What is an MBA in accounting?
Ready to advance your accounting career or polish your accounting skills, but don’t want another bachelor’s degree? Consider an accounting MBA.
Here, you’ll find the information you need when considering an accounting MBA. We cover what the degree is, who should apply, costs and learning formats, skills learned, and what to look for in an accounting MBA program.
We also discuss return on investment and potential flexibility of different on-campus and online options.
Electives in an accounting MBA program
Accounting MBA curricula include core MBA courses like business ethics, finance, managerial communication, organizational leadership, and marketing. Expect to take these classes during your first year.
The second year offers opportunities for completing MBA internships and capstone projects. You’ll also focus on accounting electives, which prepare you to take the CPA exam and explore accounting specializations.
Electives may include:
- Federal taxation and business strategy
- Financial statement analysis and reporting
- Forensic accounting
- Tax strategy for businesses
Hard skills you’ll learn
People skills you’ll learn
What to expect in an accounting MBA program
In general, MBA course loads can be rigorous. An accounting concentration requires the ability to conduct detailed data analyses.
If full-time, on-campus study seems overwhelming, consider taking classes part-time or through a remote learning program that allows you to work at your own pace.
Handling project deadlines and reading loads can be challenging for some. Finding time to study and complete internships may be hard for others.
Online study, in particular, pushes some students’ organizational and time management skills to the limit. Networking can prove daunting, especially for introverts. Distance learning means that interaction takes place via video conferencing, which doesn’t work for everyone.
Making a list of your strengths and potential problem areas can help you find an accounting MBA program in which you’ll succeed.
What to look for when choosing an accounting MBA program
Quality accounting MBA programs hold accreditation and offer student resources. Other things to consider are cost, location, and program length.
Make sure that the programs you’re interested in hold both school-wide and programmatic accreditation, which signifies adherence to standards set for high-quality instruction.
You can confirm on-campus and online business school accreditation on accrediting organizations’ websites.
Even if you’re studying online, school location matters. Programs may require on-campus intensives, and the tuition may vary by location.
If you’re planning to take the CPA exam, check your state’s rules to see if the program complies with educational requirements.
If you’re interested in career services, an alumni network, internship placement assistance, and MBA scholarship opportunities, make sure the school offers them.
Online programs should provide access to remote library resources, academic counseling, and advising.
Full-time accounting MBA programs usually take two years to finish, but part-time study can add a year or so to the timeline. In a hurry? Accelerated MBA programs take 12-18 months.
Accounting MBAs can carry heavy costs, but there are ways you can shrink them. Consider including attending a public university versus a private college, studying remotely to minimize commuting and parking expenses, and applying for grants and scholarships.