While there is a lot of growth in the accounting industry and CPAs are in demand, choosing to be a CPA is a different story. How do you know if accounting is the right industry for you? Here are some questions and highlights of this career path to help guide you in making the right decision.
Ask yourself this, do you like solving puzzles?
Do you enjoy piecing together jigsaw puzzles or figuring out riddles? Believe it or not, many say no, so if your answer is yes then being a CPA might be right for you. Whether conducting an audit, working through corporate taxes, or just figuring out the right way to handle a particular transaction, accountants solve puzzles.
Do you have strong planning skills?
Are you the one who charted out the whole semester on the first day of class? The one who planned the spring break trip? The one who organizes your week on Sunday nights? Accountants need to be able to plan out their work and develop strategies to help clients accomplish their goals. They are strategic and hyper-goal-oriented.
Are you comfortable explaining complex ideas to others?
CPAs are required to understand very complex tax laws, foreign policies, regulations, and compliance standards. These are often intricate and take a firm understanding of codes and legislation. Business owners and individuals rely on CPAs to break down these ideas into digestible explanations for them. If that intrigues you, then being a CPA might be a good fit.
Would you consider yourself a concrete or abstract thinker?
A person with concrete thinking does not think beyond the facts. You only have a generalized concept for all things and don’t want to know more than the facts that are in front of you. On the other hand, abstract thinkers have a very specific concept of things. When compared to concrete thinking, abstract thinking is about understanding multiple meanings based on the ideas behind something.
The upside of being in the accounting industry:
While accounting might not be the first profession that springs to mind for people who find fulfillment in helping others, the role still has its moments that can bring satisfaction. Helping individuals and businesses get a better handle on their financial situation so they can then navigate their next steps confidently is a rewarding feeling.
Working where you want to work:
With some career fields, you may need to uproot your life and move to an industry hub to have a chance to find work. While opportunities do naturally tend to concentrate in larger cities, there’s still a need for accounting professionals in every corner of the U.S. From farmers to government organizations to software development companies, seemingly everyone could use the services of an accountant. This gives accountants a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to choosing where they want to settle down.
Earning potential is strong:
Like anyone, you want a career that allows you to provide for yourself and your family. So how does an accounting career stack up? The median annual salary for accountants and auditors in 2021 was $77,250. That strong earning potential can get even stronger for those who are able to advance into management roles. The 2021 median annual salary for financial managers was $131,710.
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