Best Master’s Degrees for Accountants

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - August 6, 2018
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Reading Time: 5 minutes

An excellent background for many business owners is in accounting. A master’s degree in accounting and related fields will give you the skills and knowledge to ensure that your financial records and tax information is in order. When the financial operations of your company are organized, you can operate more efficiently and make more money.

Some of the best master’s degrees for accountants and those interested in accounting include:

#1 Master of Accounting

A master’s degree in accounting will provide you with analytical skills and expert-level training in the principles of accounting and cutting edge business applications.

What are some of the benefits of earning this degree? Consider:

  1. A master’s degree in accounting can be completed in some cases in as little as a year. If you desire to get your education done as fast as you can and get back to focusing on your business, a master’s in accounting can be a great choice. Many top online masters in accounting degrees are available these days typically geared at professionals.
  2. Strong salary demand for professionals with accounting master’s degrees. If you work for a company, you should know that the Graduate Management Admission Council reported in 2017 that prospects are very bright for graduates. Demand for holders of this master’s degree was up in 2017, with 42% of companies surveyed saying they would hire graduates with this degree.
  3. A master’s degree can give you the education needed to sit for the CPA exam. Whether you are a business owner (see best master’s degrees for business owners) or an employee, earning your CPA is a fantastic way to increase your earning potential. It also will greatly enhance your accounting skills. A master’s degree should make you eligible to sit for the CPA examination.

#2 Master of Forensic Accounting

With a master’s degree in forensic accounting, you will be qualified to work at the highest levels investigating fraud and bringing best practices to deter fraud to your business. Other benefits of this master’s degree includes:

  1. Be an expert in fraud prevention in your company. If you are a business owner or a top manager, you can improve your career and business prospects by understanding how to identify and prevent financial fraud. A regular accountant is focused on balancing the books, but this degree will teach you how to study financial activities for signs of misconduct.
  2. White collar crime is a growing problem – stop it. Government research suggests that white collar crime losses are more than $1 trillion every Advanced fraudsters are very skilled covering their tracks. You can safeguard your business from losses and legal consequences with skills in forensic accounting.
  3. Enhanced brand reputation. A company and brand that leaves itself open to fraud is hard to respect and work with. Fraud can do major reputational damage that is difficult to repair, but you can avoid this problem with this degree.
  4. Boost efficiency. Forensic accountants play a vital role in investigating and examining financial processes and standards that can help to find more efficient and effective financial solutions.

#3 Master of Tax Accounting

As the owner of a company, you will want to ensure that your organization is paying its taxes properly and legally, as well as minimize tax obligations. A master’s degree in tax accounting can offer your company these benefits:

  1. Learn the fundamentals and advanced principles necessary to prepare a tax return for your corporation or business so that it can be properly filed with the IRS every year.
  2. Understand the details of tax law, auditing and financial reporting, as well as gain the analytical and technical skills that companies need to have in their accounting professionals.
  3. Obtain a background in advanced tax accounting that includes courses in advanced auditing, estate and gift taxation, situational ethics in accounting and tax research methodology.

#4 Master of Financial Accounting

With a master’s degree in financial accounting, you will understand the process of making ready financial statements that your company uses to show financial performance and position to people and organizations that are outside of the company, such as investors, suppliers, customers and creditors.

Benefits of a master of financial accounting include:

  1. Understand financial accounting standards for your company. In the US, it is required that financial statements conform to legal requirements and accounting standards. The Financial Accounting Standards Board or FASB has established these standards that are called generally accepted accounting principles or GAAP.
  2. Understand International Financial Reporting Standards. If your company is based internationally, it is very important to understand these international accounting principles so that you can provide information to tax authorities, regulators, creditors and investors.
  3. Learn about financial accounting reporting for the benefit of your company. Being able to prepare and understand financial statements – revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities and equity – is critical to leading your organization so that you can provide accurate information to parties that are outside the company.

#5 Master of Managerial Accounting

A master’s degree in managerial accounting, also known as cost accounting, is the process of measuring, analyzing, identifying and communicating important accounting information to managers and other professionals in your company. Benefits of earning your master’s degree in managerial accounting are:

  1. Learn about the importance of margin analysis. This is analyzing the benefit that is attained by increased production in your company. Margin analysis is important for business leaders to understand so that they can determine the best price points for their goods and services.
  2. Be able to perform accurate trend analysis and forecasting. Managerial accounting also concerns reviewing trendlines for costs and looking into variances and deviations. Also looks at the last period’s financial and accounting information to make projections. Understanding these things is important to make proper projections about future sales and earnings for your company.
  3. Understand how to calculate and allocate costs of overhead to assess the real expenses that are related to producing your product.

#6 Master of Governmental Accounting

Some universities offer a specialized master’s program in governmental accounting that can be beneficial for students and business owners who want to advance in the field of public financial management or to change from the public sector to the private sector.

Benefits of earning a master of governmental accounting are:

  1. High level of opportunities in governmental accounting. In the next five years, it is anticipated that many in the US government work force will be eligible for retirement. There will be many vacancies available at the state, local and federal level in accounting. This degree will provide you with an excellent credential to work in this special area of accounting.
  2. More than about just numbers. A master’s degree in governmental accounting will give students the chance to learn about public administration, public policy and ethics, as well as government accounting and auditing.
  3. Develop strong connections in government accounting. Most programs that offer this specialized accounting degree have strong contacts with employers in the local, state and federal government where you can find work after you graduate.

#7 Master of Finance Accounting Dual Degree

A dual master’s degree in finance and accounting is a good choice for the professional or business owner who wants to advance their career in corporate accounting and finance. Some of the benefits of earning this dual degree are:

  1. Complete a dual degree in accounting and finance in as little as 21 to 24 months, if you have all of the prerequisites completed from the previous study.
  2. Have a thorough understanding of accounting and finance so that you can be the leader and go-to expert for the financial and accounting departments in your organization.

#8 Master of Finance

The field of finance is directly related to accounting, and with an understanding of both fields, you will be well-positioned for a leadership position in your organization.

What are some of the major benefits of a master’s in finance? Consider:

  1. Master’s in finance offers many career options. If you are a regular employee, you can choose from a variety of exciting career options with this degree, including investment companies, corporations, financial planning, insurance, brokerages and hospitals.
  2. Open your own company. Without professional financial guidance, it is impossible for a company to succeed. If you want to establish your own business, you will need to understand how to deal with your finances every day. From filing federal and state taxes to investing in new endeavors, you need to have specialized knowledge to run your company and be profitable.


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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