dcsimg

Public Accountant

Public accountants work for corporations, governments, nonprofit organizations, or individuals. They offer a varied array of services, including accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting activities. They may advise businesses regarding compensation, employment healthcare benefits, tax advantages and disadvantages of business decisions, design of accounting systems, or the safeguarding of assets. Others may audit the financial statements of their clients and certify those statements to verify they have been prepared correctly. Many public accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), and usually own their own business or work for a larger firm. Still others specialize in the investigation and interpretation of white collar crimes, known as forensic accounting. Forensic accountants use accounting knowledge, as well as law and investigative techniques to determine if illegal activities have been committed. New Federal legislation restricts the type of advice public accountants can provide clients with when their firm handles that client's financial statements.

Cpa Certified Public Accountant

Job Skills

Due to the importance of their work being true and accurate, public accountants should have a high degree of personal integrity. They must also be good written and verbal communicators because they are constantly required to explain and interpret their work to clients. They need to be able to work with computer systems, including accounting software packages, and they need to be good at working with people. They also should have strong mathematics skills, and an ability to quickly analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures.

Income

In 2002, public accountants earned a median annual salary of $47,000. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $30,320, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $82,730. The following shows the median annual salaries for the industries employing the highest numbers of public accountants:

  • Accounting, tax prep, bookkeeping, payroll services - $49,520
  • Management of companies and enterprises - 49,110

Training and Education

Most candidates for public accountant positions need to have at least a bachelor's degree to qualify. Some employers require a master's degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. Experience in the accounting field, such as through a college internship program can be very advantageous for applicants. Another advantage is knowledge of computer accounting applications. Job seekers can gain a unique advantage in the job market by becoming certified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Most States require CPA candidates to have at least 150 college semester hours of accounting, but a few do not. Candidates should carefully research the licensing requirements of the State in which they wish to be certified. However, all States use the same Uniform CPA Examination. The exam is rigorous, consisting of four parts spread over two days of testing. Candidates must usually pass at least two parts, and then pass the remaining parts over a specific period of time. CPAs can specialize even further by obtaining Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), or Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) certifications. Entry-level public accountants begin by assisting several more experienced accountants, and may advance within 1 or 2 years to higher positions; some may eventually become senior management or partners, or start their own firm.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, the number of public accountants is expected to increase about as fast as the average. Growth will be due to factors such as an overall increase in the number of businesses, evolving financial laws, the growth of international businesses, and rising scrutiny of company finances. In the wake of recent accounting scandals and an increased awareness of financial crimes, the demand for forensic accountants is expected to rise. Job openings will also result from the need to replace workers who retire, transfer occupations, or leave the labor force for some other reason. The best job prospects will go to those who pursue and obtain CPA status. Those with a master's degree, or who specialize in areas such as international business, specific industries, or current legislation, will also have a large advantage.


Public Accountant Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            B.S. in Accounting
            • Want to earn a bachelor's or master's degree in the high-demand business field?
            • The Colangelo College of Business educates and develops values-driven business leaders.
            • Finance, Accounting, Business Admin/Mgmt, Leadership, Sports Business, Public Administration & Marketing.
            • Grand Canyon University offers these highly valued degree emphases and more! Learn about our Colangelo College of Business.
            • Courses available online, on campus in Phoenix, or in other satellite locations throughout Arizona. Talk to us to learn about financial aid, start dates & more!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            MA Accountancy
            • Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees available in a wide range of fields.
            • Flexible online programs offered in Psychology, Criminal Justice, Education, and more.
            • Assigned Financial Services Advisors to help answer student financial questions.
            • Servicemembers and their spouses can apply for the Ashford Military Grant to reduce tuition for all undergraduate courses.
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Accountancy with a concentration in General Accounting
            • Allows students to transfer credits from non-U.S. colleges and universities after evaluation.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            • Its main campus is located in Fort Lauderdale, with campuses located throughout the State of Florida and internationally. 
            • Provides a Department of Student Services and Resources that assists students with résumé preparation, interviewing skills coaching, mock interviewing, professional development workshops, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            AS in 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.

            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Accounting
            • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
            • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
            • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
            • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 11 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada and Idaho, as well as 8 additional Milan Institute of Cosmetology campuses.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Financial Aid
            Business Management & Accounting (AAS)
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            Bachelor of Arts in Accounting

            See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

            Whatever your motivation for considering an undergraduate or graduate degree, Florida Tech offers programs online that can meet your needs. Here are a few reasons Florida Tech may be the right choice for you.

            • Online Courses
            Certificate - Business Administration (Accounting)
            • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
            • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
            • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            Accounting
            Good for Working Adults
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Advanced Accounting - PhD in Bus. Admin.
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
            • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
            • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
            • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
            • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits