Accounting Major Overview

The Field

Accounting is an integral part of every business. Accounting professionals help to ensure that firms are run efficiently, public records are kept accurately, and taxes are paid properly and on time. They analyze and communicate financial information for various entities such as companies, individual clients, and Federal, State, and local governments. Beyond carrying out the fundamental tasks of the occupation—providing information to clients by preparing, analyzing, and verifying financial documents—many accountants also offer budget analysis, financial and investment planning, information technology consulting, and limited legal services.

Most accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Many accountants and auditors choose to obtain certification to help advance their careers, such as becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Any accountant filing a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required by law to be a CPA. This may include senior level accountants working for or on behalf of public companies that are registered with the SEC. CPAs are licensed by their State Board of Accountancy.

Students can obtain a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Accounting at Rutgers Business School. Some major specializations include public accounting, tax accounting, cost accounting, government accounting, budget accounting and internal auditing. Additionally, students preparing for a career in public accounting, who meet specified academic requirements, have the opportunity to enroll in an accounting program at the master’s level. Many students continue on to take the CPA Exam after earning their BS in Accounting at RBS.

 

Career Paths

Public accountants perform a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting activities for their clients, which may be corporations, governments, nonprofit organizations, or individuals. Some public accountants specialize in forensic accounting—investigating and interpreting white-collar crimes such as securities fraud and embezzlement, bankruptcies and contract disputes, and other complex and possibly criminal financial transactions, including money laundering by organized criminals. Management accountants—also called cost, managerial, industrial, corporate, or private accountants—record and analyze the financial information of the companies for which they work. Government Accountants may work as Internal Revenue Service agents or in financial management, financial institution examination, or budget analysis and administration. Internal auditors verify the effectiveness of their organization’s internal controls and check for mismanagement, waste, or fraud.

Rutgers Business School has become a valuable resource for the New York metropolitan corporate community. Students graduate from the Accounting program with a strong foundation, and are well prepared to enter the job market. Below is a list of occupations of some of our recent graduates:

Sample Occupations

  • Actuary
  • Collections Agent
  • Cost Accountant
  • Credit Analyst
  • FBI Agent
  • Financial Investment Analyst
  • Internal Auditor
  • IRS Investigator
  • Tax Accountant
  • Tax Auditor

Where Graduates are Working

  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • KPMG
  • New York Life
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Prudential Insurance

 

Compensation

According to the 2012 U.S. Bureau of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, bachelor’s degree candidates in accounting received offers with a median salary of $62,000.

 

Curriculum and Course Descriptions

This major is managed by the Department of Accounting & Information Systems (AIS).