If you already have a degree in accounting, one great way to advance your career quickly is by obtaining a graduate certificate.
Famous American comedian Bob Newhart once said, “I was never a certified public accountant … I just had a degree in accounting. The reason I was never a certified public accountant was because it would require passing a test, which I would not have been able to do.”
In a world full of companies fixated on the bottom line, especially during an economic downturn created by an ongoing pandemic, an accounting certificate can open up exciting opportunities that an accounting degree alone cannot. It can also give you increased flexibility in your career path.
The biggest and best companies know that applicants who have explored the field through obtaining one or multiple accounting certifications will be an expert at coming up with out-of-the-box ideas.
Top Accounting Certificates
Indeed.com, the largest job site worldwide, lists some of the top accounting certifications that those who have a degree in accounting should consider pursuing to help further their career. In addition to rigorous coursework to help students enter the field of accounting, some colleges and universities that offer online accounting degree programs also help prepare individuals for the most common accounting certificate exam, with Becker Professional Education’s CPA exam prep built directly into the curriculum.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
A CPA, the most sought-after certification in accounting, guarantees that you have the skills needed for roles in forensic accounting, risk management, compliance, taxes, and other areas of expertise required for top accounting roles.
Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
With a CFE certification, you’ll be an expert in fraud examination, which includes financial transactions and fraud schemes, law and fraud prevention, and fraud investigation. It’s a smart path for professionals with an accounting degree interested in expanding their job opportunities in both private and public companies.
Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
If you’re aiming for a career as an internal auditor, the CIA certification will open doors in management or chief auditing. The best part? These certifications are also internationally recognized. Earning this certificate means that you are competent in risk control, information technology, and working with external clients as well as internal staff.
Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
With a CMA certification, you’ll be able to increase your competitive skills in cost management, decision analysis, forecasting, and internal control auditing. Large and multinational corporations looking to hire accounting and financial managers understand that a CMA accounting certificate shows mastery of the required skills to manage an entire accounting department, and many accountants tend to pursue the CMA and CPA certifications.
Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
If you’re interested in working globally in business and government, the CGMA certification is a great route to take. You’ll be hired by employers looking for someone with expertise in management accounting and developing a strategy to connect all areas of business,
Enrolled Agent (EA)
No one enjoys going through an IRS audit, but EA certified accountants help to make the process go as smoothly as possible for taxpayers. With an EA credential, you’ll be qualified to represent and advise clients facing personal or business tax audits. After passing the three-part comprehensive exam, the IRS awards you the certificate, and continuing education is required every three years to maintain it.
Pursuing Accounting Certificates Can Provide New Opportunities
If you’ve earned an accounting degree, congratulations on your accomplishment! Just keep in mind that obtaining any number of accounting certificates can help boost your career to exciting new heights, so be prepared for new opportunities to come streaming your way.