Accounting and Finance jobs, including auditors, are expected to increase 18 to 26 percent through the year 2014. This is driven by an increase in the number of businesses, changing financial laws and regulations, and increased scrutiny of company finances, plus the need to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
We’ve all read about the recent accounting scandals at major corporations such as Enron and Worldcom. Congress finally woke up and passed legislation in an effort to curb the rampant corporate accounting fraud. This legislation requires public companies to maintain well-functioning internal controls to ensure the accuracy and reliability of their financial reporting. It also holds the company’s chief executive personally responsible for falsely reporting financial information (don’t you just love this provision!).
These changes will likely result in increased scrutiny of company financial procedures and should result in an increase in accounting and finance jobs, particularly CPAs, to audit financial records more thoroughly.
Computer technology has made white collar financial crimes easier to commit, while at the same time the development of new computer software and electronic surveillance technology has made tracking down financial criminals easier. As success rates of investigations grow, demand also will grow for forensic accountants.
Overall, the outlook for accounting and finance jobsjob opportunities for accountants and auditors is favorable. Enrollment in accounting programs is slowly beginning to grow again as more students become attracted to the profession because of the attention from the accounting scandals. Those who earn a CPA should have excellent job prospects.
Currently, many accounting graduates are pursuing other certifications, such as the CMA and CIA, rather than a CPA This means that competition in management accounting and internal auditing is increasing more so than in public accounting.
Regardless of specialty, accountants and auditors who have earned professional recognition through certification or licensing should have the best job prospects. In the aftermath of the accounting scandals, professional certification is even more important.
Here are the top five online job sites for accounting and finance jobs, as measured by the Alexa rating (the lower the rating, the more popular the site. See our Online Job Search page for a detailed explanation of Alexa ratings.