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Fredonia students in accounting go on the rewarding careers in business and education using the skills from their degree in accounting, or business administration degree.
Fredonia students in accounting go on the rewarding careers in business and education using the skills from their degree in accounting, or business administration degree.

Pursuing an exciting career in the thriving accounting profession starts with Fredonia. 

  • May 24, 2023
  • Marketing and Communications staff

What is an Accountant?

An accountant is a professional responsible for recording, organizing, and analyzing financial information. Their duties include preparing financial statements that summarize an organization's financial position, conducting audits to ensure accuracy and compliance with regulations, and providing guidance on tax planning and filing. Accountants play a crucial role in maintaining financial order by meticulously tracking revenues, expenses, and other transactions. Their expertise allows them to generate valuable insights that inform an organization's budgeting, investment, and operational decisions.

A bachelor's degree in accounting from Fredonia's AACSB accredited Accounting Program provides specialized training to launch a rewarding career in this analytically demanding yet financially lucrative field. Our comprehensive accounting curriculum equips students with expertise in financial reporting, managerial accounting, taxation, auditing, and accounting information systems. This balanced approach prepares graduates for diverse accounting roles in public accounting firms, private corporations, government agencies, and beyond. 

Internships

Fredonia's internship requirement provides priceless practical experience applying accounting principles in real-world settings by their junior year. By fusing advanced technical instruction with hands-on training, Fredonia molds accounting degree graduates into job-ready professionals with the specialized knowledge and skills to thrive in this dynamic, high-demand field.

What is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

A CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, is an accountant who has passed the CPA exam and met additional state certification and experience requirements. CPAs are highly regarded in the accounting field and are often sought after for their expertise in financial analysis and reporting, auditing, and tax preparation. At Fredonia, many students choose to pursue the CPA after completing their undergraduate accounting degree. 

Why are Accountants Important in Business?

Accountants are indispensable in any major organization, ensuring the accuracy and integrity of financial data. Through meticulous record-keeping and regular audits, they detect inconsistencies and potential fraud. Accountants ensure financial health, aid in decision-making, and maintain compliance with laws and regulations. Without skilled accountants, businesses would struggle with financial management and strategic planning. By maintaining precise accounting records, accountants build trust with stakeholders like investors, regulators, and employees. Their analysis of financial data provides actionable insights, guiding management in strategic decision-making, budgeting, and forecasting. Accountants' expertise supports ethical financial practices and ensures legal and fiscal compliance, safeguarding the organization’s long-term sustainability and growth. Simply put, without accountants, the financial backbone of any organization would crumble.

How Do You Become an Accountant?

To become an accountant, students typically need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Many aspiring accountants pursue further education to meet the 150-semester hour requirement for CPA certification, which often includes obtaining a master’s degree. At Fredonia, upper-level core business courses in areas like finance, marketing, and operations management provide accounting students with a broad business foundation. And with small class sizes and accessible faculty, accounting students at Fredonia benefit from a supportive learning environment as they pursue a challenging but rewarding major. Here is a typical educational path:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Accounting or Related Field: This usually takes about four years and covers foundational topics such as financial accounting, managerial accounting, taxation, and auditing.
  • Additional Coursework for CPA Certification: Meeting the 150-semester hour requirement often involves extra coursework or a master's degree.
  • CPA Exam Preparation and Passing: Preparing for and passing the CPA exam is a rigorous process that demonstrates your expertise and commitment to the field.

How Much Do Accountants Make?

Salaries are determined by a number of factors including experience, location, and specific job role.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for accountants is $79,890 per year, and the growth rate from 2022 to 2032 is projected at 4%. 

At Fredonia, our accounting degree program cultivates the powerful blend of technical expertise and interpersonal abilities that make accountants indispensable in any organization. Just as importantly, Fredonia accounting degree students develop critical soft skills through case study analysis, presentations, and collaborative projects that hone their communication, problem-solving, and teamwork abilities. Internships and networking events facilitate making professional connections while providing opportunities to apply classroom lessons in real-world settings. Here are some essential skills for accounting professionals and why they matter:

  • Attention to Detail: Ensuring accuracy in financial records is crucial, as even small errors can have significant consequences.
  • Analytical Skills: Accountants must analyze financial data to provide insights and recommendations.
  • Communication Skills: Explaining complex financial information in a way that stakeholders can understand is vital.
  • Ethical Judgment: Adhering to ethical and professional standards is non-negotiable in accounting.
  • Time Management: Managing multiple tasks and deadlines efficiently is key to staying on top of responsibilities.

