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Choosing a Career in Accounting

There are many advantages in being an accountant, which is why so many people are choosing accounting as their major in college. Besides being a career which is stable, easy to understand, and comfortable to progress through, accounting also offers plenty of monetary rewards. Salaries for accountants are very high, especially if they can get their Masters degree. The base salary for an accountant is between $50,000 to $70,000 a year, depending on where they live and who they work for. These salaries are fantastic as a starting point, especially considering the difficulty that college graduates have while finding jobs.

The room for improvement in accounting is huge, no matter which field you choose. Whether it is tax accounting, chartered accounting, or bookkeeping, you will be able to move up the ladder at a major accounting firm within five to ten years. Within five or six years, you can expect to get a management post within an established firm. This will give you a salary in the range of $100,000 to $120,000 a year. If you get your Masters degree, that salary will shoot up by 20% or 30%, depending on the individual company’s policies. Another option is to go down the Certificate or Diploma route in order to become a bookkeeper/accounting technician.

Bookkeepers and Accounting Technicians work throughout the financial sector in a variety of roles . They can work independantly or as part of a team although they typically work under the supervision of a more senior accountant.

The flexibility in accounting is not limited to money and positional improvements. It is possible to make many changes to your work situation when you are an accountant. Most accountants will start off at a major firm, such as Deloitte or PWC. After some time, they may choose to go off and start their own firm, or set up a firm with friends/colleagues. Self employed CPAs have plenty of career perks. The money is still very good, but the hours of work are far more flexible. It is possible to work from home, at nights, on weekends, or whenever else you may choose.

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Clients can also be chosen with greater ease when you work for yourself. In addition, being an accountant is a recession proof job. Whether the economy is doing really well, or there is a recession, people and companies are going to need accountants. Chartered accountants and bookkeepers are necessary for companies, and everyone needs a tax accountant to help them file their yearly taxes. While you may have to move from one firm to another, being an accountant means you will rarely be without a job. The demand for accountants is always high, especially those who have a lot of experience.

The final advantage to being an accountant is the knowledge of business that you will acquire along the way. Bookkeeping and chartered accounting ensures an in depth understanding of how a business is run. Many accountants have gone on to careers in business, with some opening their own small/medium sized businesses.

Mary Byrne is a career guidence professional and a freelance blogger from Boston who’s now based in Dublin, Ireland.

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