Accounting In General

Gone is the old stereotype of an accountant with eyeshade and bifocals, sitting hunched back with a pencil in hand over pages of tiny figures. Accountants today come equipped with calculators, computers, sophisticated management techniques, and more often than not, advanced degrees. About 1 million accountants work in the U.S. and almost all of them work in the corporate sector.

In the most basic terms, what accountants do is prepare and analyze financial reports that provide managers with the information they need to make decisions. Which also includes compiling, analyzing verifying and preparing financial records including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cost studies, and tax reports.

The accounting field is divided into four segments: 60% work in industrial accounting, 25% in public accounting, 12% in government, 3% in education.

Beginning salaries for accountants with a bachelor’s degree average $28,400 a year; those with a master’s degree average $32400 year. Accountants in large firms and with large corporations receive typical benefits including paid vacation and sick days, insurance, and savings and pension plans. Employees in smaller companies generally receive fewer fringe benefits.

Accounting is known as a desk job, and a 40 hour work week can be expected. Although computer work is replacing paperwork, the job can be routine and monotonous, and concentration and attention to detail is crucial.

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