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Accounting involves the study of how businesses keep track of their assets and income over a given period of time. Some of the activities that’s accountants engage themselves include financial statement, computation of efficiency gains and cost from advanced technologies, using Information systems to keep track of financial performance and active participation in strategizing acquisitions and merger.
The main reason why I choose accounting as a career is the fact that I will have a greater chance of learning how businesses work. The field of accounting offer challenging and stimulating career as accountants spend most of their time scrutinizing businesses performances; hence they learn a lot about businesses. As an accountant, one stands better chances of becoming the Chief Financial Officer (CF0) given the fact that he or she has the best understanding of what bring business and profit to any given company.
Nature of Work
Accountants help in ensuring that business run more efficiently, taxes are paid properly and on time and that business records are kept accurately. They achieve their objective by carrying out the most fundamental task related to this field. This includes preparing, analyzing and verifying financial documents for their clients. There are four major fields of accounting; Public, management, government, and internal auditors. Public accountants serve clients ranging from corporations, NGOs, governments and the general public; performing a broad range of accounting activities like auditing, tax and consultation on important business issues. Many public Accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), having their own businesses or better still working for Public Accounting firms (Mark Hirschey).
Management accountants work for specific companies, where they record and analyze financial information in addition to budgeting, cost management, evaluation of performance and asset management. Corporate Executives relies on Management accounts in making sound business decisions. Government accountants on the other hand examine and maintain records for government agencies and those businesses regulated by the government. Government accountants ensure that revenues received are used in accordance with laws and set regulations (Mark Hirschey).
Most accountants work on typical 40 hours per week schedule, within a standard office setting. Self employed accountants generally work longer hours especially if they have many clients. Those accountants who specialize in tax return may have to work long hours during tax season. Government accountants may have to work away from their offices, especially when auditing government facilities. Accountants employed by Public Accounting firms may have to travel on a regular basis to perform their work at client’s premises. Self employed accountant may be able to do their work from the comfort of their home, given the current advance in technology. (Raphael Amit)
Qualifications and Salary
Most accounting positions require one to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, although many large firms require a master’s degree in Accounting or BA with a concentration in Accounting. One must have a certificate issued by the State Board of Accountancy for them to be Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). For a CPA license to be renewed, one must complete a given number of hours of continued professional education in accounting (Raphael Amit).
Accountant salary can be very lucrative, coupled with well established career growth. Salary range for most accountants remains within the same range across the different accounting career. The main differentiating factor is the size of the accounting firm or the company and individuals’ level of education. Most entry level jobs pays between $35,000 and $50,000. Those Management accountants who successfully end up being the company’s CFO can earn $85,000 plus, per year (Mark Hirschey).
Future Outlook of Accounting as a Career
Employment of Accountants is expected to continue growing in all fields of accounting in the next 5 years. As companies continue to grow and as accountants retire or transfer to other kinds of occupation, there will always be annual job openings for new Accounting graduates. As long as the world economies continue to grow, the number of business establishment will continue to rise, hence requiring more accountants to provide various accounting services. As international business competition increases, many companies will be in increased need of quick and accurate financial information that will guarantee success, hence the need for accountants who are trained in latest trends of International Business Accounting (Raphael Amit).
The study of how businesses keep track of its assets and finances is known as accounting. Accounting is divided into Public, Management and Government with each field having different nature of work. As a career, accounting helps a person to have a better understanding of how business is done. Accounting is one of the careers expected to continue growing given the current competition in international business and the need for accurate financial information, needed in making critical business decisions.
- Mark Hirschey, W. Wichern. “Accounting and Market-Value Measures of Profitability: Consistency, Determinants, and Uses.” 2007. JSTOR. Web.
- Raphael Amit, Joshua Livnat and Paul Zarowin. “Accounting Implications of Corporate Diversification.” 2006. JSTOR. Web.