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What Can You Do With an Accounting Degree?

What Can You Do With an Accounting Degree

Graduates in accounting usually have tons of questions concerning what they can do with the degree and what the future holds for them. Some of these questions may include what range of pay to expect, what jobs are available, where to work, what to expect during job interviews etc. Answering these questions will help you make proper decisions and help them plan and achieve their career goals. In this article, we will look at the various accounting degree jobs available, their salaries and outlook, and the types of accounting courses to expect – both bachelors and associate courses. 

Accounting Degree Jobs: Salaries and Outlook

Having a degree in accounting gives you many career options to choose from. An average accountant working in the USA earns an average salary of $53,642 annually. The top three highest-paid accountants in the states are:

  • Financial controller 
  • Certified management accountant 
  • Chartered account. 

They have an annual salary ranging from 60,170$ to 92,246$.

Career Outlook

Having an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in accounting provides you with a solid foundation in theory and practice, which will help prepare you for specific jobs in nearly every industry. In 2020, the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics shows that auditors, bookkeepers, account clerks made $42,410 as an annual salary. Financial managers earned an average of $134,180, actuaries made $111,030. Investment analysts, financial analysts, made an average yearly income of $83,660. The U.S.  Bureau of Labor projects over 96,000 new accounting field jobs to open by 2030. This means that the profession is expected to grow by 5% on average above other occupations throughout 2029. With your associate’s or bachelor’s degree in accounting, you’ll be qualified for the following listed accounting degree jobs below. 

Bookkeeper 

You can earn an hourly wage of $21.30 or a monthly salary of $42,410 in the US in this domain. Their primary role is to record financial transactions and information daily about a business. Bookkeeping provides information from which accounts are prepared. The primary duties are to complete data entry, process invoices and track debits. About 170,200 openings for bookkeeping jobs are projected each year in the United States. The benefits include work-from-home opportunities, training that takes about six months, and a flexible schedule. To qualify for this job, you need administration skills, math knowledge, communication skills, customer service skills, etc.

Staff Accountant

An accountant in this field prepares company budgets, maintains financial ledgers and reports, keeps the company’s records, and completes general bookkeeping. To qualify for this job, for the basics, you need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance and excellent computer skills, especially in Microsoft Excel. A staff accountant makes an average salary of $63,775 yearly in New York City. Staff accountants are in the US’s top five most demanding accounting jobs, especially in cities like New Jersey, Virginia etc. Their duties include reconciling bank statements, balancing ledgers for regular reports, ensuring compliance with IRS rules ( Internal Revenue Service).

Accounts Payable Clerks

This set of accountants receive invoices, process them and then verify the account’s payables. They’re responsible for completing payments and controlling expenses. You can become one by earning a high school diploma or equivalent. Another name for an account payable clerk is a purchase ledger clerk. One crucial role they carry out is to ensure that their organizations or business entities in which they work pay the proper amount of their bills and on time.  

Internal Auditor

An internal auditor is a person who provides risk management strategies and reviews the internal controls of a company to ensure timely and accurate financial reports. They help the company to safeguard against financial fraud. There are four types of internal audits which are operational, information technology audits, compliance, and financial audits. Internal audits can be carried out by observation, documentation review, and interviewing. The board of directors appoints internal auditors in consultations with shareholders of the organization to carry out their audit functions (they guard against fraud, screen financial reports, and serve as watchdogs over the company’s integrity and accountability).

Cost Accountant

Cost accountants determine the cost of producing specific products by overseeing and analyzing purchases and expenditures within the company. Graduates interested in this field should have excellent knowledge of presentation and analytical skills. Cost accounting helps a company to identify where money is being spent and how much is being earned and how much/where money is lost. Cost accountants are always in great demand in the government, banking, private, and finance sectors. They earn a median salary of $73,560 annually in the US.

Financial Analyst

A financial analyst provides monthly reports on the company’s financial position, cash flows, comprehensive income, and changes in equity needed by external users like banks, creditors, etc., and internal users of the company. To qualify for a job in this field, you need a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting, good computer skills, especially Microsoft Excel, a perfect mastery of decision making and problem-solving skills. 

Tax Manager

A tax accountant ensures the business complies with the tax regulations of the state, local, and federal tax laws. They prepare the company’s tax returns, apply and interpret tax rules and regulations, and provide tax consultancy services. Graduates interested in this job description should have a vital mastery of state tax laws, tax accounting, tax software and have a bachelor’s degree with tax as a major. An average tax manager earns $119,555 annually in the United States of America, Alongside some expected benefits such as life insurance, parental leave, dental insurance, work from home, flexible schedule, flexible spending account, health insurance, etc. 

