An accounting career has the potential to deliver both financial stability and job satisfaction. Requiring an entry-level education of at least a bachelor’s degree, accounting is a skilled position that involves the preparation and analysis of financial records and processes. With an expected growth rate that is likely to be as fast as average, the accounting field is promising for both new graduates and seasoned individuals.
Job Responsibilities and Opportunities of an Account
An account has a variety of job responsibilities ranging from basic to more complex. At a basic level, though, an account is the individual responsible for tracking, analyzing and justifying financial transactions and decisions. More specific assignments may include managing business finances, advising clients or companies, preparing tax documents and auditing company finances. Depending on individual interest, desire and motivation, an individual can pursue a variety of different job titles including accounting specialist, budget analyst, cost accountant, credit manager, financial analyst, public accountant, tax account and others.
Training Required to Work in Accounting
Working in the field of accounting is not easy. It requires great attention to detail as well as an ability to crunch numbers, create statistics and analyze costs. With all of those requirements, a good understanding of the financial world as well as the associated laws and requirements is important. To become an accountant, an individual must complete an undergraduate program and successfully receive a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Additionally, some employers prefer to hire individuals with a master’s degree in accounting or business administration. Seldom, individuals with an associate’s degree and experience receive junior accounting positions and are able to progress into full accounting positions as their skills demonstrate success.
Additionally, any accountant responsible for filing a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC is required to be a Certified Public Accountant, known as a CPA. Becoming a CPA requires additional time as well as an assessment. Most states require CPA candidates to have 150 semester hours of college coursework documented in addition to successful completion of the CPA examination, a four-part exam administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Aside from educational requirements, an accounting career requires certain professional qualities, including analytical thinking, effective communication, detail-oriented, mathematical ability and organizational skills.
Job Outlook for Accounting Careers
The job outlook for the field of accounting looks promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is supposed to grow by 13% over the next ten years, which is as fast as the average career field. More specifically, the field expects an employment change of nearly 167,000 positions.
In addition to a positive job outlook, accounting careers offer competitive wages. The median pay for accountants and auditors in 2012 by salary was $63,550 and by hour was $30.55. The majority of accountants work in offices; however, some work from home. While the job may be viewed by some as stressful, most accountants view their positions as fast-paced and challenging. Many accountants are also offered the opportunity to travel as part of their job requirements.
An accounting career is likely not the best fit for an individual who does not enjoy numbers and who prefers a relaxed occupation; however, the detail analysis and problem solving required of accounting is a welcome challenge to many. With a strong job outlook and a competitive wage and salary, accounting is a growing career field that is sure to deliver occupational fulfillment and financial prowess.