TOP PAYING ACCOUNTING JOBS
The spectacle-wearing pencil pusher in the green visor is so far in the past, it barely even registers as a stereotype anymore. Accounting today is one of the most high-tech, cutting-edge professions out there, making advances in realms ranging from Big Data analytics to cloud computing to blockchain technology. Accountants are the professionals who make sure that the money of corporations, governments, organizations, and individuals are being used well, and that means that, as long as there’s money, accountants will be indispensable.
WHAT DO ACCOUNTANTS DO?
Obviously, specific job duties depend on the specific jobs, but there are some skills that are pretty much required across the board. Obviously, a strong grasp of mathematics is essential. Every accountant, at whatever level, should have a general understanding of basic bookkeeping, in addition to more complex understanding of areas like auditing, payroll, financial reporting, and (of course) taxes. Even if you’ve worked your way to the managerial or executive level as an accountant, knowing the lower-level, day-to-day work of accounting will make you a better leader. Modern accounting is highly collaborative and team-based; while accountants do their fair share of individual work, being able to work well with others will be critical, especially in a corporate environment.
EDUCATION FOR ACCOUNTANTS
There are highly rewarding jobs available for accountants at every degree level, from associate’s to doctorate. Associate’s Degree: Most students will get a 2-year associate’s in accounting, or a 1-year diploma in accounting from a community college, and that’s all most people will need to get a bookkeeping job, or a job as an accountant’s assistant. While it’s limited in terms of opportunities, students who graduate with an associate’s can transfer for a bachelor’s degree at a local university.
VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE
Right at the doorstep of the C-suite, the Vice President of Finance is a crucial link between the highest executives and the management, making sure the desires of the C-Level is communicated to the lower rungs of the organizational ladder. The job of the Finance VP is to lead and coordinate company financial planning, debt financing, and budget management, while reporting back to the upper levels. V.P. Finance professionals usually work their way into their job from the management level; it’s not usually necessary to have a master’s degree, but having an MBA or MAcc in finance can distinguish the ambitious from the merely competent.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO)
Chief Financial Officer – the CFO – is one of the highest levels of authority and responsibility an accountant can aspire to. To become a CFO, an accountant must have the highest level of expertise, experience, and excellence – a long-standing track record of leadership and results. The larger and more complex an organization, the more crucial the role of a CFO becomes, as a centralized source of authority around all things money in the company. In other words, the buck stops with the CFO.
Careers in Accounting
Professional accountants of today have careers that use e a wide variety of skills applicable to highly specialized roles. When the editors of the Journal of Accountancy wrote in 1912 that an accountant is beginning to be “looked upon as a business physician,” they could not have envisioned the dynamic array of practice areas that would exist 100 years later.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, between 2016 and 2026, the number of jobs for accountants and auditors in the United States is expected to increase by 10%. Changes in tax laws and the regulatory environment, as well as the expansion of global commercial business and increased financial controls continue to drive the demand for skilled accountants in the public and private sectors.
What is an Accountant and What Do They Do?
Accountants work with individuals, small businesses, large corporations, non-profits and government agencies to prepare and organize financial and tax documents.
Accounting is defined as an organized way to keep records of business and financial transactions, summarize those transactions, and analyze, verify, and report financial results. Another way to look at accounting is that it’s an information system designed to identify, measure, record, and communicate reliable, relevant, and consistent information about the economic activities of an organization.
These are among the many tasks that accountants perform for their clients:
Organizing and maintaining financial records
Evaluating financial operations and making recommendations to management about best financial practices
Examining account books and accounting systems to make sure they are efficient and conform to accepted standards and accounting procedures
Preparing tax returns and related tasks
Examining financial statements to make sure they are accurate and meet legal requirements
Suggesting ways to increase revenue, reduce costs, and improve profits
Things To Know About Accounting
things the accounting sector should know, because it was one of the first to feel the impact of advancements in data technology. Some accountants, but most regular people, were adopting and implementing new technology like tax software and online tools to make the process faster and reduce the number of errors. Despite these new tools, which have advanced even more and made it easier for anyone to do their own accounting, accounts are more valuable than ever.
Technology Will Change Accounting
Automation is not scheduled to impact accounting at all, but there will be some changes in the field and how accountants do their job. Artificial intelligence and machine learning is advancing quickly, and administrative accounting jobs will not be needed soon and phased out. The administrative accounting positions will fall to technology that is able to do the jobs quicker and with more efficiency, but it will not place the jobs of regular accountants at risk. Accounting has many cogs where computers will not be able to replace people, such as consulting, advisory positions and many CFO responsibilities. The firm, Accounting Principals, feels skilled professionals are the most sought after to expand departments, not software. Admin roles may have decreased, but the need need for accountants will not disappear anytime soon.
