We’ve all heard the jokes about accountants – they’re “boring bean counters.” Well, if you mean being engaged in meaningful, challenging work and getting paid fairly well for doing it – then, yes, it’s a “boring” career. Here’s a look into what accountants actually do.
An integral contributor to virtually every modern business, accountants make up more than 1.33 million of the nation’s current employment, working for everyone from individuals and small business owners to the federal government. Further, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook (Dec. 17, 2015) forecasts growth in the field will be “faster than the average” for all jobs, with more than 140,000 new accountants needed by 2024.
Besides managing and analyzing financial records, accountants use their knowledge of taxes, budgeting, payroll and financial reform laws to legally increase company profits. In truth, they are indispensable members of a company’s financial team.
What Are Different Types of Accountants?
However, not all accounting is the same. The field offers opportunities to work in a wide variety of specialty areas. Among them are the familiar public accountants and certified public accountants, CPAs, who have advanced studies – similar to a Master’s degree – and have passed a rigorous CPA exam. But, beyond those “standard” accounting fields, you could go into auditing; forensic accounting, which encompasses investigation and evaluation of financial crimes – such as tax evasion; loan officers; or investment accountants, who may supervise and advise on stocks, bonds, real estate and other financial services, among others.
According to the BLS, the media wage for accountants in 2015 was more than $67,000 – half made less, but half made more – some (the top 10%) made upwards of $100,000. For a salary in that range, who wouldn’t mind being labeled a “bean counter?”
How to Become an Accountant?
Becoming an accountant requires solid mathematical skills, an eye for detail, being precise in your work habits, and possessing strong integrity. It’s a field that’s not for everyone, but it can be lucrative for those who excel with numbers.
Fortis offers an Accounting Technology Degree Online, which enables students from Ohio to Florida to take courses when it is most convenient for them in preparation for potential entry-level positions in the accounting field. Contact Fortis today to start your accounting career!