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Salary Information for Certified Public Accountants

Career News November 13, 2013

Certified Public Accountants are not merely entrusted with bookkeeping and paperwork duties, but have a tremendous responsibility to keep apprised of the law and the best work standards. They prepare taxes, anticipate problems, and keep managers or company owners in the “now”, acting as a professional counselor for financial situations.

Earning Potential for CPAs

Certified Public Accountants are among the top earners of any office-based profession, easily commanding a median wage of $61,000. However, the best in the business can make as high as $106,000 per year. On the other hand, the lowest earners make approximately $38,000. The job is a full-time grind, and many CPAs work over 40 hours, even when they are self-employed. The tax season, as well as the budget year, is the most active.

CPAs are growing in number, provided that applicants are coming from an educational and work background. Certification alone requires 150 hours of schooling, as well as passing an examination. Accounting degrees are useful and help push graduates above the $40,000 graduate annual range to $50,000. On the other hand, those that stick around and earn their official CPA go on to earn a median salary of $73,000, while the highest ten percent go over the $106,000 standard.

What Determines Salary in Accounting?

Accounting is not solely about education, but is also subject to variables such as location, cost of living, years of training you have, and any specialty areas for which you have experience. Understanding the value you have, and how a company can benefit from these skills, is an excellent way to begin negotiating the contract.

The profession is growing at a rate of 3.5 percent, which is lower than the 9 percent average, but long-term projection shows it is steadily building and will peak at 22 percent over the next decade. Accountancy is growing, but there is a greater focus on following legality and the latest changes in commercial law, thanks in part to news scandals.

The business is all about regulations and you are entrusted with this role of financial and legal watchdog. Of course, you don’t perform the work of a lawyer, but you do provide financial advice. Your expert grasp of business and accounting procedures guides businesses as they experiment with ventures overseas and acquire or merge brands together.

Your Secret Weapon: Education

Never assume anything, not when it comes to college. However, note that students who did pursue BA or even MBA degrees had a higher percentage of landing a job, up to 4.2 percent. Amazingly, the Masters of Accountancy degree increased by 37 percent in new hires, and universities are now adding IFRS curriculum into their programs.

What this clearly shows is that going above the minimum standard is the best way to start your career in accountancy. A CPA or Certified Public Account distinction can open more doors for you and help you earn a salary that is above entry-level. You can learn more about your options by visiting the following schools listed below.

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  • Our online program blends modern business theory with real-world applications
  • SACS accredited with associate's, baccalaureate, & master's degrees & diplomas
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