Georgia provides many opportunities for higher education in accounting, with one of the more popular options being Georgia Southern University's online program.
The University of Georgia offers a similar program in financial planning which can also be fully completed online. The state's capital city, Atlanta, provides the biggest variety of accounting opportunities at firms such as H&R Block, Deloitte, and SunTrust Banks, the latter being headquartered in the city and having over 1,400 branches across many southeastern states in the United States.
Seton Hall University's M.S. in Accounting (M.S.A.C.) is a 100% online accounting program that can be completed in can be completed in 12 – 24 months. When you earn your M.S.A.C. Online from Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business, you will develop the professional skills you need to excel in the world of professional accounting. This program is among only 1 percent worldwide to earn both business and accounting accreditation from the AACSB.
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Georgia Accounting Career Summary
- Average Mean Salary for Accountants and Auditors in Georgia: $
- Income Ranges: Top 90% Mean Salary: $ / Bottom 10% Mean Salary: $
- Employment Change: +9,210 jobs added between 2014 and 2024, an estimated average of 1,990 new accountant or auditor jobs in Georgia per year.
Online Masters in Accounting Degrees in Georgia
Georgia Southern University
Master of Accounting
The Parker College of Business has a MAcc degree that is available on-campus or through WebMAcc online and prepares students for the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam. It takes 30 credit hours to complete, and following the path of two courses in the fall and spring terms, and one course in the summer, it can be completed in two years. Core courses within the curriculum include Tax Research, Fraudulent Financial Reporting, and Current Legal Issues, and there are four electives to choose from. Students must have prior coursework in accounting, accounting information systems, auditing, and income taxes.
Admission requirements include holding a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university. The degree does not have to be within accounting, but the prerequisites will need to be completed before entering the program. Other needed submissions are an application with fee, transcripts, updated resume, personal statement, and GMAT scores. Average GMAT scores for students in the college is at 520. The curriculum is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Master of Accountancy
The fully online MAcc program can be completed in just one year for those looking for further education in accounting. The 31-credit hour curriculum is there to complement students with an undergraduate degree in accounting and to gain certification in the CPA exam. Prior classwork in moderate-level financial accounting, statistics, and auditing is needed before entering the program, and that must be designated on transcripts when applying for the program. The curriculum is mostly straightforward with core courses in Managerial Accounting, Business Analytics and Research Methods, and Legal and Ethical Issues for Accounting. They will also choose two of the following three electives: Accounting Information Systems, Corporate and Partnership Taxation, and an internship.
In order to gain entry into the program, along with the transcripts, students need to have at least a cumulative 2.5 GPA or within their last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. A GMAT score of 450 is also needed, but that is waived for students that already have at least five years of experience, the student is a graduate of Shorter University or from another accredited university, or they have completed one graduate-level course under the Early Access program. Graduation requirements include maintaining a 3.0 GPA and all courses must have a C grade or higher.
University of Georgia
Master of Science in Financial Planning
A similar program within accounting is the MSFP offered by the College of Family and Consumer Services. It is fully available online and prepares students to take the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exam. The curriculum typically takes two years to complete and courses will include Wealth Management, Estate Planning, and Financial Counseling and Client Communication. Up to six credit hours can be transferred into the program from other universities. Graduates have gone on from this program to take job opportunities such as a claims coordinator, financial advisor, and private wealth analyst.
Admission requirements include submitting official transcripts, GRE or GMAT test scores, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and an updated resume. If there are three years of work experience or the undergraduate degree holds a 3.0 GPA or higher, the GRE or GMAT scores can be waived. Students must have a desktop or laptop computer with a Windows or Mac operating system in order to access the content management system, and a fast internet connection for optimal viewing of videos on demand. Some courses may require additional peripherals, such as a webcam, microphone, and printer.
South University – Savannah
Master of Science in Accounting
The exclusive online program for an MSA degree at South University gives students the skill set needed to pass the CPA exam and make them certified for their upcoming accounting career. Topics that are covered include auditing and taxation principles within a business. The program will take approximately 15 months to complete for full-time students and curriculum meets the standards set by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). An alternative option for those going after an undergraduate degree is pursuing the combined BS and MS in Accounting, which can also be completed online.
Requirements for the online courses include having a device with a Windows or Mac operating system. Computers should be relatively modern in order to access all content, and there will need to be DVD-ROM drive access to get all the software. At least 1 Mbps of internet speed is recommended.Other hardware and software requirements include a digital camera, flatbed scanner, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Flash Player, Windows Media Player or Apple Quicktime, the entire suite of Microsoft Office software, and an anti-virus software.
Master of Accounting
Another accounting program that can be fully completed online is at Brenau University, which provides education within accounting principles (like analyzing financial statements), taxation, auditing, and fraud prevention in order to prepare students for either the CPA or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam. During the course, students can take practice sessions for the exam itself. Core courses within the curriculum include Accounting Theory, Corporate Taxation, and Fraud Prevention and Internal Control. The program is accredited by the ACBSP.
Online students have similar access to resources as the on-campus version, such as working with academic coaches and tutors while going through the curriculum. Graduates will be able to balance financial statements and complete income taxes for the organization they represent, or clients they take on, while following all the rules and regulations. Job positions that have been taken after graduation include being a financial analyst and payroll manager.
Accreditation Options in Georgia
One of the most popular accreditation organizations in Georgia is the ACBSP, but there are others that can validate higher education in accounting. Another popular accreditation found worldwide is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and there are also some regional-based associations.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Accredits higher education in the Southeastern and Southwestern portions of the United States. Some of the biggest aspects within a university they look for is integrity, accountability, and continuous improvement within their university. Schools must actively participate in the accreditation process to keep in good standing, and requires them to self-regulate and continue improving their institution, keeping up with the latest developments in the workforce and meeting employment needs.
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Founded in 1916, this accreditation service focuses on business schools that are not-for-profit. There is a newer specialized accreditation in accounting directly, which has been given to 182 different schools. Within the state of Georgia, this includes the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University, the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, and the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. It takes schools between four to five years to earn accreditation from the AACSB.
Career Opportunities in Georgia
Most finance and accounting job opportunities are found in Atlanta, which is no surprise considering it is one of the biggest cities in the United States. Deloitte is one of the more recognized firms within the Big Four in Atlanta, with job positions for tax managers, financial advisors, risk intelligence, and business valuation. The business valuation manager looks over financial reporting to appraise other businesses of any size for risk and tax advice, along with following regulation and compliance. At least a few years of experience in valuation along with a Master’s degree in the financial field is preferred for this position.
With plenty of opportunities in accounting, Atlanta is also one of the highest-paying cities in Georgia. According to Salary.com, the average for an entry-level accountant is $53,670 per year. Overall throughout the state, accounting salaries can range between $47,792 to $57,798 per year. More specialized opportunities, such as financial reporting or financial analysts, will make a little more money on average than a general accounting job. The average salary for an accountant at SunTrust Banks in Atlanta, which is a public banking company that is headquartered in the city, is $56,812 per year, with senior positions making nearly $76,500 annually.