The accounting profession is one of the most stable and well-paid jobs in any country. Despite the general belief, accounting is not just about numbers and calculus; it involves a certain amount of creativity and business acumen. And numerous cups of coffee, but you’ll discover that along the way.
If you've always liked to work with numbers and loved the idea of finding financial clues and solutions, but you are also interested in the business, then you might be the perfect fit for a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Care to find out more?
What do public accountants do?
A certified public accountant (CPA) can work in any company or public organisation. *Ends conversation*
Still, the duties of an accountant may vary based on the area of expertise, as some are specialised in tax issues, while others work with income tax returns and file taxes, or are involved in forensic accounting (a branch that requires investigating financial fraud). Imagine a less bloody CSI series, and you get the general gist of it.
Also, your responsibilities include:
- Preparing and verifying financial documents
- Analysing budgets and planning finances
- Giving advice and offering financial information to clients (individuals or companies)
- Performing bookkeeping, consulting, and auditing tax
- Coming up with suggestions and problem-solving ideas to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits
- Making sure financial statements and records are in accordance with current laws and regulations
Careers with a degree in Accounting
Accounting roles are among the most in-demand jobs these days, so it won’t be too hard to find one. Prospective accountants can find job opportunities in public or private accounting firms, as well as in the Accounting Departments of any company.
Based on PayScale data, these are some of the most popular accounting jobs and the average salaries in the US:
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA) - 66,200 USD/year
- Auditor - 56,700 USD/year
- Personal Financial Advisor - 62,300 USD/year
- Financial Analyst - 60,750 USD/year
- Forensic Accountant - 68,500 USD/year
Where to study a Bachelor’s in Accounting?
Before you start your search for the perfect Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, you need to make sure this field is suitable for you, in terms of study preferences and career goals. As a future public accountant, you should consider how much you like to work with numbers and make calculations.
An undergraduate degree in Accounting usually covers knowledge about:
- Cost accounting
- Business statistics, administration, ethics, law, and communications
- Financial and budget
- Principles of economics
- Risk analysis
The best countries where you can pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting are:
Apart from these countries, you can find Bachelors in Accounting in most universities worldwide. Some we warmly recommend are:
- University of South Florida, in Tampa, United States
- Southern New Hampshire University, in Manchester, United States
- Middlesex University, in London, United Kingdom
- Budapest Metropolitan University, in Budapest, Hungary
How to become a CPA or Certified Public Accountant
The process of becoming a certified public accountant is different from one country to another. But we'll take the United States as an example.
In the US, prospective CPAs are required to complete at least 150 semester hours of study to become licensed. At the end of your Bachelor’s degree, you will have only accomplished 120 hours.
Some universities provide students with the option to combine a five-year Bachelor's and Master's degree programme in Accounting, in order to attain the required number of 150 hours faster, so remember to research and find the best option for you.
A useful strategy for all students who want to become CPAs is to partake in internships offered by companies and organisations, ideally in the Finance and Accounting Departments. You will also have to pass the four exams developed by The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
The AICPA exams are:
- Audit and Attestation (AUD) – which evaluates a candidate’s ability to perform audits, interpret evidence, communicate accounting data, and includes questions on ethics and professional responsibility;
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) – which covers topics and questions related to financial statements, specific transactions, governmental accounting and non-profit accounting;
- Regulation (REG) – which tests tax ethics, business law, federal tax procedures;
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) – where topics like corporate governance, information systems, and strategic planning are tackled.
The passing score for each exam is a minimum of 75 on a scale from 0 to 99. The exams include question types such as multiple-choice, simulation, written essays, and argumentation.
If this article filled you with excitement, then we can’t encourage you enough to go and apply for a Bachelor’s in Accounting. After a few years, don't forget to come back, thank us, and help us figure out how to manage our income and expenses.
Like always, remember to have fun, whatever you do, and good luck in the future!