Many people believe that accountants make a lot of money. While others are not sure and often wonder if accountants make good money. The second type of people are usually those who want to pursue a career in accounting but not sure if it’s a wise decision or not.
Usually, how much an accountant makes depends on which city & state you’re working in, which company you are associated with, and your experience level and expertise. However, all you need to start your career as an accountant is a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Most people consider the money they will make from joining a profession, whether accounting or medical science. However, considering if you actually enjoy playing with numbers is also significant in your decision when it comes to accounting. After that comes the question of ‘do accountants make good money?’
We have written this article for the people who are sure that the profession is made for them and who are interested in mathematics and accounting. You will get an answer to the question about how much money accountants make and the career options after getting a degree in accounting.
What is An Accountant and His Responsibilities?
Accounting is the science of measuring, processing, and communicating the financial information of any entity. It also includes maintenance, audit, and reporting of financial transactions of an entity. Accounting can also be explained as an information system for identifying, measuring, recording, and communicating relevant and consistent information about the economic activities of any entity.
Accountants are the professionals who perform the activities included in the scope of accounting. It can also be defined as a professional who records, organizes, manages, and classifies any entity’s business transactions, public or private.
The responsibilities of an accountant include:
- Organization and maintenance of the financial records and transactions
- Giving recommendations to the entity’s management based on financial performance evaluation
- Preparation of tax returns and filing
- Examination of financial statements and suggesting strategies for improving financial results of the entity
Careers in Accounting And Their Salaries
The most challenging part of an accountant’s professional life is choosing a specific area and career path to pursue. You must have all the necessary knowledge to pick a specialized area in accounting. Therefore, we have sorted different careers in accounting as well as the average salaries. So let’s get into it.
Budget making, account receivables, account payable, bank reconciliation statement. If you have a bachelor’s degree in accounting and you want a good career start in accounting, a staff accountant might be the right fit. The staff accountants report to certified public accountants and are responsible for creating and analyzing financial statements and data.
A staff accountant must also make sure that financial regulations comply in preparing and presenting financial statements. If you want to pursue a career as a staff accountant, you would require to practice corporate taxation, personal financial accounting, risk management, and analysis & business law during the degree coursework.
The average salary of the staff accountant is $50,099 as per PayScale.com. In some organizations, staff accountants are also offered bonuses and profit sharing.
Certified Public Accountant
Certified public accountants or public accounting is a career option for accounting bachelor’s degree holders. It has a wide scope from preparation to issuing public financial reports, business consulting, personal financial services, and tax returns. Career paths for certified public accountants are not limited to financial accounting, but they can also pursue careers in forensic accounting, tax accounting, external auditing, etc.
You can become a CPA only after passing the licensing exam and completing your coursework in a bachelor’s degree. Computerized accounting, general accounting, cost accounting, tax, business statistics, financial management, etc., are the most common areas to be focused on in college coursework for becoming CPA.
The average annual income of a CPA accountant is around $65,397 in the United States. You can be eligible for bonuses and profit-sharing in the organization. Besides, CPAs can make more money than any other accountant by setting up their private practice.
Working as an auditor is also an option for accounting degree holders. The scope of an auditor’s job is to examine, evaluate, and report on the accuracy, correctness, and completeness of the financial transactions and data. The auditors review the financial statements and other financial data to check if the company is complying with the regulations and laws related to financial reporting.
An auditor is usually an external independent party, but companies also hire internal auditors who work for the management and make sure that statements and recording of data are in compliance with the regulations.
To become an internal or external auditor, an accounting student should complete the coursework in areas like auditing, corporate finance & accounting, risk management, managerial accounting, forensic accounting, etc.
To become an external auditor, you will require certifications like CA. The average salary of an auditor is around $55,748.
The field of government accounting specialization can be from financial accounting to tax accounting. If we talk about governmental accounting, the scope of the work is related to recording and examination of the financial records and data in the state & government agencies. It also includes auditing the private businesses involved in activities that are subject to government taxation and regulations.
After completing your degree, you can look for entry-level jobs in federal or state governments government institutions. The average salary of an entry-level accountant can be around $48,027, and it will be higher based on experience.
Investment accountant is also a great career option for enthusiast accountants, and you will have career opportunities to work with investment brokerage and asset management firms as a financial consultant or analyst.
The investment accountants’ job description includes examining the client’s taxes, providing them with investment opportunities, ensuring that the company meets financial regulations and laws, and contributing to the financial strategy. You must be knowledgeable about financial management and accounting, economics, audit, corporate finance, investment analysis, taxation, and corporate accounting.
You will be required certain licenses to practice as an independent investment accountant or work with the organization. The average salary of the investment accountant is around $61,918 per year, which is higher than a staff accountant, internal auditor, or government accountant.
Management accountants are CMAs as the scope of work analyzes the company’s financial position and looks after the managerial side of the finances. They are also responsible for making strategies, cost control, and measures to cut unnecessary costs or improve the company’s financial health. Management accountants are expected to contribute to budgeting, internal audit, risk assessment & management, and profitability analysis of the entity.
The average salary of a management accountant is around $59,405 per year. You must pass the Certified Management Accountant(CMA) exam after completion of your bachelor’s degree to practice as a management accountant.
Cost accountants are graduates having a degree in accounting. The scope of their work revolves around making cost control strategies, investment analysis, capital budgeting, and how projects can help improve the profitability of an entity.
Organizations will hire a cost accountant to calculate the costs and provide effective strategies to improve the profitability of supply chains without exploiting the projected budgets. The main objective of a cost accountant is to ensure cost efficiency is met by an entity in all of its operations. It also includes recording the day-to-day cost-related financial data and preparing relevant financial statements.
The average salary of the cost accountant is around $55,710 per year as well as they’re eligible for profit sharing and bonuses as per the company’s policy.
Forensic accountants, as the name suggests, examine the accuracy of the financial statement and determine if any error or fraud has been committed in recording and presenting the financial data. It’s the responsibility of forensic accountants to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations and laws.
The forensic accountant can be hired by a company or an independent practitioner with expertise and knowledge of audit, law, business, managerial accounting, forensic accounting, taxation, and risk management. Certified public accountants can also pursue a career as forensic accountants by getting Certified Fraud Examiner(CFE) credentials.
The average salary of a forensic accountant is $66,311, and the salary increases as more experience come, or they get certification in fraud examination.
Wrap Up: Do Accountants Make Good Money
What do you think after going through the different types of accountants and average salaries they make per year? Do accountants make good money?
The answer is YES!
Most accountants make a decent five-figure salary per year. Besides, the salary increases and crosses 6-figures with more experience and certifications. Also, the accountants can have a side hustle as a freelancer to expand their practice and income as well.
In short, pursuing accounting is a great choice if you’re someone having an interest in it. Although, it won’t pay as much as an engineer, marketer, or doctor the income is quite satisfactory. You shouldn’t give a second thought to not pursuing accounting in your professional career.