About 50% of the American workforce plans to make a career change because of the pandemic.
The pandemic made workers realize that there are plenty of other careers that are much more rewarding. They’re finally learning to prioritize other areas of life that working for someone else couldn’t allow them to do.
If you’re good with numbers, you might consider becoming an accountant. On the surface, it seems like a secure and respectable career path.
Will it give you what you’re really looking for in a new career?
Read on to discover the pros and cons of an accounting career.
Pros of Being an Accountant
An accounting career is so much more than crunching numbers and doing taxes for individuals. You can work for a large corporation and handle business taxes.
It’s possible to work as a forensic accountant who tracks down fraud and other financial crimes.
Another career path is as a risk manager. Risk managers evaluate the level of corporate risk at an organization and develop strategies to mitigate those risks.
You can go on to work at an accounting firm or work for yourself as an accountant. It’s clear to see that you have a broad range of options when you become an accountant.
Job security should be one of your concerns as you decide your next career move. The accounting industry is expected to grow by 7% by 2030.
That’s due to retirement and other accountants changing careers. Demand is also fueled by the changing nature of finance.
Tax laws and financial compliance standards are constantly changing. Accountants need to step in and make sense of these changes.
How would you like a career that pays well? Becoming an accountant opens the door to a salary that’s well above the national average.
In 2019, the median pay for accountants was over $71,000. The highest quarter earned over $94,000 and the bottom quarter earned about $55,000.
Even the lowest quarter earned more than the national average. It opens the door for you to earn more in your new career as an accountant.
Technology Supports Work
Workers considering a career change list remote work as one of the top reasons for the change. The pandemic made them realize how much time they waste commuting to and from work every day.
They get to create a work-life balance because they don’t have to sit in a car for an hour or two a day.
Becoming an accountant means that you get to work from home if you find the right setup. Being an entrepreneur allows you to do that and some accounting companies are embracing work from home now.
Technology also makes your day-to-day work much easier. Accounting software allows you to do data entry while the software generates calculations and reports.
You can focus your time and attention on financial and tax strategies that benefit your clients or employer.
Become an Entrepreneur
As mentioned earlier, you can become an entrepreneur and open up your own accounting practice.
This gives you the flexibility to create a business around your lifestyle, not the other way around.
There are some cons to being on your own. You’re largely responsible for marketing, business operations, and client generation. You already know your tax situation will be a little different than if you worked as an employee.
The best way around that is to become a freelance CPA. You work for a company like the one here https://www.taxfyle.com/freelance-cpa-jobs.
They match you up with their clients, so you always have a source of steady work to offset the pressure of always having to chase clients.
Cons of Being an Accountant
There are a lot of advantages to becoming an accountant. There is a bit of a dark side of accounting that you should know about before you decide to pursue your new career.
Good luck having a life between January and April. It’s tax season.
Some accountants report that the staff work close to 60 hours a week and partners and business owners work between 80 and 100 hours a week.
You can easily burn out from the stress. Worse still, you can make critical mistakes because you’re trying to do so much at once.
There are about 669,000 CPAs in the country. It means that if you want one of the top accounting jobs, you should expect to have a lot of competition for it.
The best way to compete for clients and jobs in accounting is to build your network. Meet people in the financial industry and in your community.
Connect with people on LinkedIn as well. As you build relationships with people in your network, opportunities will appear that allow you to build your career.
What does it take to become an accountant? It depends on the accounting career you choose.
To become an accountant, you just need to obtain a four-year degree in accounting or business. That only allows you to process financials and maintain records.
You can’t sign off on tax returns and you can’t represent a client in front of the IRS.
Those are jobs for a Certified Public Accountant. The standards, salary, and certification requirements for CPAs are much higher than for accountants.
If you want to pursue a career as an auditor or forensic accountant, there are additional certifications to get.
You have to maintain these certifications by taking continuing education classes every two to three years.
Is Becoming an Accountant Right for You?
Becoming an accountant has plenty of positives, from high pay to job security. You have your choice of career paths to take, too.
Think about the cons of an accounting career. It’s stressful and requires long hours during the busy season. You’ll have to think carefully about your priorities to decide if it’s the right choice for you.
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