There are practically no limits to the career opportunities available for you as an accountant. Choices range from public practice to industry to government and to education.
Professional career tracks include auditor, tax advisor, investment analyst, financial analyst, credit analyst, cost accountant, controller, business consultant, financial planner, government accountant, and educator.
Some of the newest and hottest career fields in accounting include: personal financial planning, forensic accounting and information technology.
Featured Graduate Profiles:
Maggie Seward, ’16 – Tax Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
“Through the sincere guidance of my Advisor and faculty members my passion for Accounting grew. I am so thankful for all of those who pushed me toward success and helped me to believe in myself. I used Career and Professional Development to guide me while writing my cover letter and resume.”
Brandon Sloan, ’16 – Investment Banking Analyst at Deloitte Corporate Finance
“My most impactful mentor at HPU was without a doubt Professor Scott Davis. The high academic standard to which he holds his students often resulted in my critical thinking, problem solving and analytical research skills being pushed to the limit.”
Justin Moore, ’16 – Tax Associate at Dixon Hughes Goodman
“My most impactful moment that I have had at HPU was the opportunity to participate in a program called VITA (Voluntary Income Tax Assistance). This was a class where my classmates and I assisted in preparing tax returns for low income individuals and families throughout our community.”
Kevin Poplawski, ’16 – Assurance Associate at RSM LLP
“HPU really helped me to professionalize myself. Especially in sales club, I learned how to brand myself and how to interact with employers and other professionals.”
Shane Smith, ’16 – Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army
“HPU was HUGE in getting me to where I am now. Included in all of the hard skills that HPU has given me like a great accounting education through a stellar department, it really focused on the soft skills, especially professional image. How to carry yourself is a universal skill, regardless if you’re working at a Big Four accounting firm, or leading soldiers in the United States Army.”
Samantha Evans, ’16 – Manager in Training at Kohl’s department store
“My most impactful moment at HPU would have to be working as VITA volunteer. As a VITA volunteer, we prepared income tax returns for low income families. This experience was an eye opening and rewarding experience.”
Madison Fedor, ’15 – entry level accountant at Mercadien
“Throughout my time at HPU, I have been surrounded by genuinely caring professors and inspirational friends. Specifically Mr. George Noxon, the head of the accounting department, has always been very helpful.”
Andrew Colitti, ’15 – Wake Forest University’s Master of Science in Accountancy Program
“Dr. Premalata Sundaram worked with me to get a paper that I wrote published in the HPU Journal of Creative and Scholarly Works. She helped me while I was editing the paper and gave advice on how to improve it.”
Patti Suchan, ’15 – Pursuing a Master of Science in Accountancy at the University of Notre Dame
“High Point University has helped me prepare for my future in many ways. From my first accounting class with Dr. Premalata Sundaram, I knew I needed to be an accounting major. The Meet the Firms night that the School of Business holds for accounting students helped me get two internships. Ms. Marnie Matthews connected me to an opportunity to attend the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners conference, which solidified my dream to work in that area of accounting.”
Tye Massaroni, ’14 – Audit Assurance at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
“My peers pushed me to better myself, the campus caused me to respect myself, and my professors always fed my curiosity. My advisor, George Noxon, had a career with PwC and was able to answer my eager questions, and the rest of the accounting department was well-equipped to answer all of my various inquiries and were never shy to present daily challenges that helped to instill and enforce essential skill sets.”
Emma Silvershein, ’14 – Auditing at CohnReznick, a financial services company
“Although I was hesitant at first, I was pushed to see my full potential by Dr. Premalata Sundaram. She continued to push me as a freshman and sophomore until I finally changed my major junior year. Without her, I may not have realized my potential in the accounting field or achieved success so quickly.”
Casey Hiers, ’14 – Tax Accountant at DDS Financial in Atlanta
“First is one of my accounting professors, Scott Davis. In Professor Davis’ tax classes I was often overwhelmed at the complexity and difficultly of the returns he would give us but I always seemed to work through them. He taught me to be confident in myself and my abilities. On top of all the tax I learned, Professor Davis took time to develop us as professionals. Part of our senior seminar class, Accounting Issues, was spent developing our professional selves and learning our strengths and weakness and how to capitalize on them. With help from Bridget Holcombe, Professor Davis gave us confidence in ourselves when walking into interviews and new jobs.”
The three most visible professional certifications in accounting are:Professional Certifications
(1) Certified Public Accountant (CPA);
(2) Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and
(3) Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).
The CPA certification is the professional designation for career paths in public accounting which generally includes public auditing, management advisory services and tax advisory services. Additionally, once the CPA certificate has been obtained, the American Institute of Public Accountants (AICPA-sponsor of the national CPA exam) offers additional specialized professional certifications.
- Personal Financial Planning (PFP): For CPAs specializing in personal financial planning.
- Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) : For CPAs who seek a professional credential as a technology professional.
- Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV). For CPAs specializing in the valuation of businesses.
The CMA certification is the professional designation for management accountants and financial managers which may include Controllers, and Chief Financial Officers. The CMA exam tests a broad range of topics including economics, business finance and places a strong emphasis on business ethics.
The CIA certification is a professional designation for those accountants within an organization who are responsible for the internal audit function. The Institute of Internal Auditors provide a specialty certification for audit principles and practices within the banking, insurance, and financial services industries–Certified Financial Services Auditor (SFSA). Additionally the Institute offers a specialty designation– Certification in Control Assessment (CCSA) for practitoners of control self-assessment and the Government Auditing Professional (CGAP), for public sector internal auditing practitioners. Enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has greatly increased the demand for qualified individuals in this very important area.