This major prepares students for careers in public, corporate, not-for-profit, and governmental accounting and also provides an appropriate background for those planning to enter law school or graduate school. Accountants develop and interpret historical and prospective financial data required for decision-making by managers, investors, regulators, and other stakeholders. To perform their functions, accountants must synthesize both numerical and qualitative information, communicate it clearly, and function effectively as individuals and in teams. The field of accounting is diverse and offers students the opportunity to be generalists or concentrate in one of the following:
Corporate Control & Financial Management
Graduates can take positions in industry, government, and business advisory services doing financial planning, analysis, control, and decision support. Graduates can obtain such designations as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and other accounting and finance professional designations. Certified Public Accountants provide all facets of accounting services including but not limited to audit, tax, and business advisory services. Accounting professionals provide critical support particularly for small businesses, and are in high demand throughout the United States and our global financial markets to help investors, creditors, and other business allegiance to trust in the accounting and financial information provided. Many accounting professionals also enter fields providing support for strategic management planning, financial and economic forecasts, budget reviews, and assistance with managing costs and business performance.
Internal Auditing and Assessment
Students are also prepared for positions in industry and government as internal auditors. Graduates can obtain such designations as Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Internal auditors are employed by the organization they audit. Internal auditing is a systematic approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. Internal auditors also review compliance with standards and assess the organization's risks.
Public accounting is carried on by independent practitioners, most of whom are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). In addition to statutory audits, CPAs render other assurance, tax, and management advisory services. Enrolling in the Penn State Berks Accounting Program is a great way to attain the educational prerequisites to pass the CPA exam to become licensed either in Pennsylvania or any other state in the country.
Other Fields for Accounting Professionals
Many accounting graduates are also in demand from financial firms to assist in managing investment plans, project planning, monitoring, and evaluation, and financial analysis. Graduates also pursue careers as actuaries working with insurance and pension plan service firms, as well as professional positions in the fields of logistics management, purchasing efficiencies, and cost management specifically in the areas of manufacturing and agriculture.