Non-accounting Jobs With an Accounting Degree 

Now here are some of the jobs you can get besides accountancy but with your accounting degree. We shouldn’t limit ourselves only to what we study and what we want to become. There are a billion things you can do and still find happiness. At the same time, at it because as humans, we are intelligent multitaskers, and we can do anything we put our mind to. 

Chief Financial Officer

A chief financial officer analyzes financial statements, assesses foreign business risks, approves all wire transfers above a certain amount of money stated by the company, prepares financial reports, annually creates and reviews a company’s capital plan, which aligns with the business strategies and business plans. Its qualifications include a master’s degree in finance or accounting and good communication skills. Chief financial officers have lots of benefits. Some include life insurance, stock compensations, incentive bonuses, etc. On average, they earn $393,377 annually in the US.

Real Estate Agent 

They’re otherwise known as property consultants. They help clients rent, sell or purchase properties. They help make sure clients get the best house options. They carry out various checkups to ensure everything is in good order before closing a deal. Being a real estate agent can be demanding yet fulfilling and financially rewarding. It would require you to promote yourself, track leads, handle complex paperwork, provide customer services, etc. 

Medical Biller

This is a fantastic field for you interested in the healthcare industry and loves working with others. A medical biller acts like an intermediary between a patient and an insurance company. He handles and transfers the health claims of the patient to the insurance company and ensures payment is made and received on time. Medical billers provide accurate information, and he monitors and resolves financial discrepancies. One of the benefits of becoming a medical biller is that the medical billing and coding programs take only about a year or less to complete.

Fraud Investigator

The name says it all. A fraud investigator conducts fair, unbiased, and timely investigations of clients fraud cases against the company. Their prominent role is to investigate how much money was lost, to know the persons involved, and to examine all evidence presented adequately. To stand out in this field, you have to pay attention to the tiniest detail, be confident, trustworthy, and possess good communication skills.

Actuary

Actuaries earn an average wage of $145,180 yearly in New York City, while in Washington, D.C, they make a mean salary of $127,00 annually. Actuaries perform complex calculations to know the probability of specific outcomes related to illness, investments, accidents, etc. Critical skills for this domain include an excellent mastery of economics, mathematics and computer skills, good research abilities, etc. Their primary role is to help companies assess certain risks related to specific events. They also aid in planning and analyzing the financial costs of particular stakes in the company.

Investor Relations Manager

Investor relations managers earn a median salary of $82,600 in the United States of America. Their primary role is to communicate to investors and the company’s corporate management. To be qualified for this job, you need a bachelor’s degree in communication, economics, and accounting. Investors play a vital part in the growth and success of a company, and as such, robust and transparent relationships are made between them and the company. This is where the investor relations department comes into play. They represent the company to investors, and they provide timely and accurate financial information to investors. They build receptive capital markets.

 FAQ’s

What is the difference between Finance and Accounting?

 Accounting is the art of recording, classifying, summarizing, and interpreting monetary transactions, while finance is concerned with managing funds and resource allocation. Accounting is responsible for preparing financial statements, while finance is responsible for analyzing them.

What can I do with an accounting degree?

The various accounting degree jobs that could be yours include:

  • Financial analyst 
  • Staff accountant
  • Accounts payable clerk
  •  Internal auditor
  • Cost accountant
  • Financial analyst
  •  Accounting manager 
  • Tax manager
What can I do with an accounting degree besides accounting?
  •  Chief financial officer
  •  Financial manager
  •  Actuary
  • Personal financial advisor
  •  Auditor
  • Medical biller
  •  Fraud investigator
  • Real estate agent
  • Investor relations manager
Do accountants get paid well?

Yes, with the top three highest-paid careers being:

  • Financial controller 
  • Certified management accountant 
  • Chartered account

They have an annual salary ranging from 60,170$ to 92,246$. 

Conclusion

To conclude, the purpose of this article was to provide an outlook on what accounting graduates can do with their accounting degree certificates and the salary to expect in specific careers. Current findings suggest that having good communication, analytical, and interpretation skills go a long way in achieving your goals and make you an expert in a particular field. Statistics from the BLS prove the future of accounting is bright; therefore, accounting graduates should look into the future with great expectations. And even though the journey into an accounting career won’t always be a smooth one, you should be prepared for the challenges that life can throw at you.  We hope you picked up some tidbits from this article that will help you in the long run. And if that is the case, we’re delighted to have been of help. Thank you for reading. 

Helen Vlasova
Helen is the co-founder of admissionsly.com, a career guidance website for students and young professionals. She has a degree in English from the University of Michigan. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.

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