Accountants prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently.

In addition to examining and preparing financial documentation, accountants and auditors must explain their findings. This includes preparing written reports and meeting face-to-face with organization managers and individual clients.

Many accountants and auditors specialize, depending on the particular organization that they work for. Some work for organizations that specialize in assurance services (improving the quality or context of information for decisionmakers) or risk management (determining the probability of a misstatement on financial documentation). Other organizations specialize in specific industries, such as healthcare.

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Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently.

In addition to examining and preparing financial documentation, accountants and auditors must explain their findings. This includes preparing written reports and meeting face-to-face with organization managers and individual clients.

Many accountants and auditors specialize, depending on the particular organization that they work for. Some work for organizations that specialize in assurance services (improving the quality or context of information for decisionmakers) or risk management (determining the probability of a misstatement on financial documentation). Other organizations specialize in specific industries, such as healthcare.

Recruiter & Staffing Needs


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Job Prospects


Demand for accountants may lead to good prospects for entry-level positions. However, competition will be stronger for jobs with the most prestigious accounting and business firms.


Accountants and auditors who have earned professional recognition, especially as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), should have the best prospects. Job applicants who have a master’s degree in accounting or a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting also may have an advantage.

Employment projections data for accountants and auditors, 2016-26


Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric
Accountants and Auditors 13-2011 1,397,700 1,537,600 10 139,900 xlsx

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Employment projections data for accountants and auditors, 2016-26


Occupational Title
Accountants and Auditors
SOC Code
13-2011
Employment, 2016
1,397,700
Projected Employment, 2026
1,537,600
CHANGE, 2016-26
PERCENT
10
NUMERIC
139,900
EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY
xlsx

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Pay


The median annual wage for accountants and auditors was $69,350 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $43,020, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $122,220.

In May 2017, the median annual wages for accountants and auditors in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:


Finance and insurance $74,140
Management of companies and enterprises $72,160
Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services $69,410
Government $67,100

Most accountants and auditors work full time. In 2016, about 1 in 5 worked more than 40 hours per week. Longer hours are typical at certain times of the year, such as at the end of the budget year or during tax season.

Accountants and Auditors

Median annual wages, May 2017


Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics

Job Outlook


Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Globalization, a growing economy, and a complex tax and regulatory environment are expected to continue to lead to strong demand for accountants and auditors.

In general, employment growth of accountants and auditors is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy. As the economy grows, these workers will continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records. In addition, as more companies go public, there will be greater need for public accountants to handle the legally required financial documentation.

The continued globalization of business may lead to increased demand for accounting expertise and services related to international trade and international mergers and acquisitions.

Technological change is expected to affect the role of accountants over the next 10 years. As platforms such as cloud computing become more widespread, some routine accounting tasks may become automated. Although this will allow accountants to become more efficient, this change is not expected to reduce the overall demand for accountants. Instead, with the automation of routine tasks, such as data entry, the advisory and analytical duties of accountants will become more prominent.

Accountants and Auditors


Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26


Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics

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OCCUPATIONAL TITLE
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
JOB DUTIES
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.
ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION
Some College, no Degree
2017 MEDIAN PAY
$39,240
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ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION
Bachelor's Degree
2017 MEDIAN PAY
$75,240
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ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION
Bachelor's Degree
2017 MEDIAN PAY
$63,110
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Bachelor's Degree
2017 MEDIAN PAY
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Professional Recruiter and Staffing Organizations


  • National Association of Personnel Services
  • Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals
  • American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment
  • National Association of Executive Recruiters
  • National Association for Health Care Recruitment
  • Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association
  • American Staffing Association
  • Top Echelon Recruiting Network

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