If you’ve got dreams of one-day working in a large accounting firm, or perhaps this is a relatively new dream that you have developed, there are probably lots of questions swirling in your mind about how to make it happen. One of the most common questions people ask is how important the masters in accounting is, and whether or not it’s needed to work in one of these large firms.

Here we’ll take a look at how these accounting firms typically work, and what kind of education, skills, and experience you may need in order to get hired.

What Do Accounting Firms Do?

An accounting firm tends to offer a wide range of services to clients and customers. Even though it’s called a “firm” it doesn’t mean there has to be dozens, or even hundreds of employees working there. It can still be a relatively small firm.

Some of the most common services these firms offer are performing audits, basic bookkeeping duties, putting together tax returns, and filing them. They can also take on more complex issues such as helping a client prepare their financial statements, create their budget, look at their cash flow needs, and more.

Another area of specialty in these firms is forensic accounting. This is needed when a company has been charged with financial fraud.

Also part of the duties of an accounting firm is to set up a company’s auditing and accounting system for them after determining what kind of system they need.

As you can see, there are a wide range of services, which means different people with different skillsets and knowledge are needed.

Are There Different Types of Accountants?

To understand the importance of the degree better, it can be helpful to look at the many different types of accountants. Many of these exist in an accounting firm.

  • Tax accountants
  • Auditors
  • Controllers
  • Forensic accountants
  • CPAs
  • Bookkeepers

Each of these “accountants” has a specific list of duties and responsibilities, and all are important. Without your degree, most of those positions won’t be open to you. You will most likely be able to work for private companies or agencies doing tax preparation and filing, and not much outside of that.

Some people shy away from their degree simply because the CPA certification is so hard to pass. But here’s the thing, once you do pass it, you automatically open all kinds of doors in an accounting firm. Not only that, it will increase your wage potential.

You may find it easier to obtain your masters in accounting online so that you can work around your own schedule and learn at a pace you feel more comfortable with. You can complete the degree in as little as five semesters and there is no GMAT/GRE required.

While Not Necessary – Certainly Helpful

While it’s not absolutely necessary to have your masters in accounting in order to work in an accounting firm, without it you will limit yourself significantly in the positions you will qualify for.