Online accounting degree programs are starting to become one of the most searched online degree programs across the nation. As companies continue to grow and accounting laws become more cumbersome, firms must have highly qualified staff to handle their books. A degree in accounting can provide you with the exact foundation you need to get easily hired by high-profile firms and provide much-needed services. Furthermore, the skills you gain through a degree could easily translate into opening your own bookkeeping service to help other small businesses succeed or even prepare their taxes with a little extra training.
What Can You Do with an Accounting Degree?
Online accounting degree programs are widespread and varied but provide you with exceptional skills in business and accounting, which ultimately makes you a viable candidate for many different positions. Over the course of your accounting career, you can easily begin to see the possibilities emerge for many various positions including positions as Chief Financial Officer, or even working for the IRS. Accounting degrees are one area of education where the fundamental concepts and ideas do not change drastically over time. This gives you the added advantage of always being able to stay competitive in the field without needing to go through much more training. While software programs may go through changes or upgrades, the principles of accounting often remain the same.
Is an Accounting Degree Right for You?
When it comes to a career in accounting, it does take a special sort of person to be completely honest. If you are not detail-orientated and cannot stand to deal with the specifics of your work, then an accounting degree might not be for you. However, if you are the type of person who can spend inordinate amounts of time reviewing data and cross-referencing numbers (i.e. you enjoy math), then earning an accounting degree is certainly something you should look into. And since the structure of a degree in accounting fits so neatly with the ideas of accounting, it makes complete sense that completing it online is one of the fastest ways to go. Online accounting degree programs often allow you to work at your own pace, learning the most pertinent information you need when you need it.
So if you have been on the fence about online accounting degree programs, you really shouldn’t be, because as long as you fit the criteria for being an accountant or you are passionate about learning about accounting, then you will be well-suited to the job. Online accounting degree programs are certainly not for everyone, but they do provide some much-needed stability in economically turbulent times. Stability is one of the many benefits of learning a trade like accounting, which never really goes out of style. In fact, accounting degree programs offer a wide variety of job placement opportunities after completion. Read on to find out the top 10 accounting job opportunities which are only expected to become more sought-after in time.
- Federal Government Accountants: Regarding job security and perks, getting a government job is both smart and respectable. Accounting jobs within the government are quite coveted, so make sure you have the skills necessary to shine through the fierce competition.
- Postal Service Accountants: Postal services are spread over the globe. It is one of the biggest networks ever. The service frequently has openings and the pay is usually so good that you will be financially set for quite a while.
- Certified Personal Accountants: Of all the accounting careers, this is the one that has been garnering buzz and popularity at a steady pace. Once you qualify as a certified personal accountant, you can handle several clients all at once. In fact, you can be your own boss and choose how big a workload you prefer. This is the perfect position for people who can’t tolerate structured work settings.
- Tax Auditors: Taxes are very important both for the government and masses. Hence, tax auditors are a very important asset to the society, but especially to the government. Make a career as a tax auditor and you will be making a handsome sum per annum.
- Tax Preparers: Handling all your tax returns on your own is not exactly a piece of cake. You need an expert unless you want to end up paying more taxes than you actually should be paying. Tax preparers are professionals who look into your tax issues and help you save the maximum possible.
- Bookkeepers: Bookkeepers are responsible for maintaining accurate and immaculate records of financial data, from payments to incomes.
- Payroll Managers: Big corporate offices often require a large number of payroll managers to take care of their employees’ salaries. Payroll managers are in demand, but being a payroll manager is also quite demanding.
- Management of Enterprises: Accountants don’t stick only to accounts anymore. In most situations, accountants are now even trusted with more demanding tasks, like running a full company or enterprise.
- Local Government Auditors and Accountants: A government job holds a great deal of value for accountants. As aforementioned, government accounting positions are highly coveted.
- State Government Auditors and Accountants: Their job responsibilities are similar to that of their local counterparts. However, the benefits and perks are more lucrative.
General Accounting Job Descriptions
There are various functions and roles carried out by accountants. That said, many general accounting job descriptions will often include budgeting, banking, bank reconciliation, handling petty cash, maintaining ledgers, paying expenses, preparing the payroll, and finally, calculating and paying taxes. During the course of their duties, accountants will often prepare a number of reports such as the sales schedule, the profit and loss account, the balance sheet, an asset schedule, debtors and creditors reports, expenses reports, and accrual schedules.
These reports are meant to assist the management of the organization in making strategic financial decisions based on current financial data. Auditors are accountants with a more specialized role of reviewing the financial records prepared by business line accountants. However, auditors not only look at the records but they also assess the entire system and make recommendations when necessary to get things done to better the internal controls and thus reduce risks.
Types of Accounting Jobs
Accounts are needed in every single industry you can imagine, which means there are various types of accountants with a myriad of areas of specialization. However, there is rarely a clear-cut distinction between one type of accountant and the other, and most of the time, the actual accounting job descriptions will have overlapping characteristics.
Public accountants usually work as external auditors as well as consultants, providing service to organizations and individuals that retain or engage their service. The best example of public accountants are what are known today as the Big 4 accounting firms, which are the largest public accountant firms in the world. Public accounting responsibilities include performing audit reviews and assisting organizations and individuals in tax planning and tax reporting. Many public accountants are effectively the external auditors of the firms they work for and serve to complement the role played by internal auditors, especially in large organizations. In the US, public accountants must be certified by the Institute of Public Accountants in any given state. They must take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examinations and have at least some experience.
These accountants work with the federal government, state government arms, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Their responsibilities include the preparation and auditing of government accounts. They ensure that taxpayers’ funds are properly utilized as per the requirements of the law.
Management accountants are, as the name suggests, an important part of an institution’s management team and management agenda. Their responsibilities will usually involve monitoring and reporting on an organization’s financial data on a wide scale. They review accounting reports and interpret them to the top management so that the appropriate decisions can be made.
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