I ask this because where I live there are many lower paying accounting jobs and a few higher paying finance jobs
Yes, it can be a stepping stone for a higher job, but SERIOUSLY let the human resources manager know that you want to advance, so they keep you in mind for when an opening occurs. Check in with them monthly. It really is economical and easier on all people when a company hires from within, and that has been proven multiple times now, where many companies did not do that, and they made a huge mess for themselves.
Yes it can, however it depends on what other opportunities exist at the specific company.
Without experience all jobs start out on the bottom of the ladder. After some time in the job those that show an aptitude and promise can be promoted to more responsible positions along with higher pay. Why should an employer hire a novice to a high position when there are employees in the firm with years of experience that are deserving?
It depends on the company.