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Why should people become an accountant?

Why should people want to become and accountant? Throughout this article I explain the importance and the benefits of being an accountant, and answer the question why people should want to become and accountant. Getting an accountant degree is very tough and being an accountant is more than studying for school and going to class, because accounting is more of an art than a skill. Accounting is an art because there is many different ways to get the same answer on the books, however schools only teach you one way to get an answer. The importance of learning how to complete a single task a certain way makes it much easier to learn other ways to complete the same task. For instance, after graduating with an accounting degree, a CPA might hire you, however they will teach a certain way to solve certain problems.

On the contrary, there are many benefits of being an accountant, however I will only get into a few of them. Some of the benefits include wealth, career choices, ability to make business decisions, and also the ability to calculate your own expenses according to your income. The average income for an accountant straight out of college with a BS in accounting is around 50 thousands dollars. Also, there are many advancement opportunities available with an accounting degree. The main advancement for an accountant is a CPA, this is a certified public accountant, however there is also a CMA, and this is a certified management accountant. A CMA is recognized worldwide, where a CPA is generally recognized in North America.  Also, an accountant with a CPA makes on average 70 thousand dollars, so there is always a need to acquire a CPA because it includes a salary bump of 20 thousand dollars. Not only is there a need for accountants, but with a CPA it is possible for an accountant to open up their own firm and in return make more money.

Another benefit to being an accountant is the amount of career choices that come with the major, such as working with a firm, or starting your own firm. However, these are not the only possibilities with an accounting degree because you can also enter into the FBI. There are endless career choices with an accounting degree, because people will always need to have their taxes done. Also, accounting firms hire plenty of students out of college through internships. Working for a CPA firm creates different opportunities for college graduates because it helps build a portfolio, and in return the portfolio will be used to attract new customers. The main thing for an accountant to do with a CPA is to open up their own firm, however it is also the most difficult things to do because people have to trust you with their money.

Not only are the wealth and career choices great benefits to becoming an accountant, but also the ability to make business decisions is another great benefit to being an accountant. In order to be successful in life you have to make difficult decisions, however being an accountant makes these decisions easier because you have the knowledge and the ability to make calculated decisions. The ability to make calculated decisions comes in handy; because you can weigh the pros with the cons and decide weather the decision would be beneficial or harmful to the investment at hand.

Lastly, the ability to calculate expenses with revenue is another benefit of being an accountant, because there is many professions in the world that cannot help you maintain your money. The importance of being an accountant clearly out-weigh any other profession because not only is it the job of an accountant to watch money, but beware of what money is available. An accountant can see what money is coming in each month, and see what the expenses are for the average family, and with this information he can decide where to allocate the money in order to save it for the future. It is very important for an accountant to collect receipts, and save bank statements, so that they can physically see where the money is going, and how much money is physically available.

In conclusion, there are many benefits to being an accountant and the benefits clearly out-weigh not being an account. Every business major in college must take accounting classes just so they have some brief knowledge in the subject. However, being an accountant is much harder than taking a few classes, but the payout in the end comes in handy when becoming wealthy. Also, there are endless possibilities with an accounting degree. So, why should people want to become an accountant? As clearly stated above, there are endless opportunities that lie ahead of an accountant. Also, there is a lot of money to be made in the business, and also the knowledge of how to stay wealthy should make people want to become an accountant.

What Size Accounting Firm Should You Work For?

Kevin Ryan

 

What Size Accounting Firm Should You Work For?

 

            Each year, approximately one in four accounting majors enter the field of public accounting. A key decision facing these individuals is whether to work for a local or national accounting firm. This is an important decision since, according to one 2004 AICPA study, national accounting firms experience nearly twice the annual employee turnover as their local counterparts (20% versus 11%). In light of these statistics, it is important for prospective accounting employees to spend some time researching their different employment options. The factors of a working environment that should be researched before accepting a job include such issues as hours worked per week, competition and criteria for promotion, variety and scope of work, growth opportunities, and job satisfaction. A proper understanding of these factors should assist public accountants and increase the opportunities for job satisfaction and promotion.

           Smaller, local firms are generally managed by two or more CPA’s along with several staff accountants and offer a more informal work environment then their larger counterparts. Staff accountants in smaller firms typically work alone, with little direct supervision. Additionally, accountants at smaller firms typically spend most of their time in the office and coordinate most of their work through the owner of the accounting firm rather than with the client. Staff accountants at local firms are routinely involved with many of the day to day accounting issues faced by clients such as auditing, write-up work, payroll, tax, and management advisory services. It is common for staff at a local firm to obtain a broader perspective and a better understanding of the daily accounting activities affecting a business.

