Education and Occupation Focus
Education is touted as one of the most crucial aspects of an individual’s life as far as the quality of life that he or she leads is concerned. This is especially considering the results of studies that underline the fact that the level of education has a positive correlation with the quality of life of an individual. Nevertheless, education, while aimed at imparting knowledge in an individual, must be focused on a certain goal, which in most cases revolves around a particular career. This is the case for me as I plan to take up accounting as my field of occupation. My career choice has been informed not only by my academic credentials but also my passion and dreams pertaining to the same. I have always been passionate about numbers, which makes accounting a perfect choice for me.
General overview of accounting
A typical day in the life an accountant involves a number of activities, which may vary depending on the environment or organization within which he or she works.
Accountants are involved in the examination of financial statements to ensure their accuracy and compliance with regulations and laws. On the same note, they inspect accounting systems and account books to safeguard their efficiency, as well as utilization of the accepted accounting procedures (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). In addition, accountants prepare tax returns, compute the amount of tax that an organization owes, and ensures that the appropriate amount of taxes is paid on time. Accountants also evaluate the financial operations of an organization and recommend the best practices to the management, as well as suggest techniques that may be used in reducing costs, improving revenues and enhancing the profitability of the organization.
One of the reasons for choosing accounting as a career is the numerous opportunities available to practice. An accountant may work as a public accountant, whose clients include individuals, governments and corporations. Public accountants work with financial documents that the law requires of their clients to disclose. In addition, accountants may act as management accountants who prepare, analyze and record financial information aimed at internal utilization by business managers (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). On the same note, accountants may work as internal auditors whose duty mainly revolves around checking for the mismanagement of the funds pertaining to an organization. Government accountants, on the other hand, examine and maintain records pertaining to government agencies, while also auditing individuals and private business that are subject to the taxation and regulation of government.
Educational requirements for accountants
A large number of accountants and auditors are required to have a minimum of a Bachelors degree in accounting or even a related field. While degree requirements may vary with organizations, every accountant must, as required by law, be licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). The acquisition of this license in 46 states requires that an individual completes a total of 150 semester hours pertaining to college coursework. On the same note, accountants are required in almost every state to undertake continuous education to retain their licensure (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). Apart from licensure, accountants may specialize in certain fields by taking certification such as CMA (Certified Management Accountant) from the institute of Management Accountants, CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) from ISACA, or CIA (Certified Internal Auditors) from the Institute of Internal Auditors (IAA) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013).
Pros and cons of accountancy as a career
Accountancy comes with a number of advantages, as well as negative aspects. First, a career in accountancy comes with relative job security even in case of an economic recession. This is especially considering the wide range of fields in which accountancy is needed. In addition, the remuneration for accountancy comes as extremely attractive with the median wage being placed at $61690 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). Moreover, accountancy offers an opportunity for exposure to varied environments with different activities and clients, thereby accelerating the attainment of experience and skills. However, accountancy comes a s disadvantageous especially with regard to the number of hours an individual may have to work. While accountants work for an average of 40 hours per week, they may work for even 70 hours per week during the tax-report season. In addition, accountancy may be relatively monotonous as it involves conservative and conformist cultures. This is because accountants in general aim at ensuring that the financial reports are in line with a certain set of rules.
Demand or Job Outlook for Accountants
Research shows that the demand for accountants is bound to increase for the decade from 2010 to 2020, thanks to stricter laws that compel organizations to comply, increased globalization, as well as tighter lending standards that increase the importance of auditing (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). However, educational credentials are bound to determine the demand with individuals who have attained professional recognition being on high demand.
While my choice of career may be extremely ambitious, I believe that I have taken the appropriate decision. This is especially considering that I am extremely detail oriented, not to mention that I have incredible analytical skills that allow for identification of issues pertaining to documentation and offer solutions for the same. I also have excellent organizational skills that would come in handy especially when working for different clients. However, I may need to pay closer attention to my math skills, as well as communication skills that will allow for analysis, interpretation, comparison, as well as discussion of the facts pertaining to financial information presented. On the same note, focusing on becoming a licensed CPA would take me closer to attaining my goal, as well as other certifications including Personal Financial Analyst (PFS), Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) or Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV).
Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Accountants and Auditors. Web retrieved 12th May 2013 from at HYPERLINK “http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm” t “_new” http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm