An accounting assistant is an entry-level job in the accounting field. It typically requires an accounting assistant certificate to gain employment. Maintaining records, typing reports and assisting an accountant are a few of the daily job responsibilities. There are several careers in accounting. Not only can one be an accounting assistant but occupations such as bookkeeping, accounting clerks, cost estimators, financial examiners and post-secondary teachers are just a few. Accounting assistant is an entry level job but the average salary, according to 2012 statistics from the BLS, starts off on average a little over $36,000 a year.
Accounting assistants will assist the accountant by maintaining accurate records of daily transactions, payroll, inventories, accounts payable and accounts receivable. They may assist in the preparation of financial statements and compile financial data. Sometimes accounting assistants are called upon to perform basic office responsibilities such as handling the mail, answering the telephone, typing correspondence and assisting customers. There is room for advancement as an accounting assistant. As skills grow assistants can be advanced to full-charge bookkeeper, manager or supervisor. Some companies have different classifications of accounting assistants based on experience;
When students obtain their accounting assistant certificate they will be able to find employment in entry level accounting positions. People who are considering becoming an accounting assistant will be required to perform arithmetical calculations, work with percentages and decimals, able to write clearly and to type and key in entries. Other skills include reconciling balance amounts accurately, using mathematical schedules, define problems and have the ability to organize, analyze and draw valid conclusions. Being able to deal with tax return forms and run payroll following Government regulations are other important skillsets.
Accounting assistants usually work regular office hours, Monday through Friday from 9 am.-5 p.m. inside an office. Sometimes travel is required if a client needs assistance. The day is typically spent working at a computer most of the time. Businesses that usually hire accounting assistants include tax offices, auditing firms, accounting firms, accounts payable and receivable as well as organizations of all sizes. Most assistants work full-time, however there are part-time and flexible opportunities available.
Anyone who loves numbers and details would fit well into the accounting assistant career path. There is room for advancement and the job outlook is growing at an average pace. Now that the fundamentals of this entry-level position have been explained, enroll in a program and be working within a year
Do you have an aptitude for math and a keen eye for detail? Would you like a career that allows you to work with computers in an office setting? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, you might just be suited for a career as an accounting clerk.Accounting Clerk Job Description
An accounting clerk is a clerical assistant who performs a wide range of functions to support the financial record keeping of bookkeepers and accountants. The clerk is charged with keeping detailed financial records for businesses and other organizations within an accounting department in a variety of settings, including:
As a supporting role to an accountant, accounting clerks are often required to perform a number of tasks including handling records of incoming receipts, business expenditures, tax liabilities and payroll expenses. Besides record keeping, an accounting clerk's other duties might include:
As a working member of a busy accounting office, an accounting clerk may also be required to perform daily tasks indirectly associated with accounting. They may be asked to field general customer service questions, sort mail, answer incoming calls, and filing.Qualifications to Become an Accounting Clerk
Anyone considering becoming an accounting clerk must have an aptitude for math and a general familiarity with accounting procedures. Other skills and characteristics that employers often look for include:
Most people on this career path start with a high school diploma, although a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance or a related field is preferred. Experience also will give accounting clerks an upper hand but typically one will learn the daily responsibilities on the job under the guidance of an accountant or full-charge bookkeeper.
Career Outlook for Accounting Clerks?
Like most fields, by taking specialized certification courses, an accounting clerk can advance his or her career. Certification by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers is proof of a higher level of proficiency with accounting procedures than would be expected of an entry-level clerk. This type of certification can require the applicant to have a certain number of years as an accounting clerk, to pass an exam and to adhere to a strict code of professional ethics. Accounting clerks can also, with enough experience, become accountants and auditors. Openings for accounting clerks can be found in most businesses. The working environment is usually an office setting with the necessary access to computers, fax machines, phone lines and the Internet. Work hours for the typical accounting clerk are regular business hours. At times, however, some overtime might be expected during particular busy financial seasons.
Accounting career information from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that an accounting clerk can expect to earn about $18 an hour or a little over $36,000 a year. These wages would increase as the clerk became more proficient and could handle more complex tasks. If you've always been fascinated by numbers and you love computers, becoming an accounting clerk might be the ideal career choice. Of all the careers in accounting available, the accounting clerk may just have the most potential for advancement with the lowest starting requirements. With decent pay, advancement opportunities and a clean, professional work environment, this job has many benefits.
