Why Become a Certified Public Accountant?

How many children dream about becoming an accountant when they grow up? In reality, once a child lets go of their fantasy world and realizes the things that are important to them in a career, the idea of becoming a certified public accountant or CPA can become a more desirable one. There are many reasons why persons choose this profession and why it's become such a desirable, growth-oriented industry. Consider a few of those reasons here.

A Chief Financial Officer of a typical company may expect to earn over $100,000

Job Security

How many people today can say that they have true job security? Chances are very few; many industries are seeing shrinking payroll counts and layoffs rather than job growth.

However, there is actually expected growth in the accounting and finance industry within the next ten years and even longer. There are a few different reasons for this. One is that there has been legislation passed recently, in response to various corporate fraud cases, that make owners of public businesses personally responsible for accounting fraud and such practices. There has also been legislation passed that means more strict accounting practices as well.

This means that more and more businesses will be hiring accountants and auditors in order to maintain their finances properly. Accountants and auditors familiar with these new laws are typically given preference for hiring.

Another reason for the growth in the CPA industry is that many people today are turning to personal financial planners and advisors for information and advice on their personal portfolios. The ability to buy and trade stocks online does not translate into the knowledge needed to handle one's finances in a beneficial way.

Also, because of stricter legislation and regulations, there are more CPAs needed in the government sector as well in order to oversee these regulations.

Salary and Benefits

While a person may not get fabulously wealthy being a CPA, the salary and benefits are usually quite handsome, especially for those with advanced degrees and those with familiarity in international banking, legislation, personal finance, and so on.

As an example of the salaries one might expect being a CPA, a financial planning analyst may average over $50,000 annually. An internal auditor may also expect a starting salary over $50,000 with raises typically occurring every three years, and with an auditing manager averaging over $80,000 annually. Also, a Chief Financial Officer of a typical company may expect to earn over $100,000. These salary figures do not take into account bonuses and benefits.

Job Responsibilities

You might not think that the job responsibilities of a CPA are anything that would be interesting and enjoyable, but in truth there is much more to being a CPA than crunching numbers and shuffling paperwork.

Very often a CPA makes recommendations and reports to business owners and managers that are used to making decisions regarding processes, products, and even staffing issues. If a CPA reports on losses suffered in one department, a business owner or manager may want more information to make decisions on staff cuts or other cuts to the budget. There may be processes followed by a business that are obviously costing the company more money than they're worth, or obsolete products with a low profit margin that might be discontinued.

This means that a CPA may prepare reports and presentations and may also have meetings that are meant to express these recommendations and the reasons behind them. A CPA can often be something of a problem solver, as their work is meant not just to report on the financial conditions of a company but is also meant to help it improve and become healthier financially.