Accountants examine and prepare financial records. They ensure that records are accurate and align with laws and regulations. They help businesses and entrepreneurs assess their financial strategies and operations in order to make the organizations run more efficiently. Accountants organize and maintain financial records and make sure that taxes are paid and up to date.
Some accountants specialize in a specific accounting field like assurances or risk management or in a specific kind of industry like health care. There are certified public accountants (CPAs), management accountants and government accountants. CPAs are the most common type of accountant. They either work for themselves or for public accounting firms. The Securities and Exchange Commission requires publicly traded companies to have a CPA sign formal documents.
It is a good time to become an accountant. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job growth to be 11 percent by 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Of course, the growth and sustainability of the accounting profession depends on the health and status of the economy. Because the American economy has been growing over the last few years, the need for accountants and auditors has grown as well. Stricter laws and regulations in the financial sector have increased the demand for accounting services.
The median annual salary for an accountant is $67,190. Those who work in the finance and insurance industry earn the highest average salary of $71,760. Accountants who work in the manufacturing industry make $68,020, while government accountants make $65,180. Most accountants work full time, though their schedules can fluctuate depending on the time of year and around tax season.
A bachelor’s degree is required for entry-level positions in accounting. A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management with a concentration in accounting, for example, is a great way to start an accounting career.
Changing careers or starting a new path toward being an accountant can be complicated. This is why pursuing an online degree like the BSBA from Touro University Worldwide, which is specifically designed to help students complete their undergraduate degree while advancing their careers, is an ideal option. The courses in the accounting concentration prepare students for direct employment after graduation.
Those who are interested in becoming CPAs must pass the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants exam and be licensed by their state’s board of accountancy. Preparing for the CPA exam may involve other requirements including additional coursework.