Accounting Curriculum Overview for Financial Jobs
Large enterprises and small businesses alike face mounting pressure to boost profits and reduce risks. Accountants play a growing role in achieving these results as advanced skills and technological tools support them in promoting the financial interests of their clients.
Accountants provide a range of services for businesses. A financial accountant prepares external accounting reports on behalf of a company. These reports are distributed to shareholders, lenders, and other key entities. A managerial accountant prepares internal financial documents that help steer a company’s strategy and inform executives about daily operational decisions.
Pursuing an advanced degree such as an online Master of Accounting can deepen a foundation in accounting to prepare individuals for continuing career success. Through a high-level accounting curriculum, individuals broaden their knowledge of accounting concepts and hone the fundamental skills needed to excel in financial accounting positions.
Understanding Financial Accounting
Financial accounting provides investors and lenders an objective view of a company’s financial position. The data included in external reports offer a factual overview of past and present financial performance, exposing company risks as well as market advantages. Managerial accounting, in contrast, offers projections and estimates on various future scenarios to support an organization’s business development plans.
The core responsibilities of a financial accountant include:
- Preparing financial statements and reports.
- Overseeing tax filings and payments.
- Conducting internal audits.
A managerial accountant’s primary tasks include:
- Calculating revenue and income projections.
- Estimating cash flow budgets based on various scenarios.
- Evaluating and assessing potential investments.
Tax, investment, and lending professionals use a company’s financial statements—including balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements—to examine revenue growth, profitability, liquidity, and other concrete financial measurements. These statements assist external parties in deciding whether to provide future operating capital, extend credit, or do business with a company. They also can help evaluate a company’s vendors or suppliers or to conduct a tax audit.
All external financial reports in the U.S. must meet the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), which are maintained by the federally recognized Financial Accounting Standards Board. Documents prepared for multinational corporations must also meet international financial reporting standards (IFRS). These universal standards aim to ensure fair market practices by requiring accuracy, consistency, and transparency across companies and countries.
Exploring an Advanced Accounting Curriculum
Individuals pursuing a career in financial accounting need specialized analytical, communication, and technical skills. Norwich University’s online Master of Accounting program provides an advanced accounting curriculum that helps students sharpen essential competencies.
The Master of Accounting program has two concentrations: General Accounting and Forensic Accounting. The General Accounting concentration focuses on principles such as corporate tax and reporting standards, while the Forensic Accounting program concentrates on fraud, auditing, and liabilities.
Within the Master of Accounting degree, Norwich offers a full track for students new to accounting and an advanced track for those with undergraduate or professional accounting experience.
Foundational Accounting Curriculum
The full track includes several foundational courses that introduce students to accounting concepts, including:
- Financial and Managerial Accounting—focuses on how accounting provides the financial data needed to inform managerial decision-making. It also covers financial planning and controlling strategies that help businesses achieve their goals.
- Auditing and Assurance Service—provides a deep dive into the issues commonly associated with public accounting, including audit risk analysis, legal liability and ethics, and auditor reports.
Core Accounting Curriculum
The degree also includes core courses for both full-track and advanced-track students, such as:
- Advanced Cost Accounting—focuses on various techniques related to product costing, including an exploration of modern cost accounting approaches.
- Accounting Ethics— explains how ethical values such as integrity and objectivity play an important role in key accounting components, including business and accounting issues, economics, and professional standards within a practice.
General Accounting Curriculum
The General Accounting concentration offers additional courses that will prepare individuals for financial accounting roles, such as:
- Federal Income Tax for Corporations—discusses the taxation of various entities, such as sole proprietorships, S corporations, and limited liability entities.
- Contemporary Topics in Accounting—explores emerging challenges within various aspects of financial accounting, such as accounting for retiree pensions and fair value accounting.
Technology and the Future of Accounting
As new technologies transform the accounting profession, accountants must keep pace with the latest trends in software, data storage, and digital tools. Technical advancements can simplify accounting workflows and enhance financial analysis capabilities. Accountants also must understand market trends and the new technology tools adopted by clients.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and blockchain are reducing manual accounting tasks and improving the quality of data reporting, according to Forbes. These tools empower accountants by enabling them to apply their analytical expertise and critical-thinking skills to help clients build solid financial strategies.
Learn More About the Accounting Curriculum
Norwich University’s online Master of Accounting degree with a General Accounting concentration can help students acquire the skills required to succeed in a high-demand, fast-paced accounting career. Find out more about how an advanced accounting degree can support your professional goals by exploring Norwich University’s online Master of Accounting program.
Management Accounting vs. Financial Accounting, Houston Chronicle
How Do Investors and Lenders Benefit from Financial Accounting? Investopedia
What Are Financial Statements? Dun & Bradstreet
Frequently Asked Questions FAQs—Become a CPA, American Institute of CPAs
Accounting Trends of Tomorrow: What You Need to Know, Forbes