Accounting is the art of recording, classifying, and summarizing financial transactions and events. If you are thinking about becoming an accountant, you should know that it is not just about number crunching. It is also about the systematic analysis of business to assess profit, cash flow, the value of a company’s assets and liabilities, and the determination of the parts of the business making money.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that from 2019 to 2029, the employment of accountants and auditors will see a growth of 4%.
Follow this guide to explore the possibilities in accounting and create a resume that will get you closer to your dream job.
Accounting Job Titles
Current Trends Impacting Accounting Jobs
Technology is transforming the accounting industry by helping accountants rise above the dated concept of the ‘number cruncher.’ Accounting professionals have accepted the need to switch to automated accounting practices, which allows them to make data more accessible and faster to gather, manipulate, and analyze. In addition, the accuracy provided by accounting software in terms of the production, tagging, and submission of final accounts has helped them to become trusted advisors and value-added analysts in the field, reducing or eliminating human errors in calculation.
In a profession where speed, accuracy, and quality of data matter, adapting to intelligent technologies like cloud computing, blockchain and artificial intelligence are not only a wise choice but a necessity to remain in the mainstream. These technologies help lower the costs of reconciling and maintaining ledgers and make it easier to access data, including tracking inventory, expenses, and sales and analyzing large volumes of it at high speed.
The global accounting services market had grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% since 2015, and it reached a value of nearly $574.4 billion in 2019. By 2023, it will grow at a CAGR of 6.3% to almost $734.7 billion. Changes in financial reporting standards, regulatory reforms, and technological development have positively impacted the accounting industry.
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Salary and Employment Outlook for Accounting Jobs
From small companies to government agencies and nonprofits, any organization that handles money needs someone to help keep and inspect financial accounts. Therefore, accounting jobs will always remain in high demand. But the salary of an accountant or other professionals in the field varies by region, specialty and specific times. For example, some accountants may work longer hours at different times, such as during tax preparation season or at the end of the budget year. During those high output months, they may see an additional increase in income.
Let’s take a look at the different categories of accounting jobs and analyze the salaries of each:
Staff-level accounting jobs
There are various types of accounting jobs, each with its responsibilities, expectations, and levels of seniority. But all these accounting jobs have something in common. They all include evaluating and interpreting a person’s or an organization’s financial activities in some way.
Job Outlook 2020–2028
The job role of accountants is estimated to witness a 4% growth by 2029.
For auditors, the employment growth expects to increase by 4% by 2029. With the development of the economy, these workers will continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records
Staff accountant's job outlook projects to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Freelance or project-based accounting jobs
Remote accounting jobs are not restricted to just preparing and filing tax returns. Many opportunities indeed exist for Certified Public Accountants, or CPAs, in such freelance projects. Still, these flexible and online accounting jobs are not short for professionals who have other financial skills and experience in fields like bookkeeping, auditing, and banking.
Several large accounting firms and smaller businesses, and nonprofits embrace work flexibility and hire for remote and freelance accounting jobs.
Job Outlook 2020–2029
Project accountants, who can be categorized under freelance accounting, can expect a boost of 6% in job growth by the next decade.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, auditors held about 1.4 million jobs in 2019. Globalization, a growing economy, and a complex tax and regulatory environment can lead to high demand for auditors.
6 of the Top Soft Skills Needed for Accounting Jobs
To remain competitive in the accounting field, you should have a good understanding of aspects like financial reporting and analysis, financial statements and tax preparation, account reconciliation, compliance software, spreadsheet software, and project management software. Besides this, practicing soft skills like interactive ability and adaptability also becomes crucial to maintaining a harmonious working atmosphere. So, to excel in the accounting world in the long haul, you need to combine both technical and soft skills.
Below, you will find the top skills to start nurturing to become successful in your accounting career.
Knowledge of accounting processes including journalizing, posting to the ledger, and preparing financial statementsAccounting professionals need to be experts in accounting processes and procedures, including making journal entries, posting them to ledger accounts, creating trial balances, and preparing financial statements for the end of the year. Since these accounting processes are done following the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), it should be their anthem of work.
