Becoming an accountant can be a lot of work, but there are some significant financial rewards at stake for those who go into accounting. This is a list of six of the most high-paying jobs you can get with a career in accounting.
While getting a bachelor’s degree will open up plenty of career opportunities, post-graduates wanting to advance even further in their careers can take the next step by completing a master’s degree in accounting. In fact, to land one of the high-paying jobs listed below, you’ll likely have to get a master’s degree if you want to qualify.
Although it can be a challenge to further your education while also holding down a full-time job, you can make getting a master’s degree a little easier by taking a degree program from a reputable and accredited online institution.
1. Tax Director
A tax director is responsible for a company’s tax compliance, planning, and accounting, making sure they don’t violate any tax laws or fail to furnish any important and necessary information to the IRS. They handle the completion of the federal, state, and international tax returns, audits of income tax, and coordinating with third party vendors. They also work with management on tax issues and accounting issues with other members of the staff and making sure internal controls are in place when it comes to accounting and income taxes.
A tax director’s median salary is $182,000 a year, with salaries of up to $277,000 a year at the top end.
2. Chief Financial Officer
A CFO is a vital part of any company’s management and financial situation, as they’re at the center of responsibility for their finances. A CFO’s job is to report on finances, decide where to invest funds, oversee the capital structure of the company, and address any issues surrounding that structure. A CFO has a full accounting of the company’s financial information at all times, so they can provide that information to stakeholders, shareholders, creditors, and other members of management. They take liquidity and risk into consideration when deciding where future investments will go, with an eye toward helping the company grow and making it more profitable.
A CFO can command a median salary of $410,000, ranging up to over $600,000, depending on the position.
3. Management Accountant
A management accountant might work for a private business, public company, or a government agency. Their primary responsibility is preparing data for use inside the company. The responsibilities of a management accountant might involve helping the company to manage its investments, assess and manage risk, and take a leadership role in budgeting, planning, strategizing, and making critical business decisions. At its heart, the role of a management accountant is number-crunching — making sure financial data is ready for internal review and application by the company. A management accountant is often also responsible for supervising lower-level accountants in preparing documents like income and cash flow statements.
A typical management accountant can earn anywhere from $65,000 to $76,000 a year.
4. Forensic Accountant
Many accountants are tax preparers, business advisors, or otherwise in a supervisory capacity when it comes to finances. A forensic accountant is an ideal career for individuals with a keen eye for detail and specialized knowledge and investigative skills. In fact, a forensic accountant’s job is investigation, usually of financial issues that are in dispute or involved in legal proceedings. While not every case goes to court, a forensic accountant’s duty is to make sure the issue in question is quantified and simplified so that non-accountants can understand and act on it. This might include fraud allegations, damages in a divorce, or similar issues.
A forensic accountant can earn anywhere from $65,000 a year to $85,000 a year.
5. Corporate Controller
A corporate controller’s job is to oversee the daily accounting operations of a company or organization. As businesses grow larger and their operations more complex, a controller becomes vital to making good financial decisions. Their duties include maintaining the accounting records and managing the accounting operations of any subsidiaries. A corporate controller is one of a variety of corporate finance positions you could get with an accounting degree.
Corporate controllers can earn anywhere from $95,000 to $179,000 a year, depending on their position.
6. Financial Analyst
A financial analyst’s job is to help make order out of the relative chaos of collected data. Their role is to gather and organize information, analyze the results, and use that data to make projections and recommendations concerning the future of the organization. This involves generating models, presentations, and reports in Excel, making their findings accessible and palatable to people in the company without the same accounting experience.
A typical financial analyst’s salary can range anywhere from $56,000 a year to $70,000 a year, with the average around $65,000.