The Career Outlook for Accountants and Auditors

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.

 

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-1

https://www.bdo.com/insights/assurance/client-advisories/2017-bdo-ipo-outlook

Starting 2017 On the Right Financial Track

With the start of a new year, it is time to consider how well your personal finance plan worked in 2016. Has your spending and saving behavior improved since January 1, 2016? Is your financial situation better than it was this time last year? While we all know that many situations are outside of our control, there are still things we can control. One of those areas is our behavior.   Looking back on 2016, would you honestly say that your mindset for personal finance has matured? If your personal financial situation looks much like it did one year ago then it is time to put your personal finances on the right track.

Pull up your bank statements from the past 12 months and determine whether or not  your checking and savings balances have increased. Hopefully, your savings account has increased in value along with your 401k balance and other investments. Consider whether or not you can increase your savings percentage to continue building your savings balance for emergencies and necessities. Now don’t get depressed if your balances did not increase but your debt decreased. If you were diligently working to pay off debt, then there is a good reason for simply maintaining your checking and savings balances. Keep the $1,000 emergency fund in place if at all possible even while tackling the debt.

The next step I would suggest for the New Year is to reassess your past financial goals and make any necessary adjustments. Set short-term goals that you plan to reach within the next 12 months. Consider any goals from 1 – 3 years in length and create a plan to reach them. Long-term goals would usually include retirement, college tuition for children if they are young, purchasing a home, etc. Break each goal down and develop realistic steps to help you attain the goal. In order to gauge how successful you have been, check to make sure you are still making strides at least every 3 months. If you are not progressing as you wish, make the adjustments to keep you on path to obtaining the goal. Even if you have to take a month or so off from working on our goal because of an unexpected event, get back on track as soon as possible.

Finally, look for ways to improve your financial situation. If you are not satisfied with where you are in your career, make improvements that will help you advance.   A good book to read to help in the career area is “48 Days To The Work You Love” by Dan Miller. At the end of his book, Mr. Miller gives valuable information to help you create a great resume’, cover letter, mission statement, etc.  I used the information from “48 Days” to help me reach my current career goal.

Make 2017 a great year both personally, financially, and in your career. There is no better time to begin improving than today! Make it a priority and get to work making positive changes in your life! Stay on the right track for personal growth and financial stability!