How To Become An Accountant
Career Video: Accountant
An accountant prepares and looks into the financial records of clients to ensure that they comply with the country’s rules and regulations. They see to it that the individual clients, organizations and public or private companies they work for pay the correct taxes and file correct tax returns. If you love calculating numbers and making sense of financial data then a career as an accountant is something to consider.
In addition to making financial records and filing tax returns, you’ll be tasked to look into the company’s books to see if it complies with accepted accounting practices. You’ll also need to keep the firm’s financial records in order and analyze its operations. Based on your analysis, you are expected to give recommendations to the company’s management team on how operating costs can be lowered, revenue improved and profits maximized.
Why Become An Accountant
Those who love crunching numbers and understanding the intricacies of the financial process would do well to pursue a career as an accountant. The profession is especially gratifying if you are able to help your client save on costs legally because of your ability to find the interrelationships between the figures you have calculated, laws and regulations and the company’s financial standing. If you are good at what you do and earn further certification to advance in your career, you can work in large corporations and get paid well for your services.
Accountant Work Environment
Accountants mainly work in comfortable offices of accounting firms or specific companies although they may travel occasionally to meet with clients. While they usually work on their own, they would sometimes collaborate with auditors and other accountants. The work is typically stressful and fast-paced, requiring accountants to be mentally, emotionally and physically fit and healthy. Working more than 40 hours a week is normal in some companies but most accountants do a lot of overtime during tax season and at the end of the fiscal year. Although most accountants work full time for different firms, there are some who are independent contractors and work from home.
The May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor showed that the mean annual wage of accountants and auditors is $72,500 or a median wage of $31.29/hour. This represented an increase from their median annual wage of $63,550 recorded in May 2012. That year, the lowest 10 percent made no more than $39,930 while the earnings of the top 10 percent reached over $111,510.
Accountant Career Outlook
The career outlook for accountants looks good. From 2012 to 2022, employment of accountants and auditors is set to increase 13 percent or about the same as the average for all occupations. In 2012, there were 1,275,400 accountants and auditors employed. The projected employment in 2022 is 1,442,200. A major determinant in the demand for accountants is the health of the US economy. If the economy continues to grow, more accountants will be needed by companies looking to comply with stricter accounting standards.
Accountants hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field. A master’s degree in accounting or business administration with a major in accounting will be an edge as employers often prefer those with more extensive qualifications. A lot of accountants also work towards becoming a Certified Public Accountant or CPA to improve their chances of getting employed.