Like many other professions, the accounting field had to quickly adapt to changes over the past few years. Finance and accounting professionals began utilizing mobile platforms and new technology in order to better stay in touch with their clients. In addition to these necessary changes, the accounting field has also shifted toward providing a more personalized service to clients. As stated in this recent Forbes article, “Clients will increasingly expect accounting and tax professionals to become ‘holistic advisors’ rather than simply being transactional accountants.”
As necessary skill sets and mindsets in accounting continue to shift, those in the accounting field may consider pursuing higher education opportunities in order to stay on top of trends in the industry. One option for working professionals is remote education opportunities. Per an article in U.S. News & World Report, “An online master’s in accounting may lead to more job opportunities and higher salaries for those who want to continue their education beyond an accounting bachelor’s degree or gain more specialized knowledge in the field.”
Read the article below to find out more about technology trends in accounting, and to learn more about master’s in accounting careers in terms of job titles, career outlook, and salary data.
Technology Trends in Accounting
As noted above, one way the accounting industry is shifting is with the use of new technology. Below are three current technology trends that will play a role in accounting for years to come.
Big data is a term describing more complex, larger data sets. As stated in a Forbes article on the six biggest technology trends in accounting and finance, “today, data isn’t just numbers and spreadsheets that accountants have been familiar with for years; it also includes unstructured data that can be analyzed through natural language processing. This can allow for real-time status monitoring of financial matters.” One way that accountants and finance professionals are using big data is for auditing purposes, with the benefit of producing more data-driven results.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more prevalent in many industries, and people are developing best practices for using it. As stated in a different Forbes article about artificial intelligence and accounting, the best way to use AI is to let it perform mundane tasks (like routine and repetitive tasks) so you have time to solve more complex problems. The article emphasizes that balance is important when it comes to AI: “There are just some things that a human can do better—like getting to know clients’ needs and plans for the future and crafting personalized financial analysis to help them get there.”
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be used to complete several different tasks in accounting like processing and automatically auditing financial statements. RPA reduces transactional data processing, which gives accountants and finance professionals more time to focus on their clients.
Master’s of Science in Accounting
One way to stay on top of new technology trends in accounting is to pursue an advanced degree like the online MS in Accounting at Pace University. You’ll learn about the latest trends in technology, gain career-ready skills, and receive hands-on experience with auditing, reporting, analytics, and statistics. A master’s degree in accounting may help you progress into leadership roles and increase your earning potential. Students also prepare to take the CPA exam.
Master’s in Accounting Careers
Though “tax accountant” might be the first job that comes to mind, the master’s degree in accounting job outlook is actually diverse, and the degree can be used in a variety of different fields. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual master’s in accounting salary in the United States is $63,490 (as of January 2022). Below are five of the careers you can pursue with a master’s in accounting.
|Career||Average Salary*||High Salary Skills**|
|Senior Auditor||$71,658||Audit engagements
|Senior Financial Analyst||$75,571||Management reporting
|Financial Manager||$78,873||Financial modeling
|Financial Controller||$86,480||Financial planning
*Salary information taken from PayScale, January 2022.
**Skills information taken from Burning Glass, January 2022.
An accountant prepares budget forecasts, conducts financial audits, reconciles bank statements, and manages financial information. Some accountants help file taxes for individuals and businesses. This type of accountant may be referred to as a tax accountant, but some types of accounting have other focuses in addition to tax accounting). Below are other areas that you can specialize in within accounting:
- Public accountantA public accountant is also known as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). A CPA prepares tax returns and analyzes financial records. CPAs can also be considered tax accountants.
- Management accountantManagement accountants work for public companies, private businesses, and government agencies, helping manage company investments.
- Government accountantGovernment accountants are CPAs who maintain records for government agencies.
Also, anyone who thinks accounting isn’t a rock star career should note that Mick Jagger and Robert Plant both worked as accountants before becoming actual rock stars.
An auditor reviews and verifies financial records for accuracy, and examines records to determine the financial status of a company or organization. Auditors also make sure that companies are following all tax rules. A senior auditor holds a leadership role on their team, ensuring that their teammates complete their tasks.
The top locations for auditor job locations in the United States are as follows:
- New York
Senior Financial Analyst
As stated on ZipRecruiter, “financial analysts improve a company’s financial profile by aligning accounting decisions with economic trends.” Tasks for a senior financial analyst include the following:
- Performing research and analysis
- Building financial models
- Preparing reports
According to U.S. News & World Report, senior financial analysts can make a sizable income, in exchange for long hours at work (the site estimates 50 to 70 hour per week).
A financial manager plans and directs the financial activities of an organization or company. Some common tasks of a financial manager include directing investment activities, preparing financial statements and forecasting reports, and developing plans for the long term financial goals of a company. A financial manager has a projected job growth of 5.1%
The top locations to find a job as a financial manager are as follows:
- New York
(Projected growth and top location data was retrieved from Burning Glass in February 2022).
Financial controllers take care of a company’s records and books. They also oversee the everyday financial operations for organizations. Some of the responsibilities of a financial controller include the following:
- Preparing financial reports
- Analyzing financial data
- Supervising the quality of financial reporting and accounting
Treasurer/Financial controller jobs are growing, with an 8.9% projected growth over the next ten years (information taken from Burning Glass in January 2022).
About the online Master of Science in Accounting”
The online Master of Science in Accounting prepares working professionals to excel in accounting roles at all levels of their organizations. The program blends real-world use cases with theory-based coursework, providing students with relevant job skills. The online MS in Accounting also helps prepare students for the CPA and other professional examinations.
For over a century, Pace University’s Lubin School of Business has been preparing professionals for fulfilling careers in business. From responsive professor communication to hands-on, project-based learning, we do everything we can to help students succeed.
Pace’s Lubin School of Business and its Accounting Department has dual accreditation in business and accounting by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, an elite distinction shared by fewer than 2% of business schools in the world. Pace is also the #1 private university in the nation for upward economic mobility of students according to Harvard University’s Opportunity Insight, which is evidence of the transformative education the university provides.
With graduates thriving in companies like the Big 4 accounting firms starting with AIG, Nickelodeon, L’Oreal, Tesla, leading accounting firms (e.g., Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, and E&Y) and financial institutions (e.g., Goldman Sachs, JPM Chase), and many others, Pace equips students with vital accounting knowledge, while also creating innovative thinkers that companies want.