What is an Accountant

In an era that’s known for its fiscal irresponsibility, the accountants are kings. Accounting is a steady, lucrative profession that is demanded regardless of the larger economy it operates in. So long as there are taxes, budgets, and organizational or individual finances, there will be accountants. Accountants often report high job satisfaction, can take large portions of the year off (especially if they have their own practices), and can quickly become relevant in the field. Most accountants have 1-4 years experience and can access more job opportunities and higher pay through certifications, or specializing in different aspects of accounting. Common accounting certifications include the CPA, CIA, CFE, CISA, and much more. But accountants often have at least a Bachelor’s degree, and those who hold a Master’s degree are usually qualified for more and higher-paying positions. Accountants work in a number of positions in major organizations, and many hold MBA’s. If you want to join the upper echelon of accountants and be qualified for a diverse and expansive number of related positions, definitely consider applying to an online MBA program.

Responsibilities of an Accountant

If you love order, organization and having control of your corner of the world, accounting might be the career for you. If you enjoy math, especially arithmetic and analyzing numbers to determine their meaning, this career path is a great fit. So what does an accountant do? Common duties of accountants include writing sales and cash flow reports, administering payroll, compiling balance sheets, enabling billing activities, managing budgets and keeping inventory. Accountants often go on to become Financial Analysts, Accounting Managers, Financial Controllers, and can eventually work their way of the Chief Financial Officer, Finance Manager, Senior Financial Analyst and other comparable roles. How do you become an accountant? Most importantly you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree.

Perhaps the most important stat about accounting, and how it relates to holding a bachelor’s degree in the field, is that 98% of accounting job posts require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found the 2016 median pay for accountants and auditors was $68,150, or $32.76 per hour. There were nearly 1.4 million accounting or auditing jobs in 2016, and BLS predicted a 10% growth between 2016-26, which is faster than average. There will be approximately 140,300 new jobs added over that time. Another great feature of accounting is the field welcomes newcomers, and encourages working while earning a degree. BLS also found that in 2016, one in five accountants reported working over 40 hours a week, with increases in work time around the end of the budgetary year and during tax season.

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Accounting Career Profile

If you’re a precise, practical person who loves paperwork and numbers, these roles will be a great fit. Accountants are indispensable to their clients and organizations, which can make the work extremely satisfying and fulfilling.