Top-level managers and executives in business must always know the financial status of their organizations. Thus, they look to accountants and auditors to provide them the information that they need. The field of accounting is probably one of the most stable because businesses will always need its services. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that accountants make a median salary of $61,690 per year and jobs in this profession are predicted to increase by 16% through 2020 which is about as fast as average.
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Primarily, accountants and auditors are concerned with making sure that the financial records of an organization are accurate and up-to-date. As mentioned previously, a business should always be ready to report its financial status and it is the accountants and auditors who must look after this constantly and correct any discrepancies when discovered.
Accountants also ensure that a company is in compliance with existing laws and regulations concerning taxation and financial reporting. In the area of taxation, they work to have taxes filed accurately and within the prescribed deadlines. Publicly traded companies also have specific reports that are legally required and accountants comply with the law.
Professionals in the field of accounting follow the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). GAAP is in many cases not mandated but rather a widely-accepted standard. However, it is mandatory to follow when a company is publicly traded thus accountants and auditors must see to it that the accounting practices of these organizations are in compliance with GAAP.
Accountants are involved when a company would like to cut costs and improve their bottom line. The accountant’s familiarity with the company’s financial status qualifies this person to advise management on the direction to follow for improving financial health.
Those in accounting typically have either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field. You will also find that many have degrees in business administration with a concentration in accounting. Some enter their organizations as bookkeepers and then advance into an accounting position after they have demonstrated their familiarity with GAAP.
A person in this field has the best opportunities when becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). To sit for the CPA exam, additional coursework plus work experience must be completed past the bachelor’s degree. Many CPAs also have master’s degrees in accounting. Furthermore, any accountant who wants a job that incurs filing reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission must be a CPA by law.
Many accountants work for companies that provide these services to clients in general. It is much like a law firm where many attorneys work together to serve many clients. Some larger companies have their own accounting departments and some accountants are self-employed. The work is usually performed in an office environment.
If you think you would like working with numbers and financial information related to the status of a business then being an accountant might just be for you. Look into the educational opportunities for this career to
 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Accountants and Auditors, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm.