Government accountants maintain and examine the records of government agencies and audit private businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government regulations or taxation. Accountants employed by federal, state, and local governments ensure that revenues are received and spent according to laws and regulations. Their responsibilities include auditing, financial reporting, and management accounting.
Management accountants are also called cost, corporate, industrial, managerial, or private accountants. They combine accounting and financial information to guide business decision making. They also understand financial and nonfinancial data and how to integrate information. The information that management accountants prepare is intended for internal use by business managers, not for the public.
Other public accountants specialize in forensic accounting, investigating financial crimes such as securities fraud and embezzlement, bankruptcies and contract disputes, and other complex and potentially criminal financial transactions. Forensic accountants combine their knowledge of accounting and finance with law and investigative techniques to determine if an activity is illegal. Many forensic accountants work closely with law enforcement personnel and lawyers during investigations and often appear as expert witnesses during trials.
Public accountants, many of whom are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), generally have their own businesses or work for public accounting firms. Publicly traded companies are required to have CPAs sign documents they submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including annual and quarterly reports.
Certification provides an advantage in the job market because it shows professional competence in a specialized field of accounting and auditing. Accountants and auditors seek certifications from a variety of professional societies. Some of the most common certifications are listed below:
Entry-level public accountants may advance to senior positions as they gain experience and take on more responsibility. Those who excel may become supervisors, managers, or partners; open their own public accounting firm; or transfer to executive positions in management accounting or internal auditing in private firms.
Management accountants often start as cost accountants, junior internal auditors, or trainees for other accounting positions. As they rise through the organization, they may advance to become accounting managers, budget directors, chief cost accountants, or managers of internal auditing. Some become controllers, treasurers, financial vice presidents, chief financial officers, or corporation presidents.
Public accountants, management accountants, and internal auditors may move from one type of accounting and auditing to another. Public accountants often move into management accounting or internal auditing. Management accountants may become internal auditors, and internal auditors may become management accountants. However, it is less common for management accountants or internal auditors to move into public accounting.
Technological change is expected to affect the role of accountants over the projections decade. Some routine accounting tasks may be automated as platforms such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain become more widespread. Although it will increase accountants' efficiency, this change is not expected to reduce overall demand. The automation of routine tasks, such as data entry, will instead make accountants' advisory and analytical duties more prominent.
The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.
CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.
The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.
Principles of this graduate degree for accountants provide an important foundation for careers in finance, economics, auditing, and administration within both the public and private sectors. Students often wonder "What can you do with an accounting degree". There are several accounting jobs you can pursue upon graduation, including budget analyst, controller, financial manager, public accountant, and purchasing agent. Completion of the 30-hour online graduate professional degree will provide more career opportunities while helping you meet the 150-hour educational requirement to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in most states.
There is an increasing demand for careers in technology and accounting. Information and technology accountants are responsible for which system a company uses to organize and report financial data. This role requires knowledge in both accounting and information technology and is perfect for someone who is a natural problem solver and interested in identifying technology solutions.
Assessing the financial health of a business and helping guide investment decisions is the job of a financial analyst. Specific financial analyst duties can vary depending on the company, and as a result, this role is much more flexible when compared to many other accounting jobs. This position appeals to those who are interested in data gathering, financial modeling, spreadsheet maintenance, developing investment theses, communicating with investors and management, and forecasting.
Forensic accounting is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the field of law enforcement. A forensic accountant investigates fraud and uses accounting skills like auditing to provide an expert opinion on legal matters in a court of law. Forensic accountants must be extremely detail oriented as their reports will be scrutinized in court by judges, attorneys, and juries.
A controller supervises an accounting department at a company and oversees high-level financial strategies. The main duties of a controller are maintaining financial statements, payroll, preparing budgets, general ledger, tax compliance, and more. Gaining experience in business forecasting and tax management is critical if you want to become a corporate controller.
Accounting is more than just keeping track of purchases and expenditures. Capital and assets (how many valuable items or how much material an organization has on hand) and liability (how much is owed to other organizations) are also taken into account throughout the accounting process. Accountants themselves are crucial to this process, navigating complex financial materials and providing analysis and insight to their clients, employers and larger organizations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants and auditors earned a median annual salary of $70,500 in 2018. By comparison, the median earnings for all occupations that year stood at $38,640. Additionally, the BLS projects that accounting jobs will increase by 10% between 2016 and 2026, resulting in roughly 140,000 jobs. Accounting jobs should remain in high demand due to a continuing need for qualified experts to handle complex financial and tax-related matters for organizations and individual clients.
Although candidates need a bachelor's degree for most accounting jobs, the BLS notes that many employers prefer to hire candidates with a master's degree in accounting or a related field. The master's can also help employees advance in their careers and increase their salaries. This guide explores potential career pathways for graduates with an accounting master's degree. Read on to learn more about these master's in accounting jobs.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the master's in accounting often includes coursework in areas such as financial accounting, business IT, taxation, and statistics. These programs also introduce students to various legal and ethical guidelines related to financial reporting. Unlike the bachelor's in accounting, master's programs also focus on academic research related to the profession.
Most programs take students two years or less. However, students who plan to become certified professional accountants (CPAs) may choose a combined bachelor's and master's in accounting pathway. These five-year programs help graduates qualify for CPA certification, since many states require CPA candidates to complete at least 30 credits beyond their bachelor's.
Below, you'll find six accounting career opportunities. These roles often require a master's in accounting or additional work experience beyond the bachelor's level. Each profile includes a rundown of duties and responsibilities, along with current median salaries.
Corporate controllers manage their organization's financial and accounting operations, such as billing, accounts, and budgeting. They typically manage a team of personnel and may assist in filing reports with the Securities and Exchanges Commission.
Senior accountants oversee their organization's accounting department. They also manage finances for their employer and must ensure all company statements and reports are accurate and up to date. Most senior accountants hold a master's degree.
Accounting managers develop, test, and evaluate new systems for validating and reporting financial information. They may also prepare budget reports and assist with new employee on-boarding. Qualifications vary by company, but accounting managers typically hold a master's degree in accounting or finance. 2b1af7f3a8