Is Accounting a Good Career?


Updated June 3, 2024 · 2 Min Read

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Is accounting a good career? Hear from a certified public accountant why this field can be more dynamic, engaging, and flexible than is typically assumed. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Accounting is sometimes labeled as a "boring" career choice. However, that is often due to cliches established back when accounting was a paper-and-pencil nightmare, when 10-key typing reigned supreme.

Today, accounting is far from dull, and is on the leading edge of several exciting developments in the business world.

Accountants are critical to any business — that part hasn't changed. Organizations still need auditors, tax preparers, and financial analysts to fill key roles and keep everything running smoothly. However, the days of accountants working in their own siloes in the back office are long gone.

To become an accountant, you usually need a bachelor's degree in accounting to cover all the baseline accounting requirements employers are looking for. Alternatively, you can earn a bachelor's degree in something else and complete a master's in accounting program to get started in the field.

Our guest author, Colin Smith, is a licensed certified public accountant in Ohio. Colin currently works as a freelance accounting consultant specializing in technical accounting and financial reporting along with fractional chief financial officer (CFO) services. Colin has over 15 years of experience working in various public accounting firms, including two of the Big Four.

So, is accounting a good career? Let's see what Colin has to say.

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Accounting Is Becoming More Dynamic

The idea of accounting being a simple bean-counting operation is outdated. Today, many companies realize the importance of engaging their accounting teams more strategically.

Accountants sit on troves of useful data and information, and companies today are increasingly connecting accounting departments with financial planning and analysis, and new emerging roles such as data scientists and data analysts.

As an accountant, you'll have the chance to be at the forefront of this evolution. Mastering Excel may never go out of style, but leaning into emerging technologies like AI or blockchain is sure to add some excitement to your career.

Even getting comfortable with older, established technologies like Structured Query Language and other database management systems can open up a world of unique opportunities for you.

There Are Countless Ways to Specialize

Accountants have plenty of opportunities to explore and customize their career path as they go.

While working as an auditor at a regional accounting firm, I learned how to prepare tax returns, handle mergers and acquisitions, and develop complex business valuation models. Today, I leverage all of those different skill sets in my work as a financial reporting and fractional CFO consultant.

Aside from different skill sets, there is a variety of industries you can specialize in. Each industry has its own unique set of accounting challenges; gaining experience in an industry you're interested in will surely make your job more compelling.

The American Institute of CPAs offers several industry- and specialty-specific conferences, as well as several credential programs that can help you distinguish yourself in your career or branch out into something new and exciting.

The Career Is Remote-Friendly

The return-to-office debate is still a hot topic, and many job-seekers are now willing to take a pay cut for a work-from-home option. Thankfully, accounting roles tend to require less in-person communication than other fields, making them a great candidate for hybrid or fully remote work arrangements.

Some accounting roles require more face-to-face engagement than others, but most are not client-facing, and are less reliant on in-person collaboration than other fields such as sales, engineering, or medicine.

Rapid advancements in collaboration tools and video conferencing software have greatly improved the capability of remote work across many fields, and this includes accounting.

In my experience, reliable internet connection, access to basic collaboration tools, and a solid work ethic are often all that's needed to thrive in a remote work environment.

You'll Have Job Stability for the Rest of Your Life

I know this may not sound as exciting as some of the other reasons mentioned here, but the peace of mind that comes with being in a constantly in-demand profession really can't be overstated.

Knowing that you can almost surely find another job somewhere else during tough economic times will help you sleep at night. It can even allow you to take calculated risks that can pay huge dividends.

The peace of mind that comes with being in a constantly in-demand profession really can't be overstated.

—Colin Smith, CPA

Job stability is one of the main reasons why I eventually decided to strike out on my own and start my own consulting business. If things ever go south with my business, I know I can always find an accounting job out there that will pay the bills.

Accounting was already an incredibly stable profession, and the current accounting shortage is only going to place accountants in higher demand than they already are.

Remember, Every Business Needs Accounting

Accounting is an excellent career choice for anyone looking to chart their own course and take control of their career. With so many paths, specializations, and industries to choose from, there really is something for everyone. On top of all that, accounting offers great work-life balance and job security that can't be beat.

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