 

The comprehensive accounting degree curriculum at Fredonia equips students with technical expertise across financial reporting, tax, auditing, and accounting systems - key competencies sought by public accounting firms and corporate employers alike. By requiring an internship, Fredonia ensures its accounting degree graduates gain practical experience applying concepts in a real-world setting, making them job-ready professionals. In addition, accounting degree students develop specialized accounting skills that enhance their ability to perform specific tasks including:

  • Tax Preparation and Planning: Understanding tax laws and regulations to optimize financial outcomes for clients.
  • Auditing: Conducting thorough examinations of financial records to ensure accuracy and compliance.
  • Financial Reporting: Preparing detailed reports that summarize an organization’s financial status.
  • Budgeting and Forecasting: Helping businesses plan for the future by creating and analyzing budgets and forecasts.
  • Use of Accounting Software: Proficiency in software like QuickBooks, SAP, or Excel is crucial for modern accounting practices.

Courses like business law and the upper-level business core develop essential soft skills like analytical thinking, communication, and cross-functional knowledge that give Fredonia's accounting degree graduates a competitive edge in the job market. Our graduates find an accounting degree is extremely flexible because it provides foundational skills that are applicable in various industries, from public accounting and corporate finance to non-profit organizations and government agencies. Accounting degree graduates can pursue a wide range of career paths, often into leadership and entrepreneurial activities. Here are just a few of the many potential opportunities:

  • Public Accountant: Work for accounting firms providing services like auditing, tax preparation, and consulting.
  • Corporate Accountant: Manage financial records for businesses, ensuring compliance and aiding in strategic planning.
  • Tax Advisor: Specialize in tax planning and compliance for individuals or corporations.
  • Government Accountant and Nonprofit Accounting: Work in various governmental agencies, managing public funds and ensuring regulatory compliance.
  • Financial Analyst: Analyze financial data to help businesses make investment decisions.
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting: Preparing and presenting financial statements to stakeholders.
  • Managerial Accounting and Cost Management: Analyzing financial data to aid in internal decision-making.
  • Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination: Investigating financial discrepancies and fraud.
  • International Accounting: Managing accounting practices that comply with international standards.
  • Accounting Information Systems: Developing and managing systems for financial data processing.
  • Auditing and Assurance Services: Reviewing and verifying the accuracy of financial statements.
  • Internal Auditing: Evaluating internal controls and processes for efficiency and compliance.
  • Payroll and Human Resources: Managing employee compensation and related records.
  • Business Educator: Teaching accounting principles and practices in an academic setting.

The State University of New York at Fredonia’s School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International for its degree programs in Accounting, Public Accountancy, Business Administration, Finance, Management, and Marketing.

With this accreditation, Fredonia is now ranked among only the top five percent of Business Schools in the world, and among the 25 percent of Business Schools in the United States.

Minor Programs

Preparing for the Future at Fredonia

Our accounting degree program readies students for the rapidly evolving landscape of the profession. We take a well-rounded approach that imparts technical accounting mastery alongside the professional skills to immediately make an impact on the job. While building expertise in traditional domains like financial reporting, auditing, taxation, and managerial accounting, our accounting curriculum also provides training in emerging areas reshaping the field. Through our accounting internships, students gain hands-on experience with new technologies such as blockchain, AI-driven financial modeling tools, and accounting for cryptocurrencies.

Our highly qualified faculty bring industry experience into the classroom, ensuring lessons remain anchored in real-world relevance. Numerous networking events, case competitions, and accounting internship opportunities allow accounting students to build professional connections and apply their knowledge in practical settings. By the time they graduate, Fredonia accounting students possess the rare combination of advanced technical knowledge and polished interpersonal skills required to provide exemplary client service and savvy business advisory. This holistic preparation empowers our alumni to thrive in public accounting firms, private industry roles, governmental positions, and as entrepreneurs. 

For those looking to launch an accounting career built on a modern, future-focused education, we encourage you to explore Fredonia's accounting degree program further. Reach out to our advisors to learn more about our strengths-based approach to developing the next generation of accounting leaders.

Accounting Degree at Fredonia

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