Category Archives for "Accounting"

The Pros and Cons of a Career as a CPA

Accounting

Are you on the fence about becoming a CPA?  Pursuing this certification can grant you many opportunities and a lucrative salary.  However, you may be wondering about what the disadvantages are as well.  Any career has its pros and cons, and below are some you may encounter on this path.

Pros

  • High Salary.  There is no doubt that one of the biggest draws for people to become accountants is the high salary potential.  The median salary of accountants is typically about $67,000, but it is not uncommon for those who want more to gain into the triple digits with time and experience.
  • Direct Education to Career Goal.  Unlike your other friends who may flounder about after college, you will be well on your way.  Liberal arts majors gain a lot of useful skills, but they are not necessarily skills that take them from Point A to Point B.  Accountants, instead, learn a technical and applicable skill.  They can execute a system based on the techniques they have learned.  This is not the case with many other majors.
  • Potential for Growth.  Accountants are always in demand.  In fact, the demand is only growing.  The IRS is raising the number of times a person gets audited in his or her lifetime, which means more people need tax consultations and assistance.  You will also have the opportunity to advance in your job.  If you would like to take on more responsibility and leadership roles in the future, that option is certainly available to you.  Your efforts at taking initiative and presenting relevant information will not go unnoticed.
  • Flexibility.  Not all accountants are chained to a desk.  You may be surprised to know that you are afforded the opportunity to work in many settings with different schedules.  If you want more freedom to travel or stay home with your kids, you can work independently with individual clients.  As a CPA, you have the option to work in a seasonal position, where the intensity of work comes and goes with tax season.  On the other hand, you may be interested in a nine-to-five job, and working within a business or corporation can will allow for that as well.

Cons

  • High Stress.  Accounting is known to be a high-pressure job.  Taking care of someone’s money is an important job, and it can bring about high-anxiety and clinical perfectionism.  If you make a critical mistake in a high profile job, you can experience depression and suffer from PTSD.  This is not true for everyone, of course, but it is a job that requires acute attention to detail, and if you make a mistake, it can cost you and your employer their jobs.  This is why some people get burnt out and end up changing their career path.
  • Boring.  Boring is all about perspective.  Many accountants are well aware that people see their jobs as tedious and uninteresting.  There are also plenty of accountants who agree.  However, it does not have to be.  Many accountants find their job stimulating because they have diversified their experience and gained more education.  In addition, accountants often find that their high salary is worth the payoff of an otherwise monotonous career.
  • CPA Exam.  Getting the distinguished profile of a CPA will open many doors into careers that would otherwise not be available to you.  However, you must first overcome the obstacle of passing the infamous CPA exam.  The exam comes in four parts, and each covers a different subject.  As soon as you take the first portion, the clock begins and you must pass all other portions by the eighteen-month mark.  Only about half of all candidates pass the entire exam, and many study for hundreds of hours, only to fail the first time around.
    However, this doesn’t mean the attempt isn’t worth it.  Many pass after taking the exam more than once, but continuing your studies will only increase your chances time after time.  Luckily, there are many resources at your disposal to learn how to overcome cpa failure.

The career path to the title of CPA isn’t easy, but it can be more than worth the effort. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of this career choice and decide if it’s right for you.

Advantages and Drawbacks of a Career in Accounting

Accounting

If you are intrigued by the idea of becoming an accountant, you may already know the basics of what an accounting career looks like. Without a doubt, you would likely earn respect , job stability, and no doubt a high salary. However, accounting is not a career for everyone.

Just like any career, there are advantages and drawbacks that must be considered before leaping into the field. After all, everybody has strengths, but not everyone is best suited or satisfied with a particular career choice. Thus, if you are on the fence, here are the pros and cons of a career in accounting.

Pros

  • A Clear Path. Unlike some other fields, such as journalism, political science, or the arts, accounting has a clear and direct career path. The path is straightforward: attend an accredited university, earn a bachelor’s in accounting, take on as many internships as possible and graduate fully qualified to get hired in an accounting position. What you will learn in college is in many ways a technical skill. While critical thinking and strategy is key, you spend much of your time learning technical accounting techniques instead of participating in roundtable Socratic discussion such as in the liberal arts. These skills can be applied directly to your job.
  • High Demand. Accountants continue to show a steady job market despite any economic downturn. Accountants work with individuals and businesses to make sure they are financially on track and up to date on their financial records. Certified public accountants even have the ability to manage budgets and implement financial strategy on behalf of a company or organization. You are essentially a link to your client and the financial world, so your job will always be in demand.
  • Diversity. Despite what some may think, accounting offers many opportunities for advancement and diversity. Depending on which sector you work in and which job you attain, you can work as much or as little as you’d like. For example, if you desire a 9-5 workspace in an office, you can work for a company in their office. However, if you work independently with multiple clients, you can work from virtually anywhere. Diversity also means you have opportunity to advance and to make a much higher salary.

