Accountants develop and interpret financial data required for decision-making by managers, investors, regulators, and other stakeholders. To perform their functions, accountants must work with both numerical information and concepts, and they must be able to function effectively as individuals and in teams. Accountants work with people in their own specialized departments, and with users of financial information throughout their organization. Because of this close association with other parts of the organization, the accountant is in a unique position to develop a broad business perspective.
For more information about the Accounting major, visit:
Smeal Majors: smeal.psu.edu/accounting
Academics & Advising: ugstudents.smeal.psu.edu/academics-advising/information-on-smeal-majors/accounting
Major Sustainability: majorsustainability.smeal.psu.edu/
To learn more about student organizations related to your major and/or interests, visit ugstudents.smeal.psu.edu/student-organizations.
Accounting Career Paths
Below are just a few of the many career paths you can take with an accounting degree. Check out these websites to learn more about careers in your major!
Assurance is typically known as the audit practice. Day to day activities include evaluating the way the company matches up with GAAP. People that work in assurance are typically the “watchdogs of truth”. CPA is typically required.
The tax practice typically deals with compliance and strategy. Day to day activities consist of consulting with companies on how to grow the business while minimizing the expense of tax. CPA is typically suggested.
The advisory practice helps organizations achieve goals and make decisions in regard to mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, etc. The environment is extremely dynamic and day to day activities often vary. CPA is typically suggested.
Controllers are responsible for the financial record keeping of a business. They often keep track of cost activity throughout the company. There are also specialized groups, such as the “Profit Center Support”, who help support business operations. CPA is typically suggested.
Internal audit is when a company has the audit function within the organization rather than using an external source such as a public accounting firm. CPA or CMA suggested.
Careers may include law enforcement or forensic accounting with the FBI, CIA, or NSC. Local and state governments also have accounting positions.
Not for Profit
Not for profit organizations have a particular set of accounting rules and regulations that they must follow in addition to GAAP rules.
Consulting Industry Snapshot
Find your future in consulting! Check out this consulting industry snapshot created by the Forté Foundation. This is a great resource to explore industries that interest you the most.