We love accountants, because their hard work helps small business owners make better decisions to grow their businesses. The average accounting salary in the United States depends on what type of accountant you are, what part of your career you are in, and where you are located. Accounting salaries vary widely by state and city. A master’s degree will boost an accounting salary as opposed to a bachelor’s degree.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2018, the median accounting salary was $70,500. The 10 percent of accountants who earned the most earned more than $122,840 per year while the 10 percent who earned the least earned $43,650 or less.
The accounting field is growing at a faster pace than other careers. The BLS reports that the accounting field is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6 percent through 2028. Accounting is among the highest-paying business careers and is one that is in greater-than-average demand. It’s a more versatile field than you might think, too. Most of the ProAdvisors who work with small businesses are entrepreneursn themselves, but that’s only one of many ways to be an accountant.
What does an accountant do?
Accountants do much more than calculate numbers. They serve as advisors to their clients and help them to make sound financial plans. Their primary jobs are to examine and prepare financial reports and records.
Accountants are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the financial records and that their clients’ tax returns are accurate and filed on time. They must also make certain that their clients’ taxes are paid on time.
Accountants may perform a variety of different tasks at work such as the following:
- Ensure the accuracy of statements
- Make certain that records-keeping complies with legal requirements
- Maintain financial records
- Help to improve financial efficiency
- Advise their clients about financial best practices
- Perform auditing services
- Identify suspected fraud
What does a CPA do?
A certified public accountant (CPA) is an accountant, but not every accountant is a CPA. To become a certified public accountant, an accountant must meet rigorous licensing requirements and pass the CPA exam. There are specific educational requirements for CPAs that extend beyond an entry-level accountant.
During college, accountants who wish to become CPAs must also complete a minimum of 150 credit hours, including specific upper-level courses. After college graduation, accountants must work under the supervision of licensed CPAs for a minimum of one year. After they have completed the educational and work requirements, the accountants then take the CPA exam.
CPAs are required to follow strict ethics rules and take continuing professional education classes every year. They have a fiduciary duty to their clients. Because of the many requirements, a CPA is a highly sought-after credential for both accountants and potential employers.
CPAs provide audit and assurance services to their clients. They may be employed by the private sector in the following roles:
- Chief financial officer
- Financial analyst
- Chief executive officer
- Financial manager
What does a forensic accountant do?
Forensic accounting is a specialized area within accounting. Forensic accountants are responsible for investigating and analyzing financial records and giving expert opinions about them in court.
Forensic accountants may be called as expert witnesses in civil and criminal cases. Their testimony and work may be important to resolve civil financial disputes and helping prosecutors prove white collar criminal matters such as embezzlement or fraud.
How much can an accounting major make right after college?
This is the big question for college students! The average adjusted starting salary for accounting majors with four-year degrees in 2019 was $57,511, according to the annual salary survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Accounting majors earn more money on average than other popular four-year business majors, including business administration, business management, and marketing majors.
What is the salary for a mid-level, experienced accountant?
The average expected salary for a mid-level, experienced accountant will depend on his or her location, level of education, and the type of accounting work that he or she performs. The Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals notes that the average accounting salaries of different types of accountants with one to three years of experience and whose salaries fall at the 50th percentile are as follows:
- General accountant $64,250
- Cost accountant $62,750
- Tax accountant $71,000
- Financial analyst $69,250
What do veteran accountants in lead or senior roles make?
Senior accountants can make much more than their less-experienced counterparts. The amount that people can expect to earn will depend on their roles. Chief financial officers (CFO) at the 50th percentile draw average accounting salaries of $203,500 per year. Controllers who are at the 50th percentile make average accounting salaries of $121,000 per year.
An experienced senior accountant in Kansas City, Missouri earns an average accounting salary of $80,098 per year. Experienced senior accountants in New York City earn average accounting salaries of $113,102.
What salary does a CPA make?
Certified public accountants command higher average starting accounting salaries than non-CPA accountants. Payscale reports that the average accounting salary for a CPA is $65,775. CPAs also receive an average bonus of $3,971, an average commission of $4,000, and average profit-sharing of $2,966.
Payscale reports that the average accounting salary for an experienced CPA is $81,493.
What is the salary for a forensic accountant?
Forensic accountants earn higher-than-average salaries because of the specialized nature of their jobs. The average forensic accountant salary is $67,269. The median accounting salary per hour for a forensic accountant is $25.43 per hour, excluding bonuses, commissions, and profit-sharing.
Payscale reports the average accounting salary for an experienced forensic accountant is $92,556.
What is the highest-paid accounting job?
The highest-paid accounting job is a chief financial officer. The BLS reports that in 2018, chief executives (including CFOs) averaged $200,140 per year. CFOs often have advanced degrees beyond a Bachelor’s degree.
The second-highest paid accounting job is a controller, which the BLS lists under financial managers. In 2018, controllers earned an average salary of $127,990 per year.
We Make Accounting Jobs Easier
Well, we might not make all accounting jobs easier, but we are committed to helping small business owners and their accouting teams. Bento for Business offers specialized debit cards that are designed so that the lives of accountants are easier. The cards allow you to categorize the transactions that are made based on individual departments, amounts spent, and location. You can create custom tags so that you can easily filter data in whatever way that you wish. Everything integrates with your accounting system.
The data and controls that Bento offers have saved our customers millions of dollars. We save time and hassle, too. Find out more about working with us.