If you’re searching for a promising career, accounting may hold the answer. According to the staffing firm Brilliant, more companies have reported an increase in vacant accounting and finance positions — with 30 percent in the study reporting openings in these fields. And according to Manpower Group, accounting and finance professionals are among the top 10 occupations that are the hardest to fill for companies.
With a healthy outlook and good pay, maybe you should consider accounting for your future. Take a look at a few jobs you can get with an accounting degree.
1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
A CPA is a qualified accountant who has passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination in order to obtain certification in the profession. This title may or may not define the professional’s actual job title, as a CPA could, for instance, work as a tax examiner or personal financial advisor.
A CPA may work as a business consultant or, more commonly, in the corporate world. From a trusted advisor for a small startup to a chief financial officer for a Fortune 50 company, a CPA can exist in virtually any type of business or industry. This person may be involved in any area of finance, including tax preparation and planning, venture capital, estate planning, financial reporting and more.
PayScale reports a median salary of $58,666 for CPAs.
2. Tax Examiner
A tax examiner ensures that tax returns are filed properly. This is performed by analyzing tax credits and deductions that are claimed to see if they are lawful. The examiner may adjust the total amount and notify the taxpayer of this result.
Most tax examiners work in the federal government, while others work in the state government, followed by the local government. Some tax examiners may progress to the tax collector or revenue agent title, which entail similar job responsibilities.
For tax examiners and collectors, as well as revenue agents, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median pay of $50,440.
3. Forensic Accountant
A forensic accountant applies the field of accounting to legal purposes. The forensic accountant may conduct an examination into a company’s financial statements to provide an analysis of the situation that is appropriate for court.
A forensic accountant can provide litigation support and investigative accounting, typically for use in fraud cases. This assistance can play an important role in civil and criminal trials — ultimately saving companies money. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) estimates that organizations lose $670 billion per year to fraud and abuse.
Forensic accountants earn a median salary of $85,000, with certified fraud examiners earning $104,000 per year, according to the ACFE.
4. Financial Examiner
A financial examiner helps businesses stay compliant with the laws that govern financial institutions and transactions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the majority (24 percent) of financial examiners work in the federal government, excluding the postal service.
A financial examiner will typically work in consumer compliance or risk scoping. The former pertains to ensuring that financial institutions remain stable by providing sound loans and keeping enough cash on site. The latter area of concentration deals with the fair treatment of borrowers; the examiner will help consumers avoid predatory loans and ensure that banks do not discriminate against borrowers.
The BLS reports a median annual wage for financial examiners of $75,800.
5. Personal Finance Advisor
A personal finance advisor helps people with important financial decisions and planning. Typically, people will come to an advisor for help with investments, taxes, insurances, budgeting or other primary financial needs.
A personal finance advisor will meet with the client and discuss relevant goals that they have. After outlining short- and long-term goals, the advisor will provide updates on progress and meet as needed to reach these objectives. Many personal finance advisors are licensed to buy and sell stocks, bonds, insurance and annuities.
According to the BLS, personal finance advisors earn a median annual wage of $67,520.
Concordia University, St. Paul offers an online bachelor’s in accounting. This program helps you learn the latest in business analytics, tax and audit, as well as other useful subjects.