexibility makes an online program well suited to individuals who have personal or work schedules that may preclude their participation in a traditional on-campus program.

What Are Some Wage and Employment Projections?

The BLS projected that employment opportunities for financial managers, including controllers, would increase 19 percent from 2016-2026. This keeps pace with the average for all occupations. Because of the change in regulatory measures and the increased globalization of finances, there will be a constant need for financial managers.

The BLS also states that your job opportunities may be better if you become designated a certified management accountant (CMA). With your degree and two years work experience, you may be eligible to sit for the CMA examination administered by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). In May 2018, the BLS determined the median annual wage for financial managers to be $127,990.

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:

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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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