The title of accounting manager is considered a top position in the field of finance. It takes a high level of education and certification to qualify for management careers in accounting, but the long-term rewards can be worth the effort. Entry-level accountants can earn annual salaries in the range of $38,000, while those who work their way up to management positions may earn up to $100,000 per year, according to the BLS. The national average for accountants as of 2012 though is $71,040. To be an accounting manager requires a special mix of qualifications. Accounting managers are not only in charge of keeping track of the flow of money, they are often responsible for managing the work of other accountants. Suggested credentials would be a graduate degree from an accredited institute of higher learning, proper and legitimate accounting certification, and at least one or two years of on-the-job experience.
Well-qualified and highly-credentialed accountants can hold a number of management positions within the world of finance. Various titles for accounting managers can include:
Professional accountants with the highest qualifications can rise to pinnacle positions, such as CEO (chief executive officer) or corporation president.
As with many other professions, the higher the level of education, the greater the possibilities for career advancement. An inexperienced accountant with an associate degree may be qualified to apply for entry-level jobs; however, a management position in accounting typically demands a bachelor's degree at minimum. Top executive positions generally require a master's degree in accounting or even a PhD.
Higher education alone does not suffice to make a career in accounting management. Certifications are a key factor for success, and the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is the number one certification required for a professional career. It is virtually impossible to enter an accounting management position without a CPA license.
To advance within specialty areas of accounting management, such as forensics or tax auditing, CPAs will often seek additional certifications from recognized accounting organizations. One example is the CMA (Certified Management Accountant), a title awarded to qualified candidates by the Institute of Management Accountants. Other specialty certifications can include Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and several others.
Experience is another critical factor for career advancement. In fact, only highly-experienced CPAs can apply for specialty certifications. A few solid years of experience as a trainee or junior accountant makes a good foundation for advancement. Experienced CPAs become qualified for accounting manager positions by completing graduate degrees and achieving specialty certifications.
Salaries for accounts payable clerks vary according to location. In the United States, the salary range is $24,000 to $42,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for accounting clerks in 2012 was over $36,000.
The accounts payable clerk is vital to the company. Retail businesses must sell their inventories to earn revenue. Purchasing and paying for the inventory items in a timely manner is vital to the operation of the business. In addition, current and long term liabilities are essential in determining the financial position of the business. The reduction of current liabilities increases working capital. If working capital is not adequate, the business must borrow cash to continue operations. The accuracy and efficiency of the accounts payable clerk’s work can increase the company’s profits. Although a high school diploma or GED qualifies a person for the position, the clerk can do excellent work and rise in the organization.
Employers may seek individuals who have an associates degree in accounting or an advanced degree in accounting. Some employers might hire an individual who has completed college-level accounting courses. Most employers prefer individuals with prior working experience in accounts receivables or accounting. Employers might provide new accounts receivables clerks some on the job training to get familiar with the policies and procedures of the company.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an accounts receivable clerk makes approximately $36,000 a year. Accounts receivable clerks may work in small, medium-sized or large offices with various opportunities for advancement into management or supervisory positions. The accounting clerks position is expected to grow about 14% over the next ten years. This is the average rate for all occupations. The key to job growth in the accounting field is driven by the overall economic growth.
A budget analyst is only one of many careers in accounting. Budget analysis involves correlation between project goals and budgetary concerns. Paraphrased, a budget analyst helps organize a business's or organization's finances. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one definition includes preparing budget reports and monitoring spending.
Among the variety of accounting careers, the role of a certified internal auditor is an exceedingly vital position because of the responsibility to monitor a company's financial records for accuracy. According to accounting career information found on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in accounting employment is anticipated to be approximately 16 percent above last year, which is slightly above average for employment in the United States.
Certified internal auditors (CIAs) work within an organization such as government departments or private businesses to examine financial records for accuracy and mismanagement. Other types of work performed by CIAs, as listed by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, include:
One specific branch of internal auditing is in information technology. Accountants in these positions will combine their background experience in accounting and computer technology to asses IT managements risks and security . They review controls for an organization’s financial computer records systems, evaluating and analyzing financial data and ensuring it is gathered from reliable computer sources. Information technology internal auditors also frequently analyze computer security regarding financial record keeping.
