Connect with us

Will an MBA Help a Career in Accounting?



Generally, an MBA does not advance a career in accounting. Rather, it positions an accountant to leverage his or her accounting proficiency to pursue other careers. Public accounting, to some degree, even eyes the advanced degree with some suspicion.

According to one Big Four manager:


Whenever a staff person mentions an MBA to me, a yellow caution flag goes up in my mind. This is nothing against the degree itself, which clearly adds significant value to the person pursuing it, the kind of broad-based knowledge that should in theory enhance an accountant’s perspective and performance on the job. But in reality, the time spent on an MBA is time spent away from developing the specific accounting knowledge needed in our profession. The MBA is a deep commitment of time and resources – dedicating so much to non-accounting topics is a signal to me that the person is thinking of leaving. What the MBA does is prepare someone to pursue other careers – it should come as no surprise that every accountant I’ve known who has earned the MBA has left the profession.


Nevertheless, an MBA degree can enhance an accountant’s career, particularly that of a nonpublic accountant. One recruiter reports that many financial analyst positions often prefer or even require an MBA degree, as a financial analyst will often be a part of a cross-functional team that demands a comfort level with areas such as marketing, operations and management.

And, despite the suspicions of the manager previously quoted, an MBA degree does not automatically mean the end of a public accounting career.
One Big Four CPA says that her firm even supported her desire to get the degree:

I’ve always enjoyed working at my firm, but I came to a point where I wanted to get a broader perspective on my job, something an MBA could give me. When I broached the subject with my partner, he was enthusiastic (he had always given me wonderful performance reviews) and nominated me for a process in which the firm would finance a full-time MBA for me so long as I agreed to work for the firm off-semester and for a set duration after earning my degree. After getting the MBA, I moved away from auditing (and my partner) and into a risk management role. I think in the view of my old partner, the firm should do whatever it takes to keep its top talent.

Further reading:

  • Non-public Accounting Career Path
  • Public Accounting Career Path
  • 1 Comment

    1 Comment

    1. Jun 4, 2010 at 11:49 am

      sir can you reply me urgently that what can do after the cource of account & finance, & which is a best coures account&finance or BMS plz rly me on my email id thank

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Are you looking for easy accounting tutorial? Established since 2007, hosts more than 1300 articles (still growing), and has helped millions accounting student, teacher, junior accountants and small business owners, worldwide.


    Related pages

    flexible and static budgetsgearing ratio accountingunearned service revenue still unearned journal entrycpa exam simulationcontribution format income statement examplesample cpa exam questions and answersretractable bonddefine inflatinginsurance accounting ifrsgst liabilities definitionwhat increases stockholders equityreminder letter for pending paymentaccrual and deferral accountingcomputer assisted audit techniques examplescapitalise loanaccrual basis of accounting definitiontractor depreciation calculatorgaap vs taxaverage collection period ratioclosing entries are madeunsecured promissory note sampleaccounting supervisor dutiescompute gross profitdepreciation equation accountingformula of contribution marginretained earnings debit or creditcontoh payment voucherremitting gstlike kind exchange journal entrymysap crmexample of horizontal analysisaudit cpa exam tipsbank reconciliation excel templatejournalize the closing entries at april 30capital budgeting wikipediaaccounting profitability ratiosperpetual inventory journal entries exampleus gaap capitalization rulesaccounting conservatism principlejournal entries for deferred tax assets and liabilitiesincome approach to business valuationenron special purpose entitiesrent due to landlord journal entrytax accounting vs gaapsolvency ratios listirs abatement letterunguaranteedreal nominal personal accounts rulessecured promissory note templatedepreciation expense journal entrywhat are adjusting entries and why are they necessaryhow to do bank reconciliation exampleebit-eps analysis calculatorwhat kind of account is prepaid rentaccrued payroll taxeshow to calculate cogsaudit sampling methodsreceipt format for cheque paymenthow to calculate total stockholders equitywhat is overstated in accountingifrs property plant and equipmentcapitalized cash flow valuationfixed asset impairmentdefine operating leaseaudit cpa exam questionsclosing entries accountingafter tax salvage value formulasap marketing modulecpa exam check scorerefresh all pivotsbisk cpairs failure to pay penalty waiverfx translationpenalty abatement letterbad debt expense calculationcash flow indirect method formatfixed asset turnover definition