Accountants work at the heart of every business, government agency, and nonprofit. No organization can succeed without skilled accountants managing finances. For detailed-oriented people with a head for numbers, an accounting associate degree launches them on the path toward a stable occupation with a strong future.
Almost 1.4 million accountants work in the United States, and that number will grow substantially in the coming years. Professionals with the right combination of knowledge, skills, and experience will benefit from this growth and the many career options accounting provides.
The key to launching an accounting career is proper education. Touro University Worldwide offers an online Associate of Arts in General Studies with a concentration in accounting that provides students with the critical first step toward an accounting career.
The Importance of Accountants
A large global corporation might have hundreds of people working in accounting. A small business might work with one accountant. Whatever the case, an accountant ensures the financial heart of an organization is healthy.
Doing so requires tracking the movement of money through an organization and taking on significant finance-related responsibilities. These responsibilities include:
- Accurately recording financial transactions
- Providing reports that summarize and analyze an organization’s finances
- Maintaining and analyzing all financial records
- Ensuring that financial numbers balance
- Following proper procedures in the collection and reporting of financial numbers.
- Preparing business tax filings, computing taxes owed, and ensuring the timely filing of tax reports
Businesses may also assign accountants to assess a company’s financial position and identify future risks and challenges. On the budget side, accountants suggest ways to reduce costs and improve profits. Overall, accountants perform duties essential for day-to-day operations and long-term profitability.
Salaries for Accountants
Salaries for accountants reflect their importance. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for an accountant in the United States is $83,980. The top 25 percent in the profession make more than $100,000. Achieving that salary typically requires accounting students to earn a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in accounting.
The BLS projects 7 percent growth in the accounting profession through 2030, with 96,000 new accounting jobs added across the country.
Careers in Accounting
Students earning an associate degree with a concentration in accounting are prepared to take on entry-level jobs in the accounting field. There are many options to work in various government and industry accounting positions. An education in accounting can lead to many fascinating fields.
- Public accountants. They prepare and ensure the accuracy of financial numbers used in public filings, such as those submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from publicly traded companies.
- Management accountants. Management accountants prepare financial statements either for individuals or for internal use by executives of an organization.
- Government accounting. Accountants working in government oversee financial reports and audits and evaluate the efficiency of government operations.
- Forensic accountants. Forensic accountants work for investigative agencies, going over companies’ finances and searching for evidence of inappropriate financial activities.
- Internal auditors. In this position, accountants go through finances within an organization, searching for signs of mismanagement of funds. They also develop new processes to improve financial performance and eliminate waste and fraud.
The Touro University Worldwide Accounting Associate Degree
The Touro University Worldwide AA in General Studies with an accounting concentration prepares graduates for entry-level jobs in the accounting field. Students in the 60-credit-hour program learn skills that pave the way for payroll clerks, accounting assistants, and bookkeeper jobs. The program also provides the foundation to move on to earn a bachelor’s degree.
TUW offers online programs that expand access to higher education, giving working adults the flexibility to attend class while also working full-time. Students typically complete their AA in General Studies in about two years.
The accounting concentration focuses on accounting theory and the practical skills required to work in the accounting profession immediately. The industry-aligned curriculum, designed by practicing accountants on the TUW faculty, includes courses in:
- Principles of Accounting
- Ethics in Accounting
- Payroll Accounting
- Computerized Accounting
- Fundamental Tax Accounting
- Managerial Accounting
A degree in accounting is the first step to working in a stable, rewarding profession. For aspiring accountants, earning an accounting associate degree helps achieve their career goals.