What Can I Do With an Accounting Major?

 

Accounting involves the collection, organization, and presentation of financial information for effective decision-making.

Accounting services often include independent auditing, tax advice and tax return preparation, financial and management consulting and entrepreneurial services. All accounting is characterized by compiling, analyzing and reporting on the financial conditions of the many functions for companies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and individuals.

For more information, view the School of Accountancy website.


Degree Requirements

Includes foundation courses required for Professional Admission*, general education requirements, professional core courses, free electives and a set of specific accounting Courses

Sample accounting courses include:

  • Cost and Managerial Accounting
  • Intermediate Financial Accounting
  • Principles of Profit Planning and Control
  • Principles of Federal Taxation
  • Information Quality and Assurance–A Management Perspective
  • Accounting for Not-For-Profits Entities
  • Analysis of Financial Statements
  • Accounting Information Systems

* Students must achieve Professional Admission (a competitive and selective application process) to move from the pre-professional phase to the professional phase.
** Check the Degree/Academic Progress Report (APRR's) for your specific academic program requirements per your catalog at http://catalog.arizona.edu.


Other Preparation

Work Experience and Internships
Part-time and summer jobs and internships can provide valuable work experience and training that employers and graduate schools will value. Academic credit is not required to receive an internship nor do internship credits count toward major electives.

Clubs and Organizations
The college has a wide variety of professional fraternities, honoraries and student clubs. Student organizations offer: career information; networking opportunities; social and professional activities; and provide leadership roles and skills building opportunities.

Student organizations for Accounting majors include:

Visit the Eller Undergraduate Student Organizations website for more information.


Career Opportunities

Accountant positions generally require a bachelor's degree in accounting or a closely related field. A sample of accounting occupations include:

  • Cost/Budget Analyst
  • Controller or Chief Financial Officer
  • Auditor/Assurance Associate
  • Tax Accountant
  • IRS Revenue Agent/Investigator
  • Certified Financial Planner
  • Financial Consultant
  • Fraud Examiner
  • Forensic Accountant

A sample of accounting employers include:

  1. Public Accounting Firms
  2. Corporations
  3. Government Agencies
  4. Not-for-Profit Organizations

View PDF of Types of Jobs and Employers


Certification

To be designated a certified public accountant (CPA), you must pass the Uniform CPA Examination after graduating with a bachelor's degree and accumulating a specific amount of accounting credit (varies by state). Most states in the U.S. require applicants to have 150 credits of college-level coursework to become certified, which is commonly accomplished by the applicant getting both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in accounting. There are several other requirements a candidate must complete to become a CPA, but the specifics vary state-to-state. Visit www.aicpa.org to find addresses for all State Boards of Accountancy in the U.S. The information for the Arizona State Board of Accountancy is:

Arizona State Board of Accountancy
100 N. 15th Avenue Suite 165
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Telephone: 602-364-0804
FAX: 602-364-0903
www.azaccountancy.gov

Other certifications available to accountants are certified management accountant, certified internal auditor, certified government financial manager, certified financial planner and certified fraud examiner.


Salaries

Starting salaries vary by size and type of employer, location, course work, and experience.

  • Eller Accounting graduate average salary offer: $50,000. (Eller Graduate Survey, Spring 2016)
  • National Accounting graduate average salary offer: $51,426. (NACE Salary Survey, 2015)

Recruitment Opportunities

Recruitment opportunities include the annual "Career Days, " sponsored by UA Career Services, and the spring and fall "Career Showcase" and "Career Expo" coordinated by the Professional Development Center, Eller Student Council and Delta Sigma Pi. "Meet the Firms" night is coordinated by the Accounting Department and is open to all Accounting majors.

Public accounting firms recruit at The University of Arizona, as do consulting companies, retail businesses, manufacturers and utilities. Government recruiters include federal and state agencies and other federal, state and local agencies.

A sample of employers which recruit UA Accounting majors for externships/internships and/or post graduation professional positions are:

Arizona Auditor General

Armanino

Bank of America

BDO USA

Beach Fleischman

CBIZ MHM

CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)

Cintas Corporation

City of Tucson

Clifton Larson Allen

DeBenedetti & Co.

Defense Contract Audit Agency

Deloitte & Touche

E&J Gallo Winery

Eide Bailly

Equity Methods

Ernst & Young

Frank Rimerman & Co.

Freeport-McMoRan

Go Daddy

Goldman Sachs

Grant Thornton

Heinfeld, Meech & Co.

Hewlett Packard

HBL, CPAs

Honeywell

Intel Corporation

Internal Revenue Service

Keegan, Linscott & Kenon

KPMG

Ludwig Klewer & Co

Microsoft

Moss Adams

National Bank of Arizona

Pima County

Price Waterhouse Coopers

Protiviti

Raytheon Company

R&A, CPAs

Regier Carr & Monroe

RSM US

SEMPRA Energy

Squar Milner

Texas Instruments

Travis Hutchinson, CPA

UA Sponsored Projects

Vanguard

Windes, CPAs

 

Eller and UA Resources

Major Advisor
Kevin Lundeberg

Career Coach
Nancy Meech, CPA

School of Accountancy
Eller College of Management 
McClelland Hall 301 
520-621-2620

Undergraduate Programs
Eller College of Management 
McClelland Hall 204
520-621-2505

UA Career Services
Student Union Memorial Center, Suite 411
520-621-2588