Is Accounting a Good Career? (With Pros and Roles to Consider)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 17 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Accounting is a promising career for logical thinkers who enjoy problem-solving and optimising daily procedures. Companies with a strong accounting team often maximise their profit and reduce expenses. You may learn more about the job prospects of this career to determine whether you can find secure employment as an accountant. In this article, we discuss whether accounting is a good career, list the job responsibilities for this role, offer pros of this work and provide five major positions you can choose in this field.

Is accounting a good career?

To answer the question 'is accounting a good career', accounting is a good career if you prefer having a stable income and freedom to advance your career. JobOutlook predicts that this career could grow over the next five years. As an accountant, you can work on-site or remotely, depending on the job type and the company you're working in. As the role of accountants remains the same regardless of the industry, it's easier to compare jobs and find the one that meets your needs.

Related: How to Become an Accountant: A Comprehensive Guide

Job responsibilities of accountants

Accountancy is a nuanced career with various job titles to help suit your interests. Although duties may differ depending on the industry you're working in, here are some of the general responsibilities you may fulfil as an accountant:

  • calculating project costs

  • conducting financial forecasting and risk analysis

  • advising on profit maximisation

  • compiling annual financial records and suggesting ways to improve it

  • liaising with auditors

  • preparing financial accounts and tax returns

  • receiving and processing invoices

  • monitoring spending and budgets

  • logging daily data entries

  • ensuring financial statements comply with the state laws and regulations

Related: What Is an Account Manager and What Do They Do?

Benefits of studying accounting

Almost all businesses need accounting to manage their daily financial operations. Here are some advantages of becoming an accountant:

Job availability

Businesses, government and non-profit organisations require accountants. Companies use accountants to create financial records, process invoices, maximise profit and pay taxes. Their flexible job responsibility makes accounting a high regard profession that you can leverage in any industry. Over the last few decades, accounting has offered a stable employment rate, regardless of economic fluctuations.

Better chances of career advancement

As accounting offers mobility, it allows you to move through different roles and receive job perks. Most accountants start with entry-level roles as auditing associates or staff accountants. Once they have proved their abilities, they either take up mid to senior-level positions in the same organisation or switch to another job for better exposure and benefits. The diversity of accounting enables them to move to different departments where accounting skills can be helpful, like management and leadership.

As accountants spend more time in a company, they gain knowledge and experience to help them analyse current situations and prove how they can contribute to its growth. This means you may request a promotion to move to positions like accounting analysts, tax manager or even Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Related: Upskilling for Career Development and Progression

Greater job satisfaction

Accountancy offers opportunities for problem-solving that entices accountants to make strategic business recommendations. This makes accountants one of the key influencers of a business's performance, which also helps give job satisfaction to accountants. Accountants can enjoy the productive work environment and variety of job responsibilities to keep them engaged throughout the day.

They're often knowledgeable about different office departments, which adds variety to their daily schedule and allows them to interact with others in the office.

High compensation

Although the salary range varies according to your experience, educational background and skills, accountancy offers a high compensation, with an average salary of $73,815 per year. This figure is likely to vary as you enhance your skills, like financial analysis and budget management.

Employers often prefer high employee retention in the accountancy sector, as more experienced accountants have more data to recommend improvements in the company and offer more value in the long term. This factor may help you gain additional job perks.

Related: 13 Accounting Skills to Include in Your Resume

Skills that can help you become an accountant

For accounting, it's best to prepare yourself with skills you may need to become successful in this career. Doing this allows you to strategically plan your courses, learn valuable skills and emphasise high-value skills on your resume. Here are some of the skills that can help you become an accountant:

Attention to detail

As accountants keep track of records and generate reports, attention to detail can help you limit shortcomings and offer accurate information to the stakeholders. Error-free reports also ensure to evaluate performance correctly every year and draft solutions for improvement. You can improve attention to detail by focusing on one task at a time and keeping your work duties organised with a to-do list.

Computer skills

Accountants often conduct calculations digitally and store backups. So try to gain skills in using accounting tools like resource management software, query languages, payroll software and timekeeping software. To learn these, you can either enrol in specific technical courses that teach students to use accounting tools or practise using these tools regularly so you improve your computer skills.

Business acumen

Other than understanding numbers, accountants can also analyse data and make suggestions to improve the business. This may include counselling the business leaders, job sharing and implementing new tactics to improve operational efficiency. You can enhance your business acumen by reading business books and case studies, joining professional associations and finding a mentor.

5 careers to consider in accounting

As accounting offers a variety of career options to choose from, you can either aim to pursue one field for the rest of your life or start with entry-level positions and eventually advance to higher positions. Here are some of the accounting positions you may consider pursuing:

1. Public accountant

National average salary: $88,684 per year

Primary duties: A public accountant is a financial professional who provides services like consulting, tax managing and auditing for clients across several industries. As a public accountant, you can gain experience in a variety of duties like analysing budgets, preparing financial reports and special analyses related to the department's finances and reviewing financial statements to help improve your presence in the resume.

2. Forensic accountant

National average salary: $81,984 per year

Primary duties: Forensic accountants investigate fraud and illicit financial activities related to companies' finances. In a forensic accountant graduate program, you learn advanced concepts regarding legal studies, regulation and how to identify and solve fraud cases using problem-solving and critical thinking. Accountants detect fraud by examining company financial statements, identifying legal cases and investigating any unlawful activity in the firm. This work may also require forensic accountants to collaborate with law enforcement on behalf of the company.

3. Financial accountant

National average salary: $90,243 per year

Primary duties: Financial accountants work to provide financial reports to external stakeholders of the company. Their reports often include metrics to measure the company's fiscal performance like cash flow statements, profit-and-loss statements and balance sheets for creditors and stockholders. Financial accountants prefer to work for single organisations to maintain high work standards.

4. Staff accountant

National average salary: $63,440 per year

Primary duties: As a staff accountant is an entry-level professional who works under the leadership of certified public accountants until they gain at least three years of experience and expertise to work on higher responsibilities. They work with a team of financial professionals to maintain accurate financial records for organisations. They may also monitor an organisation's compliance with financial laws and regulations.

5. Auditor

National average salary: $74,941 per year

Primary duties: Auditors work for private organisations and act as consultants to help them streamline their financial procedures and increase profit margins. They review documents and data related to the company's economic position, ensuring accuracy and transparency across the company. They also help ensure the company's financial method complies with the latest state laws.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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