Accounting And Finance

Accounting and finance are two distinct subjects in a broader field-business-that attracts more majors across American universities than any other sector. Finance and accounting diplomas are classified as money-making college degrees with excellent outlooks, comparatively likely to pay for themselves within a reasonable time frame.

While the pay and prestige in finance and accounting varies significantly, the field as a whole benefits from strong growth. Most sizable organizations hire financial professionals to manage their books and taxes. Skilled accountants and tax professionals are projected to remain in high demand in the years to come.

A worker in this field needs to be able to obtain and sustain relationships with clients. They need to be able to keep up with rapidly changing laws, trends and protocols. Students who work well with numbers, are independently motivated, have some business sense, are socially outgoing, and can work under pressure should consider a career in accounting and finance.

Finance and accounting graduates work in retail banking, insurance, pensions, as financial managers and auditors for small and large firms alike. A few become employed in "high finance," where the work centers on investment banking, asset and fund management, mergers and acquisitions, and private-party banking through the stock markets.

About Accounting and Finance


Accounting schools should be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB. Do state-based boards of accountancy require AACSB accreditation prior to licensing program graduates? It depends on the state. Note that some states base CPA licensure on the type of degree earned, and others on the accreditation of programs. About half of states do not distinguish between the two at all.


Specializations in this field are numerous, even within specific areas of focus. A technologically-focused accounting education, for instance, might focus on IT auditing, enterprise risk management, or accounting information systems. Some specializations are more competitive than others. For example, experienced IT auditors are being paid up to $100,000 annually, a 3.6% increase over 2012 according to

Here are eight accounting and finance positions that are in high demand:

1. Financial analysts

2. Business systems analysts

3. Senior accountants

4. Internal auditors

5. IT auditors

6. Cost accountants

7. Compliance officers

8. Controllers

Licensing and Regulation

For most freshly-graduated accountants, the first step is to join their state's CPA society and register with its Board of Accountancy. State CPA licensing is required for certain kinds of accounting work, such as document-filing with the SEC. Even where it is not required, licensure can boost accountants' employability.

Some financial professionals must comply with government regulations. While terms like "broker" or "financial planner" are frequently used in a generic sense, their definitions are more specific in a legal sense.

For example, a "broker-dealer" is someone that buys and sells securities of various types, either on behalf of customers as a broker, or for his own benefit as a dealer. Broker-dealers must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, and remain in good standing with FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Similarly, the SEC regulates investment advisors who manage more than $110 million in assets at a time.

Educational Options for Finance Professionals and Accountants

Primary Certifications

Most accounting graduates will want to acquire their CPA certificate, and for that they will need to pass the national exam and supply proof of solid work experience. The national Uniform CPA Examination is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or AICPA, the premier U.S. association of CPA professionals. AICPA is responsible for enumerating trade ethics and keeping practices compliant with government auditing protocols.

Bachelor Degrees

Most accountants have at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or other business-related field of study. This is also true of finance. Some accounting programs are very general and others, more specialized. For example, a bachelor's degree in business with an accounting concentration would provide a more general overview than a Bachelor of Accounting. Students should strategically map out their desired final outcomes in order to choose the right program.

These days, there's a lot of unique, emerging areas of focus as well, many of them emphasizing cutting-edge sectors such as energy and the environment, social entrepreneurship, risk management, business intelligence, telecommunications management, and more.

Master Degrees

Depending on the employer, a master's degree may be necessary to acquire a well-paying job. A Master of Business Administration, or MBA, is considered the gold standard in the business world. MBA programs have several traditional concentrations, among them accounting and finance, along with management and marketing.

Aside from an MBA, the most competitive graduate-level credential is that of the Chartered Financial Analyst, or CFA. The designation, issued by the CFA Institute, is the most reputable credential in the world of finance, especially in the field of investment analysis. CFAs are knowledgable about current practices in accounting, macroeconomics, ethics, money management and financial security. CFA degrees are considered equivalent to master's-level diplomas.

Although MBAs are usually costly and CFAs are very demanding, each of these distinctions carries a great deal of weight in a field where career advancement often hinges on having higher levels of education.

Secondary Certifications

There are numerous certifications finance professionals can achieve to demonstrate competence. Because this sector is so diverse, however, the necessity and value of additional certifications depends on the specific pathway students are considering. Those looking into risk management, for example, will want to take the FRM, or Financial Risk Manager, exam. Financial analysts may pursue the Chartered Financial Consultant or Chartered Life Underwriter certifications to get an edge in a field that rewards such efforts.

Featured Schools

Programs offered:

  • B.S. in Accounting
  • M.S. in Accounting
  • M.B.A.: Accounting
  • And more...

Programs offered:

  • Accounting - Bachelor's

Programs offered:

  • MS in Accounting
  • AA in Accounting
  • BS in Accounting
  • And more...

Programs offered:

  • B.S. in Accounting
  • M.S. in Accounting
  • A.S. in Accounting
  • And more...

Programs offered:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business - Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration - Finance and Investing

Programs offered:

We found 1591 schools offering accounting degree programs in the U.S.

>> See all 1591 Accounting And Finance Colleges in the U.S.

