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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 1/9/2006 4:53:44 AM EDT
I'll be going back to school for my bachelors degree and have been considering majoring in accounting. I have just about all the undergrad basic classes out of the way and now I'm trying to narrow my choices down. I'm not your traditional college student since I just turned 38. I'm looking for something that will provide me with a steady/stable income and possibly start my own small business when I'm done.

Link Posted: 1/9/2006 6:25:41 AM EDT
I AM NOT IN AWAY an accountant or finance type of person. I have dyscalculia so I am lucky to write a check.

Now thats out of the way, my wife is a CPA and I put her through school so I have some in depth knowledge of the in's and out of getting in to the accountant world.
The key that unlocked the job she wanted was getting her CPA. Getting her CPA was just like taking another year of school, it's a tough test.

She loves her job right up to tax's season then its then its 3 months of heavy OT. The rest of the year she tracks down people stealing, she loves the paper trail. Follow the money means something to her.

What do you want to know exactly ? If its personal if Please IM me, the wife would not want anything personal about her on the board.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 10:25:07 AM EDT
Accounting majors lead to CPA's or staff accountant, various audit/coonsulting/tax areas, but are always in demand all over the business world.
Finance majors, while a more "narrow" job field, may lead to more "interesting" fields ,lead to a bank jobs, etc.
I think accounting major grads have more job choices.

Accounting is a good academic background to have if you plan on starting your own business, but salaries are an addiction.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 9:26:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2006 9:27:33 AM EDT by Hartmann]
What James said.

I have an MBA but I can tell you that CPAs will ALWAYS be in demand: through good times and recessions, etc., companies always need them. Also, they are very "portable" jobs -- you can live almost anywhere and get a job. I also think that you have a good chance of having your own business once you have some experience under your belt w/a CPA. If you read Millionaire Next Door (and you should), you'll know that most wealthy people get there by owning their own business such as accounting offices.

If you're looking for security and options, I say CPA is it.

However for some people, like me, accounting is mind-numbingly dull work. It takes the right personality to do it well and enjoy it, but there seem to be many of those types so it's not a rare talent.

What can be more lucrative (initially anyway) is Finance, particularly Investment Banking. I had many friends do the standard Wall Street IB route after B-school and they made a ton of money. Of course they killed themselves in the process -- working 48 hours straight, unrelenting high pressure, and loads of turnover. But the pay is high so the jobs are very very competitive to get. Most Fianance majors go to work for companies and do "corporate finance."

Hope this helps. Feel free to IM me if I can help any more.
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 12:35:26 PM EDT
I'm about to fininsh my master's in accounting from BYU. I'll be working for one of the "big 4" firms when I graduate. As a 24 year old, my perspective is somewhat different from yours but I'll give you my take anyway.

As has previously been posted, accountants are always in demand--especially now with with SarbOx and other new regulatory requirements. You are not necessarily stuck with accounting jobs with an accounting degree; accounting is a solid background for many fields. About half of my courses in the last couple years have been MBA classes and some of my classmates are going into consulting (although most are going big 4).

Accounting will definitely be a good background for a small business; the accounting is often the hardest aspect to understand.

The work can definitely been dull--the accountant stereotypes aren't for nuthin'! However, job security is good, pay is decent, and the advancement potential is there.

If I can be helpful, feel free to email me.
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 8:01:46 PM EDT
Great, thanks guys! I really appreciate the input. I figured with my background in IT (and me wanting to get out of IT but not necessarily give up my IT experience) that accounting would be a good choice to compliment it. I know I have a long way to go before I actually get my degree and the road will be difficult but I look forward to it. Thanks again for all the replies and rest assured if I have any more questions you inboxes will be flooded!
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 7:39:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/13/2006 7:50:27 AM EDT
I got a broad liberal-arts undergraduate degree and then earned a joint JD/MBA Accounting. I'm licensed as both a lawyer and CPA, but prefer to practice public accounting. At 38, I think that would be the best route for you, especially if, like me, you like to build ongoing relationships with customers. Law was too transactional for me. Public accounting gives you the opportunity to help people on an ongoing basis.

If you are a CPA, you can also challenge the Certified Financial Planner exam or go for the American Institute of CPA's Personal Financial Specialist credential. Tax and personal financial planning go together very naturally and can be the basis for a very lucrative practice. I just passed the Series 65 exam and will sit for the CFP exam within the next year or two.

One thing, though, IIRC there is a five-year education requirement for the CPA exam now. You'll want to take a look at that.
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 2:56:53 PM EDT
I was a stockbroker for almost 4 years.

I learned that there are brokers who are honest and those who make a lot of money. Don’t count on finding them both in the same person.

Stockbrokers are salesmen first. They have bills, just like everyone else.
If there’s a conflict between your financial wellbeing and their boat payment, you’re almost certainly going to lose.

The most dangerous phone call you’ll ever get from your broker will happen about 3 minutes after his manager tells him one of the following:
1. Your production sucks. If you don’t do another $10,000 by the end of the month, you’re fired!!
2. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but if you do another $10,000 by the end of the month, you’ll qualify for the trip to Vegas!!

Cape Canaveral
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:21:33 AM EDT
Agreed. I'm not interested in being a salesperson. My boss added investment advisory serveces because her tax and accounting clients were being poorly served by the securities industry. The fact that the firm offers only fee based advisory services was a selling point for me.
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