Earning an accounting degree is always a good idea if you want to work in finance. Your college degree combined with CPA certification is practically a sure way to land one of those dreaming fields in accounting or finance positions, whether on Wall Street or at a public accounting company. But, might an MBA take you further than a CPA qualification alone? Some experts believe it is possible.
To become a CPA(certified public accountant), several states require students to complete 150 credit hours and pass exams. However, the average undergraduate degree takes around 120 credit hours for graduation, which sometimes necessitates that prospective CPAs take extra classes during their undergraduate years or gradually complete some curriculum while preparing for the US CPA certification test. The American Institute of CPAs states that certification now demands 150 credit hours for students to stay up with changing tax regulations, complicated business practices, and more sophisticated auditing procedures.
Accounting has changed in the last decade regarding what accountants see and do and where their careers take them.
After completing the prerequisites to become a CPA, professionals can pursue careers in auditing, insurance, tax accounting, and tax counseling, among other fields. Furthermore, these freshly minted CPAs may potentially get to the top of the food chain, functioning ahead of reporting, a controller, a chief financial officer, or even a CEO.
Professionals with a CPA and an MBA have ambivalent thoughts about the advantages of having both. Continue reading to get some ideas on the subject.
The MBA, a two-year postgraduate degree program, is a general management course designed for those who want to work in various management positions. HR, Marketing, Finance, and various other fields are among the MBA specialties. Even though many universities and institutions offer the course, you must pass the CAT if you want to run your dream race. This is a national-level entrance exam for admission to IIMs, India’s top MBA colleges. Any other ordinary or Cadre-B college will provide you with an MBA comparable to any other PG degree. As a result, if you want to pursue a dream job in management, you must obtain an MBA degree from one of the country’s elite institutions.
On the other hand, CPA is a far more exciting and fulfilling course. The CPA requires a four-year bachelor’s degree at a minimum. In India, however, it is not available. So, to have the 120 credits necessary for the course, you should have either an M.Com or an MBA degree. The qualifying requirement is 120 credits achieved over the period of four years. This, however, is according to the graduate programs taught in the United States. In India, you may graduate in three years with only 90 credits. Because there is a 30-credit deficit, graduates can make the difference by enrolling in a bridging course.
It may seem contradictory, but if you’re an accountant, an MBA might allow you to define your professional path more precisely. Obtaining a CPA opens more avenues than many business students anticipate.
Earning an MBA may also be beneficial for CPAs, it is believed. According to the survey, if a professional wants to pursue a career other than accounting, an MBA may be advantageous. For example, this may be the case if an accountant is interested in exploring a job focusing on ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) or in new or developing sectors.
If you want to get a specific job that you couldn’t get with your undergraduate degree, I think [having an MBA] is a great idea. However, [an MBA] becomes less of a difference after a while, and it’s more about what you’re capable of doing in your current capacity.
Early-career CPAs typically hold entry-level or middle-management positions in finance or accounting, and on-the-job learning can lead to higher-level and higher-paying employment. Accounting may appear to be a technical career at first, but as companies develop and evolve, these experts are required to do more.
One can’t be a successful accountant unless you know what the company does and what industry it operates in. CPAs’ careers often grow to new heights as a result of this.
Certain accounting professionals will shift into multiple areas within their firms, such as operations, financial planning, and treasury. Everything benefits from what you know as a CPA. Furthermore, accounting isn’t going away anytime soon.
As previously said, the MBA can only guarantee you a successful profession with decent pay if you take the course from a reputable institution. However, the number of available seats is limited, and competition is fierce. As a result, only a tiny fraction of MBA applicants get accepted into prestigious universities. Following the course, absorption is available in various management occupations such as IT, finance, marketing, strategy, and human resources. The bundles and classifications differ from one firm to the next. Being accepted outside of India is limited soon after completing the course. However, with experience, you may transition to some professions abroad.
As an accreditation, CPA does not need passing from a specific institute. Furthermore, as a CPA professional, you may work as an auditor, accountant, or tax counselor and provide services in areas such as financial forensics, business valuation, and personal financial planning. The accounting system is used in US GAAP. Therefore, there is a need for a CPA-USA wherever there are US corporations. It is a “Global Public Accountant.”
The accountant is at the forefront of everything new that comes into an organization. Auditors, tax accountants, tax directors, and controllers will benefit from accounting knowledge. According to the report, it serves them incredibly well as a stepping stone to a range of different positions.
According to experts, the CPA designation allowed me to gain some of those duties. The CPA certification is a highly valued—and rightly so—credential, and it demonstrates a degree of commitment and knowledge.
Most individuals do not understand how many job opportunities are available with a CPA degree. It lays the groundwork for you to accomplish other things, and the best part is that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime benefit.
So, the ultimate question is entirely up to you. If accounting is your passion, a CPA program is preferable to an MBA. It also provides you with access to the international job market and prepares you for various positions anywhere globally. However, an MBA is only valuable if obtained from a prestigious university and if your area of interest is general management.
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CPA Salary and MBA salaries depend on the organization and the profile, the candidate is shortlisted.