According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual salary for an accountant in the United States is $68,150, and accounting is ranked #6 for Best Business Jobs by U.S. News and World Report. A Bachelor’s in Accounting provides a clear career path, with job security, prestige, and unlimited growth potential.
A Bachelor’s in Accounting enables a student to prepare and examine financial statements, ensure that records are accurate and that taxes are paid correctly and on time. A competent accountant is essential for successful business, and this need spreads throughout all industries. Graduates will be prepared to enter a world of unlimited possibilities.
Coursework (Core Courses)
The coursework for accounting is not as intimidating as one might think. Classes are structured around the fundamentals of accounting and business. Basic concepts students can expect to learn are personal and business finance, supply-chain operations, financial auditing and preparation of financial statements.
Successful completion of course work will help to prepare students for professional certification exams such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Chartered Financial Analyst. However many of these exams will require additional semester hours.
Students should expect to see these standard courses in their Bachelors of Accounting curriculum:
- Principles of Accounting–Emphasis on fundamental accounting principles. Introduction to how to prepare, analyze, and interpret financial statements.
- Intro to Microeconomics–Examination of the markets and how it works, in depth look at the role of economics in business for public and private decision-making. The allocation of resources, including markets, prices, consumer and producer behavior, and risk and cost measurement.
- Business Law–Introduces the ethics and legal structure of business. Emphasis is on contracts, negotiable instruments, Uniform Commercial Code, and the working of the court systems.
- Managerial and Cost Accounting–Highlights accumulation, analysis, and control of product and service costs.
- Auditing Course–Explains standard compliance, accounting controls, and auditing processes, as well as providing a review of how financial statements are examined.
- Taxation Course–Covers current tax regulations. Introduces corporate, individual and estate tax return preparation.
If the end goal is to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant, this degree is the first step and will help to prepare students for the rigorous CPA exam. Students will need to complete at least 150 semester hours to meet requirements to sit for the CPA exam, though most CPAs have a Masters in Accounting.
Online Bachelors of Accounting
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics in the fall of 2013, there were 5,522,194 students enrolled in any distance education courses in degree-granting postsecondary institutions. The great thing about a bachelor’s degree in accounting is that it can be completed on campus, online or in a hybrid program. Students learn the same curriculum regardless of his or her chosen educational modality.
Careers in Accounting
Georgetown researchers found students are working an average of 30 hours a week, and 25 percent of working students are also employed full-time and enrolled in college full-time. If one must work while enrolled in school, the best chance of landing an accountants dream job after graduation is to build a resume with relevant job experience.
A few entry level position that you can apply for while working on your Bachelors in Accounting are:
- Bookkeeper–Fill out the tax forms for the company or individuals. Works closely with a CPA to ensure the accuracy of accounts. Managing employee payroll and commissions. May work alone or with an assistant.
- Auditing Clerk–Updates and maintains accounting records, verifying records posted by other workers, and checking figures and documents to ensure they are accurate and coded correctly. Makes notations of error for future corrections.
- Accounting Clerk–Accounting clerks are in charge of a single aspect of the company’s accounts, such as payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, or purchasing. Responsibilities are to keep track of the transactions that occur within their respective accounts.
- Accounting Assistant–Directing and overseeing all or one of the following accounting functions: general accounting, payroll, and cost accounting.
Potential career to look forward to once you have graduated with a Bachelors in Accounting are:
- Corporate Entertainment Accountant–Overseeing production costs to evaluating companies to budgeting for concert tours.
- F.B.I Agent Specializing in Accounting–Accountants working for the FBI have the financial expertise necessary to investigate corporate and business crimes, such as fraud or embezzlement.
- Tax Accountant–Prepare and file income tax information for personal, corporate or government clients. Tax accountants reduce a company’s tax liability.
- Treasury Analyst–In charge of an organization’s financial activity, managing cash flow, credit, income, asset levels, and debt obligations.
- Auditor–Auditors provide an independent assessment of the accuracy and fairness of an organization’s financial statements. Working in accordance with the client to guarantee all financial information is legal and valid. The auditor’s job is to review and give advice on clients’ accounts.
- Cost Estimator–These professionals estimate all of the resources that will be necessary to make specific products or to provide certain services
- Forensic Accountant–Forensic accountants analyze and investigate financial records for irregularities, which may indicate potential fraud or embezzlement. They also make recommendations to prevent fraud.
- Chief Financial Officer/VP of Finance/ Controller–Tracks and maintains various financial aspects of the company. Controllers prepare the company’s taxes, control how the budget is spent, oversee employees who work in financial departments and set financial goals for the company
- Financial Adviser–Deliver personalized investment solutions to help clients work toward their long-term financial objectives, Develop and deepen client relationships
- Teacher–An accounting professor researches and teaches accounting students and fellow professionals. They perform research on accounting information systems, financial accounting, managerial accounting, tax accounting and auditing.
One of the most beneficial attributes of a bachelor’s of accounting degree is a vast industry with unlimited growth in more than just metropolitan areas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a list of a few of the highest paying industries in accounting.
- Federal Government/ US Postal Service
- Investment Banks
- Exterminating and Pest Control Services
- Private Sector for Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers
- Motion Picture and Video Industries
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