Professional accountants review and analyze financial information for individuals, companies, and government entities to make sure that taxes are paid correctly, finances are kept on track, and there is no waste or fraud. Depending on your interests, you could work as a public accountant, government accountant, or management accountant. If you are good with numbers, can easily interpret mathematical information, and have good communication skills, a career in accountancy might be perfect for you.
Accounting Degrees to Start Your Career
Most accounting jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in accounting, which typically takes about four years. Accounting programs offer classes in basic accounting, business, taxation, communication, economics, and math. If you're interested in increasing your job opportunities, it may be a good idea to earn certification as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Once you've started your career, you can continue your education with a two-year master's degree in accounting, which could include coursework such as international accounting, financial accounting, and fraud prevention. As more and more companies use computerized accounting, you may also have to take courses in accounting software and technology. Depending on your interests, you could work in a variety of subspecialties including:
- Clerical accounting
- Forensic accounting
- Payroll accounting
- Management accounting
Accounting Career Salary and Outlook
According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for accountants in 2008 was $65,840, and job prospects should be good for those with the right training. Accounting jobs are expected to grow by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.