dcsimg

Accountants and auditors are business professionals who keep and analyze financial records. They record, report and examine financial information. They are valued for their ability to translate complex financial information into useful business insights that can help a business stay strong financially. Aspiring accountants and auditors: Read on to learn about career information, accounting schools and licensing.

Day in the Life of an Accountant and Auditor

Auditors and accountants play a critical role in any organization, ensuring that sound financial accounting practices and regulatory compliance standards are met. Although much of the accountant's world is automated, workers still need to have a nuanced concept of tax laws, corporate accounting, business finance regulations and more. This profession offers a variety of specializations that may be carried out in many kinds of work environments.

Examples of accounting specialties include:

  • Public Accounting: Work for corporations or individuals, which may include specialization in forensic accounting.
  • Management Accounting: Work with companies on budgeting, cost management and accounting standards.
  • Government Accounting: Work in the public sector, auditing businesses and monitoring government funds.

Examples of auditing specialties include:

  • Government auditing: Examine the records of government agencies and of businesses and individuals subject to government regulation or taxation.
  • Internal auditing: Audit an organization's financial information and data systems. The focus may be on the financial, information systems or policy audit.

The work environment for an accountant and auditor varies depending on specialty and the size of the company or agency. A staff accountant at a large accounting firm may spend most of his time at his firm's corporate office, with clients coming to him for appointments. An auditor may be based in a corporate office but routinely conduct audits at the offices of various clients, sometimes for weeks at a time. And a self-employed CPA may work from a private office, with clients coming to him for appointments. Some accounting work is seasonal, particularly for tax accountants who work long hours in the months leading up to "Tax Day," with a more manageable workflow and routine the rest of the year.

Important Characteristics for Accountants and Auditors

What traits and talents make a good accountant and auditor? Being adept at math is critical, as is the ability to understand and analyze financial statements, tax codes and other complex financial records. A commitment to ethical business practices, persistence and keen attention to detail are also necessary. When working with government regulations, tolerance for bureaucracy is required. Finally, the ability to communicate financial concepts in layman's terms is key when dealing with clients and business executives.

Typical Steps for Becoming an Accountant and Auditor

Accountant schools and colleges teach accounting fundamentals first, followed by an array of specialized accounting programs designed to help students discover their individual interests. The typical steps for becoming an accountant and auditor may include earning an accounting degree, licensure and other education and training as follows:

  1. Start early: Prepare in high school. Take high school courses in mathematics, computer and IT training, as well as business, if it is available.
  2. Earn a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. Accounting programs provide a broad understanding of the industry as well as areas of specialization. This is also the time to take any extra coursework required to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) after graduation. Build your practical skills by pursuing a summer or part-time internship alongside your education.
  3. Get licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This is required of all accountants and auditors who will be filing reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction (state, territory, etc.). Contact the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy for CPA licensing information.
  4. Apply for auditing certification. Apply for professional certification in an auditing specialty. These certifications are not required but can enhance one's credentials. For example, as a government auditor, you can earn recognition as a Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP). As an environmental auditor, you have access to the Certified Professional Environmental Auditor (CPEA) or Certified Energy Auditor designation. There are many other specialty certifications to consider as well.
  5. Earn a graduate professional degree. To advance your career, consider completing a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) in accounting or auditing. Opportunities to earn professional accounting degrees and complete training programs are widely available online.

Sources:

  • Accountants and Auditors, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm
  • Summary Report for Accountants and Auditors, O*Net OnLine,
    https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2011.00

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Accountant and Auditor Education Overview and Career Guide

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Accountant and Auditor Education Overview and Career Guide jobs , as of 2016

     
Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 60,960 $81,620
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 37,990 $89,900
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 37,960 $81,120
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 27,500 $79,070
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 25,820 $71,030
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 25,790 $90,230
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 22,910 $80,360
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 19,340 $74,300
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 16,270 $68,650
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 15,570 $80,860
Total Employment for Accountants And Auditors - Top 5 Cities Nationwide
Compare Total Employment for Accountants And Auditors

Use our handy tool to see what employment numbers look like for two different metro areas

STATE
METRO AREA
EMPLOYMENT
 
Salaries for Accountants And Auditors - Top 5 Cities Nationwide
Compare Salaries for Accountants And Auditors

Use our handy tool to see what salary numbers look like for two different metro areas

STATE
METRO AREA
SALARY
 
Total employment and salary for professions similar to accountants and auditors

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Accountant and Auditor Education Overview and Career Guide

To find out more about building a career as Accountants And Auditors, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Accountant and Auditor Education Overview and Career Guide

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 366,990 33% $61,880
Government 100,550 9% $57,230
Business Management 71,790 6% $59,820
Office Services And Staffing 47,370 4% $55,640
Education 38,150 3% $51,940
Banking And Credit 37,700 3% $54,820
Insurance 36,770 3% $59,310
Durable Goods Wholesale 32,240 2% $62,070
Real Estate 23,280 2% $60,860
Non-durable Goods Wholesale 18,340 1% $62,150
Non-profit 17,590 1% $58,670
Construction Trades 16,770 1% $60,650
Hospital 16,340 1% $54,620
Medical Office 16,090 1% $53,480
Construction 16,010 1% $61,080
Electronics And Computer 13,550 1% $64,390
Social Service 11,160 1% $49,280
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.
 