            Larger, national accounting firms are much more structured and management is generally composed of many partners, directors and managers. These national firms tend to serve larger, corporate clients and staff accountants will spend the bulk of their time out of the office and at the client. Staff at these larger firms will work as part of a team consisting of seniors and other staff. These teams are assembled as needed in order to complete specific tasks. As a result, new staff at these firms tend to have very little contact with upper management. Additionally, there is a very narrow scope to the work they perform which generally consists of highly specialized tasks. The downside of all this specialization is that the average staff accountant at a national firm will not get a view of the client’s operations as a whole.

            Stress and quality of life are often key decisions in any individual’s career choices. Competition at large firms can be stiff and turnover of new staff is high. There is a lot of competition for promotions at these firms and many staff view each other as competition instead of co-workers. In a national firm, a staff accountant’s success is based upon his or her ability to rise through the ranks. Promotions at the national firms are based on not only technical ability but also an individual’s ability to manage and motivate a group. Seniors have to be able to deal with highly successful and demanding partners and managers, as well as maintain a high level of technical competency and supervise the staff under them. In a recent AICPA study, only 2% of individuals entering the accounting profession ended up being promoted to the partner level.

            Advancement opportunities at smaller firms are more limited than at their national counterparts and promotions are generally based on different criteria. In smaller firms, technical competency is stressed much more than managerial abilities when promoting staff. Individuals who prefer a quiet work environment and are less team oriented would probably be best in a smaller, local firm.

            Employees at national firms also tend to put in longer hours, frequently between 50 to 60 hours weekly throughout most of the year. Additionally, that number increases as an individual is promoted. Although this may seem discouraging to some, the work becomes increasingly more interesting and less mundane as an individual’s career progresses. In fact, partners at large firms tend to have a higher job satisfaction than those working fewer hours because of the variety of and independence in their work.

            When entering the accounting profession, an individual will have to decide between a local or national firm. There is no objective answer and each person has to decide which one serves them best based on their own personality, ability and goals. The decision should not be made lightly, where you work will have a dramatic impact on your career.

Going Online- Why Accountants And Cpas Should Have Websites

The Tax Software Revolution

The most common service that accountants and CPAs provide to the public at large is tax preparation. That tradition has had a large hole blown in it by the arrival of software packages that allow individuals to prepare their own tax returns with an on-screen guide walking them through the process. The states and the federal government have cooperated by making online filing available and, furthermore, an attractive option because it will get you your tax refund quicker than a traditional paper filing.

Millions of Americans have opted for this method, and for many of them it’s a good choice. Large numbers of them did not use accounting services in the first place, as they had simple tax returns. However there is also a large class of people who are utilizing the yearly software option when perhaps they would do better with professional service. A good accountant can find tax breaks or prepare itemized lists that help your tax situation where you may not see the opportunity or may not be willing to dedicate the time to itemizing.

Why Professionals are Better than Software

The individuals that are caught between the “simple return” pool and the group of people who have to use professional help every year because of complicated personal financial situations are the group that accountants and CPAs need to recapture. The best way to convince someone that paying for professional services will save them money in the long run is to spell it out for them, and the best tool for that is the internet.

Large firms like H&R Block have expanded beyond the tax return business into financial planning. Many accounting firms or even CPAs working on their own are in a position to provide at least some financial counseling that extends beyond annual tax returns. An internet site is a compelling tool for explaining the goals and advantages of long term financial planning. It’s a method of explaining the multiple advantages of working with an accounting professional rather than a $40 software package.

Full Service Business Explained on a Full Service Website

An accountant’s website can speak also to the value of a one-to-one relationship as opposed to the services of a large firm such as H&R Block. Creative packaging is a tool used by many small accounting firms. Use their tax preparation services and receive an outline for an initial five year financial plan, gratis. It’s a method of leveraging the tax return process in order to introduce other potential services.

An internet site can also offer valuable advice to the increasing number of people who are working at home or on a contract basis for large employers. Many who take this professional path do not understand the different requirements for federal tax payments that are involved. A friendly – and partial – explanation on a CPA’s professional website will serve as an invitation to call and arrange a visit.

The usual collections of FAQs and recommendations, suggested links and biographical information can serve to introduce an accountant and develop a sense of professionalism before the customer and the service provider have their first conversation. An internet site is a better advertising tool and introductory method than direct mail, a yellow pages ad, even radio or TV… better than anything but a personal recommendation.

Madison Lockwood is a customer relations associate, specializing in small business development, for Apollo Hosting. Apollo Hosting provides website hosting, ecommerce hosting, vps hosting, and web design services to a wide range of customers.

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