Good with numbersAccounting professionals need to be comfortable working with numbers to examine and interpret figures in the data they gather. Even though they need not perform complicated mathematical operations, they still need to understand essential mathematical areas like decimals, fractions, ratios and percentages.
Data analyticsThe financial data gathered and organized by the accounting professionals are transformed into useful information when they use their skills to analyze and interpret the facts in front of them. For example, accountants use data analytics to help businesses identify process improvements that can increase efficiency, uncover valuable insights within their financials, and better manage risk.
Should be tech-savvyThe modern accountant is expected to be tech-savvy and mobile-friendly. They should be ready to use online services like FreshBooks, Wave and GoDaddy Bookkeeping which makes it easier for bookkeeping, creating invoices, and tracking expenses. Accounting had already started to lean on technology to make the work more accessible; the pandemic increased this urge.
Presentation expertise, including PowerPoint and direct communicationProfessionals in accounting should be able to interact with people with confidence. Using their presentation skills, they should make the numbers make sense. A good PowerPoint presented with efficiency can establish rapport and capture and hold the attention of the client. You should have expertise in Microsoft Office applications, including Excel, PowerPoint and Word.
Extremely detail-orientedAccounting professionals receive financial receipts and detailed information like bank statements or credit card statements from various departments or clients. Attention to detail is necessary to ensure consistency and accuracy in such instances of financial reporting. Similarly, accounting professionals in fields like forensic accounting should be extra detail-oriented. They often have to give expert evidence regarding insurance claims, personal injury claims, fraud, construction, or royalty audits at a trial.
Educational Requirements for Accounting Jobs
The minimum educational requirement in this field is a bachelor’s degree in accounting or any other related subject like commerce and business administration. In addition, you should confirm if your state requires advanced coursework beyond the normal bachelor’s degree in topics such as financial reporting, auditing, taxes, and other non-accounting business areas. For those wishing to further their accounting career after completing the bachelor’s degree program, earning a master’s or Ph.D. in accounting may open up opportunities for both financial and professional growth.
Certifications are a great way to demonstrate your competence in the field. The Certified Public Accountant by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants requires you to meet several specific requirements. For example, you must earn a college degree, pass all the CPA exam parts, and have worked for at least 1,800 hours in the accounting field. And this should all be under the supervision of an actively licensed CPA. You can also go for programs that can help you build a niche and soar high in this profession, such as the Certified Management Accountant, Certified Financial Analyst, and Certified Information Systems Auditor. These certifications will help you acquire financial accounting, investment analysis, and information technology expertise, respectively.
Accounting Resume Examples by Experience Level
The most crucial part of searching for a job is writing the perfect resume to land you an interview.
First, you should provide precisely what your recruiter is looking for. So you must understand where you stand at your job level and craft a resume accordingly. Differences in your experience and skills could create a significant impact on your resume. Therefore, it’s necessary to choose the proper resume format that matches your skills and experience.
Accounting Resume Examples
Tips to Stand Out and Get the Job You Want
Search and find the right employer.
As vital as it is for employers to find the right employees, it is equally essential for employees to know their potential employer.
Do your research and make a list of accounting firms that you wish to work for. Then, you can browse the internet to find the best accounting firms around you and see if they have an open position that matches your job profile.
Choose your keywords and phrases carefully.To write a good resume that will stand out from the rest, you should always use the right keywords and the correct phrases that quantify your achievements rather than bluffing about it. For example, you can add sentences like, "Boosted customer satisfaction rate 45% among clients." The word "boosted" itself gives a sense of achievement and the percentage rate added to the sentence gives authenticity to your claim.
4 Easy Steps to Build an Interview-Winning Accounting Resume
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What type of industry is the accounting industry?
The accounting industry employs accounting professionals to work in tax, audit, and management consulting. The most prominent companies in the public accounting industry are the Big Four.
How many accounting firms are there in the U.S.?
There are more than 138,000 accounting firms in the U.S. And according to the current trends in this industry, it is most likely to continue growing.