The average wage of certified public accountants is at an all-time high. Individuals with this certification are in high-demand due to the job growth in accounting and they can find employment in a number of sectors. This news is great, but it gets better. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted a job growth in accounting of 22 percent in this year alone. This means permanent, steady, lucrative employment for those individuals who push themselves to this level of education and competence.
Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) requires preparation and a time commitment. CPAs are trusted financial advisors who assist individuals, business and organizations in obtaining their financial goals. In order to serve in this role, they must obtain the necessary knowledge and experience. Candidates must complete an accounting degree at an accredited institution and a specific amount of work hours under the supervision of a CPA. Candidates must then study for, take and pass the CPA exam.
The CPA exam assesses the candidates knowledge in four areas to include financial accounting and reporting, business environment and concepts, auditing and attestation and regulation. Candidates must obtain a minimum 75 percent score in each area in order to pass the examination. After the examination is passed, candidates will be awarded the designation of CPA. A CPA designation is not a lifetime certification. Candidates must show a dedication to continuing education to include 40 hours of additional training per year.
While the path to obtaining and maintaining CPA certification may seem difficult, it is well worth it both financially and for long term job stability. The rate of job growth in accounting is impressive and this commitment to certification will expand your career opportunities and earnings potential. CPAs can work in three different sectors to include public accounting, corporate accounting or management accounting.
Corporate accounting opportunities include government accounting and internal auditing positions. These individuals can work in information technology, taxes, operations and internal checks and balances. These positions are responsible for ensuring the legitimacy and success of their employer.
Public accounting positions can include work similar to corporate accounting. These positions also work in the areas of audit, taxes and management services. The main difference between is the amount of legislation that is applicable to their work. These individuals need only be liable to state and federal legislation.
As a CPA's level of experience increases, advanced employment opportunities can arise. These positions are referred to as management accounting positions. Typical job titles in this field include Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance, Director of Finance, Director of Accounting, Controller, Tax Director, Tax Manager, Internal Audit Director and Compliance Officer.
The average wages for certified public accountants ranges due to the level of responsibility and experience. The averages range between $39,000 and $100,000. Individuals should consider benefits such as the size of the company, the local economy, bonuses, stock options, medical insurance, retirement programs, vacation options, profit sharing and commission opportunities. In addition CPAs can leverage their certification in order to create a flexible job which allows them to telecommute, work preferred work hours or make their own schedule.
Individuals with accounting degrees can qualify for a number of entry and middle level employment in these fields. Some may also qualify for advanced positions with extensive experience. Job growth in accounting is consistent but CPAs are the ones in a position of power. Obtaining CPA certification can increase your starting salary by 10 to 15 percent according to the Robert Half Salary Guide. This salary difference can expand as you build experience.