Cons

  • Monotony. One of the biggest turn-offs to would-be accountants is the idea that accounting is boring. If you are one of those people, and the benefits don’t outweigh the costs, than this may not be the job for you. If you are not satisfied in a field that is highly regulated, and involves pulling together financial data constantly, then you might want to look elsewhere. If you are still interested in finance but want to pursue a different career, consider becoming a financial analyst or an economist.
  • Certification. It is true—many accountants remain un-certified and are perfectly happy doing basic accounting work. In fact, you don’t even need to become a CPA to become a CFO. However, CPAs have a huge advantage over non-CPAs. You are allowed more freedom in financial and tax matters within a business or organization, which is a plus if you want more diversity in your job. The one caveat is that the CPA is notoriously difficult. The exam has four parts that are set separately within a strict timeline and roughly half of all candidates fail. This includes first-timers and veteran test-takers. But look on the bright side—that means half do pass and become CPAs. It’s recommended that candidates prioritize their schedules to study for hundreds of hours around the exams. Plenty of candidates similar to you have passed before, so there is no reason why you can’t pass if you dedicate yourself. Many spend hours focusing on testing materials, mock exams and use a CPA exam course in order to speak with a live teacher and study among peers.
  • Highly Stressful. Many experience accounting as a highly stressful endeavor. Dealing with a person’s finances is serious business, and when tax season rolls around, the pressure is on. In addition, the more authority you have, the more responsibility is on your shoulders. You will have to manage others to be sure that payroll is handled properly (imagine doing this in a large company), and that any frauds or tax mistakes are avoided. If working in a high-pressure environment suits you and your goals, then this is a good job for you.

 

Why You Should Consider an Accounting Degree

Accounting , News

If you are exploring professions that offer a lucrative salary, then look no further than becoming an accountant.  Accounting offers a median salary of approximately $67,000 and offers limitless opportunities to grow.  You can work for virtually any company to explore different interests, and move up into management positions.

Imagine working as an accountant for aerospace, biotechnology, production studios, the government, and much more. The opportunities are endless, and you’ll find a great deal of flexibility in the field of accounting.

Flex Your Soft Skills

Before you decide to pursue a career in accounting, you must be honest about whether you have the right skill set.  You’ll require not only technical expertise, but also personality and character traits as well.  For example, you will need excellent communication skills.  This is because you will have to present your reports to other people in and outside your department.  In many instances, you will have to report your findings to people who are not accountants, and thus you will have to communicate in terms he or she can understand.

Another quality you will have to possess is critical thinking skills.  It is necessary in your job to analyze the data and present interpretations of the data.  You should also exhibit impeccable organization.  With so much data in your hands, it’s important that you keep your records organized in such a way so that you can access them quickly.

Opportunities for Growth

Accountants have a straightforward career ladder.  Unlike more unconventional career paths of English majors, political science majors, or art majors, your accounting major will give you a plan from start to finish. Once you get a job, you will likely have the chance to move up in the ranks as you acquire experience.

One of the best ways to stand out on your resume is to become a CPA. CPAs—or certified public accountants—are those that have taken an exam to become certified to perform certain tasks.  These tasks include the ability to audit accounts, create and supervise budgets, create financial strategy, and have the unlimited right to represent taxpayers before the IRS.  Without a doubt, showing that you are a CPA on your resume will already show your potential employer that you have the competence and expertise to take on almost any job.

However, becoming a CPA is not so simple.  All CPA candidates must go through a demanding examination process.  The exam is broken into four sections that are all sat separately. Once you take the first exam, you have eighteen months to pass all other portions before the clock starts over.  If you would like to become a CPA, it is recommended that you utilize all resources available. This includes study guides and choosing the right CPA course for your learning style.  Preparing yourself before and during the 18 months will be difficult, but it will be worth it when you get a job that offers a hefty paycheck.

High Job Demand

Accountants are always in demand.  As long as people have tax issues or companies need their finances organized, you will have a job.  It is one of the only jobs that remains relatively steady throughout fluctuations in the economy.

Work Virtually Anywhere

As mentioned earlier, accountants have a lot of freedom to work where they choose.  Any larger business, nonprofit, or organization needs people to help them manage their finances correctly to remain successful.  This is why you can explore any field you desire.  You can, for example, build expertise as an accountant to the stars and manage the finances of popular celebrities.

Alternatively, you can put your IT knowledge to good use and work for software developing companies.  The possibilities are endless, and building expertise will make you a desirable candidate to the job you pursue.