Accounting has been in existence since the start of trade. Over time, it has become a primary player in the professional industry. Today, accounting continues to accommodate a huge number of professionals across the globe. Careers in this field continue to flourish year after year because of the steady demand for accounting services. Indeed, it’s one of the most promising careers today. Many people, especially those looking to enter college ask, “Is accounting a good career?” People have different opinions on this and the answer is dependent on what one wants to achieve in their life.
Is accounting a good degree? Yes, accounting is an excellent career option. Accountants enjoy a stable rate of employment despite fluctuations in the economy. Additionally, accounting professionals receive decent compensation for their services. Moreover, accounting offers professionals a wide array of fields and areas of practice to select from.
Perhaps you chose this profession because you’re smart in math. Or maybe you followed your parent’s career path. Or you accidentally found yourself in the job market and then found out how you would answer: “Is accounting for me?” If you are just starting out, you’re probably curious about what you should put into consideration before making a leap. If you are already employed in the industry, you might find yourself going back to the question: “Is accounting a good career?”
Is Accounting a Good Career?
If you are thinking of switching careers, being an accountant might be the way to go. Financial professionals with in-depth accounting skills make solid wages, put themselves in steady demand, and make worthwhile differences for the clients they serve.
So, if you’ve been asking, is accounting for me? Here are some reasons why you would want to choose this career path:
Accounting Jobs are In Plenty
Most organizations, from government bodies and non-profits to multinational companies and small businesses, require accountants. A report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that the number of accountants would increase by 10% from 2016 to 2026. Furthermore, unemployment levels for accountants are much lower than the general unemployment levels.
And it is not just about accounting jobs. Having a graduate accounting degree is excellent preparation for jobs in numerous field including finance, business analytics, and business forecasting. That is because accounting offers analytical, financial and problem-solving capabilities, which are essential in the current economy.
Evolving regulations and tax laws in the United States and around the world are making the economy more complex. Accountants and those who have a deep understanding of accounting are the experts who can help different organizations navigate this complexity.
Alongside the growing demand comes solid remuneration and benefits. However, the wage range varies according to the job description, experience level, academic qualifications, location, and other variables. Seasoned accountants and top management officers earn the highest salaries. We will talk about salaries in the next paragraph.
Ability To Choose Your Own Career Path
Steady employment and decent pay are excellent, but they aren’t the best aspects of accounting. If you think accountants as professionals who spend their time slouched over manipulating spreadsheets, you’re in for a surprise. While adding the figures and analyzing financial data is a vital part of accounting work, it also needs problem-solving, strong communication and creativity skills.
Accounting professionals help organizations make informed decisions. They provide fiscal insight, which helps organizations launch new merchandise, enter new markets, or stay away from non-profitable ventures. Additionally, accountants serve as guardians of financial precision in the economy. They can help guard against fraud, assess the effect of corporate environmental initiatives, and determine ways to decrease wasteful spending.
A degree in accounting can prepare you for multiple careers. Some accountants end up as top corporate executives while others find themselves in non-profits or government agencies.
Accountants have a wide array of fields of practice to pick from. They can work as employees with steady shifts and routine work. Additionally, with adequate qualifications, they can freelance and have their own customers. Business organizations need the expertise of accountants to prepare, analyze and audit financial statements. Also, they can work as instructors in the academe, as book authors, fraud investigators or information systems specialists.
Average Accountant Salary the USA and the UK
Average Accountant salary in the United States is $50,757 per year. An entry-level accountant with experience of less than one year earns an average compensation of $45,648. Those with a job experience of 1-4 years make $49,027, whereas those with an experience of 5-9 years earn $54,288. Accountants with 10-19 years of experience make $55,498 on average while those with at least 20 years of experience earn $56,957.
In the UK, the Average Accountant salary is also good. An entry-level Accountant with less than 12 months experience can expect to earn an average compensation of £21,499. Early career accountants with 1-4 years of experience gain an average compensation total of £25,485. Mid-career accounting professionals with 5-9 years of experience make £30,292 while those with an experience of 10-19 years earn £35,621. Those with 20 or more years of experience earn an average of £35,845.
From those figures, accounting is an attractive career for any expat looking to move to the US or UK.
Is Accounting a Good Major?
So, you love to crunch numbers and are probably wondering, is accounting a good major?
Choosing a college major is difficult. People usually say that one won’t end up working in the major they chose initially, which may be true even in accounting. It’s always wise to do more research on the field before making a decision.
An accounting major is a valuable asset for any student seeking to join the business world. Students learn how to understand and assess the underlying financial model of an organization. That type of insight is crucial to any role in any organization and makes them an excellent match for many entry-level positions.
Normally, the coursework for an accounting major is very involved, more so than business management or marketing majors. Accounting majors might spend more time in the library studying than their friends, particularly in their fourth year when they’re prepping for their CPA exam. However, it’s all worth it.
An accounting major opens doors for graduates to work in a variety of jobs. Many people initially assume accounts as people who help others do their taxes every year. Such accountants handle personal income taxes only and have a more relaxed career than others.
Many accountants graduating from college will want to get employment in public accounting where there’s a variety of roles. They can choose between tax and audit, and each of those areas comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Tax accountants work to help organizations prepare and manage tax requirements and compliance. That gives a person deep knowledge that they can use one day to run an independent business. The starting salary is somewhat higher, but the duties are more monotonous for those who don’t enjoy it. Of course, during the busy season, tax accountants work around the clock.
On the other hand, audit accountants work to verify the accounting data that a client is offering to the general public. That means they have a lot of interaction with customers, intense scheduling, and more time on the road. Usually, accountants use the audit as a starting point to become controllers or industry accountants.
Is Accounting Boring?
If you’re looking to work as an accountant, you’re probably wondering, is accounting boring? Many people associate accounting jobs with boredom. Accountants are perceived as people who only crunch numbers and nothing else. That was somewhat true ten years ago, but not now.
With technological advancements, and how accounting jobs are viewed in the worldwide arena today, things are different. Accounting jobs are among the most glamorous profiles in the finance industry.
Accounting professionals have started to look beyond financial accounting work. For instance, management accountants are viewed as people with great knowledge of accounting concepts and business decision making. For an accountant, helping businesses solve key problems and being a growth proponent to the organization could give them a sense of belonging.
With automation dominating all areas of a profession, accounting jobs have not been left behind. Nowadays, the mundane work of accountants like bookkeeping, scanning invoices, reviewing receipts and vouchers, etc. can be done at the touch of a button.
Today, there are software programs that take care of analysis processes, leaving accountants with enough time to focus on key areas of corporate finance. Such programs can be utilized on-demand and empower accountants to deal with other larger issues affecting the company like capital structure, sale decisions, cash flows or purchase of assets.
With the assistance of automation, accounting professionals can also spend time interacting with customers and understanding their ever-changing needs.
Is Accounting good for Me?
It’s a well-known fact that accounting is the backbone of a thriving business. While the profession was formerly viewed as boring in the past, nowadays many people view accounting with a new perspective. They know very well that this profession continues to be in great demand with a new set of opportunities and challenges too. The perception of the profile is changing, so aspirants have to be well-equipped with the right skills to succeed.
One of the greatest concerns college graduates face is finding a job within the first year after school. For those who choose to account, however, are assured of a job before they get to senior year.
Most accounting companies go after all accounting majors in college, offering well-compensating internships in the US. Almost every large accounting organization guarantees a raise and promotion each year for those who work efficiently.
Accounting is a job that can help one to get where they want in life. Most accountants still manage to have fun with their work, be creative, hang out with loved ones and work on personal passions.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.