A career in accounting is likely to be satisfying and lucrative; accountants offer an increasing range of accounting, auditing, tax and business services to their clients. Many accountants opt for private practice, joining established accountancy companies and partnerships, or becoming self-employed and starting their own consultancy. Others are employed in the financial management departments of corporate businesses, working as management accountants and analyzing financial information, and doing cost management, budgeting, forecasting and other information handling jobs to aid executives in decision making processes.
In order to enter the accountancy profession you will need an accountancy degree or a degree in a related subject, and then gain professional recognition through certification or licensure. This usually takes the form of taking the exams for a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. These licenses have to be renewed at intervals, involving continuing professional education.
Pay is good. In 2002 the median annual earnings of accountants and auditors were $43,500, according to the US Department of Labor. Starting salaries for graduates are high, and experience will see salaries increasing fast. The top 10% of accountants earn over $73,000.
Increasingly accountants are taking on consultancy in business areas related to accounting, such as some information systems consultancy, some limited legal areas and business organization. This is an interesting and evolving profession, so take a look at accountancy degrees.
Directory of Schools Offering Accounting Degrees