What Are Popular Accounting Careers?

Because accounting has become such a specialized field, successful accounting careers can be found in many areas. Newly graduated accountants are moving away from the typical role of an accountant and into more exciting careers, including those in fraud investigation, budget analysis, and forensic accounting. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Industry Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), almost 1.3 million individuals worked as accountants or auditors in 2012. Of those individuals, approximately 25% were employed in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services throughout the US, occupying roles including the following:

Important Facts About This Field

Median Salary (2014) $65,940 (for accountants and auditors)
Entry-level Education Bachelor's degree
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 11% (for accountants and auditors)
Work Environment Office setting; Work from home

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Certified Public Accountant

Certified public accountants, or CPAs, is the most common designation in the accounting field. Clients to CPAs include persons, businesses, and government agencies. CPAs complete broad and specific tasks relating directly to income, expenditures, record-keeping, and taxes, among many, many responsibilities relating to financial data and business. They are the backbone of the accounting world and almost all other accounting careers include a CPA designation.

Fraud Investigator

Fraud investigation is very popular with the younger generation of accountants. This accounting career involves cross-referencing books and records from other sources to investigate embezzlement, securities fraud, and similar activities.

Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants reconstruct financial records and follow the paper trail if fraud is suspected. They gather data to help prove or disprove fraud. Many forensic accountants are often called on to testify in court. These accounting careers are available through the Federal Bureau of Investigation or state and local law enforcement agencies.

Budget Analyst

According to the BLS, budget analysts are becoming more and more necessary in today's economy. A budget analyst generally works in private industry, the nonprofit sector, and the public sector. Their role is to improve efficiency and increase profit. Budget analysts examine financial records to establish trends. They also present their findings and suggestions to company management after examining depreciation, accounts receivable, and fiduciary obligations data.

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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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

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