What is an Accountant?
An accountant is one of the specialists whose main duty is to inspect or keep financial accounts. Accountancy or accounting is the measurement or the provision of assurance about financial information that will help tax authorities, investors, and many other to make right decisions about the allocating resources.
Job Description of an Accountant
The typical job of an accountant mainly involves duties and tasks that are built upon, educational background, knowledge, practice, and a set of skills that are necessary to have a successful career. The main duties of accountant are based on providing any necessary financial information to management through or by researching and analyzing accounting data, or preparing reports.
Their job is to recommend in a proper way financial actions by analyzing the accounting options that exist. They also need to summarize the current or actual financial status by collecting information, prepare profit, balance sheet, and loss statement as well as prepare other reports.
By analyzing account information and by complying those an accountant can prepare the liabilities, the asset, and the capital account entries. These professionals also have the responsibilities to maintain accounting controls by recommending procedures and policies, as well as maintaining financial security by following internal controls. Accountants also secure financial information by completing database backups, prepare payments by verifying documentation, and requesting disbursement.
An accountant also has the duty to prepare financial reports through a process of collecting, analyzing and summarizing the account information or in some other cases trends. Accountants have to make sure that they follow and apply with the state, federal and local legal requirements by studying the new legislation or the one that already exists. Any result in the job that they are doing is accomplished by performing the duty.
To be a good accountant you’ll need a set of skills that will help you a lot with the work you are doing, skills that involve a very good time management, accounting, and excellent attention to details, confidentiality, math skills on a general line, a good management when it comes to data entry as well as being oriented on finishing up in time any required deadline.
By possessing a certification, your role will increase leading to work on improving efficiency and maximize the organization profitability. Their skills are very searched in many public practice firms, commercial, private as well as other sectors. They also administer payrolls, control income and negotiate any of the existent business terms with associate associates and clients.
How to Become an Accountant?
In order to grow to become an accountant, you’ll need to fulfill a few steps that will lead you to your dream career. The steps to make are such as obtaining a high school diploma, having an excellent proficiency in math. You will also need to pass the college entrance exams, earn either associate’s or bachelor’s degree, follow an internship, obtain work experience. Furthermore, you must take CPA or CMA test preparatory classes and the 4 part CPA or CMA test. Other things that will help after are such as obtaining a Master’s degree and remaining licensed.
An accountant role involves also to prepare the proper documentation in finances such as taxes. The most common career path in this field is to become a CPA else known as a Certified Public Accountant. Those who graduate in this field can also choose to become Management Accountants, Auditors, or even Government Accountants.
Everything starts from high school, even your career choices. If on campus you have the opportunity start by taking some finances classes. The next level is to learn what are the college entrance exams and take them. You can also use the SAT or the ACT scores to apply for any bachelor degree program that you find the most appropriate.
Having the right to practice is very important when it comes to any job in the US. Even though the license requirements can be modified, there is some evidence in a few states that will help you become a licensed CPA. This including associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.
The first step in becoming an accountant is searching an accredited degree program in accountancy. The road to fulfilling it can differ from state to state and can lead you either to follow the classes of a two-year associate’s degree in accounting or to earn a four-year degree. If your choice is the first, then you should look for programs that will have you placed in entry-level positions and help you with the uniform accounting exams.
With this option of choice, you might be required to have a background of 2 years of experience of work before you actually become a licensed CPA instead of 1 year. The four-year degree path is very sure for those who are not sure in which state they will want to practice. Having more of the educational hours, you’ll need only one year of work experience before you enroll for a license.
If your position is in the business world and you’ll consider that a CPA will help you advance in the career field then here’s what to do. You can take into consideration some of the Master’s degrees that have their focus on the CPA preparation.
The idea of an internship can be very great since you’ll need work experience when you apply for a license or a job placement when you’ve graduated. You can work an internship during your college or on summer vacations.
As mentioned earlier a license in this field is obtained by having work experience. At the end of your college accredited degree program, you can find an entry level position, under a licensed accountant, position that will help you earn your license. Your work for a licensed accountant it is recommended to have a period of 1 and up to 2 years.
The uniform accountancy exams are not that easy to pass. The best way to succeed is to review all the courses that you had, going back time span of several months and up to several years before. There are four sections or parts uniform to take when it comes to the CPA else known as Certified Public Accountant or the CMA else known as Certified Management Accountant.
Once you’ve passed the initial section of the test, you’ll have a length of 18 months in which you’ll have to complete and pass the three sections that were left. You might have to show proof of the degree program that you’ve graduated from, classroom hours and a successful completion of an ethics course.
To follow some state CPA tracks, you might need a master’s degree. However, you can return to school for a master’s of business accounting or administration that will help you set on a track that is based on management. A Master’s degree will help you to be properly qualified to work for larger financial institutions.
The last step after getting your license is to make sure that you’ll keep it. Take continuous education credits that will allow you to have the right to practice in the state in which you are licensed.
Work Environment and Schedule
Working as an accountant means having to deal with various situations, adapting to new and face any challenge that might occur. In order to make appropriate decisions and provide right answers, you’ll be faced as an accountant to use every professional judgment that you’ve gained, and you have.
An accountant working environment is mainly based on deadline-oriented terms as well as fast paced working field. Much of the accounting work will assume that the individuals that are working on these positions must act and work as a team. A teamwork will help to a reliable and best completion of the projects, and a great spread of the achieved knowledge between the team members.
The traditional business hours for someone working as an accountant is of 40 hours per week, but in some situations the hours of work will increase. For instance, those who work in the public accounting will have to be at work 45 hours per week. Furthermore, in some other cases, working means from 55 work hours up to 80 hours per week during the 3-month busy season. Working in an accounting firm will mean that your dress will be business casual.
