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Career Profile: Accountants and Auditors

Examine, analyze, and interpret accounting records to prepare financial statements, give advice, or audit and evaluate statements prepared by others. Install or advise on systems of recording costs or other financial and budgetary data.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 1,392,200 people employed as accountants and auditors in the United States. The median annual salary is $73,600. Entry level employees earn approximately $45,220 per year and senior employees earn approximately $128,680 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Collect and analyze data to detect deficient controls, duplicated effort, extravagance, fraud, or non-compliance with laws, regulations, and management policies.
  • Inspect account books and accounting systems for efficiency, effectiveness, and use of accepted accounting procedures to record transactions.
  • Supervise auditing of establishments, and determine scope of investigation required.
  • Confer with company officials about financial and regulatory matters.
  • Examine and evaluate financial and information systems, recommending controls to ensure system reliability and data integrity.
  • Inspect cash on hand, notes receivable and payable, negotiable securities, and canceled checks to confirm records are accurate.
  • Examine records and interview workers to ensure recording of transactions and compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Prepare, examine, or analyze accounting records, financial statements, or other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards.
  • Prepare detailed reports on audit findings.
  • Report to management about asset utilization and audit results, and recommend changes in operations and financial activities.
  • Direct activities of personnel engaged in filing, recording, compiling, and transmitting financial records.
  • Conduct pre-implementation audits to determine if systems and programs under development will work as planned.
  • Analyze business operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations to project future revenues and expenses or to provide advice.
  • Prepare adjusting journal entries.
  • Review accounts for discrepancies and reconcile differences.
  • Establish tables of accounts and assign entries to proper accounts.
  • Examine inventory to verify journal and ledger entries.
  • Report to management regarding the finances of establishment.
  • Develop, implement, modify, and document recordkeeping and accounting systems, making use of current computer technology.
  • Evaluate taxpayer finances to determine tax liability, using knowledge of interest and discount rates, annuities, valuation of stocks and bonds, and amortization valuation of depletable assets.
  • Examine whether the organization's objectives are reflected in its management activities, and whether employees understand the objectives.
  • Audit payroll and personnel records to determine unemployment insurance premiums, workers' compensation coverage, liabilities, and compliance with tax laws.
  • Review taxpayer accounts, and conduct audits on-site, by correspondence, or by summoning taxpayer to office.
  • Compute taxes owed and prepare tax returns, ensuring compliance with payment, reporting, or other tax requirements.
  • Advise clients in areas such as compensation, employee health care benefits, the design of accounting or data processing systems, or long-range tax or estate plans.
  • Represent clients before taxing authorities and provide support during litigation involving financial issues.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
1,392,200
Annual Openings:
135,000
Increase in Openings by 2030:
7%
Annual Salary Range:
$45,220 - $128,680
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree