Accounting Jobs, Opportunities, And Job Outlook
Accounting is a very essential component in the taxation system and the operation of businesses, corporations, and organizations. Through accounting, financial transactions and information are properly and systematically recorded, reported, and analyzed. Accounting is very crucial because, as experts say, it is the official language of the business and the taxation system.
Accounting helps businesses and organizations determine the financial situation and performance of their company by translating statistics and numbers derived from accounting. To be able to perform these complex tasks, only authorized and well-trained experts handle and perform accounting tasks known as accountants and auditors. Aside from these common titles, there are other job titles and positions available for people holding a degree in accounting.
Careers Available in the Accounting Industry
Accounting is a very broad discipline offering wide range of job opportunities for accounting graduates. However, career options may vary based on the kind of education and training the person obtained. According to the Accounting Coach website, the major roles or careers available in accounting are:
- Accounting clerk
- Auditing clerk
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Bookkeepers, accounting, and auditing clerks, usually have similar tasks and roles to perform depending on the organization or the company they are working . In general, they are responsible for the recording of various financial transactions of the organization or company, checking of financial records, and updating of statements ensuring that all information and financial details are accurate.
Bookkeepers handle routine financial transactions of the company like purchases, sales, and payroll. They may be also tasked to handle financial documents like supplier invoices, supplier payments, purchase orders, and receiving tickets. Bookkeepers’ works are checked and reviewed by the company’s accountant, contracted accounting firm, or by the business manager.
Compared to the bookkeepers with basic and general tasks, accountant clerks on the other hand, may be tasked to handle more focused financial roles like becoming the company’s main accounts payable clerk, payroll clerk, cost clerk, inventory clerk, or accounts receivable clerk. Auditing clerks are the ones that check and review financial documents, figures, and postings to ensure that all details are mathematically correct and accurately encoded. They also provide notes or correct errors so accountants can easily find and fix errors.
Accountants have greater and more essential functions aside from supervising and reviewing the jobs of bookkeepers, and accounting and auditing clerks. Accountants can be generalists or they can also specialize in a specific accounting field depending on their preference and training. In general, accountants are supervisors, which examine, analyze and prepare accounting records, financial reports and statements, and other important business documents. They also compute and prepared tax returns making sure that taxes are accurately paid, and tax requirements are properly complied. Accountants report to the higher management about specific financing issues in the institution.
Accountants who earned higher education and passed the licensing exam are the CPA or the Certified Public Accountants. CPAs perform more complicated accounting tasks and roles, and also work in larger organizations and companies. They direct the work activities of the whole accounting department reviewing and supervising the works of bookkeepers, accounting clerks, and accountants. They can also investigate bankruptcies and other intricate financial problems. Certified public accountants may also provide advises or suggestions for the company in terms of efficient accounting systems, data processing systems, health care benefits of employees, and compensations.
Education, Training Requirement And Income Opportunities
Career options and income varies depending on the kind of education the person achieved, and work experience earned. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medial annual salary of bookkeepers, accounting clerks, and auditing clerks employed in the country based on their 2010 report is $34,030. The lowest 10% earners receive annual average income of $21,270 while the highest 10% earners receive annual income of $52,000 or more.
Bookkeepers, accounting clerks, and auditing clerks basically have lower income compared to accountants and CPAs because they have shorter education level or lower education degrees. Annual average income based on BLS report for these jobs ranges from $20,000 to $40,000. These types of entry-level accounting jobs require minimum education usually an associate degree in accounting which takes 2 years to complete.
Accountants employed in the country are offered annual income ranging from $50,000 to $80,000 every year. CPAs can earn higher income especially those with more work experience. They are usually offered annual income ranging from $100,000 up to $110,000. Their salaries are higher basically because they invest more on their education to obtain higher accounting roles.
To become an accountant and CPA, the minimum education requirement is a bachelor’s degree in accounting, which requires 4 years of study. Graduates of a 4-year accounting program can qualify for entry-level accounting jobs but to become a CPA, an additional training and experience is required in order to qualify for the licensure exam for aspiring CPAs known as the Uniform CPA Examination administered by the AICPA or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Job Outlook For Careers In The Accounting Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment opportunities for bookkeepers, auditing clerks, and accounting clerks is expected to grow 14% from 2010 to 2020. The growth rate is relatively faster than the average increase in other occupations. This is because a lot of organizations and businesses are now being established resulting to higher demands for accounting officers and experts. The federal government are also improving financial regulations resulting to stricter standards, which in return increase the demand for quality workers with expertise on bookkeeping and accounting.
Job opportunity for accountants and certified public accountants is projected to increase 16% from 2010 to 2020 – higher than the increase in entry-level accounting jobs. This faster increase is brought about by the financial crisis and stricter financial regulations experienced by the economy which increased the demand for more thorough and accurate documentation and analysis of financial transactions of the companies and organizations. To be able to accurately perform these delicate and complex accounting tasks, companies and organizations must hire quality and well-experienced workers in accounting like accountants and CPAs.