Jobs in Accounting Information Systems: Salary and Career Facts

An accounting information systems professional needs to have skills in both accounting and computer systems. These workers help organizations choose and maintain the information systems technology used by their accounting departments. Read on to learn more about the various positions available in this field, as well as the education, certification options, job outlook and typical salary. Schools offering Accounting Information Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Accounting Information Systems Career?

This specialized career path combines elements of business management, auditing, information management and accounting. Some positions in this field are focused on the financial side of a business, like financial manager. Others may be computer positions, like software developer, that involve creating accounting information systems software. Depending on their focus, accounting information systems professionals may serve as a liaison between accountants and information technology specialists, be in charge of developing and maintaining a company-wide accounting information system (AIS), or advise companies on the effectiveness of the AIS system in use. The following chart gives an overview of what you may need before entering this field:

Financial ManagerSoftware Developer
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Key Responsibilities Examine clients' financial records and assist in financial decision-making
Supervise budgeting
Write code creating programs or apps
Licensure/Certification Required Voluntary AIS certification N/A
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 7%* 17%
Median Salary (2015) $117,990* $100,690*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Are Some Career Options In Accounting Information Systems?

If you are interested in the career, you might work in the financial department of any type of business, a financially-oriented company or a programming-oriented company that specializes in AIS. Some job titles in this field of work include financial manager, financial examiner and chief financial officer. You could also become a computer systems analyst, a computer information systems manager or a computer software engineer or developer specializing in financial software.

If you are working with a financially-oriented company, your job duties could range from analyzing an AIS for data integrity to managing the entire AIS. In a programming-oriented company, your focus may be directed towards developing new software in AIS or fixing bugs in AIS. In both cases, you may also have the option of consulting, which requires travelling to different companies to provide analysis and advice concerning the company's AIS.

Which Certifications and Added Education Would Increase My Competitiveness In This Field?

While certifications or continuing education certificates may not be required to obtain a position in accounting information systems, they can be helpful to increase your competitiveness in the field. However, only certain certificates in the financial industry apply to AIS.

You may want to pick a certificate program or designation that applies to your specific field within AIS, such as auditing, upper management or otherwise. The following list includes some options:

  • Accounting Information Systems (AIS) Certificate, which is simply added coursework to bachelor or master's degree in accounting
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) Certificate, which is offered through the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Certificate, which is offered through International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. (ISC2)
  • Accredited Financial Examiner (AFE) Certificate, which is offered through the Society of Financial Examiners (SOFE)
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) Certificate, which is offered through the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)
  • Certified Financial Examiner (CFE) Certificate, which is offered through the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
  • Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) Certificate, which is offered through the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)

What Is the Job Outlook For This Career?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports nationwide job market growth between 2014 and 2024 to be anywhere from average to much faster than average (www.bls.gov). In general, the BLS shows that the more you orient your job around information technology, the higher the growth rate nationally.

The BLS predicts that the job growth of computer software developers between 2014 and 2024 should be much faster than average, growing by 17% over the decade. However, the BLS mentions a decline in job growth for computer programmers.

On the other hand, the BLS expects financial managers to have an average growth rate between 2014 and 2024, increasing by 7%. However, job options for financial managers specializing in risk management, which often requires expertise in AIS, are expected to grow substantially, according to the BLS.

Lastly, the BLS reports that the amount of jobs available to financial examiners between 2014 and 2024 is expected to grow by over 10%, which makes it one of the fastest growing jobs nationwide. This may be due to the increasing complexity of financial transactions as well as a growing concern for transparency in businesses, like anti-fraud provisions.

What Salary Can I Expect to Make?

According to the BLS, financial managers held about 555,900 jobs in May 2014, and earned a median annual salary of $117,990 as of May 2015. Securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage; beer, wine and liquor stores; agents/managers for artists, athletes, entertainers and other public figures; and other financial investment activities were the top-paying industries in the profession.

Software developers that specialize in creating computer systems, on the other hand, earned a median annual salary of $105,570 in May 2015. The securities and commodity field, computer and peripheral equipment and manufacturing, other financial investment activities and aerospace product and parts manufacturing were the top-paying industries for the profession in that year.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are seeking a similar career in the financial field, you may choose to be a financial analyst. Financial analysts offer assistance and direction to companies and individuals regarding investment options and solutions. They need to be well-versed in stocks, bonds, and other forms of investments.

You may also consider being a budget analyst. Budget analysts assist companies, organizations, and individuals with their finances. A budget analyst may be involved in a variety of financial assistance for their clients, which may include preparing budget reports or monitoring institutional spending.

If you're interested in the software development aspect of the career, you may consider becoming a web developer. These professionals help design and create websites for their employer. They may also develop the content that is used on the website.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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