Accountants’ salaries depend on the type of accounting performed and locations of accounting jobs. Accountants earn degrees and receive certification as Certified Public Accountants (CPA). They are skilled in general accounting for business and government, cost accounting, auditing, and financial management accounting. In certain businesses, an accountant may work in separate departments. In smaller businesses, accounting is processed by an individual accountant.
Begin work on an entry level basis by processing parts of accounting. Entry level accountants may process vendor invoicing, as Accounts Payable or client invoicing as Accounts Receivable.
Sometimes, payroll and General Ledger accounting are processed separately. Look for the words “full service” when applying for accounting jobs. This means accountants are responsible for all phases of business accounting, including payroll, order entry, and inventory control, where applicable. General accounting includes entering changes to payroll taxes and employees’ payroll statistics.
Other Accounting Types
In private businesses, CPA accountants are hired to do accounting that requires substantiation of the accountant’s qualifications. In large companies, Cost Accounting, Internal Accounting, and Auditing may be separate departments.
Cost Accounting is a feature of accounting focused on specific costs related to profit and loss. Cost accountants provide data on incoming and outgoing expenses to create management reports. These reports help business owners determine actual and projected annual costs that impact profit and loss.
Accounting data collected by cost accountants become part of the overall Internal Accounting process Internal Accountants use to create final reports on profit and loss, assets and liabilities, and financial stability.
Auditing is the part of accounting performed for the purpose of verifying accounting transactions and data are factual and can be proven if a question by a government agency arises.
Salary Ranges for Accountants
Entry level accounting salaries depend on duties and responsibilities, as well as job locations. For example, an entry level accountant in New York can expect a salary of $60,000 annually. In other parts of the country, this may be as low as $30,000, depending on the state.
Accounting experience plays a role in annual salary ranges. Internal and Cost Accountants may earn up to six figures depending on business size. Auditors and Financial Management Accountants for Fortune 500 companies often receive salaries in excess of $1 million when duties require knowledge of investments and other business assets management.
Entry level accountants may wish to begin careers in small businesses. As experience grows, they graduate to a larger business. Look for jobs in regions of the country where banks, corporations, and/or government positions are likely to be offered. New York is one of the country’s most active states for accounting positions. Large cities are also a good place to look for accounting jobs.
Be aware that the type of business affects the style of accounting. Accounting for retail is fairly standard. In law firms, billing varies according to hourly rates. In medical, billing is done with medical coding. In engineering, billing is done in phases.