Job hunting resource, Monster, states that entry-level accounting jobs pay average salaries like most industries. Some of the highest-paying jobs for accounting majors pay from $80,000 to $100,000 per year. These positions are reserved for accountants with master’s degrees, industry certification and ample professional experience.
1. Chief Financial Officer
Chief financial officers are responsible for developing, implementing and assessing financial strategies and long-term plans. They oversee financial operations for multiple divisions and departments. They may evaluate programs to verify adequate funding, internal control integrity and continuing financial viability. They often work directly with the company’s Board of Directors to plan, budget and track the company’s financial performance. They are instrumental in developing new savings programs, industry alliances and capital spending plans. Chief financial officers set up and evaluate capital spending plans related to grants, mergers and acquisitions. They oversee all aspects of the company’s financial reporting to the board, regulators, strategic partners and regulatory bodies.
2. Cost Accountant Manager
Cost accounting managers create, execute and review internal controls, procedural constraints, internal audits and data accumulation systems. They investigate accuracy variances for cycle counting, physical inventories and fixed asset management systems. Their cost accounting duties include standard reviews, general ledgers and journal entry calculations. They reconcile monthly balance sheet accounts for cash, inventory, liabilities and fixed assets. Cost accounting managers generate and share cost, forecasting, budgeting and track marginal analyses for management and business partners. Cost accounting managers develop relationships and maintain partnerships with financial bodies and industry counterparts.
3. Assistant Controller
Assistant controllers monitor program adherence to accounting rules, finance regulations and government procedures. They work with the senior comptroller, chief financial officer and board of directors to develop and revise policies. Assistant controllers implement new board decisions, present monthly management reports and attend association meetings as needed. They work with front-line supervisors to provide support, reinforce controls and help resolve employee payroll issues. Some companies may ask them to monitor and maintain business, contract, worker’s comp and employee group insurance plans. They may interface with technical teams, server administrators and desk level support to understand and resolve IT-based accounting issues.
4. Forensic Accountant
Forensic accountants are tasked with uncovering internal control vulnerabilities, financial integrity problems and unethical employee actions. In order to accomplish this, they review and analyze historical financial data, statements, tax returns, accounting records, revenue documents, industry information and expense projections. Forensic accountants data mine accounting information systems in order to collect raw data and related records. They may digitally reconstruct financial exchanges and accounting records to discover improper conduct or fraudulent transactions. They will compile facts and analyze circumstances to substantiate claims or critique alleged conclusions.
5. Budget Analyst
Budget analysts prepare detailed financial reports of existing accounts and potential clients. These reports could involve market transactions, outstanding debts, economic characteristics, cash flow models and proposed financing programs. They may use established program budgets and cash flows to forecast upcoming changes and potential parameters. Budget analysts compose memos, proposals, marketing materials and draft presentations to generate new business and take advantage of commercial opportunities. For example, they may provide market update reports regarding industry events, competitor transactions, key market indices and SEC compliance measures.
6. Cost Estimator
Cost estimators will identify and quantify expenses related to labor, materials, production, maintenance and downtime. They may travel to production sites to gather information, blueprints, invoices, payroll and technical documentation on relevant factors. They may collaborate with engineers, managers, logisticians, accountants and vendors to understand and collect data. Cost estimators sometimes must reach out to consultants and industry experts to discuss estimates, resolve issues and establish standards. They usually use special software to calculate and produce accurate estimates. Their most common reports involve a product’s profitability and cost-effectiveness.
Auditors who deal with accountancy may work with a variety of regulations and systems. Health care accounting auditors do this to identify provider deficiencies, billing errors and educational needs. For example, an auditor who works for a health care organization may conduct reviews of outpatient and inpatient medical records for accuracy and integrity. On the other hand, they may create clear and detailed recommendations to improve documentation quality for Medicare and Medicaid claims. They use auditing software program to access and download data from electronic health care record programs and health care information management systems. They identify departmental and interdivision process discrepancies in order to identify risks and maximize financial profit.
8. Treasury Analyst
Treasury analysts usually work for state or federal agencies. They compile, prepare and review financial data of public funds. They complete analyses of financial and accounting data in order to develop and present recommendations to management. Treasury analysts provide support for routine transactions and non-routine financial questions. For example, this could involve investments, acquisitions, capital structure and local treasury operations. Treasury analysts may review daily cash positions, cash management projects and interdepartmental assignments. They enforce, support and enhance internal controls in order to maintain the highest level of integrity, protect confidentiality and demonstrate public stewardship.
9. Tax Accountant
Tax accountants may perform a variety of duties. For example, a tax accountant who works for a global corporation may prepare foreign income tax and VAT return filings. They may reconcile corporate accounting records to foreign entity financial information. Tax accountants assist in the monthly end close process, which includes journal entry preparation, and prepare quarterly financial analysis, which includes both domestic and international operations. Tax accountants who work for international companies may assist in the development and implementation of accounting processes and internal control standards for foreign entities.
10. Credit Analysis Manager
A credit analysis manager will provide independent analyses of credit quality for loan applications. They will forecast and determine potential borrowers’ financial integrity and ability to repay. Credit analysis managers who work for community banks will support credit analysts and lending staff through the completion of specific analysis reports. They carefully review commercial applicant’s credit history to understand and determine compliance with corporate policy, credit standards and governmental regulation requirements. Credit analysis managers will follow company procedures to prepare accurate credit approval documents that identify the strengths and weakness of each proposed transaction.
Related Resource: 10 Highest-Paying Jobs for Information Technology Grads
Some of the additional highest-paying jobs for accounting majors include financial director, divisional controller, banking officer. Most of these job candidates will be expected to have CPA licenses and master’s degrees.