Accounting Job Overview and Description

Accounting is a field that will always require a steady workforce. According to the United States Department of Labor, accounting jobs will grow a projected 10 percent by 2026. The accounting field will grow faster than the average all other occupations. You can get into this field with an Bachelor’s degree, and the payoff is more than worth the extra school time. This article will give a general overview of the accounting job description, types of accountants/auditors, salaries, education requirements, and accounting job responsibilities.

What is an Accountant/Auditor?

An accountant is a person who prepares and examines financial records for both personal and business customers. They are responsible for making sure that financial records are accurate not only for tax purposes but also for reporting corporate outlook for publicly traded companies. Accountants and auditors can be used in variety of different companies for corporate buy outs, financial operation auditing, and many more.

What are the different types of accountants?

  • Certified Public Accountants. These accountants focus in organizational accounting, taxes, and finance. They are involved in more details within an organization besides just tax reporting. They are seen as trusted advisors and help their clients plan out their financial goals.
  • Forensic Accountant. These accountants are the detectives of accounting. They are highly skilled and brought in to make sure that financials records are compliant with all standards and laws. They can also be used to catch errors, omissions and fraud.
  • Auditor. These accountants are used to ensure that records and audits are extremely precise. They usually work for outside companies and brought in to confirm and verify records generated by an internal accounting team.
  • Management Accountant. These accountants are used by business leaders to check the financial health of their companies and determine how changes could impact that financial health. They are usually involved in planning and budgeting as well as reporting financials, managing risk, and simplify information for business executives.
  • Cost Accountant. They are heavily involved in the process of saving companies money. They help analyze everything from cost of labor to materials and shipping. They can then generate complete information reports and communicate this data to the business to make efficiency changes to improve financial cost management.
  • Government Accountant. Their main responsibilities include keeping track of taxpayer funds at the local, city, state, and federal level. Some are employed by the Internal Revenue Service while others are working for private businesses that are responsible for auditing government agencies.
  • Project Accountant. These accountants work on a project by project basis. They might be involved in everything from cost analysis and expenses to auditing employees time cards and managing budgets. They coordinate directly with project managers and other professionals to get projects done on time and at or under budget.
  • Investment Accountant. These accountants work in the ever changing finance and investment sector. They are responsible for managing client’s investments in ETFs, bonds, stocks, currencies and many more. They help determine the strategy, from a financial perspective, for some of the largest investment funds in the world.
  • Staff Accountant. These jack of all trades accountants are the number one job title you will see the in accounting field. They handle a variety of different responsivities the largest being general bookkeeping for small businesses.

What type of education do you need?

Every kind of accountant in the United States needs a bachelor's degree in accounting. Your bachelor's degree program will include a lot of math and science courses, along with general accounting practices. Many accountants will become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). To become a CPA, an accountant must complete an accredited program and pass a series of exams, prior to taking the exams an accountant must have two years of work experience but this varies from state to state. You will complete your undergraduate degree, then move on to a four-part state licensing exam. A master's degree is needed to advance in some accounting fields. Jobs in accounting can all differ in education, but the certification process is usually the same.

What is a typical Accounting salary?

Accounting salaries are largely based on experience. The more you experience you have, the more money you'll be able to make. According to the US Department of Labor, a new general accountant around $53,300 annually with the high end of the spectrum making over $122,200 per year. The national average for an accounting salary is around $69,350 a year. These accounting salaries range from roughly $25.63 to $58.75 an hour.

What are Accounting job requirements?

An accountant job has the same core requirements no matter which field you choose to go into. You must be good with numbers and a strong attention to detail. You should be able to grasp complex financial statements quickly and be able to use a variety of accounting tools to do your job. Accountants don’t necessarily need to work in a team but they must have excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Where can you find an Accounting job listing?

You can search for an accounting job listing through websites like CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed, SimplyHired, and You can also check your local papers or do a general web search for your area for accounting jobs. If you have graduated from an accounting course recently, call them to see if they know of anyone hiring or if they can put you in contact with anyone who might be hiring. There are jobs in accounting out there, they just take a little digging to find. When you look at an accounting job description, make sure it will fit your field of study, because there are so many different types of accounting positions available to choose from.

Jobs in accounting are just going to get more in demand as time goes by. This career field isn’t the most exciting but there are many opportunities to advance and work with higher ups within an organization. You will be able to take what you learn and use it almost immediately no matter which field you choose.

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