Do Accountants Usually Work as a Team or Can I Open My Own Business?

When you are considering a career in accounting, you may wonder whether accountants usually work as a team, or whether you can open your own business. If you are an entrepreneur or prefer to be more autonomous in your business dealings, you may seek to open your own business and to work alone — or at least to be the person in charge of your own work. However, if you like the flexibility that comes from working in a team, you may want to have that option, as well. Fortunately, the answer to: “Do accountants usually work as a team or can I open my own business?” is “both.” Accounting is one of the few careers that offer you this flexibility. You can graduate and get hired at a firm where you work with others, or you can decide to strike out on your own and open your own business.

Company Positions

When you get your accounting degree, you have a number of options in the corporate world. With a Bachelor’s degree, you can work as a bookkeeper, auditor or financial analyst. See the Bureau of Labor Statistics quick facts on accountants and auditors. However, if you take the time to become a certified public accountant, you have even more career options. See “What is a Master’s Degree in Accounting?” for more information. Generally, you must complete a Master’s degree to become a CPA. A certain number of educational credits are required, which is the same number required by a Master’s degree, so most people choose to complete the degree. However, some schools offer a combined program that allows students to finish the requirements in only five years (instead of the six for a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree program). Once you complete the educational requirements, you must then get a certain number of hours of experience and pass the CPA licensing exam. Those who become licensed as CPAs can work in any accounting position, from local firms to national firms. Your duties can include analyzing financial statements, creating profit and loss statements, overseeing accounting and billing procedures, instituting new procedures to make financial reporting more accurate or more efficient, and much more. All accountants who work at a firm will work on a team, whether that’s an accounting team or the team of company employees in general.

Opening Your Own Business

If you become a CPA, you can also open your own business. Your “firm” can consist of just you, or you can hire employees and oversee them. You may choose to focus on preparing individual tax returns, or you can contract out your services to local companies, serving as a consultant or offering services as they need them. Many companies outsource their accounting as a way to save money — since they don’t have to pay employee benefits and since they only pay for the services they need, rather than keeping someone on staff all the time. Opening your own business gives you flexibility to do exactly the kind of work you want to do and to set your own schedule and your own business goals. If you’re wondering whether accountants usually work as a team or whether you can open your own business, it’s important for you consider your own working style, business sense, and schedule flexibility, among other factors. Accounting is a great career that gives you a lot of freedom in charting your own path, and within the field you have myriad choices, whether you work as a team, or start your own business.

For more information, see Ten Best Online Accounting Schools.