Accounting Job Overview
Accounting jobs have a wide array of tasks that include the analysis of financial documents, reporting to management about the financial position of the company, and adhering to local, state, and federal laws in regards to financial transparency. Owners of businesses rely heavily on the numbers accounting employees calculate, as the information provides employers with the potential strengths and weaknesses of the company. Accounting ranges from the simple to the complex, and those with ambition and the proper education could witness a promotion as high as Chief Accounting Officer or Chief Financial Officer.
Daily accounting job tasks involve:
- Collecting pertinent financial information
- Analyzing the collected data
- Data entry using computer accounting software
- Generating financial reports
- Sharing information or reporting to a supervisor
Accounting Job Education Requirements
Most accounting jobs require at least a bachelor's degree, however, there are some positions, such as a Bookkeeper, which allows candidates to obtain the job with either an associate's degree or equivalent experience. For jobs requiring more attention to detail, employers prefer that employees have a master's degree in finance, accounting, economics or an MBA.
Those that want to reach the top of the accounting ladder need certain certifications, namely a CPA. Certified Public Accountants are high in demand, as they typically have many years of experience and have passed a written exam.
Accounting Job Market
Depending upon the area of expertise, an accounting professional has a different demand. Accounting or auditing jobs that require a bachelor's degree are always in high demand, while bookkeepers and accounting clerks work lessor hours or even part-time. Accounting jobs' demand is also highly based on tax season, and some jobs are seasonal only, typically from January to April.
Overall, the job market for accounting jobs should grow between 11 and 13 percent over the next 10 years, making it comparable with the national average. However, stricter government regulations regarding tax information will drive the demand perhaps even higher.
Accounting Job Salary Information
Bookkeepers, accounting clerks, or those with only an associate's degree start at an average of $16.91 an hour or $35,170 annually. The pay scale continues the more education a candidate has, as those with a bachelor's degree earn an average of $63,550 annually. At the high end of salaries, CPAs average $71,000 a year, while Chief Accounting Officers can expect a yearly wage on average of about $200,000 depending on the industry.