Like many careers in accounting, the minimum education requirement for certified internal auditors is an undergraduate degree in accounting, finance or business administration. Internal auditing is an accounting major that several universities now offer and may provide an advantage for job applicants over applicants with a general accounting degree. Individuals seeking advancement may also consider earning a graduate degree in finance or accounting. Many employers require an MBA for management-level financial positions. Additionally, employers tend to look favorably upon job applicants with an MBA based on the training this degree requires.
Licensing as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is not required for most internal auditor positions. Many employers, however, favor CPA certification, since it requires passing four rigorous exams. Qualification to sit for the CPA exam requires additional education beyond the standard undergraduate accounting degree. Additionally, CPA certification requires continuing education. Additionally, The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) offers advanced certification for auditors. To qualify for the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), candidates must graduate from an accredited university or college, have two years of work experience as an internal auditor and must pass a four-part test. Other forms of certification offered by the IIA include:
For accounting auditors specializing in information technology, the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) offers certification as a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). Candidates for this certification must have five years of experience in auditing information systems and pass an examination. Experience financial, operational auditing or information systems and related college credit can be substituted for no more than two years of work experience in the field of information systems security, control or auditing.
Many entry level certified internal auditors advance in their job positions within one to two years. Advancing further into senior internal auditor positions often occurs within five years for accountants who do well. Individuals who move into senior management positions can become mangers, supervisors or partners in an accounting firm. They may also decide to open their own public accounting firm or consulting organization.
For individuals who want to advance in the accounting field, earning an MBA provides opportunities to move into higher management positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with an MBA can potentially move into top executive positions.
According to accounting career information from the BLS, entry level certified internal auditors can expect to earn an average salary of approximately $71,000 per year. Individuals with extensive work experience and training can earn well above entry level salaries. For individuals who have earned an MBA in accounting or finance, earnings potential can significantly increase and be in excess of $110,000 per year. Those employed in top level executive positions often earn an annual income of more than $130,000 year and higher.
If you are considering careers in accounting, earning an undergraduate degree in accounting, finance or auditing is a major initial stepping stone in your career. Becoming certified as a CPA and Certified Internal Auditor will provide you with more employment opportunities and options for advancement, as will earning an MBA.
A chief financial officer (CFO) plays a vital role in a company's overall success. The CFO is responsible for advising board members and the company's chief executive officer (CEO) about financial transactions that ultimately affect the direction of the company. If you choose to seek employment as a chief financial officer, you need to combine an extensive amount of experience with a strong proven working knowledge of the following:
As CFO, one must be certain all financial reporting for the company is complete and accurate, so it pays to have a strong background in a number of accounting career fields. Because of the nature of work that a CFO deals with on a daily basis, a number of interpersonal skills are required, including: strong leadership and analytical skills, the ability to communicate professionally and to work effectively under pressure.
Most people who advance to the level of CFO have a minimum of a master's degree in accounting, tax and auditing, investing or finance. In addition to the master's degree and several years of work experience, chief financial officers typically are licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) as well. As you earn your degree, some of the courses you can expect to complete include the following:
Even with an advanced degree, you are not likely to become a CFO early on in your career. Along with a lot of hard work, it usually entails up to 10 years of increasingly responsible managerial positions before you can be considered a viable CFO candidate. Positions you are likely to hold include:
The latest BLS statistics reported that the average accounting salary of CFO's is over $176,000, making it a highly sought after goal for most accounting professionals to obtain. Similar to most all other professions, a CFO's salary will ultimately depend on the education level, experience, past success of the candidate as well as the company itself. Looking at the BLS, the job growth for all top executives, including CFO's, is anticipated at five percent annually through the end of this decade. While this growth rate is substantially lower than that of other careers, it should not come as a surprise. Top management positions do not grow at the same rate as other positions because fewer people vacate top management positions to move on to something else. Often times, those who have attained the level of CFO may desire to stay there for the remainder of their careers.
Each business has an accounting department, and within it are various functions they handle. However there is one person, who is the overseer of the entire department and that person, is the comptroller. The controller, or comptroller, (these are used interchangeably) is the chief accountant. He or she is responsible for all of the company’s monetary inflow and outflow. Comptrollers are also used by the government, with massive accounting departments. If the business is small, then the comptroller handles many of the different areas. If the company is large, then the comptroller’s main function is to oversee the entire department. They make sure that all of the bookkeeping is in order. A part of their job description is to work very closely with the chief financial officer. The most important function of the comptroller is to perform audits. They must keep track of all financial transactions that take place within the business. Some of the other areas they handle include budget analysis, taxes, and financial statements. They handle any spending that takes place and are responsible for suggesting what the company can spend. Purchasing, payroll, and all aspects of accounting are the responsibility of the comptroller. They help in planning future acquisitions, and they give their advice on future plans a business may have in that area. They also have the responsibility of preparing the financial statements of the company. Some of the other things they do are to analyze the income and spending habits of the company, they help with financial planning and in general they help maintain the healthy well being of the company’s financial status.
