How to Advance Your Accounting Career

Becoming an accountant was only the first step in building a successful career. Whether you’re seeking certification or are interested in focusing your accounting practice in a specific area, you have numerous options to consider for career advancement.

The field of accounting is currently expanding at a steady pace of 4%, according to research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As the industry continues to grow, at least 61,000 new positions for accountants and advancement opportunities in the field will be available by 2029.

More than 1,400,000 accountants are employed today, and tax accounting companies make up a large portion of the field’s employers. With 24% of accountants being employed by either bookkeeping, payroll or tax preparation companies, plus additional positions in tax planning and resolution of tax disputes, tax accounting is a promising sector for accountants seeking career advancement.

What is Tax Accounting?

Essential to businesses and individuals alike, tax accounting focuses on ensuring that businesses and individuals pay taxes as accurately and efficiently as possible. Accountants who specialize their practice in taxation combine expertise in tax law and accounting to plan for the preparation of taxes for their clients. Professionals in this field also ensure necessary documentation is available for potential audits by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The BLS reports the median annual salary for accountants in the United States was $71,550 in 2019, with the top 10% of accounting professionals earning salaries of up to $124,450. Increasing your salary potential and advancing your accounting career with a specialization in taxation is possible with the right graduate education.

Master of Accounting
Average time for completion: 2 years

The Master of Accounting is an ideal route for individuals with academic or professional backgrounds in accounting or finance who want to become certified in their states, as this degree prepares students to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam. The degree program delivers the advanced finance expertise you need to succeed as a certified accountant through rigorous instruction and clinical practice hours. With this program, you’ll graduate with the necessary real-world knowledge and experience to help you take the next step in your career.

Although the Master of Accounting does not focus on tax education specifically, the degree is commonly pursued by individuals working toward careers in taxation due to its well-rounded subject matter. By choosing this degree option, you’ll graduate with basic knowledge of taxation and have the credential to pursue advanced educational opportunities and promising careers immediately following graduation.

Career Outcomes:

  • Auditing clerk
  • Budget analyst
  • Certified public accountant
  • Financial analyst
  • Personal financial adviser

Master of Tax Law (MT)
Average time for completion: 2 years

While the Master of Accounting may seem like the obvious choice for accountants taking the next steps in their education, a Master of Tax Law (MT) is also capable of providing the education you need for accounting career advancement, with a focus on taxation. The MT is ideal for those seeking positions in the business and finance sectors of the tax accounting field that focus on planning and structuring operations and transactions to minimize taxes while complying with the rules.

By choosing this program, you’ll receive an education that combines tax law and accounting, and you’ll graduate with the qualifications for a variety of in-demand professional roles that specialize in tax planning and consulting.

Career Outcomes:

  • Chief financial officer
  • Corporate controller
  • IRS accountant
  • IRS agent
  • Partner, accounting firm, tax
  • Senior financial adviser
  • Sales tax auditor
  • Senior tax accountant
  • Senior tax manager
  • Tax auditor
  • Tax consultant
  • Tax director

Combine Tax Law and Accounting in Your Career

Making the decision to advance your accounting career opens the door to endless possibilities. Whether you choose to become a CPA with a Master of Accounting or pursue a role as a tax consultant with an MT degree, you’ll graduate with the essential skills and competitive edge necessary to succeed in your chosen career field.

Loyola Law School offers a variety of tax law degrees, including its top-quality MT program that delivers the skills you need to advance your career in tax accounting. The program is taught by skilled professors who incorporate their professional experience with tax law and accounting into each course. As you learn from the experts, you’ll build the skills employers are looking for and prepare for the next step toward career advancement.

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