Become a business owner’s most trusted advisor with this unexpected career choice


dean dr gregory carnes una accounting
Dr. Carnes with UNA Beta Alpha Psi students. Beta Alpha Psi is a national honors organization for accounting students and professionals. (UNA)

Just about an hour from Huntsville, in the beautiful town of Florence, you’ll find Gregory Carnes, Ph.D. 

Who is Dr. Carnes? He’s the dean of the University of North Alabama’s College of Business of Technology (COBT), and one of the nation’s leading tax accounting scholars. Read on to find out what drew him to UNA 16 years ago + why he thinks an accounting degree is an excellent investment. 

How did you end up at UNA?

dean gregory carnes
Dr. Carnes has been at UNA for 16 years. (UNA)

Originally recruited to the University in 2007 to be the Raburn Eminent Scholar of Accounting, Dr. Carnes has several years of leadership under his belt. Before starting at UNA, he served as

  • Dean, College of Business, Lipscomb University
  • Chair, Department of Accountancy, Northern Illinois University
  • Assistant Professor of Accounting, Louisiana State University
  • President + board member, Accounting Program Leadership Group
  • Board member, Federation of Schools of Accountancy

He’s also co-authored with Suzanne Youngberg a tax accounting textbook, Fundamentals of Taxation for Individuals, published by Wiley earlier this year, and is lead tax author for Wiley CPAexcel, a leading review course for the CPA Exam. Dean Carnes has also provided professional tax training seminars for accounting firms in more than 25 states. 

What’s the best thing about an accounting career?

una accounting
Not just crunching numbers, but solving problems. (UNA)

Dr. Carnes gave two big reasons to choose a career in accounting. The first: 

“A CPA is a trusted business advisor.”

Dr. Carnes, Dean, UNA COBT

When surveyed, business owners routinely report that their CPA is their most trusted business advisor, Dr. Carnes told me. That puts them above attorneys, financial advisors and other business consultants as the people business owners turn to first. 

Secondly: job security. 

“Accounting is about helping your clients solve problems, and so to be a good accountant, you have to be a good problem solver. It’s challenging work, but it’s such important work that there are always many excellent job opportunities.”

Dr. Carnes, Dean, UNA COBT

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the accounting profession is expected to maintain a 6% growth rate over the next decade. 

Why should a student choose UNA for an accounting degree?

una accounting
Great scholarships, an amazing campus atmosphere + professional opportunities are just a few good reasons. (UNA)

Dr. Carnes summed up UNA’s excellence in accounting in these three points: 

“Our faculty are well respected, we have connections with the employers, and we know our students by name.”

Dr. Carnes, Dean, UNA COBT
  • Faculty with industry experience: Every member of the accounting faculty at UNA is a CPA. Plus, many have other certifications in addition to their degrees and CPA that make them experts in areas like auditing, fraud examination and more.
  • Job placement: The College of Business and Technology’s Career Development Center hosts regular Meet the Firms events, providing opportunities for students to talk to accounting firms to land internships, externships and full-time jobs before graduating.
  • Student-first mindset: UNA’s small class size means that students are the top priority at all times. Class schedules are determined by what is best for the students, and one-on-one attention and mentoring are a priority.

Why is the UNA Accounting Scholarship program one of the best in the nation? 

career una accounting
This could be you. (UNA)

Accounting is one of three categories for which UNA offers its Scholarships of Distinction. The accounting scholarship is available to bachelor’s and master’s students at the following levels: 

Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting

  • Purple (On Campus): up to $20,000/year
  • Purple (Off Campus): up to $11,000/year
  • Gold (On Campus): up to $16,000/year
  • Gold (Off Campus): up to $9,000/year
  • Silver (On Campus): up to $12,000/year
  • Silver (Off Campus): up to $7,000/year

Master’s of Accountancy (MAcc) + Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting*: 

  • Purple: 50% of tuition + fees
  • Gold: 35% of tuition + fees
  • Silver: 20% of tuition + fees

Applications for the Fall 2023 semester are due by June 30, 2023. Apply at 

*Graduate scholarships for accounting are only available to UNA alumni.

Nuts + bolts 

  • Cost: Undergraduate programs are competitively priced at less than $400/credit hour for in-state students. The online MAcc/MBA is also competitive at $525/credit hour with no out-of-state tuition for online students!
  • Quality: The COBT is accredited by the AACSB, the premier accreditation for business schools worldwide. 
  • Flexibility: Both online and in-person options are available for undergraduate and graduate accounting programs. 

Dr. Carnes is just one example of UNA’s many talented accounting faculty members. Now that you know about the great faculty at UNA, the plentiful career opportunities for their students, + the generous scholarships that are available, it is clear that UNA is the best place for future CPAs to complete their accounting degrees. 

Want to get a world-class accounting education without leaving North Alabama? Apply now.

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