Careers in this field are a financial Comptroller. Under this heading is a bank examiner, and there are several careers under this heading. Asset management specialist works in this area, and they must be familiar with private banking, securities, lending, and security holder services. They must also, have knowledge of the laws and regulations governing these areas. Banking information technology specialist is another aspect of bank examiners. They must stay on top of trends involving bank operations and information systems management.
Another highly specialized area includes senior policy accountant. Their responsibility is to develop and interpret the accounting principles of national banks. They teach in schools and prepare presentations for industry conferences. They also, interact with other accountants and regulators around the world. In order to become an accountant, there are certain requirements that are necessary. Interested individuals must have at least a bachelor’s degree. If they are trying to become a CPA, they must take the four part CPA exam. This exam has a degree of difficulty, and many of those, who take it, do not pass all four parts when they take the test. It is not required that the candidate passes all four parts at the initial test, but they must pass all four parts within eighteen months of taking the test. Those, who do pass can have great careers in accounting.
Aside from the bachelor’s degree a prospective candidate must have certain amount of accounting and business courses. Colleges and universities usually offer both the bachelor’s degree and the 150 degree program required for the CPA exam. Some important accounting career information to remember are that this is a very intense field in which to work. The courses are intense. The successful candidate has to be able to handle involved financial concepts. It is a good idea to start early. A good time to prepare is in high school. Take courses geared toward college prep. Also, take any advanced AP classes that are available. This will provide the individual with an advantage before they get to college.
The field of accounting and auditing is one of those areas the experts expect to grow faster than many other occupations. There is a lot of accounting career information for those who are thinking about going into the field. Careers in accounting, especially those in the area of a comptroller are continuing to expand. There are many opportunities to grow as an individual in this field, and there are many certificates that can enable the right candidate to move up.
As, the laws continue to change and businesses continue to grow, different careers in accounting will always have a need for qualified auditors and CPAs. The work environment is usually a forty hour work week, and the median salary is approximately $71,040, according to 2012 BLS statistics. This is a highly specialized field and anyone entering into this field will find it very challenging, exciting, and rewarding.
If you are considering a career in accounting, working as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) could be a fulfilling and lucrative choice. In a recent survey conducted by the AICPA, in which more than 1,200 CPAs across the country were polled, there was a three percent increase in the number of companies expecting to increase hiring for accounting professionals. This shows an increased optimism among accounting management executives and signals a good sign for students looking to pursue a career as a CPA.
A CPA handles a wide range of duties, from filing taxes for individuals and corporations to financial planning services. A CPA who performs financial planning services for either an individual or a corporation typically assists clients with a number of financial functions, including:
As a CPA, you will have numerous career setting available to choose from such as public accounting, corporate accounting, government, non-profit and academia.
The vast majority of careers in accounting require that you have at least a bachelor's degree. While you are earning your degree, you may wish to take classes that will help you reach your goal of becoming a CPA. In a typical four-year accounting degree program, you can expect approximately half of the credits to come from liberal arts courses and the other half to be related specifically to accounting. These courses may include the following:
Towards the end of your bachelor degree program, you should have the opportunity to complete an accounting internship. This will provide you with practical, hands-on experience in your chosen field. In many cases, internships can lead to a paying position. If your intern supervisor is unable to offer you a position, he or she can be a valuable reference for you when you apply for jobs in the future.
Another thing to consider before you enroll in a degree program is how well it fits into your current schedule. If you are already working full-time, attending classes online would be ideal. This gives you the opportunity to work around your schedule, while still receiving the same quality of education as students who attend classes on campus. If your schedule is more flexible, you may want to consider a combination of online and on-campus classes. The important thing is to find a school that understands your situation and is willing to accommodate you.
Depending on your state of residence, you may need to work for a certain number of months or years before you can sit for the CPA exam. Be certain to find out this important accounting career information while you are still in school. You don't want to graduate with the false assumption that you can take the CPA exam right away.