The great fact of being an accountant involve the four main branches inside of accounting. Those are management, financial, taxes, and auditing. Since there is a diversity in the field as an Accountant, you can choose the best work environment. For instance, you can find work for a private institution, for the government, or at a large company, or you can have a small firm.
Pros and Cons of Being an Accountant
Being an accountant will involve many times pros and cons of the career in which you are working. The pros that define this career involve that you are certain upon the path that you follow. Studying accounting will lead you to a future that is based upon analyze the costs and dealing a lot with numbers. You’ll also gain specific training that is very useful in your career. Even as an accounting student you’ll have the clear vision and idea that you know where you are going in your career.
Another pro is that the accountant career includes a huge potential for growth since even after graduation you can start as an entry level associate that in a few years can lead you to move up the ranks. You should also know there is a great demanding for accountants since there are many people who need help with their taxes. Another reason is the fact that many organizations and businesses are in need of an accountant.
This career is very stable despite the fluctuation that is often encountered in the economic flux. There is also a high potential of well-paid incomes, and those who work on a full-time basis can expect to receive great pensions, vacation times, healthcare as well as other great benefits.
On the other hand, the cons that appear in this field appear when it comes to being certified. A CPA is accredited by the AICPA else known as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. A CPA will gain a higher salary and will have the opportunity to advance to a higher rank in his or her career then an Accountant, who doesn’t have a certification. The time that you’ll have to invest in this certification will vary between 6 months and up to 1 year of study and pass all four parts of the exam.
This path is very challenging since the exam is very hard, and you’ll have to study a lot to take it. Another con, when referred to the life of an accountant, is the level of stress that you’ll have to deal with. As reminded earlier, the typical business working hours for an accountant will include a 9 to 5 standard job. However, in the tax season you’ll have to spend up to 80 hours per week inside of an office.
With all these, you can add the sense of being bored if your personality will not fit with the usual monotony that is to be found in this field. Your work can repeat itself and will ask from your part a meticulous job. Be prepared right from the start to be a problem solver, have a great detail-oriented attention that will help you avoid errors. You should also be convinced that you are fit to spend a lot of time behind a desk working at a computer.
Positions offered as accountants will offer higher incomes for the top of them, the figures will even encompass $100,005 per year. According to many surveys, the median annual salary in the United States is estimated to reach about $61,691 per year. Nowadays the estimated average salary for the North America reaches at $31,078 per year.
As the working experience in the life of an accountant will reach up to 5 years, the annual salary can reach around $65,676 per year. If your position in the career of accounting includes an entry-level employment, then you can expect to take home an income that is comprised between $35,010 per year and up to $45,010 per year.
The job outlook for this field is a positive one even with the fluctuations in the economy these professionals are needed everywhere and anywhere in work that will include taxes and examine as well as prepare financial records.
Other factors that will influence the income of these professionals are linked with the location, as reminded earlier years of experience in the field, as well as the gained certification. The annual accountant bonus that is offered is expected to range between $210 and up to $610.
Those who are in an entry level position with less than one year of work experience can expect to an annual bonus that reaches at $204 per year. Then with less than five years of work in the field the bonus that is usually granted reaches at $967 per year. An accountant, who works in this field for more than 20 years, can reach to an annual bonus estimated at around $610 per year.
The salary will also vary according to each state. For instance, if you are working as an accountant in Alaska your income is around $57,010 per year. At the same time, those who are working in California can expect to take home an income of around $61,010 per year. The highest incomes can be found in states such as New York and Mississippi that offer around $65,010 per year.
Salary of an Accountant in 2016
In the US, the salary for 2016 is estimated ad based upon the number of demanding. These professionals are in high demand due to the taxes that must be paid and must be accurate. The job outlook is best since new accounting and finance jobs are created in order to support and maintain a constant growth in business.
The salaries in the field of accounting for the year 2016 are estimated to have an annual average that is comprised between $54,510 per year and up to $80,251 per year.
Accountant Salary in Canada, Australia and the UK
The average median payment for someone working in Canada as an accountant is estimated to reach about C$62,923 per year. The salary is usually comprised between C$40,963 per year and up to C$100,210 per year. The bonus that is granted for these employees can reach up to C$12,066 per year while the profit sharing can reach up to C$58,556 per year. This will lead in the end to a total annual earning that is usually comprised between C$42,534 per year and up to C$105,637 per year.
In Australia, the income of a qualified Accountant usually reaches of around AU$82,792 per year. On the other hand, the average median salary for these professionals usually is estimated to reach at AU$54,786 per year. The annual salary for those working in this field is estimated to range between AU$39,658 per year and up to AU$80,591 per year. The bonus that is granted can reach up to AU$7,118 per year while the profit sharing is estimated to reach at around AU$10,407 per year. The commission will reach up to AU$3,010 per year. In the end, the total payment is estimated to be comprised between AU$39,846 per year and up to AU$82,863 per year.
In the UK, the starting salaries for accountants will vary greatly depending on several factors such as location, the size of the company for which they are working for, the sector, and the firm. Graduate students can expect to take home an estimated income of around £25,010 per year. Those individuals who do not hold a degree will earn less. A full qualified accountant can expect to earn between £25,010 per year and up to £50,010 per year. According to some surveys that were made in 2014 the average earning for someone working as an Accountant with two years of experience reached at £47,910 per year plus bonus.
The annual salary in the United Kingdom that on average is granted in business is £90,810 per year. The highest salaries are also gained in the field of capital markets and banking. The salary packages might include benefits such as medical insurances, pensions, bonuses, profit sharing, and other.
Conclusion on Accountant Salary
The field of accounting is considered to be one very stable and on high demand, and the search for these professionals is more needed than ever. This will stay valid due to the job outlook and the years of experience in the field.