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  1. #1
    Mashtag is offline Registered User
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    MS Accounting, MS Management, or MBA for Internal Audit Professional

    I'm leaning towards an MS in Management to give me a foot in the door for an audit manager position. I already have a few years of Internal Audit (Operational and Compliance ) experience in the financial services sector.

    Does anyone know which degree would lead towards an eventual VP Internal Audit or Chief Audit Officer role down the line? My undergrad is in Operations Management , so I don't have a lot of accounting experience. Then again, I would be pretty miserable getting an MS in Accounting as I can't stand all the financial accounting classes, Tax classes, etc.

    I am intrigued by pursuing an MS Management degree to exhibit critical thinking managerial skills, but I don't want to appear too soft on my skills. I have many skills in finance and excel which could be of use in a risk management arena, but those might appear dull next to a soft-skill degree.

    I would get an MBA , but not sure if I'm ready for it as I may be moving across the country and I'll lose any alumni networks and name recognition. Plus I can't afford a big program anyway. An MBA is an option in another 10 years though. Perhaps I should just wait on the degree? Kids might be coming so I want to knock it out.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Any degree could ultimately lead a person to become a Chief Audit Officer or VP of Internal Audit. Our Chief Accounting Officer (who is a CPA ) has a bachelors in Finance, no masters degree.

    Troubling is the fact that you don't seem to like accounting . Internal audit can mean slightly different things in different areas. I don't know what it might entail in financial services. But I can tell you that where I work (manufacturing) it is a solidly accounting job. It is not something that you can just wiggle your way through with a spreadsheet template and no accounting experience. My company has an internal audit department (we don't have a VP of Internal Audit, they have a manager and the team reports directly to the CFO) and the minimum credentials to play are a bachelors in accounting or finance and a CPA . Preference is given for anyone with the Certified Internal Auditor designation and a masters in either accountancy or a very closely related field.

    Now, if your audit function can be accomplished by anyone, of any background with a spreadsheet or two, then by all means pursue that path and live well. To the rest of the world, however, the job you seek is largely an accounting job. So, experience and even degrees are not going to help you if your background simply doesn't match up to what those employers are actually looking for.

    I would also recommend against getting an MS accounting /accountancy if such would make you miserable (life is too short).
    M.B.A. University of Scranton (Anticipated 2019)
    M.S.M. (Project Management) University of Management and Technology
    B.S.O.L. Thomas Edison State University
    B.S.B.A. Colorado Technical University
    A.A. University of Scranton
    Certificate in Human Resources Management - Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations
    Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS)
    Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

  3. #3
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Side note on risk management : that's another phrase that means different things in different places. Here, it is a function of HR . At some other companies it is a function of corporate finance. The focus shifts depending upon where RM reports. Some companies have robust risk management infrastructures and others tack the title onto someone who has another full time job. Where I work now, you can get a job in risk management with some pretty basic finance skills. At other places, you need to be a full blown finance pro to even land an interview.

    If you want that "softer" RM role then you need to be prepared for some wildly divergent requirements in the marketplace. The associate in risk management designation is pretty standard but, beyond that, requirements can vary wildly. Here, they like you to have some sort of HR background. Other requirements I've seen include operations (yay, you!). It really just depends upon what that company needs.
    M.B.A. University of Scranton (Anticipated 2019)
    M.S.M. (Project Management) University of Management and Technology
    B.S.O.L. Thomas Edison State University
    B.S.B.A. Colorado Technical University
    A.A. University of Scranton
    Certificate in Human Resources Management - Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations
    Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS)
    Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

  4. #4
    major56 is offline Registered User
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    Additionally, you may want to consider a M.S. in the applied economics and/or finance, and/or applied financial economics disciplines. Merging these disciplines could offer a potential plus toward overall industry appeal /value.

    Here are a few online degree options:

    Master of Science Applied Economics | Finance and Economics | Georgia Southern University
    West Texas A&M University: Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance Finance and Economics Graduate Program
    Online Master's in Applied Economics | Applied Economics | Degrees | Online Distance | Extended Learning | Academics | UND: University of North Dakota
    Major56
    _________________________
    M.B.A., West Texas A & M University
    M.Ed., Prairie View A & M University
    B.B.A., Sam Houston State University
    CAS, CGSS, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
    _________________________

  5. #5
    Taxing is offline Registered User
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    I spent several years working in auditing and became a CPA before going back to school and pursuing a different career path. Generally, the preferred route for upper level accounting /auditing positions is to spend several years working for a Big 4 accounting firm while obtaining a CPA . People with that experience and credential are highly sought after. That is of course not the only path. In another thread (Help!!! A&M Commerce vs Liberty University) you were worried about name recognition of a degree if you later moved. I would recommend getting a MS in accounting or an MBA with a focus on accounting from an AACSB accredited school and pursuing the CPA designation. The MS in accounting and multiple years experience in an audit position will meet eligibility requirements for the CPA in most (if not all) states. A CPA is universally recognized and goes a long way to curing lack of degree name recognition. The MS in accounting is generally considered a difficult degree because of "all the financial accounting classes, Tax classes, etc." This is just my two cents, however, I know a lot of people with a CPA and a degree from a relatively unknown school that hold management positions.

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