A Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree can lead to a variety of accounting careers with widely varying responsibilities in all sectors – private, nonprofit and government. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects an 11% increase or 142,400 additional jobs for accountants and auditors from 2014-2024. They also report a median pay of $67,190 for those employed in the field in 2015. Following are five accounting careers for which a graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting could expect to obtain.
1. Public Accountant
A public accounting career is one of the most followed career paths for those that obtain a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree. These individuals join a larger accounting firm or establish their own private practice. The accounting practice contracts with individuals, businesses and corporations to complete tax returns, maintain financial records, compile monthly statements and complete audits. In larger firms, individual accountants may be assigned solely to one or more external clients or they may deal with a variety of clients. This depends on the size of the firm and the client’s needs.
2. Forensic Accountant or Investigator
A Bachelor of Science in Accounting graduate may choose the career path of a forensic accountant or investigator, working for a government agency that investigates financial compliance or criminal activity. These accountants may “follow the money” in criminal cases, review financial statements for compliance with laws and regulations or conduct tax audits on individuals or companies. These accounting careers are found in federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), or Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They can also be found in state and local agencies charged with similar responsibilities.
3. Corporate Accountant
Corporate accountants work in business accounting departments to provide accounting services such as day-to-day bookkeeping, budget preparation, maintenance of financial records and compilation of monthly statements. The accountant is responsible for compliance with applicable accounting principles, government regulations and laws. Depending on the structure of the organization, corporate accountants may be involved in forecasting and decision-making concerning the future of the company.
4. Internal Auditor
Internal auditors work inside corporations or government organizations with the focus of reviewing and improving accounting practices, policies and procedures. Similar to external auditors, internal auditors may review a specific set of transactions or groups of accounts for compliance with accounting principles, regulations and laws. Generally working outside the accounting office, the internal auditor makes policy and procedure recommendations to executives. In the event of suspicious activity, this accounting professional may be asked to investigate through a review of accounting activity, interviews and other fact finding activities.
5. Tax Examiner
Graduates who have received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree may choose an accounting career in the tax field. Tax examiners, or tax collectors, work for government agencies to assist citizens and businesses in the payment of taxes. They review tax returns for errors and omissions, talk with the filer to confirm information, collect additional data and confirm the correct tax has been paid. These accountants must stay on top of any changes to tax law and regulations so that they can be applied appropriately.
Related Resource: 5 Accounting Careers with an Associate of Science in Accounting Degree
As with most careers, when choosing an area of interest consider the skills required, the security of the position, the hours and any other areas that are important to you. As you can see, the Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree can lead to a variety of accounting careers with opportunities for advancement.