Results:  10
Matching School Ads
Programs
  • B.S. in Accounting
  • M.S. in Accounting
  • M.B.A.: Accounting
  • Do you have entrepreneurial visions to advance your career in the business world? Learn about the options available at GCU.
  • Earn a competitive bachelor's or master's degree in the areas of business administration, business analytics, accounting, marketing and more.
  • Many of our business degrees have attained elite accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP).
  • GCU nurtures the startup spirit, propelling your entrepreneurial visions on a powerful platform with opportunities to help you thrive.
  • Pursue a next-generation education with an online program or join Grand Canyon University's vibrant and growing campus community in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona.
Programs
  • MA Accountancy - Audit
  • MA Accountancy - Accounting
  • BA Finance
  • Earn your degree online from Ashford University!
  • Choose from Undergraduate and Graduate classes
  • Business, Health Care, Psychology and Liberal Arts programs to choose from
  • Apply Now! Classes begin every Tuesday!
Programs
  • MS in Accounting
  • MBA - Accounting
  • DBA in Accounting
  • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
Programs
  • Business Management and Accounting
  • Offers career placement assistance services to recent graduates.
  • Our short-term allied health programs will give you the skills and knowledge to become a part of the exciting health care field.
  • Programs include Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant and Healthcare Administration.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
  • Main campus is located in Van Nuys, California, north of Los Angeles.
camnpus icon
Panorama City
Request Info
Programs
  • Master of Accountancy
  • MBA - Accounting
  • Master of Science in Finance
  • A private Catholic & Jesuit institution delivering a transformative education
  • Scranton U has earned accreditation from 17 different accrediting agencies
  • Lovely 58 acre campus situated off Interstate 81 in PA’s Pocono Northeast region
  • 88% of  faculty hold doctoral or other terminal degrees in their fields
  • 2017-18 first-year students got $30 million + in financial aid & scholarships
Programs
  • MBA - Master of Business Administration - Accounting
  • MBA - Master of Business Administration - Finance
  • Go Higher with a career-enhancing degree from Concordia Nebraska you can earn fully online. All our online programs are designed to give you the flexibility to study around your schedule. 
  • You'll also benefit from exceptional student support and a rigorous academic experience ranked in the top tier of U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges 2016 Midwest Regional Universities.
  • Concordia offers a wide variety of MBA program offerings in such fields as Accounting, Business Intelligence, Human Resources, Leadership and Managing, Management, Marketing and Risk Management.
  • Concordia also offers programs in the M.Ed field specializing in Early Childhood Development, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Administration, and Special Education.
  • As an institution, Concordia University, Nebraska is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of its North Central Association.
  • Concordia University, Nebraska is an excellent academic and Christ-centered community equipping men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world.
Programs
  • Master of Science in Taxation

St. John's is a Catholic Vincentian University that prepares students for personal and professional success in today's global society. Based in New York City, it is a diverse institution with a globally focused curriculum.

Programs
  • Master - Professional Accounting
  • Graduate Specialization - Accounting
  • Bachelors in Accounting
  • The first and only 100% online, fully accredited public university in the United States
  • No set class times or locations
  • Affordable tuition, guaranteed not to increase as long as you are enrolled
  • Accelerated eight-week terms
  • Classes start every month
Programs
  • AS in Accounting
  • BS in Accounting
  • BA in Business Administration Accounting

Discover the Difference a Community of Support Makes in Your Educational Journey. From Application to Graduation, the Support You Need to Achieve Your Goals. 100% Online.

New England College was founded in 1946 to educate soldiers coming home from war. The same great support system that welcomed returning GIs is still a hallmark of NEC today. From enrollment services representatives who’ll guide you through the application process to interactive tools that help you collaborate with instructors and classmates, NEC inspires you to reach the milestones of your educational journey.

Programs
  • Associate of Arts in Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration, MBA - Accounting
  • Bachelor of Arts in Accounting
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Accountant and Auditor Education Overview and Career Guide.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

Back to Top