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What Do Government Accountants Do?

Job Descriptions August 24, 2013

The majority of people will rather face the executioner than receive a notification letter from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), which says “You are being audited.” So, with all of the accounting programs and accounting degrees available in the scheme of number crunching careers, why should consider becoming a feared Internal Revenue Service, or government accountant? Well, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider pursuing a government auditing positions or a government accounting degree – first and foremost: opportunity and stability.

As a government auditor or accountant, you will work specifically in the public sector to examine and maintain records of government agencies, along with auditing sole proprietors or private businesses whose business transactions has to meet government regulations. Students who have earned their degree in government accounting will be able to seek employment with local, state, and federal governments, making sure that expenses are being recorded and reported, as well as making sure revenues are being received in accordance with the laws and regulations. You may work as a budget administrator or analyst, financial manager, or an IRS agent.

Required Education for Government Accountants

Government auditor and accountant positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or related fields. Beginning auditing and accounting positions with the federal government generally require four years of college or an equivalent combination of experience and education. Depending on the employers, some will require candidates to hold either a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on accounting degree or a master’s degree in accounting. Some colleges and universities are now offering programs that will prepare students to work in the growing specialty, such as internal auditing.

Required Skills for Government Accountants

Individuals who want to pursue a degree program in government accounting should have an aptitude for mathematics, along with being able to interpret, compare, and analyze figures and facts quickly. They are required to clearly communicate both written and verbally, as well as being good at working with computers, business systems, and people.

Government Accountants Salary Information

Government accountants are part of the larger field of auditors and accountants. During 2012 to 2013, the average annual salary for auditors and accountants was $61,690, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook. Accountants and auditors actual salaries can vary considerably based on years of experiences, location, specialization within the field, and other various factors.

Where can Government Accountants Work?

Government accountants can work with law enforcement agencies, government-affiliated companies and corporations, as well as government agencies.

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  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
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