According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the employment outlook for accountants and auditor grew approximately 11% in 2015. Compare that amount to the total 7% average growth rate for all other occupations and you will find that the trend is increasing for accounting majors. Reasons for the growth in accounting can be attributed to the complex U.S. tax laws and regulations along with the effects of globalization. This trend will likely continue as increases in the need for accounting professionals are usually closely related to how well the economy is performing. The BDO predicts that in 2017 not only the number of companies becoming publicly traded will increase but the size of the deals will increase as well. This in turn would require accounting professionals to help in the IPO process.
Accounting professionals who have earned the CPA designation should have the advantage. In addition, individuals holding a MAcc or an MBA will also have good employment prospects as companies seek individuals with specializations. Entry level accounting positions should also increase in the near future.
The median annual wage in 2015 for financial specialists was $47,740. Accountants’ and auditors’ median annual wage came in at $67,190. Compare this to the overall median wage in 2015 for all occupations of $36,200.
You may be wondering what it is that accountants and auditors do on the job. A few of the normal daily duties of and accountant and auditor might be:
- Organize and maintain financial records
- Calculate tax liabilities, tax returns, and timely reporting and filing of tax returns
- Reviewing the accounting records of companies and organizations to ensure accuracy, correct use and efficiency of accounting policies and procedures
- Consider the overall operations of an organization to see if there are recommendations for improvements to management
- Make suggestions for cost reductions and improved revenue streams
An excellent skill to have for this career area would be effective communication skills since accountants and auditors prepare financial reports for management and others.
Career areas include public accounting (CPA firms), private accounting (business and industry), non-profits or charitable organizations, healthcare, government, education, etc. Common industry certifications include the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE,) Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), & Certified Management Accountant (CMA). A new credentialing exam to be offered soon is the Certified in Entity and Intangible Valuations (CEIV). For more information on the CEIV certification, visit http://www.aicpa.org/membership/join/pages/ceiv-exam.aspx.
By receiving any of the business and financial industry certifications, you are making yourself stand out from other job candidates. The rigor of these certifications suggests to employers that you are a knowledgeable employee and that you have gone the extra mile to advance in your career. If you are interested in a career in business and finance, choose the path you want to pursue and become an expert in that field. Make yourself a valuable employee and employers will take notice. It’s your career and your choice.