Bookkeeping and Accounting

As a bookkeeping and accounting professional, you'll create and maintain financial and tax records for businesses and individuals. Read on to learn more about education, employment and salaries for bookkeepers and accountants, before deciding if this is the right job sector for you.

Are Bookkeeping and Accounting for Me?

Career Overview

If you are quick with math and you enjoy working and communicating with people, then you might be well-matched for a career in bookkeeping and accounting. Bookkeepers and accountants maintain financial records, prepare reports and calculate financial data. They generally work daytime hours in an office setting, but will sometimes work longer hours during certain times of the year, such as tax season.

Employment and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment of bookkeepers will increase by an average rate (11%) between 2012 and 2022. According to the BLS, as of May of 2013, bookkeepers earned a median annual salary of $35,730, while accountants made $65,080. The salary of an employee that works in bookkeeping and accounting is usually higher if they have obtained a certification or completed a degree program in business with a concentration in accounting (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Bookkeeping and Accounting?

Education Requirements for Bookkeepers

A college education is not always required to obtain a job as a bookkeeper, although some employers prefer applicants who have at least an associate's degree in business. Practicing bookkeepers may become certified and obtain the bookkeeper designation. To become certified, a bookkeeper must have two years of bookkeeping experience, agree to a code of ethics and pass an examination. Bookkeepers pursuing an associate's degree in business accounting may take courses in microeconomics, taxation and business mathematics.

Education Requirements for Accountants

Most accounting positions require a bachelor's degree in accounting or even a master's degree with a focus on accounting. In addition to a degree, accountants who hold a Certified Public Accountant designation may enjoy the advantage in the job market. Along with accounting courses, bachelor's degree programs can include the study of information systems, business law and global accounting, among other topics. Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting and Finance programs might allow for specializations in corporate accounting or taxation and, when combined with experience, can lead to promotions and a higher salary.

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