Friday, December 9, 2011

Accountant Salary

The role of an accountant is very important to the overall success of a firm, whether it is large or small. Their primary concern is to keep accurate records of a firm’s financial position. Accountants are primarily employed by corporations, small businesses, sole proprietors, and government agencies. The four major fields within the accounting industry are public accounting, internal auditing, management accounting, and government accounting.

The challenging workload and love for numbers draw many individuals into the accounting field. Accountants can work in a range of roles that span from broad to very specific. Depending on the role, there are different educational and work experience requirements. Accounting jobs that are more specialized tend to have greater requirements.

Salary Overview

In calculating an accountant’s salary, there are many factors that come into play. One of the major factors is education and experience. Accountants who hold graduate degrees are likely to earn more than those with only an undergraduate degree. Certified Public Accountants tend to earn the highest salaries.

Geographical location is also a determining factor when calculating the average salary of an accountant. The states that employ the most accountants are the District of Columbia, Delaware, Colorado, and New York.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for accountants was $59,430 in 2008. The top 10% earned more than $102,380. The middle half of accountants earned between $45,900 and $78,210. The bottom 10% of accountants earned less than $36,720.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers conducted a survey and reported that in 2009 the average starting salary for candidates with bachelor’s degrees was $48,993 and $49,786 for candidates with master’s degrees.

Accountants typically receive standard health, medical, and life insurance benefits. They also receive standard 401(k) and annual leave benefits. Accountants in high-level senior positions usually receive additional benefits, such as an expense account and the use of a company car.

Job Description and Outlook

Accountants are responsible for ensuring that a firm’s financial records are properly accounted for and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Majority of accounting work involves analyzing and reporting financial data.


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