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"There's no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting"
~ David Letterman

What is accounting?

Referred to as "the language of business", accounting is the business function of tracking the monetary activities of an organization, government, or an individual. Accounting is essential to all organizations because it allows managers to evaluate organizational performance and pinpoint which areas are successful financially and which need to be altered. It is a way of summarizing the past, for the purpose of determining future goals. Within the accounting field, jobs are grouped in various areas including traditional accounting, auditing, taxation, management policy, information systems, computer operations, and other areas. Many accounting firms require accountants to become a CPA (certified public accountant) to advance beyond entry level positions.

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting program at William Paterson University consists of 68 credit hours beyond the general GE requirements. Students complete a common 33 credit business core required of all business majors, with an additional 21 credits in the accounting discipline. Accounting majors also are required to take specialized quantitative math courses and 6 credits of directed electives reflecting trends in the field. Classes within the accounting include, but are not limited to, Intermediate Accounting, Cost Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, and Business Law. For those wishing to pursue the CPA in the future, students may want to consider the 150 credit combined undergraduate program. All business majors must accumulate enrichment points through internship, practicum, and/or job shadowing alternatives.

To learn more about the degree requirements, please visit this link:

Admissions information on Accounting is located here:


What interests and skills do potential employers value in this career?

  • Problem solving skills
  • Ability to organize information
  • Work well with numerical data
  • Ability to analyze and interpret data
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Efficiency
  • Ability to work both independently and in teams
  • Communication skills, both oral and written


What types of jobs can accounting majors get?

Work Environment :
Careers in accounting are located in a variety of industries and environments. Generally, employment is divided into two sectors: public accounting and private accounting. Professionals may choose to work directly for individuals as personal accountants, in government agencies, business environments, and non-profit organizations.


Possible Job Titles

Commodities Trader
Computer Programmer
Internal Auditor
Consumer Credit Officer Administrator
Bank Examiner
Benefits/Compensation Administrator
Cost Accountant
IRS Investigator
Budgetary Control
FBI Agent
Managerial Accountant
CIA Agent
Financial Analyst
Claims Adjuster
Collection Agent
Payroll Manager
Personal Financial Planner
Commercial Banker
Production Manager


Industrial Accountant
Credit and Collection Specialist
Securities Broker
Certified Public Accountant
Systems Analyst
Tax Lawyer
Estate Planner
Accountant, Public Practice
Budget Accountant
Financial Aid Director
Fund Raiser
Insurance Agent/Broker
Institutional Buyer
Inventory Control Specialist
International Trade Specialist
Contract Administrator

WPU Alumni

Auditor Arthur Andersen
Staff Accountant Price Waterhouse Coopers
Accountant New York Life
Accountant Panasonic
Revenue Auditor Illinois Department of Revenue
Tax Accountant CYTEC Industries
Field Auditor Blue Cross Blue Shield
Accountant/Auditor NJ Division of Taxation
Junior Accountant Barneys New York
Junior Accountant Hunter Douglas
Staff Accountant Coca Cola Enterprises
Auditor/Bookkeeper Home Depot
Financial Analyst Ernst & Young
Assistant Comptroller of the Currency National Bank
Financial Analyst Prudential Insurance, Co.
Operations Administrator Deutsche Bank
Staff Accountant Weichert Relocation


Aside from majoring in accounting, what else can I do that may enhance my qualifications?

Successful students tend to seek out opportunities to enhance their qualifications through a variety of means. Within accounting, some suggestions may include joining or becoming a leader in career-related campus organizations, including the Accounting Society; joining a national professional accounting association; gaining practical experience through an internship/practicum/job shadowing; attending networking functions; attending accounting symposiums on campus.


Where else can I read about accounting ?

Related Web Sites :

Accounting Info

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Association of Government Accountants

Occupational Outlook

Industry Information

Job Search and Salary information

MBA information


Other sources of information :

Please drop by the Career Development and Advisement Center to learn more about careers in accounting. The career library carries career-specific books and counselors are available to answer any further questions you may have. Visiting the Accounting and Law department on campus may also prove valuable in addressing questions.


Career Development Center
Student Center 301, 300 Pompton Road Wayne, NJ 07470
Phone 973.720.3291 Fax 973.720.2074

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