After ensuring that you meet eligibility requirements, you must contact the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy to request to take the Uniform Certified Public Accountant exam. Assuming you pass, your next step is to find out how many continuing education credits you must complete every year to maintain your status as a CPA.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for all professionals in the accounting field was approximately $71,000 in 2012. This includes everyone from entry level accounting clerks to senior auditors. There are many factors that affect your salary as a CPA, including the size of the firm and how quickly you are able to advance. Your geographic location also plays a factor in the starting salary you will be offered as a CPA.
The field of accountancy in general should see an annual increase of 16 percent a year, according to the BLS. Some of the reasons for the high demand include growing corporate scandals, more individuals and private organizations in financial crisis and stricter financial laws and regulations. In an increasingly global economy, people with experience in international accounting will have the best job prospects. Those who have earned the designation of CPA can expect a career outlook that is similar to accountancy in general.
Forensic accounting is a specialized accounting career that focuses on analyzing financial information to detect if a white collar crime has taken place within an organization. Accountants who choose to go into this type of investigative accounting combine their understanding of the law with their knowledge of finance and accounting. Forensic accounting has become a growing field in recent years because of an increased awareness for financial discrepancies within corporations. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accoutants, (AICPA) forensic accounting is one of the most rapid growing, niche specialties in accounting and there will continue to be a high demand for these professionals.
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners credits the need for more forensic accountants to the heightened intolerance for fraudulent activity. Thus, forensic accountants are no longer solely needed in an accounting firm's forensic division, but are finding employment in a number of other settings, including:
Accountants make an average salary,according to the BLS, of $61,000 a year. Adding a specialty like "Forensic" can increase salary greatly but will vary based on the company, location, experience and education level.
A forensic accountant will analyze and investigate financial evidence to look for signs that a crime such as embezzlement, securities fraud or bankruptcy was committed. Forensic accountants are not responsible for determining fraud; rather they identify inconsistencies and anomalies by providing the “who, what, where, how and why” so that the court can determine fraud.
Forensic accountants, who are often times referred to as investigative auditors, fraud investigators or forensic auditors, may be asked to:
To become a forensic accountant, one must have obtained a minimum of a bachelor's degree in accounting, but most forensic accountants have a master's degree. Numerous schools also give students the option to pursue an undergraduate degree in forensic accounting. As a student studying to become a forensic accountant, you can expect to take a number of courses in the following areas:
A career in government accounting can be both lucrative and personally rewarding. As you gather accounting career information, you may want to pay special attention to this type of career. There are numerous career possibilities in government accounting, although you can expect stronger competition for open positions. That is why it is essential to carefully plan your educational and career path now.
Most accounting positions at the government level require you to have at least a bachelor degree and sometimes even a master's degree. In addition to possessing a college degree in accounting, there are also several personal attributes that will make you successful in this role. These include:
The Department of the Treasury has 13 separate divisions that require the services of a trained accountant. Two of the most prevalent positions include Assistant Examiners and Treasury Enforcement Agents.
Assistant Examiners are assigned to various thrift institutions to evaluate the organization's general practices, management and financial soundness. To do this, Assistant Examiners review internal records, prepare reports and make specific recommendations for improvements. All of this information gets reported back to the federal government. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a 2012 average annual accounting salary of just over $60,000 for tax examiners.
Treasury Enforcement Agents work with four different branches of the federal government. These include the United States Customs Service, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the United States Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In this role, you would be responsible for investigation and surveillance along with typical accounting duties. Treasury Enforcement Agents fall into the same general job classification as Assistant Examiners and therefore have the same accounting salary range and job outlook.
Internal auditors with the IRS help to ensure that the organization complies with all federal laws and is also responsible for safeguarding its assets. People who work as revenue agents investigate individual and corporate tax returns to be certain they have been completed accurately. If there are errors or the deliberate withholding of information, it is the job of revenue agents to contact the taxpayer or business until the return is correct. Accountants at this level earn approximately $62,000 a year. The job outlook for internal auditors and revenue agents is 16 percent annually according to the BLS. These careers represent just some of the opportunities that are available to accountants at the federal government level. Other possibilities include working for the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the government's General Accounting Office (GAO) or any branch of the Armed Forces.
Payroll clerks are responsible for making sure businesses pay employees on time and accurately. They collect and organize records such as time sheets which are usually entered into a computer for processing. Controlling of all aspects of payroll that relate to yearly salaries and hourly wages, sick days, vacation and overtime pay fit into the duties of a payroll clerk.
