The field of accounting is diverse, and the B.S. in Accounting degree provides the body of knowledge necessary to pursue a variety of accounting careers and professional certifications.
For example, the accounting program prepares students for positions in industry, government, and business advisory services conducting financial planning, analysis, control, and decision support. Students can obtain such designations as Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Management accountants provide forecasts, compute costs and benefits, perform variance analysis, and review and monitor performance. Managerial accountants also design systems that provide information to decision makers.
Students may also wish to pursue positions in industry and government as internal auditors. Students can obtain such designations as Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Internal auditors are employed by the organization they audit. Internal auditing is a systematic approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. Internal auditors also review compliance with standards and assess the organization's risks.
Public accounting is carried on by independent practitioners, most of whom are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). In addition to statutory audits, CPAs render other assurance, tax, and management advisory services. To be licensed as a CPA in nearly every state, including Pennsylvania, individuals must complete 150 credit hours of education (including 36 credits of accounting and related areas), pass a demanding professional examination, and meet certain experience requirements. The education requirements for licensure can be met by completing the B.S. in Accounting and then enrolling in either the Penn State Harrisburg Master of Business Administration (MBA) program and choosing the Accounting Track or enrolling in our online Master of Professional Accounting degree through the Penn State World Campus.
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