As you make a transition from the academe into the professional world with your accountancy diploma in tow, things may seem a bit hazy for the time being. You may also have a lot of questions about career possibilities, and the kind of income you could get as you put in the work for years. But with a lucrative future and a chance to make it big, you may be relieved to know that getting a degree in accountancy is one of the best decisions that you could ever make in your life.
In the US, the profession is seen as one of the fastest-growing ones, with a projected increase of 11% in the years 2014 and 2024, according to the data provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A Career in Accounting: Auditors vs. Analysts
Establishments, whether private or public, hire an accountant to manage their day-to-day transactions involving money. Most accountants work in teams nowadays, although some practitioners like Certified Public Accountants or CPAs can maintain their own offices and work at their own pace. Their wage rate depends on their educational achievement, location, and responsibilities. Those who have extensive experience in running large companies can also demand higher rates for their services.
Accountants can be divided into two general types: auditor and analysts. Auditors deal with the financial system of an organization while analysts manage their monetary affairs. They work to sustain the growth of the organization by staying on top of money matters.
Auditors may work for the government or private corporations. In government, auditors check for tax compliance and investigate the agency for shady transactions that suggest corruption within the organization. In the private sector, auditors prepare financial documents, and also take part in consultancy services, improving the financial standing of companies that they handle.
Analysts, on the other hand, estimate cost and revenue and evaluate income and investment. They ensure that the organization is able to sustain future ventures. They also handle research data and information and create financial reports. Analysts who work as government employees are sometimes referred to as financial guardians as they see to it that people’s taxes go to where they should.
The salary of BS Accounting graduates who successfully make it in the industry highly depends on the designation they hold, as well as the responsibilities that their job entail.
The specific field that an accountant specializes in is also a big determinant of their salary. Accountants work in teams composed of specialized skills. In comparison, accountants who work in more sensitive, complex areas such as taxation, debt management, and expenditure earn more than those whose work involves data gathering and estimating budget costs.
- In the white-collar workspace, people who have managerial and administrative roles in accounting earn more. In the national setting, the lower 10% of accountants earned about $44,000 a year, while the upper 10% earned more than $120,000 a year.
- According to Glassdoor, newly-hired managerial accountants usually start with an annual wage of around $55,000. Those who earn at the lower end of the spectrum usually rake in around $40,000 a year, while managers that lead accounting teams make an annual average income of almost $80,000.
- Accountants who are adept at information technology work have an edge over their counterparts who focus entirely on the numbers side of the job. This job is suitable for accountants who want to pursue additional fields other than the traditional side of the profession. If you qualify for a position in a company looking for IT accounting managers, you can a median wage of $62,000 a year, and push further into earning almost $100,000 annually.
- Financial analysts are paid to assist business owners in making decisions about the direction of the company, analyzing market trends, and making necessary inferences about the growth of the business. Because of the nature of the job, the payscale also starts high, with yearly salaries ranging from $50,000 to as high as $84,000.
- Investment accountants, on the other hand, typically handle common stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles (such as high-value paintings, jewelry, and properties) owned by companies or large entities. They also provide consultancy services to their clients, especially in the brokerage and asset management industry. Remuneration starts at around $40,000 a year, with experienced accountants earning more than $60,000 annually.
- The government can also hire forensic accountants as FBI and/or IRS agents trained in looking into the financial aspect of felonies. Mainly, these accountants tap heavily into the auditing aspect of accounting. They detect and investigate finance-related crimes like tax evasion, embezzlement, and money laundering. They also make sure that companies follow regulation and legislation to prevent any misappropriation of funds and abuse of the rights of their workers. Usually, a forensic accountant earns a base pay of around $62,000 a year.
- Some accountants have no official salary bracket if they work as a personal financial adviser or accountant to celebrities or famous personalities. You can say that the sky’s the limit on their earnings, especially if they’re known to be good at what they do! Considering the net worth of their clients, they usually earn big.
Becoming An Accountant
As a basic requirement, most employers require a bachelor’s degree in Accounting when looking to hire an accountant. At this point, aspiring accountants get to know more about business math, taxation, management, and legislation essential to the job.
Some establishments or firms require certification for the accountant to work in a specialized field. For example, an Accountancy graduate needs to be a certified public accountant (CPA), fulfilling necessary requirements set by the American Institute of CPAs, and taking the Uniform CPA Examination. CPA exam passers can opt to take their career to the next level by becoming financial advisers. Some may opt to become chartered financial analysts (CFA) and focus on the growth aspect of the company’s finances. They must also undergo a grueling process, submitting necessary requirements, and passing all levels of the exam required by the CFA Institute.
Both analysts and auditors often work full time. A typical accountant works 40 hours a week, and longer depending on the number of projects they’re working on simultaneously (especially those related to consultancy). During the end of the budgeting or tax season, accountants most likely work overtime and accommodate deadlines.
The government projects a 10% increase in demand for accounting graduates yearly. Many companies grow so large that their finance departments are split into different specializations for each team. The rising demand for accountants is deemed an indicator of an organization’s financial progress, which also paves the way for a boom in future job opportunities.