A Career Guide for the Accounting Major

Accounting positions are found in all businesses, industries, and governments. Accounting is the language of commerce. Accountants are business advisors who analyze information, plan financial strategies, and solve problems. Auditors review, evaluate, and certify company financial statements and set regulations for procedures in accordance with laws and government regulations. Many choose to specialize or concentrate on a particular area of accounting such as cost accounting, auditing, budgeting, taxation, investments, management consulting services, or personal financial planning. Many in the field become Certified Public Accountants, which requires completion of state requirements and successful completion of the CPA Examination. A few of the major specializations include public accounting, management accounting, tax accounting, cost accounting, government accounting, budgeting, and internal auditing.

Working at a local firm provides a good environment for learning. Since a local firm usually performs diverse services, new staff members are introduced to a wide variety of responsibilities. During the first few months of employment, new staff will prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, and non-profit corporations, along with other types of returns. They normally have the opportunity to prepare compiled financial statements on computer systems and to participate in an audit or a review.

Working for an International or National firm provides opportunities to be exposed to large and small clients in a wide variety of industries and to provide services to national and international companies which may lead to travel. Other advantages include educational opportunities, excellent salaries and benefits, high professional standards, and opportunities for professional growth.

Most accounting graduates work in private industry, government agencies, or not-for-profit organizations. Career paths offered include internal auditing and managerial accounting among many others.

The following Interests and Aptitudes/Qualities are associated with or needed for success in the study of this major.

  • Working with people
  • Working with numbers
  • Working independently
  • Analyzing financial data
  • Fiscal planning
  • Problem-solving
  • Detailed work
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Written/oral communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Ethical responsibility
  • Skilled in mathematical/quantitative problem-solving
  • Ability to supervise
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to analyze, compare and interpret facts and figures
  • Sound Judgment


The FAU curriculum for a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting is a four-year program. The Bachelor's Degree satisfies the educational requirement for most certifying exams. However, in the State of Florida an additional year of course work is required before the student is permitted to take the CPA Exam. Undergraduate course work can be found in the academic catalog.

Upper division College of Business courses may not be taken until the student has earned 60 semester hours, and passed 3 sections of the CLAST. A minimum GPA of 2.0 must be maintained. Electives must satisfy University requirements. It is recommended that the student select elective courses that fit with his or her career objectives. The Faculty of the School of Accounting is available to provide guidance.


The following are examples of positions often held by Accounting graduates:

Staff Accountant
Accounting Coordinator
EDP Auditor
Internal Audit Manager
Audit Supervisor
Senior Partner
Supervisor of Consulting Services
Human Resources Manager
Director of Finance
Quality Assurance Agent
Senior Accountant
Certified Public Accountant
Director of Internal Audit
Accounting Supervisor
Partner of CPA Firm
Retail Manager

Note: Some of the above professions will require advanced study or training.


For information about choosing a career, graduate/ professional school, internships or job descriptions, and for career library resources, contact:

Career Development Center
Boca Raton Campus - Student Services Building, Room 220 (SU 220)

Davie Campus - Modular G

Jupiter Campus - SR 110

For information about choosing a major and concentration and degree requirements, contact:

Barry Kaye College of Business
Boca Raton Campus, Flemming West, Room 102 (FW 102)

Davie Campus, Liberal Arts Building, Room 444 (LA 444)

Department of Accounting
Boca Raton Campus, Barry Kaye College of Business Room 125, (BUS 125)

The Career Guide series was developed by the Florida Atlantic University Career Development Center, Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Undergraduate Programs, and in cooperation with the Barry Kaye College of Business and the Department of Accounting.

Return to the Index

FAU Home Page