Five High-Paying Jobs for an Accounting Degree

Updated April 27, 2021 | Staff Writers

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High-Paying Jobs for an Accounting Degree

  • Accounting Manager
  • Payroll/Invoice Administrator
  • Controller
  • CPA Tax Preparer
  • Accounting Analyst

There are many high-paying jobs for those who have accounting degrees. Most of these positions are reserved for job, transfer and promotion candidates who have master’s degrees and licensed certification. This includes the certified public accountant (CPA), certified internal auditor (CIA), certified general accountant (CGA), certified fraud examiner (CFE) and certified management accountant (CMA) designations.

Accounting Manager

Accounting managers may oversee AR, AP, GL, payroll, billing and revenue recognition operations. They will prepare monthly financial statements, conduct year-end close processes and compute quarterly payroll and business tax reports. Accounting managers must keep up with financial policies, state regulations and legislation changes. They must maintain thorough knowledge of all accounting laws, functions and procedures as specifically relate to their company and industry. They may use integrated software systems for the preparation of reports, analysis and spreadsheets. Accounting managers interface with supervisors, executives and other managers to prepare, correct and submit documentation.

Payroll/Invoice Administrator

Payroll/invoice administrators will oversee clerks who enter invoices, issue checks and handle payroll. These clerks may also maintain permits, 1099 Forms, W-4 files and W-9 documentation. They will prepare monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements that analyze payroll trends, costs, risks and opportunities. Payroll/invoice administrators work closely with accounting and human resources managers to track employee data, time and attendance. They may maintain bank accounts only used for payroll. This means that they deal with account reconciliations, cash flow obligations and interest earning maximization.


Controllers usually work for large organizations and corporations. They manage accounting staffing needs, deal with personnel issues as they arise and maintain control over accounting integrity. They may review all bank reconciliations, reconcile general ledgers, produce financial statements, renew insurance policies and coordinate vendor contracts. They help ensure that the company is complying with state and federal laws regarding accounting functions. Controllers may maintain communication with internal executives and directors as well as external corporate and commercial leaders. They must have a strong knowledge of Department of Revenue rules for their industry.

CPA Tax Preparer

CPA tax preparers usually work for public accounting firm. They deal with tax preparation, accounting and planning for both individuals and businesses. They often help small to medium sized businesses with payroll, taxation, accounting and compliance. They must have excellent people, technical and organizational skills. Tax preparers may work for franchise businesses like HR Block or they may work for international corporations. If so, they must understand global accounting rules and regulatory bodies. They will need CPA certification; public accounting experience and familiarity with QuickBooks, Microsoft applications and Adobe Professional.

Accounting Analyst

Accounting analysts provide processing, analyzing and summarizing services for business leaders. They scrutinize transaction, payroll, taxation, invoicing and sales data. They may properly classify and evaluate accounting transactions for reporting purposes. For example, they may analyze cash accounts, supporting schedules, payment histories, sales documentation and vendor invoices for accuracy and clarity. Accounting analysts facilitate data gathering and transformation functions to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of financial programs and operations. They may enter accounting data into software for tracking, compilation and manipulation purposes.

Other high-paying jobs for those who have accounting degrees include accounting supervisor, senior auditor and mutual fund administrator. The Bureau of Labor Statistics introduces common accounting careers here.

Related Resource: The 20 Best Online Accounting Degree Programs

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