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Accounting

Accountants develop and interpret financial data required for decision-making by managers, investors, regulators, and other stakeholders. To perform their functions, accountants must work with both numerical information and concepts, and they must be able to function effectively as individuals and in teams. Accountants work with people in their own specialized departments, and with users of financial information throughout their organization. Because of this close association with other parts of the organization, the accountant is in a unique position to develop a broad business perspective.

Careers in Accounting

Smeal Accounting majors are heavily recruited for a wide range of job opportunities upon graduation. Penn State is a national recruiting school for major organizations and the Big Four accounting firms—Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Potential employers for accountants include:

  • Professional services: public accounting, firms at the international, national, regional, and local levels providing auditing, consulting, and tax planning services
  • Industry: companies in every sector from consumer products, to technology, banking, and health care
  • Government: local, state, and federal agencies including the General Accounting Office, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Education: school districts, universities, and colleges

Accounting Degree Requirements and Sample Schedules

IN FOCUS
Professional Examinations: The Smeal bachelor’s degree in Accounting prepares you for three major post-baccalaureate examinations: the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).

Master of Accounting

The expansion of education requirements for becoming a CPA has led many students to obtain a Master of Accounting degree through either the Integrated MAcc Program or the One-Year MAcc Program offered by the Smeal Accounting Department.