Accounting Schools Ranked By US News & World Report

The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX  |  Total Enrollment: 49996

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Champaign, IL  |  Total Enrollment: 38465

Degrees Offered: Two but less than 4 years, Bachelor's, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT  |  Total Enrollment: 32554

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN  |  Total Enrollment: 10800

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA  |  Total Enrollment: 29194

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree, First-professional certificate
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI  |  Total Enrollment: 38103

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA  |  Total Enrollment: 21853

Degrees Offered: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree, First-professional certificate
Indiana University - Bloomington
Bloomington, IN  |  Total Enrollment: 37076

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's, Two but less than 4 years, Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
New York University
New York, NY  |  Total Enrollment: 37150

Degrees Offered: Associate's, Two but less than 4 years, Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree, First-professional certificate
Ohio State University - Main Campus
Columbus, OH  |  Total Enrollment: 47952

Degrees Offered: Associate's, Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree

Browse All 1591 Colleges With Accounting Programs

Title City State Enrollment
Everest University - Jacksonville Jacksonville FL No Data
Florida National College - Flagler Campus Miami FL No Data
Keiser College Pembroke Pines Pembroke Pines FL No Data
Gwinnett College Lilburn GA No Data
Mercy College - Bronx Branch Campus Bronx NY No Data
Mercy College - White Plains Branch Campus White Plains NY No Data
Mercy College - Yorktown Heights Branch Campus Yorktown Heights NY No Data
Career and Technical Center at Fort Osage Independence MO 5
Lebanon College Lebanon NH 9
Seacoast Career Schools Sanford ME 11
Southwestern College Cincinnati OH 16
West Virginia Business College Nutter Ft Stonewood WV 23
Sawyer College - Merrillville Merrillville IN 31
Southeastern Business College New Boston OH 32
Business Informatics Center Inc Valley Stream NY 35
Sparks College Shelbyville IL 37
Southwestern College Florence KY 37
Mildred Elley Pittsfield MA 40
Fort Berthold Community College New Town ND 50
Bohecker College Ravenna OH 52
Altoona School of Commerce Altoona PA 57
The Economics Institute Boulder CO 63
Indiana Business College - Ft Wayne Fort Wayne IN 64
Webster College Fairmont WV 72
Erie Business Center - South New Castle PA 76
Prism Career Institute Cherry Hill NJ 77
Prism Career Institute West Atlanitc City NJ 77
Prism Career Institute Philadelphia PA 77
Sawyer College - Hammond Hammond IN 79
Interactive College of Technology Morrow GA 84
Central Texas Commercial College Brownwood TX 86
Everest University - Melbourne Melbourne FL 90
Ridley - Lowell School of Business Poughkeepsie NY 91
Ridley - Lowell School of Business Binghamton NY 91
Mountain State College Parkersburg WV 93
American Commercial College of Texas Odessa TX 94
Tri - State University - Fort Wayne Campus Fort Wayne IN 96
Long Island University - Westchester Campus Purchase NY 101
Brown Mackie College - Salina Salina KS 102
Business Skills Institute Mckinney TX 102
Morrison University Reno NV 104
Brown Mackie College - Moline Moline IL 108
Detroit Business Institute - Downriver Riverview MI 110
Southern California International College - Brea Brea CA 111
Aakers College Fargo ND 111
Cambria Rowe Business College Indiana PA 115
Gallipolis Career College Gallipolis OH 116
American Commercial College Abilene TX 117
American Commercial College Lubbock TX 117
American Commercial College San Angelo TX 117
American Commercial College Wichita Falls TX 117
Brown Mackie College Fort Wayne IN 119
Lee County High Tech Center North Cape Coral FL 120
Brown Mackie College - South Bend South Bend IN 125
Remington College Lakewood CO 133
Indiana Business College - Lafayette Lafayette IN 136
Technology Education College Columbus OH 136
Newport Business Institute Lower Burrell PA 136
Strayer University - Chesterfield Campus Midlothian VA 147
Indiana Business College - Marion Marion IN 148
Fegs Trades and Business School New York NY 148
Brookstone College Greensboro NC 150
Churchman Business School Easton PA 150
Spanish - American Institute Manhattan NY 152
Hunter Business School Levittown NY 153
West Virginia Career Institute Mount Braddock PA 153
Everest College - Phoenix Phoenix AZ 154
Los Angeles Ort Technical Institute - Sherman Oaks Sherman Oaks CA 154
Ridge Career Center Winter Haven FL 156
Webster College Holiday FL 157
Southeastern Business College Chillicothe OH 157
Draughons Junior College Inc Nashville TN 158
Brown Mackie College - Findlay Findlay OH 160
National American University - Colorado Springs Colorado Springs CO 161
Ohio Business College Sandusky OH 161
Gadsden Business College Rainbow City AL 162
Paine College Augusta GA 163
Rasmussen College - Mankato Mankato MN 166
Gadsden Business College - Anniston Anniston AL 167
Bryant and Stratton College - Willoughby Hills Willoughby Hills OH 171
Hawaii Business College Honolulu HI 173
American School of Business Shreveport LA 173
Butler Business School Inc Bridgeport CT 176
South University Columbia SC 177
National American University - Denver Denver CO 179
Schuylkill Institute of Business Technology Pottsville PA 189
Cambria Rowe Business College Johnstown PA 192
Ohio Business College - Lorain Lorain OH 196
Bryant and Stratton College - Rochester Rochester NY 200
Ottawa University - Milwaukee Brookfield WI 205
South University - Montgomery Montgomery AL 207
Indiana Business College - Anderson Anderson IN 207
Kilian Community College Sioux Falls SD 212
Bryant and Stratton College - Lackawanna Orchard Park NY 215
Notre Dame College Cleveland OH 215
Everest College - Vancouver Vancouver WA 215
Indiana Business College - Columbus Columbus IN 217
International Business College El Paso TX 221
Dominion College Roanoke VA 221
Indiana Business College - Muncie Muncie IN 237
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