Accounting careers offer many rewards—and not only financial rewards—many accountants enjoy rewarding personal and business experiences because of their career choices.
As far as tangible rewards go, salaries for accounting careers are fairly high. Often entry-level accountants earn within $50,000 to $60,000 per year, and there is ample room for salary growth as you gain experience. Many accountants go on to become managers in about six years and increase their earning potential to an average of $100,000 per year. A few continue on to become partners at large firms, with earnings ranging from $200,000 per year to, in some extreme cases, over $1,000,000.
Many accountants opt to become self-employed after beginning their careers with larger firms. Some people view self-employment as a benefit in and of itself because it offers flexibility. As a self-employed Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you have control over your schedule and over what kinds of clients you want to work with.
Even when the economy is not in good shape, accounting careers are versatile. Businesses, government, nonprofits, and other organizations will always need to prepare and verify financial statements, so they will need to hire accountants. Although job security at one particular firm may fluctuate, job security for accounting careers in general is high.
Another perk of accounting careers is how much knowledge accountants gain about the business world. While working as an accountant, you will experience firsthand how business is conducted and gain vital expertise not available in the classroom. On-site experience lets you witness the differences and similarities of how business is done in a variety of industries. In addition, preparing and verifying financial statements for clients will provide a vast bank of knowledge about how businesses must manage their money in order to be successful. Many people who begin their working life with accounting careers go on to work in other areas of business. Accountants expand their careers as financial planners, loan officers, or even CFOs and CEOs due to the business experience they gain in the accounting field.
Many accounting careers, especially entry-level careers at large firms, provide a lot of opportunities to travel. Since you will be visiting clients’ sites, you may be able to travel out of state or to other distant locations. While traveling for business, your employer will cover the cost of food, lodging, and even entertainment in some cases. This is a great way to experience new places without having to reach into your own bank account.
Accounting careers also provide you with a broad range of areas in which to work. Large and small private companies, corporations, nonprofits, and even all levels of government employ the services of accountants. You have the option of working for an accounting firm to experience a variety of different clients or to work for a government agency whose mission you believe in. Some corporations and other large businesses hire in-house auditors and management accountants. So if you would like to work as an accountant within a specific industry, a position like this could be a good match.
With so many options of agencies to work for and potential career paths, accounting can form a solid foundation for your career. While accounting may have the stereotype of number crunching, there is enough variety within accounting careers to find a path that is right for you.