Master Essential Accounting Skills with DePaul’s Online MSA

In the global economy, the importance of accountants cannot be overstated.

Skilled and certified accounting professionals play an important role in maintaining financial accuracy and integrity, which is vital for organizational operations and regulatory adherence. Accountants also play a key role in ensuring financial well-being and informing strategic choices within any organization.

It's important to note the shortage of accountants in the USA. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Fewer people are pursuing degrees in accounting and entering the field, resulting in more positions open and for longer periods of time.”1 Additionally, three-quarters of all CPAs in the nation are at or near retirement age.2 With demand surpassing supply, there's a growing need for well-educated professionals to fill these crucial roles in various industries.

An online Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA), from a premier institution like DePaul University, provides individuals with vital skills in financial record management, auditing and consultancy and can open doors to diverse, exciting and well-paying careers.

Accounting and Auditors Occupational Outlook

projected job growth rate through 20323
current jobs in the U.S.3
annual job openings3

A Field Of Opportunity: Key Skills and Career Areas

Currently, there are over 672,587 actively licensed certified public accountants; roughly half of all accountants in the United States hold this esteemed certification.4,5 These professionals undertake a myriad of crucial tasks to ensure financial stability and compliance.

Furthering one's education with a master's degree in accountancy can significantly enhance preparation for the CPA exam and success in a CPA career.

accountant talking with client

Typical Job Duties

  • Review financial documents for accuracy and regulatory compliance
  • Calculate and file taxes accurately and punctually
  • Analyze accounting systems for effectiveness and detect potential fraud risks
  • Manage and maintain financial records efficiently
  • Evaluate financial operations, identify risks and provide management with recommendations
  • Propose strategies to cut costs, increase revenues and boost profitability

Accounting and Auditing Areas of Expertise

Government Accountants: Maintain government records, audit private entities for regulatory compliance and ensure proper revenue management.

Management Accountants: Provide internal financial guidance to businesses, analyzing financial and non-financial data for decision-making.

Public Accountants: Offer a wide range of accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services to diverse clients, including corporations, governments and nonprofits.

Forensic Accountants: Specialize in investigating financial crimes, combining accounting knowledge with legal and investigative techniques.

Personal Financial Advisors: Assist individuals with financial planning, covering areas such as retirement, investments and wealth transfer.

External Auditors: Independently review organizations' financial statements for accuracy and compliance with regulations.

Information Technology (IT) Auditors: Assess the reliability of IT systems' financial and nonfinancial data sources.

Internal Auditors: Identify and mitigate financial risks within organizations, focusing on waste, fraud and process improvement.

Careers in Accounting: Salary Spotlight

Annual Median Wage for Industries With the Highest Levels of Employment

Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping and Payroll Services6
Management of Companies and Enterprises6
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation)6
Real Estate6
Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services6

10 Entry-Level Accounting Positions Great for Graduates

With a master’s degree, you can pursue rewarding entry-level positions in the fields of accounting, financing, auditing and more, including:

Accounting Assistant: Works closely with senior accountants to handle administrative tasks, maintain records, prepare invoices and assist with bookkeeping duties.7

Accounting Clerk: Manages accounts, posts transactions, utilizes accounting software for data analysis, issues payments and communicates with stakeholders regarding financial matters.7

Accounts Payable Specialist: Validates and processes invoices, updates accounts payable records, collaborates with finance teams and ensures timely payment processing.7

Accounts Receivable Clerk: Oversees organizational credits and debits, maintains invoice records, communicates with customers regarding payments and ensures accurate financial transactions.7

Bank Clerk: Handles various transactions, maintains customer records, provides customer service and processes financial applications and payments.7

Bookkeeper: Tracks client accounts, maintains financial records, prepares reports, manages payrolls, and handles invoicing, tax documentation and bank deposits.7

Budget Analyst: Prepares budget reports, monitors spending, tracks payroll, analyzes finances and assists in financial planning, strategy development and decision-making.7

Junior Accountant: Compiles and maintains financial reports, ensures regulatory compliance, manages general ledger accounts and assists with payroll and accounts receivable/payable tasks.7

Medical Biller: Reviews and completes insurance documentation, submits claims, assists patients with payment inquiries and updates billing records in healthcare settings.7

Payroll Administrator: Processes employee paychecks, manages payroll systems, files deduction reports, educates staff on benefits and addresses payroll-related queries.7

Please note: Some employers may require additional qualifications, experience and/or certifications for certain positions depending on preferences and industry standards.

The Advantage of an Online MSA Program with CPA Preparation

Pursuing a master's degree tailored for the CPA exam is crucial alongside earning a CPA designation. These programs provide advanced knowledge, fulfill state requirements, and offer specialized exam preparation, enhancing career prospects in accounting and auditing.

Earning a CPA designation is crucial for career outcomes in the field of accounting and auditing for several reasons:

  • Having a CPA significantly enhances job prospects8
  • CPAs are more likely to hold senior accounting roles9
  • CPAs typically earn substantially higher salaries compared to non-CPA accountants, with a difference of nearly $30,000, annually on average9

When combined with CPA preparation, the value of an MSA degree rises exponentially, providing both immediate and long-term career advantages. The CPA designation is a key to unlocking more prestigious positions and higher earning potential, marking holders as top-tier professionals in the accounting field.

Job titles in accounting that may require a CPA include the following*:

  • Tax Manager
  • Audit Manager
  • Controller
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) Manager
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Advisor
  • Corporate Treasurer
  • Financial Reporting Manager

Learn More

*Please note: Some roles may require supplementary certifications in addition to holding a CPA.

Elective Course Highlight

ACC 646 — Forensic Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation

This course focuses on financial statement fraud. Skills taught in this course include using financial statement analysis to detect fraud in financial statements and valuation skills that can be used to value both public and private firms in cases of shareholder and partnership disputes, divorce cases, etc. Students are given a chance to use these skills to detect and investigate fraud within a company's financial statements.

View Full Curriculum

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CPA and Career Ready in a Year

Exploring an online Master of Science in Accountancy to propel your career forward? Begin your journey here. Fill out the form to receive information for DePaul University’s MSA program.

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Upcoming Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Student Deadline
August 15
Fall 2024 Quarter
International Student Deadline
June 15
Fall 2024 Quarter

DePaul University has engaged Everspring, a leading provider of education and technology services, to support select aspects of program delivery.