If you a looking for a career that is here to stay and earns double the US median wage, then accounting is the solution. According to the Bureau of labor statistics, the average annual salary for accounts in the US is $70,000, which makes it one of the reliable sources of income in the US. The accounting jobs annual growth rate is 10% per annum between 2016-2026, meaning it will have created 1.5 million employments by 2026 (Miller). Many people have fallen for the misconception that accounting is boring; however, it has a wide range of interesting careers. Auditing focuses on highlighting discrepancies and errors in financial records, which helps to detect mismanagement. Certified public accountants give tax-related and financial assistance to individual clients and organizations (Brace). This show that accounting is an important career in any country as it helps to ensure good use of resources and effective taxation. This study will evaluate the accounting career by focusing on different aspects such as the job’s responsibilities, the education level, and the major that is best in the career, necessary skills, and other information.
Accounting as a Career
The main role and responsibility of accounting may vary depending on their chosen career path. However, some main responsibilities are preparing and maintaining financial reports in firms or organizations. Accountants are expected to ensure that there is a high level of accuracy and that the tax documents comply with the law and regulations of the state (Brace). The job entails guiding revenue enhancement, cost reduction, and profit maximization through conducting risk analysis and forecasting. In addition, accountants are supposed to prepare tax returns and ensure it is paid within the given timeframe (Miller). Another responsibility of accountants is to evaluate financial operations and provide best practices, look for issues affecting an organization and develop strategic solutions. Concerning corporate finance, accountants must help their companies create an optimum funding structure and raise finances to fund the corporation.
Another important factor to consider is how to become an accountant. While mathematics capability and attention to detail are necessary, a person must have specific qualifications to be an accountant. It is important to note that a degree is not compulsory for a person to become an accountant. However, for those who want to become a CPA, a degree in accounting or any related field is compulsory, with completing 120 hours in accounting or related fields (Swed). At this point, individuals with an associate degree can enter other fields, such as accounting clerks. To qualify for the CPA exams, a person must complete 150 college credits. In some states, they are required to include experience, age minimum, and citizenship status (Swed). From there, individuals might pursue designation as a certified internal auditor, personal financial specialist, and certified management accountant.
There are five main majors in the accounting career, which are the most popular in the market. The first one is accounting which involves keeping financial books and management of tax. The second one is accounting technicians responsible for integrating technical and administrative-accounting functions with computerized financial systems (Sánchez et al. 6). The third major is accounting and finance, which involves business management and handling monetary funds. The next is accounting and business management which involves how organizations utilize tangible and intangible resources to maximize profits. They provide information to organizations before making major financial decisions. The final one is auditing which involves carefully scrutinizing financial records to help identify inconsistencies and errors that may imply the mismanagement of funds in an organization.
For one to be an accountant, various skills are necessary because they help give their services. The most important skill is knowledge of accounting practices, including Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and Regulatory Practices. Another skill is proficiency in accounting software, which is commonly used in accounting practices (Swed). For instance, spreadsheets are commonly used; thus, an accountant must be familiar with spreadsheet software to work efficiently. Accountants should be able to prepare financial statements such as balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. They should be able to analyze data and manipulate it to provide the financial health of a business (Miller). Finally, an accountant must have critical thinking skills, which enables them to see small details in big financial statements. Many organizations seek accountants who can see problems from different angles, requiring significant critical thinking skills.
As an accountant, the main working partners are individuals and corporations. Some persons have personal accountants to avoid making costly financial and tax mistakes. These include business owners and other big investors with large bills (Miller). These bills may have costly repercussions if not paid, so they require personal accountants to manage their finances and pay taxes. The other major partners are corporations and organizations which require accountants to track their income and expenditure. Accountants are essential to an organization because they can determine its health status and provide appropriate advice. In addition, they provide legal advice to firms on tax payments and various regulations of the country and state, which are essential for running the business.
One of the main reasons people like to pursue a career in accounting is because it exposes them to a wide range of industries to work. Unlike other careers where a person has to seek employment from one industry, accounting allows working in different industries such as manufacturing, fashion, healthcare, sporting, and other industries (Miller). This implies that the career can be integrated with one’s hobbies or interests by working in a related field. Accounting is an interesting career for people who are good at mathematics because it mostly involves making sense of numerical figures. Furthermore, it requires people keen on details and can detect minor details in financial documents. Accounting is a career with significant public respect because accountants are expected to be trustworthy and honest (Miller). Thus people who believe in honesty and trust are more interested in this career field. My personality fits this field because I am trustworthy and come from a family of accountants, so I have been brought up with accounting morals.
The work environment for accountants is one of the most disputed factors in the career because it often involves staying in the office. An accountant’s work environment requires working in teams and sometimes working alone (Sánchez et al. 13). Although sometimes they may have to travel to their clients, accountants must be used to the official office environment. In addition, accountants have to learn to wear official clothes.
The work schedule of an accountant involves staying in the office from 8 am-5 pm, which many consider boring. Accountants work an average of 36 hours a week, which is relatively high compared to other professions such as marketing. Weekdays are always busy for accountants, and the only time they spend outside their work environment is at weekends (Brace). Many people do not know that accounting is a career that involves travelling as people work from one organization to another, especially in auditing. In addition, accounting is a seasonal job whereby the accountants are mostly busy towards the end of a government year (Brace). This implies that they can use the other time to go on vacations and spend some time with their families. On the contrary, sometimes accountants may have to work overtime with extra payment, unlike most other professionals.
Being an accountant will help me to have a well-planned financial life. I will apply some of the skills I have learned in my career in my financial life to ensure that I balance my savings, investing, debt control and profitability (Sánchez et al. 10). In addition, I can run my side investments accurately using my accounting skills. The career will require me to be an honest and trustworthy person. I will have good management skills in my expenditures and budgeting, ensuring I utilize my funds optimally.
In conclusion, accounting is a career with some respect and dignity in the American industry. Accountants play an important role in helping people and firms budget their finances and pay taxes without breaking any rules. However, there are various educational attainments that a person must achieve to become a CPA which include 150 credit hours. This study has shown the responsibilities of an accountant, five majors that are best in the career, necessary and other information related to the profession.
Brace, Rebecca. “What Are the Duties and Responsibilities of an Accountant?” Accountancy Age, Web.
Miller, Kelsey. “What Does an Accountant Do? Roles, Responsibilities, & Trends.” Bachelor’s Degree Completion, 2019, Web.
Sánchez, Molina, et al. “The Subjective Well-Being Challenge in the Accounting Profession: The Role of Job Resources.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 16, no. 17, 2019, pp. 1–17, Web.
Swed, Kathleen. “How to Become an Accountant: Salary and Career Outlook.” Accounting.com, Web.