This post is a detailed report of the various accounting careers available and what you can actually do with any of the accounting degree – Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate, that you may decide to take.
It also shows you the salary to expect to earn as a graduate and the duties and responsibilities of the various accounting jobs that you can get.
If you are a student looking to start a career in accounting, you will probably be asking yourself, ‘what jobs can you get with an accounting degree?’ to know the prospects of the career before deciding to take the program.
Why a Degree in Accounting
A very important aspect of any business is the accounts department, which deals with the collecting, interpreting, and maintaining of financial records/data in an establishment.
Accounting finds relevance in virtually every form of business organization ranging from the finance sector to the management, education, private and government establishments.
Little wonder it is referred to as the language of business and enterprise. It plays an essential role in determining the financial status of any business.
Accountants monitor and evaluate the income and expenditures of an organization so as to generate financial statements and records which are used to determine how well an establishment is performing financially, as well as to predict the fiscal future and direction of the firm.
A degree in accounting offers many benefits ranging from the positive job prospects to the invaluable skills it provides.
An accounting degree furnishes students with an array of qualities such as the ability to prepare and maintain financial records, profit/loss accounts and balance sheet.
They also acquire knowledge of accounting principles, methods and changes in government policies and regulations.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 13% job growth rate for accountants through 2022; an above average rate for all jobs and a positive job outlook for prospective accountants, no wonder an accounting degree is very popular among undergraduates as it ranks ninth most popular college degree in the U.S out of 200 others as published by Matchcollege.
What can you do with an Accounting Associate’s Degree?
Students who have decided to pursue a career in the accounting field often kick off their studies with a 2-year Associate’s degree program where they learn the basics of accounting, such as how to prepare financial statements, tax reports, and management of supplier-vendor accounts, as well as the fundamentals of credit and debit.
These skills and knowledge prepare them for job positions as:
- Accounting Assistant: Specializes in the maintenance of accounts payable and receivable, as well as other financial records. They issue invoices, receipts, generate financial reports, attend to customer problems, and perform other administrative tasks that include answering calls and documentation. Basically, they provide general accounting assistance and usually report to an accounting supervisor or financial head. See detailed accounting assistant job description.
- Account Receivable Clerk: They are responsible for recording payment made by customers; they maintain record of invoices, credits, and debits; they verify and resolve issues of account miscalculations, and invalid/valid deductions; and they update/summarize receivables through invoicing, as well as ensuring set accounting goals are met. See detailed account receivable clerk job description.
- Bookkeeper: Their job specification include updating account records, carrying out bank and account reconciliations, preparing financial statements, balancing and maintenance of general ledger and subsidiary accounts, preparation of financial reports, and adhering to stipulated federal and legal requirements. See detailed bookkeeper job description.
- Payroll Clerk: Duties entail inputting and processing periodic payroll for employees by calculating the wages, levies, deductions, and incentives. They also prepare and submit tax reports. See detailed payroll clerk job description.
Payscale pegs the annual median salary of Accounting Associate’s degree majors at $41,840.
Most entry-level accounting jobs usually need applicants to have at least a Bachelor’s degree to qualify for them, which is why students looking to start off their career on a solid footing usually enroll for a Bachelor’s degree study in accounting as opposed to an Associate’s degree.
What can you do with an Accounting Bachelor’s Degree?
A Bachelor’s degree in accounting furnishes students with general bookkeeping skills and ability to perform auditing tasks and presentation of financial information to government and private enterprise.
With a Bachelor’s degree in accounting, graduates can qualify for jobs like:
- Auditor: It is the duty of the auditor to evaluate the accuracy of the financial statements of an organization; they verify that stated financial information is authentic and factual; they also proffer professional recommendation after review so as to guide the financial decisions of the company/client.
- Tax Accountant: Their duty involves the preparation and filing of income tax details for private, public or government establishments. They are responsible for monitoring alternating tax policies and aiding organizations in avoiding tax-related issues; they also enlighten their clients on the consequences of tax evasion.
- Budget Analyst: They specialize in ensuring efficient distribution of finance in an establishment. They achieve this by directing the process of budget preparation for each fiscal year, paying attention to the organization needs and projected expenditure.
- Cost Accountant: They are responsible for estimating the amount required for production of goods/service ranging from pre-manufacturing requirement such as raw materials and procurement to labor, machinery, and distribution. A cost accountant collects information on the variable and fixed expenditure required for producing a commodity, and then utilizes the data in the budgeting of costs.
- Chief Financial Officer: He/she is among the top level management executive. They supervise the business and financial operations of a company and ensure that financial goals are met. The annual median salary of Accounting Bachelor’s graduates, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics is projected to be $67,190, with an 11% job growth rate through 2024.
Career advancement usually requires having advanced degrees, such as Master’s or Doctorate, which opens up the door to higher earning potential, as well as professional reckoning.
Payscale predicts a maximum annual median salary of $76,377 for females and $79,302 for males with Accounting Master’s degree.
What can you do with Accounting Master’s Degree?
With a Master’s degree in accounting, you can get any of the following jobs:
- Senior Financial Analyst: They are responsible for assessing a company’s financial condition and providing professional advice on how best to increase finances. See detailed senior financial analyst job description.
- Finance Director: Specializes in the supervision of every aspect of finance in an organization, ranging from the budget, accounts, and tax.
What can you do with an Accounting Doctorate Degree?
Accounting doctorate degree holders mostly take up academic and research portfolio in colleges as accounting professors where they tutor and impart knowledge to students.
The salary of Ph.D. accountants is pegged at an annual maximum of $101,604 for females and $130,434 for males.
For the fact that almost all organizations, be it business, non-business, or government organizations usually have positions for someone with accounting degree, it therefore means that people in the accounting career have lots of things they can do with their degrees.