Would like advice on accounting degree?

Hi. I have a degree, but would like to get a second degree in accounting. There seems to be Masters of Accounting degrees and the general Bachelor's
degrees in business concentrating on accounting. Is the Master's degree actually worth more than the Bachelor's degree? Because I was thinking of getting the Master's, but I've never seen any accouting job listings asking for the Master's degree. Do they even care or is it a fluff degree some schools offer for "professionals"? Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Karen C. wrote:

*Most* Masters in accounting these days are offered as "tack-ons" to the end of the Bachelors degree, in order to meet eligibility requirements (more hours than a 4-year degree normally gets) to sit for the CPA exam.
If your first degree was not business related, you will probably have to take what are called "stem classes" before enrolling in the courses which actually count towards the Masters degree, which would make the thing take almost as long as a second Bachelors, and probably cost a lot more.
I just finished my BBA in Accounting (and MIS). It is my second Bachelors degree, and the first one, which I picked up in 1992, was totally unrelated.
Employers want to know that you are eligible to sit for the CPA exam, once you graduate, for a job in public accounting. Check with your state board of accountancy: http://www.nasba.org/nasbaweb.nsf/lp (Click on "site map" and then "Boards of Accountancy")
There's also a chart here which offers a higher-level view of requirements to sit for the exam, by state: http://www.nasba.org/NASBAfiles.nsf/3BC653050D2D8FA086256C1B00792FF5 /$file/CPAPractReq2002.PDF
It doesn't break it down into XYZ number of accounting hours and ABC number of other business hours, so get that from your state board.
After reviewing that information, THEN take a look at whether a Masters or Bachelors is the more appealing route, and check with the universities you are interested in, to see if they'd let you jump right in, or make you take stem classes (if you are leaning towards the graduate degree).
Good luck!
-Holly
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masters accounting ("MACC") is a degree given mostly to immigrants who need to get a US accounting degree to get a US job. american students usually get an MBA degree, which opens up many more doors than an MACC.
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mrs. eliza humperdink wrote:

Not sure about the "mostly" above, but that would be believable. The MBA would still likely be subject to stem courses, so it would put an American student with a non-business undergrad in the same boat. If someone (regardless of whether they are a foreign or American student) just needs the hours to qualify, I'd say pick up the Macc or MPA or whatever. Save the MBA for down the road when you have more experience in the business world, and when an employer can pick up the tab (ideally).
-Holly
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Thank you so much for the information. I also have one of those MIS degrees. But thanks to outsourcing, it's pretty useless. I was wondering if accounting had the same problems in the public sector. I did not see many "H1-B" type sponsorship notes in the job listings for accounting compared to the horrible programmig jobs that are just litterd with them. Are companies more worried about sending their financial information overseas?
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Karen C. wrote:

MIS should have more use than just IT (which is what I was doing before I returned to college). Anyhow... by "public sector" I assume you do NOT mean governmental accounting-related jobs, but rather public accounting.... public accounting in audit requires a good deal of face time, which cannot really be done feasibly or affordably through outsourcing, so it's not likely to be shipped overseas. It's not a matter of companies not wanting their financial information sent overseas (it's publicly available if you're publicly traded) so much as the nature of the work performed. Can't do an inventory count/obvservation from China :)
On the other hand, anything compliance/form related CAN be shipped overseas. That's what happened with IT, and is what bites into tax a bit now, too. Auditing, though, I think is safe.
-Holly
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I see. Thank you Holly. I guess I have to be careful about what area of accounting I should study. Do you recommend that I should avoid studying corporate taxation? I thought one of the safety nets for accountants is doing personal and corporate taxes as a sidejob. But do you recommend concentrating on audits instead? Your knowledge has helped me a great deal.
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Karen C. wrote:

As a side job to WHAT? There won't be time for that if you're working for a firm. Study what you want to do, because you'll be doing a LOT of it, from the git-go. An undergraduate degree will expose you to more aspects of accounting than a graduate degree of any kind. There's governmental/not-for-profit, audit, tax, managerial and forensic, to start with.
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Then pursuing a bachelor's degree in accounting, how do you get the initial experience when you are near completing the major? With computer degrees theses days, new graduates are left out in the cold if they do not have any experience. Is there a similar sentiment with accountants that do not have the initial 1-2 years of experience?
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wad chew talking about willis?!!

accounting? all you do is show up and empty the trash. do you really need experience for that? get a job a MacDs.
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initial
any
It helps to have experience but it's not critical. Many CPA firms and accounting depts. hire new graduates without experience. But if you're concerned about that look into internships, part-time/temp work or something like the VITA program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance).
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hint: you can just do VITA for, like, one afternoon and put it on your resume and make it sound like you did it for a year.
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Thank you all. Very good advice for someone just changing fields. So I can study accounting and volunteer for the experience. Does the volunteer experience count if you want to get a CPA? I google CPA and it says getting an accounting degree would satisfy the educational hours needed, but to become a CPA, you need accounting experience assisting a CPA. So I have to assist a CPA to get these hours and there is no other way to fulfill the CPA hours requirement?
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Not assist. That word does not work. You have to do the work under the supervision of a licensed CPA. (The idea is as an employee, but I understand employee loans have been worked out.) Once upon a time it meant a complete audit, maybe spreading the tasks over several audits but still the equivalent of a complete audit. I understand they have lightened up on that a bit with the substitution of some amount of review & comp work for audit work. But you still have to do the work under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA who has a license authorizing him to do sign an audit report. (I mention this as California has a two class license system.) The original concept was of that of the Master - Apprentice.
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do tell us, What valuable lessons can a liscense CPA can teach his apprentice? How to keep 3 sets of books: one for the tax guy, one for the owner, and one for himself, heheh?
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mrs. eliza humperdink wrote:

You're talking about a bookkeeper there, not an external auditor.
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which is more boring? a) to keep books or b) to audit the reciepts to make sure the bookkeeper did not make a mistake?
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Karen C. wrote:

Correct. VITA won't meet the experience requirements... it's good to do, though. Easiest way to meet the experience requirement is a year or two at a public accounting firm.
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