Accountants manage the finances of individuals and organizations. Various roles fall under the "accountant" umbrella, some of which require particular certification and/or specific skills. These roles include certified public accountant, auditor, financial analyst, financial manager, and business accountant.
- Analyze Data: Accountants often analyze financial data for individuals and organizations to ensure accuracy and compliance with laws and regulations.
- Maintain Financial Records: Accountants maintain financial records to help individuals and organizations track and organize their finances.
- Prepare Tax Returns: Accountants need a thorough understanding of tax laws and regulations to help prepare tax returns for clients.
- Identify Cost Reduction Opportunities: Accountants assess the financial standing of a company to identify savings and cost overruns.
- Provide Economic Feedback: Accountants investigate finances for organizations and individuals and provide feedback to help them maximize their savings and revenue.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants and auditors accounted for an estimated 1.4 million jobs in 2018. Nearly 25% of those professionals worked in accounting, tax filing, payroll, and bookkeeping services.
BLS data reveals that the median annual salary for accountants and auditors in 2019 was $71,550, with the top 10% of earners making more than $124,450.
The BLS projects employment growth of 6% for accountants and auditors from 2018-2028.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS
According to the BLS, a bachelor's degree meets the entry-level education requirement for accountants, but a master's degree leads to roles with more responsibility and higher earning potential.
Why an AIS Concentration Helps
Understanding the intricacies of how information systems operate can help accountants broaden their career prospects and add value to businesses.
Many entry-level roles do not require experience beyond a bachelor's degree in accounting, but professional experience can help accountants advance their careers.
ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS RECOMMENDED
- Certified Public Accountant: Typically, more advanced accounting responsibilities, such as regulatory compliance, require professional credentials, such as certified public accountant.
- Certified Information Systems Auditor: This certification demonstrates the investigative and technological expertise needed to conduct in-depth investigations of IT systems.
- Certified Management Accountant: For professionals who use accounting in information management, certified management accountant credentials provide a pathway to executive positions.