Right Now Is an Especially Good Time to Be an Accountant
Accounting firms and accounting departments inside major companies are expanding. The biggest concern companies and firms have concerning accounting is there is a shortage of quality accountants. This is good news for people wanting to become CPAs though. They will not be entering a saturated field. The unemployment rate for accountants is well below the national average.
Accounting Positions Are Finding Masters Degrees to Be Essential
Accounting careers may be in demand, but it is important to bring along a master’s degree before entering the field. It allows people in the field, especially accountants, quite a bit of room for salary growth. Online programs with flexible class schedules make it easier to go after an advanced accounting education while working. There are many accounting firms and companies even willing to subsidize their employees’ educational pursuits as long as they will benefit the firm or company in the long run.
Accounting Employees Do Better If They Have Specialties
Accounting careers generally turn out more financially positive if the accountant carves out a niche and becomes well versed in a specific branch of accounting. Any accountant that takes the time to develop a niche increases their value. Accounting will always be relevant and critical. Additionally, the accounting field will always have jobs. It is recommended to pursue more classes or seminars whenever possible and finding a mentor in the desired niche that can help with growth and connections.
It’s almost tax time. Do you need to see an accountant or could you do it yourself?
Tax time is just days away, and this probably isn’t the first year it’s snuck up on you.
Maybe it’s even your first time. Yep, adulting is hard. It’s even harder if you have a small business, multiple incomes, an investment property or just a pile of receipts you’d rather not deal with. But even if your tax seems relatively simple, the question of whether to get an accountant to help might have crossed you mind.
Doing your tax for the first time
If you are doing your tax for the first time, it’s likely to be pretty simple, despite what you might have heard. “Doing your taxes is often portrayed as a very challenging — and potentially scary — thing, so it is understandable that a young person may feel overwhelmed,” says
How much are you hustling?
The more complex your income, the more reason to see a registered tax agent. Small business, rental properties, capital gains — all these things can be difficult to get right when lodging a return.
Do you know what you can claim?
You’ve kept your receipts, but do you know what you can rightfully claim? “Common deductions include work-related expenses, self-education expenses, charitable donations and the cost of managing your tax affairs [like paying an accountant],”
Other reasons an accountant might help you
If you’ve made a mistake on a past tax return, you can request an amendment through myTax yourself. But if you’re unsure about whether you should be making an amendment or what impact it might have, an accountant would be a good idea,
What does a Accountant do?
An accountant is an important career field in finance and business. Accountants prepare taxes, examine financial records for accuracy, and prepare financial reports for individuals and businesses. They track a company’s profits and losses and ensures their clients comply with tax laws and regulations.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting
Though you may think all accountants have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a degree is not mandatory. In fact, OnLine reports a little over 40% of accountants have earned a bachelor’s degree. The rest of the accountants surveyed had earned an associate’s degree or have taken some college courses. Given that over 40% of people in this career field have earned a bachelor’s degree, we’re listing a bachelor’s degree in accounting as step one so you can be competitive in the job market.
Become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
To become a licensed certified accountant, you must earn a CPA certification. Accountants who earn the title of CPA have met education and experience standards and they passed the CPA exam. Not all accountants become a CPA. Others gain experience as an accountant while working toward their education and experience requirements and then study to pass the CPA exam. Though the requirements to become a CPA vary by state, the CPA exam is the same for everyone. Learn more about a career in accounting and the CPA exam on the American Institute of CPAs website.
Gain additional certifications in accounting
Accountants can choose to become certified in a focused area of accounting. Though this is voluntary, a specialization can earn you a competitive edge over other job applicants. Certifications that an accountant can earn to include a Personal Finance Specialist certification, Accredited in Business Valuation certification, Certified Information Technology Professional certification, or a Certified Fraud Examiner. Each specialization may have its own requirements to meet. For instance, to become a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) you must become a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, hold a bachelor’s degree or meet experience requirements if you do not have a bachelor’s degree, and then pass the CFE exam.
Job Description of an Accountant
An accountant makes sure a company or organization is efficiently operating by accessing their financial records. Duties include analyzing data, finance reports, budgets, tax returns, and accounting records. They send financial reports to their clients that include current financial status, and future trends. They may also recommend ways for their clients to become more financially stable or advise on ways to take advantage of tax incentives.