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Major in Accounting

What is an accounting degree?

We lean on accounting to gauge the financial health of businesses large and small, corporations and nonprofits. Investors, stockholders, analysts, banks, the news media and a host of others depend on transparent, accurate and trustworthy indicators of companies’ fiscal wellbeing. Businesses assess opportunities and risk, and forge new paths based on analytics and financial barometers. Accountants tell those stories and serve as advisors and decision makers. An accounting degree develops decision-making, team-building, communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills while preparing students to enter careers in accounting, tax, auditing, valuation, finance, wealth management, portfolio management and many others.

Why study accounting at Furman?

Whether you’re interested in pursuing a position with a Fortune 500 company or starting your own business, our programs prepare you for a career in the global marketplace. As an accounting major, you’ll reap the rewards of a curriculum built upon experiential exercises and integrated projects to help you understand core accounting principles. Earning an accounting degree in a liberal arts and sciences setting allows students to sharpen written and verbal communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills that are necessary to succeed in the workplace.

Accounting majors who wish to become CPAs typically attend graduate school in accounting; however, they are also prepared to pursue careers in law, consulting, corporate accounting and related fields. Furman accounting majors are recruited by graduate school programs and in recent years have attended Clemson University, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University, Texas A&M, University of Georgia, University of South Carolina, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University and Wake Forest University.

Furman has graduate school relationships with accountancy programs at Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, among others. For example, through the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, qualified students gain early entry, receive scholarships, and have options for invaluable paid internships with Big 4 firms.

How will you learn?

Throughout their courses in the accounting major, students perform accounting and tax research, work with data analytics tools, complete projects in teams and individually, and explore career options through various events and activities.

During Intermediate Accounting I and III, students participate in a significant service learning project – the United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). As VITA volunteers, students volunteer a minimum of 15 hours working on income tax returns for low-income taxpayers. VITA gives students exposure to the practice environment of accounting professionals. It also provides an opportunity for students to enhance their discipline learning, professional competencies, and prepare them for public lives as citizens and professionals in a diverse society.

Careers for accounting majors

While some of these fields and vocations require graduate school, sample professions include:

  • Accountant at public accounting firms
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Fin Ops Manager
  • Cost accountant
  • Government accounting and tax specialist
  • Assurance agent
  • Financial systems accounting manager
  • Personal finance specialist
  • Compliance officer
  • Credit analyst
  • Accounting professor
  • Tax accountant
  • Entrepreneur
  • Banking and finance professional
  • Analyst for real estate development firms
  • Auditor
  • Budget analyst
  • Financial planner/analyst
  • Tax examiner
  • Portfolio/wealth manager
  • Information technology professional
  • Accountant for private business
  • Forensic accountant
  • Risk analyst
  • Accounting software developer
  • Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP)
  • Corporate controller

Accounting courses: What will you study?

As an accounting major, you will study the main functional areas of accounting including financial, managerial, tax, accounting systems and auditing. Throughout these courses, you will learn to think and perform like a professional. Sample courses include:

Intermediate Accounting I

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Cost Accounting

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100%
Accounting students who participate in any engaged learning experience
58%
Accounting students who participate in an internship
41%
Accounting students who participate in May Experience (MayX)
flowers with fountain in background

“Accounting provides students with the foundational knowledge-base of business, and is imperative to garnering an understanding of key concepts seen every day in almost any entry-level and senior-level business role. When you decide to pursue an accounting major at Furman, you are committing to an immersive and student-centric learning experience that facilitates a deep understanding of the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of accounting as opposed to the ‘whats’ you are typically exposed to in other university classrooms settings." – Jack Schleicher ’20, investment banking analyst at EY

Our faculty

Your academic advisor will help you explore your passions, define your interests and achieve your goals. You’ll tap into a widespread network of community and alumni mentors to help you on your individual educational path – and to the opportunities at the end of it. Furman’s accounting faculty represent decades of study and real-world expertise.

  • Mark Bettner
    Title:

    Visiting Professor, Accounting

    Mark Bettner
    Title:

    Visiting Professor, Accounting

    Phone Number: 8642943312

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  • Charles Davis
    Title:

    Adjunct Professor, Business and Accounting

    Charles Davis

    Charles Davis
    Title:

    Adjunct Professor, Business and Accounting

    Phone Number: 8642943314

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  • Marion E. McHugh III
    Title:

    Associate Professor

    Marion McHugh III

    Marion E. McHugh III
    Title:

    Associate Professor

    Phone Number: 8642943648

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  • Sandra Roberson
    Title:

    Professor, Business and Accounting

    Sandra Roberson

    Sandra Roberson
    Title:

    Professor, Business and Accounting

    Phone Number: 8642942225

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  • Suzy Summers
    Title:

    James C. Self Professor of Business Administration

    Suzy Summers

    Suzy Summers
    Title:

    James C. Self Professor of Business Administration

    Phone Number: 8642943313

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  • What can you do with an accounting degree?

    Employers look to accounting majors to fill an array of accounting positions, including certified management accountant (CMA), certified public accountant (CPA), certified financial planner (CFP), fin ops manager, cost accountant, government accounting and tax specialist, financial systems accounting manager, auditor and personal finance specialist. Other roles inclue financial analyst/planner, investment banker, assurance agent, compliance officer, credit analyst, banking and finance professional, analyst for real estate development firms, budget analyst, tax examiner, portfolio/wealth manager, information technology professional, forensic accountant, risk analyst, accounting software developer, corporate controller, certified information technology Professional (CITP) and more. Some accounting majors further their studies in graduate school to access additional jobs in the field.

    What is the average salary for accounting majors?

    The average base salary for accounting majors is $67,000, according to payscale.com.

    Are there study away opportunities for accounting majors?

    In recent years, the business and accounting department has sponsored May Experience (MayX) opportunities including “New York, New York: Business at the Top of the World,” “Business Practices and Economies of Southeast Asia,” “From Germany to South Carolina: Examining Economic Globalization Through the Lens of the Global Automotive Industry” and “From Soviet Domination to Flourishing Democracy (Czech Republic).”

    How long does it take to earn an accounting degree?

    The accounting B.A. at Furman is a four-year program.

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