Top Accounting and Finance Schools
Accounting is monumentally more complex than the simple arithmetic used to balance a checkbook. While double entry bookkeeping may look similar, the computation of taxes owed and paid, understanding the tax advantages of business decisions, calculating financial risk and managing information assurance services are all required of even non-Certified Public Accountants.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov, 2012) while bookkeepers generally do not need a post-secondary degree to be employed, most accountants do and many states have increased the requirements for certification as a public accountant to include 150 semester hours of education prior to taking the CPA exam. The new requirement of 150 semester hours is 30 hours more than a typical bachelor’s degree program provides (BLS.gov, 2012).
The following schools were ranked by U.S. News & World Report as some of the top business schools for accounting as of 2012. Rankings were based on GMAT scores, GPA, post-graduation full-time employment and other factors:
1. University of Texas, Austin
2. University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
3. University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business
4. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
5. Stanford University
Accounting and finance careers
In 2011, accountants and auditors earned a national annual wage of $62,850 median (BLS.gov, 2012), while bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earned $34,740 median in 2011 (BLS.gov, 2012).
The job outlook for accountants and auditors is generally positive as the BLS projects up to 16 percent employment growth between 2010 and 2020. Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks should see up to 14 percent job growth between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS.
Sources and further reading:
- The Council for Higher Education Accreditation
- The U.S. Department of Education
- The Distance Education and Training Council
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- O*NET Online
- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy
- U.S. News & World Report