When entrepreneurs consider earning a degree, the defaults tend to be an MBA or finance degree. While these degrees have their advantages, many entrepreneurs overlook the equally valuable alternative – an accounting degree. Let’s look at why every entrepreneur should consider getting an accounting degree. We’ll focus on the practical impact this skillset provides for small business owners and potential entrepreneurs.
You Will Truly Use These Skills
Accountants learn business management skills you’d gain with an MBA such as problem solving, communication, time management and teamwork. You’ll learn how to generate reports to explain the current financial health of the business and create cash flow projections as well as how to present them. And that’s what most entrepreneurs want to learn. Accountants are prepared to move into evolving fields like risk and compliance management, too. And when you earn an accounting degree, you’ll learn how to properly estimate financial risks and develop methods to counter them so that you don’t lose everything if you take a chance taking it to the next level.
Accountants Are Always Needed
No matter what type of business you want to enter, start or take over, there is a need for accountants. You can work as an accountant while working on your business on the side. You can join an existing startup as an accountant; something every business needs. You’ll be more familiar with tax laws, book-keeping and the financial side of human resources than your peers. Whether you end up cutting payroll, engaging in tax planning or simply tracking the money, you’ll be able to join any business assuming you don’t want to start one yourself. You’ll know how to truly calculate risks and decide between competing investment opportunities.
You’ll Get Respect
If you’re trying to meet with investors or raise capital, few things will earn you as much respect as already having an accounting degree. Your background in accounting will automatically prove you understand business fundamentals. When you present data on your cash flow, profit margins, cost estimates for expanding the business and ROI on their investment, they’ll be more likely to trust your numbers – and you. They will take you more seriously than a self-made entrepreneur.
If you already have a degree but want to become an accountant, you could earn an MS in Accounting from an institution like Merrimack University for instance. Online programs like this make it easier to work on your business while attending classes online. You’ll learn the same things they teach at elite schools without having to take time away from your business to attend school. A side benefit of the Merrimack program is that you don’t have to take the GMAT, and you’d still finish the degree in a little over a year.
It Opens Up Career Opportunities
A master’s degree in accounting does not just give you a background in accounting. It prepares you to sit for the CPA exam. If you pass the exam, you could become a CPA. This could allow you to open up your own accounting firm. A clear benefit for accounting degree holders is that it gives you a clear backup plan if your startup fails, whether you move into a big firm’s accounting department or decide to work for yourself as a bookkeeper and financial planner.
An accounting degree is invaluable for entrepreneurs, helping them avoid the mistakes that kill many startups. This education also allows you to bring value to any startup or start a new business if your current one folds.