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What Can I Do With An Accounting Degree?
Organizations across industries have one thing in common: no matter what type of business they run, they have either an accounting department (or consultant) working for them, overseeing the financial heart of their operations.
That’s why becoming an accountant is a smart move for those who want the stability of a career that is always in-demand. By earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting, they mix an aptitude for math with the latest accounting strategies and techniques, preparing themselves to work in one of the most vital parts of any organization.
Accountants might end up working with hundreds of people in a global conglomerate’s accounting department or at a small consultancy business. Whatever the case, their work ensures that organization’s handle money correctly.
What Accountants Do
Accounting involves collecting and analyzing an organization’s financial transaction data. Accountants ensure that a company’s books balance and account for every penny earned and spent. They may also oversee the proper reporting of taxes or financial filings for public companies. Accountants also use their knowledge of accounting principles and organization-specific data to advise business leaders on pros and cons of financial-related business decisions.
Accountants work in every type of business. That includes private corporations, government agencies and non-profit organizations. They also run their own accounting firms, offering services to both organizations and individuals.
Job Growth and Salary For Accountants
More than 1.4 million accountants work in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects another 90,700 will join their ranks by 2028, a 6% increase over current levels.
Accountants work in a variety of areas, including budgeting, payroll, financial analysis, and taxes and regulations. Wherever they work, the numbers accountants produce provide the basis for leaders to make data-driven decisions.
Accountants earned an average annual salary of $79,520 in May 2019, according to the BLS. The top 25% in the profession earned more than $94,000.
The following looks at different roles accountants typically hold. Those who become Certified Public Accountants (CPA) often qualify for the top jobs in any of these fields. Becoming a CPA requires passing a national exam. Of the about 1.4 million accountants in the U.S, about 47% are CPAs.
Public accountants track and analyze all financial records and transactions for publicly traded companies. This includes tax information, cash flow and balance sheets. They also oversee finances to ensure that a company meets all regulatory tax code standards.
Management accountants focus on internal financial documentation that leadership uses to make decisions and set an organization’s business goals.
Forensic accountants are part accountant, part detective. When working for a government agency such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, they search through financial records and transactions for evidence of fraud, tax evasion and other financial criminal activity.
Along these same lines, auditors work independently and analyze financial documentation to ensure regulatory compliance. Internal auditors do the same thing, but work for the companies they audit.
Government accountants work for public agencies, tracking and analyzing all financial records and transactions. They may also work for agencies that provide accounting oversight for other public institutions.
Investment accountants focus on successful management of investment portfolios for companies or individuals. This can include real estate holdings, stocks and bonds, and state estate planning.
The Gordon College online bachelor’s degree in accounting prepares students for success in this in-demand, versatile field. Students learn the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), as well as studying topics involving tax law, math and quantitative analysis. They also become familiar with the software used in accounting systems.
In addition to becoming prepared to sit for the CPA exam, accounting graduates can also move on to become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) or Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), among others.
With the convenience of online learning, it’s never been a better time to investigate an accounting degree program and see if it’s the right fit for you.
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