Becoming an Accounting Manager

The title of accounting manager is considered a top position in the field of finance. It takes a high level of education and certification to qualify for management careers in accounting, but the long-term rewards can be worth the effort. Entry-level accountants can earn annual salaries in the range of $38,000, while those who work their way up to management positions may earn up to $100,000 per year, according to the BLS. The national average for accountants as of 2012 though is $71,040.

To be an accounting manager requires a special mix of qualifications. Accounting managers are not only in charge of keeping track of the flow of money, they are often responsible for managing the work of other accountants. Suggested credentials would be a graduate degree from an accredited institute of higher learning, proper and legitimate accounting certification, and at least one or two years of on-the-job experience.

Well-qualified and highly-credentialed accountants can hold a number of management positions within the world of finance. Various titles for accounting managers can include:

  • Budget Director
  • Manager of Internal Auditing
  • Chief Comptroller
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Cost Accountant, and many more.

Professional accountants with the highest qualifications can rise to pinnacle positions, such as CEO (chief executive officer) or corporation president.

As with many other professions, the higher the level of education, the greater the possibilities for career advancement. An inexperienced accountant with an associate degree may be qualified to apply for entry-level jobs; however, a management position in accounting typically demands a bachelor's degree at minimum. Top executive positions generally require a master's degree in accounting or even a PhD.

Higher education alone does not suffice to make a career in accounting management. Certifications are a key factor for success, and the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is the number one certification required for a professional career. It is virtually impossible to enter an accounting management position without a CPA license.

To advance within specialty areas of accounting management, such as forensics or tax auditing, CPAs will often seek additional certifications from recognized accounting organizations. One example is the CMA (Certified Management Accountant), a title awarded to qualified candidates by the Institute of Management Accountants. Other specialty certifications can include Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and several others.

Experience is another critical factor for career advancement. In fact, only highly-experienced CPAs can apply for specialty certifications. A few solid years of experience as a trainee or junior accountant makes a good foundation for advancement. Experienced CPAs become qualified for accounting manager positions by completing graduate degrees and achieving specialty certifications.

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These Schools Can Lead to Accounting Manager Careers
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
Masters Degrees in Accounting
PhD Degrees in Accounting
Minneapolis,
MN
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
Garden City,
NY
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Degrees
• Private
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• Medium Campus Size
66%
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Adrian,
MI
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Degrees
• Private
College
• Medium Campus Size
57%
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
Masters Degrees in Accounting
South Gate,
CA
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Degrees
• Private
Community College
• Small Campus Size
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• Weekend Classes
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Des Moines,
IA
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• Private
College
• Small Campus Size
72%
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
Graniteville,
SC
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Degrees
• Public
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
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PhD Degrees in Accounting
Montgomery,
AL
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Masters Degrees in Accounting
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Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
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Albion,
MI
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Reading,
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Alcorn State,
MS
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Masters Degrees in Accounting
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Masters Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Alfred,
NY
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College
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7%
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Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
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PhD Degrees in Accounting
Santa Maria,
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Laguna Hills,
CA
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Amarillo,
TX
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Garland,
TX
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Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
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PA
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Masters Degrees in Accounting
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Degrees
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• Medium Campus Size
74%
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Masters Degrees in Accounting
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Certificates in Accounting
Washington,
DC
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Anderson,
IN
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Berrien Springs,
MI
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36%
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Masters Degrees in Accounting
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Lufkin,
TX
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
San Angelo,
TX
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• Medium Campus Size
9%
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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PhD Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
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Grand Rapids,
MI
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79%
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
Masters Degrees in Accounting
Glenside,
PA
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56%
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Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Little Rock,
AR
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Russellville,
AR
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87%
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Masters Degrees in Accounting
Brooklyn,
NY
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Wilmore,
KY
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63%
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Clinton,
IA
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College
• Large Campus Size
96%
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Ashland,
OH
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College
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7%
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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Denver,
CO
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
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Worcester,
MA
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75%
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
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College
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Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Coconut Creek,
FL
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Auburn University,
AL
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77%
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• Medium Campus Size
73%
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Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
Masters Degrees in Accounting
PhD Degrees in Accounting
Minneapolis,
MN
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Degrees
• Private
College
• Medium Campus Size
51%
Acceptance Rate
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Out-of-State
Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
Masters Degrees in Accounting
PhD Degrees in Accounting
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Tuition
Degrees
• Public
College
• Medium Campus Size
54%
Acceptance Rate
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• Weekend Classes
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Out-of-State
Associate's Degrees in Accounting
Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
Masters Degrees in Accounting
Sioux Falls,
SD
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College
• Medium Campus Size
75%
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Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
Masters Degrees in Accounting
Rock Island,
IL
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College
• Medium Campus Size
68%
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• Weekend Classes
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Out-of-State
Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
Aurora,
IL
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Degrees
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• Medium Campus Size
74%
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Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
Masters Degrees in Accounting
PhD Degrees in Accounting
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Degrees
• Public
Community College
• Large Campus Size
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• Weekend Classes
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Associate's Degrees in Accounting