You will find payroll clerks in practically every field. As well as managing time sheets and payroll distribution, they may have other responsibilities that include:
Generally, the skills required to work as a payroll clerk include typing proficiency and the ability to pay attention to detail. It also helps to have a good understanding of computers and math. Apart from being motivated, professional and organized, the ideal candidate should be able to either work closely as a team member or alone. A few other areas of expertise may include strong customer service talent and the capability to meet close deadlines.
Payroll clerks usually do not require having any type of formal education besides a high school diploma. Some companies may desire that the candidate have prior office or clerical experience before hiring them. As this is considered an entry-level position, most businesses provide on-the-job training. The primary prerequisite for this position is a positive attitude and a sound work ethic.
It is possible for a payroll clerk to increase their industry knowledge and advance their career by becoming certified. Advanced training is available through industry-wide professional organizations. By taking a written proficiency examination the payroll clerk can receive official recognition as a Certified Payroll Professional. The expected median salary, according to the 2012 BLS, of a payroll clerk is over $38,000. However, this figure can fluctuate depending on the size of the company, number of hours worked and location. Some clerks are hired as temporary employees during the busy season or work for smaller firms. As a payroll clerk gains experience in the industry they can expect an increase in pay. This is especially the case for workers that have five or more years invested in managing payrolls.
Employment as a staff accounting is often an entry level position for many people who have recently graduated with an undergraduate business degree. According to accounting career information resource, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for careers in the accounting field continue to be in demand, a trend that is not expected to change in the coming decade.
A staff accountant can work in government agencies or private sector businesses and financial services firms. As a staff accountant, you will be monitoring financial data and tracking financial activities for an organization. Many staff accountants are responsible for preparing financial reports for managers and supervisors which are used in making financial decisions
Although an undergraduate degree provides entry level employment opportunities for staff accountants, earning an advanced degree and certification opens doors for potential advancement opportunities. Advancement for staff accountants includes moving from junior accountant to senior accountant positions. Entry level accountants who do well can expect to advance in responsibility within one to two years. With excellent performance, it is possible to rise to management and supervisory accounting positions within five years or less. Many top level executives have a background in finance and began their career as accountants.
As you look through accounting career information, there may be several potential careers that you are considering pursuing. If you enjoy working with taxes to help people maximize their refund or minimize the amount they owe, then a career as a tax accountant may be right for you. Some of the accounting career information that you should consider before making this decision includes:
Tax accountants focus on the planning, analysis and presentation of tax returns and payments, specifically with local, state and federal taxes for individuals and businesses. A number of tax accountants choose to work in large corporations to ensure that the company follows all tax laws and files accurate returns at the end of each year. Other options include being self-employed to work with clients on a one-to-one basis to prepare their tax returns or working for a tax company such as:
There are a few different educational paths for you to consider if you are thinking about a career in tax accounting. Most employers require tax accountants to have at least a bachelor degree in accounting or a related field. Those who pursue a master's in accounting will decide to specialize in tax preparation or auditing. You may also wish to pursue designation as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). At this level, you will study financial topics more in-depth. Some of the courses offered include preparing financial statements, cost-benefit analysis and capital management. Another possibility is to take a certificate program that prepares you for entry-level work as a tax preparer. These programs are offered at most community colleges and universities. Some of the coursework you can expect to complete at this level included the following:
Regardless of which option you decide to pursue, tax accountants are required to become licensed CPAsto stay in regulation of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, one must also register with the federal government as a tax preparer. You will receive a Preparer Tax Identification Number(PTIN) that must be used on all returns you help to prepare on behalf of your clients.
When it comes to accounting salary, people who work for the federal government tend to report higher wages than those who work for a private corporation or are self-employed. A 2012 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated that tax accountants earned a median annual salary of nearly $41,000 that year. The range included entry-level accountants earning approximately $39,000 per year to senior-level accounting managers earning more than $100,000 annually. The growth rate for the field of accounting is anticipated to be 16 percent annually from now until the year 2020. This percentage is about average for all types of occupations combined. Two of the factors that are driving the demand for qualified tax accountants are the increasing complexity of tax laws and a large number of people reaching retirement age at the same time. Taxpayers need assistance in understanding the tax ramifications of certain financial decisions in order to ensure that they enjoy a secure future.