Accounting Report Essay

This essay has a total of 2269 words and 10 pages.


Accounting Report




Anyone considering accounting needs to assess whether this career fits his or her
interests, abilities, and aspirations. There are certain qualities and qualifications,
however, that a person should consider before making a commitment to a particular career
field. Selecting a career can take a lot of time, and many people do not choose until they
are adults. Contributing to the difficulty in choosing a career is the vast number of
vocations from which to choose. The field of accounting alone covers dozens of types of
accountants and dozens of jobs. In trying to decide whether accounting is an appropriate
career choice, a person should talk with bookkeepers and accountants that have years of
experience. Ask questions about their daily work requirements, their likes and dislikes
about accounting, and how they became interested in the profession. Questions such as
these can give a person insight into the profession and help in considering accounting as
a career

Accounting is a system used to provide financial information about a business or person.
Accountants prepare and analyze financial records for individuals, companies, governments,
or other organizations. Accounting is a basic need for every business, and the term
business has been broadened to mean any operation that deals with money. That includes
families and corporations, and also schools, theaters, art galleries, charitable
organizations, and even some private persons. People sometimes call accounting “the
language of business” because accounting data are used to detail firms activities.
Accounting tells the history of a business or person in numbers.

Over one million people are employed as accountants, and most can be found in private
business and industry. “Nearly 40 percent of all accountants are certified, and about 10
percent are self-employed’(Caruna, 1). In addition to openings resulting from growth, the
need to replace accountants who retire or transfer to other occupations will produce
thousands of job opening annually in this large occupation. The Occupational Outlook
Handbook states that the expansion of accountants is related to: “increasingly complex
taxation, growth in both the size and the number of business corporations required to
release financial reports to stockholders, a more general use of accounting in the
management of business, and outsourcing of accounting services by small business
firms”(Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7). While the majority of jobs will be found in large
cities with large businesses, smaller firms will start up and smaller business will
continue to seek outside accountants. Accounting jobs are more secure than most during
economic downswings. “Despite fluctuations in the national economy, there will always be a
need to manage financial information, especially as the number, size, and complexity of
business transactions increases”(8). However, competition for jobs will remain,
certification will become more rigorous, and accountants with the highest degrees will be
the most competitive.

In order to become an accountant, a person needs an aptitude for mathematics. In addition,
a person must be neat, accurate, able to work with little supervision, and able to handle
responsibility. Starting in high school, students preparing for an accounting career
should be proficient in arithmetic and basic algebra. Familiarity with computers and their
applications is equally important. Course work in English and communications will also be
beneficial. “In college, a bachelors degree with a major in accounting is highly
recommended by professional associations for those entering the field and is required by
all states before taking the licensing exam”(Cosgrove, 5). It is possible, however, to
become a successful accountant by completing a program at a private business school,
junior college, university, or correspondence school. Better positions, particularly in
public accounting, require a bachelor’s degree with a major in accounting. Large public
accounting firms often prefer people with a master’s degree in accounting. “For beginning
positions in accounting, the federal government requires four years of college including
24 semester hours in accounting or auditing”(5). Certified public accountants must pass a
qualifying examination and hold a certificate issued by the state in which they practice.
In all states, a college degree is required for admission to the CPA examinations. “Over
30 states require CPA candidates to have 150 hours of education, which is 30 hours beyond
the standard bachelors degree, and other states are expected to follow suit in the next
several years”(Cosgrove, 5). Nearly all states require at least two years of public
accounting experience before a person can take the CPA exam. “The exam is very difficult
in which only 25 percent of the applicants pass and more than 9 out of 10 successful CPA
candidates in recent years have been graduates of four-year college or university
programs”(Caruna, 9).

Other important skills needed by a public accountant are attentiveness to detail,
patience, and industriousness. “The ability to generate clientele is crucial to a
service-oriented business, as is honesty, integrity, and a respect for the work of others”
(Crail). Good concentration, accuracy, attention, flexibility, and the ability to judge
and make decisions are other key factors in becoming a successful accountant.

The advantages of accounting careers begins with education. The vast number of
institutions and the variety of courses present students with many options. Students can
decide to get a bachelors degree and study for the CPA examination after graduating or can
complete graduate study, doing research and writing papers about the field. When entering
the job market, accountants are not tied to one company or industry. Many careers are
flexible, accounting offers a variety of choices because the knowledge and skills of an
accountant can be used at many different companies. This flexibility gives accountants
independence and variety. Another advantage of an accounting career is the possibility of
job advancement. Company executives realize the importance of accounting and accountants
to a firm and are often prepared to offer promotions more quickly. Accountants may also
advance to such jobs as chief plant accountant, chief cost accountant, budget director, or
manager of internal auditing. Some achieve corporate-level positions such as controller,
treasurer, financial vice-president, or president.

“Public Accountants can advance from beginner through intermediate-level positions in one
or two to senior positions in another few years as they gain experience and handle more
complex accounts” (Careers, 4). In large accounting firms, they often become supervisors,
managers, or partners. Some accountants transfer to executive positions in private firms
or open their own public accounting offices. Entry-level accountants employed by the
federal government are usually promoted within two years. Accountants are also rewarded by
their annual salary. “The average annual salary of an accountant is $45,000”, according to
a recent survey by the National Association of Accountants (3). This includes accountants
at all levels of education with associates, bachelors, masters, or doctoral degrees.
Salary levels rise with education level, reaching an average of $60,000 for those with the
doctorate. “Some of the highest-paid accountants are company partners, executive vice
presidents, and divisional vice presidents” (National Association of Accountants, 5).
Their average total compensation is more than $100,000.

Accounting careers offer other advantages in addition to the financial reward. Many
accountants enjoy the responsibility and professionalism involved. “Finding a variety of
clients is an advantage,” said Steve Crail, “I enjoy being exposed to different people,
issues, and situations”. Finally, the other aspect most accountants enjoy is the service
to others. “I enjoy counseling and assisting the public about investments, and they are
dedicated to serving the public interest.

Continues for 5 more pages >>