Jobs in finance and accounting are among the most sought after in the corporate world. A certified public accountant (CPA) is among the highest-paid professionals in this field. Here is some more information about various aspects related to their salary.
The field of finance and accounting has grown tremendously in recent years. Almost every business setup, be it a small-scale firm or a corporate behemoth, requires certified public accountants (CPA) for managing the intricacies of finance and preparing or auditing financial statements. They are the equivalent of a ‘chartered accountant’ in the UK and other Commonwealth countries. In today’s globalized world, career opportunities in this field have expanded by leaps and bounds. A certification improves employability and also commands a higher pay, as the accountant is then eligible to file financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Average Pay Range
CPAs have a very successful track record when it comes to salaries because they are always in demand in the market. Employers don’t hesitate to offer them a decent pay, as the search for an ideal candidate can be a challenge. In 2011, all accountants averaged USD 70,130 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The geographical location does affect salary ranges to a great deal. While in cities like New York, the earning potential ranges between USD 59,000 – USD 75,000 annually, in Dallas it is lesser, between USD 45,000 – USD 56,000 annually. In Boston, the salary range is usually between USD 55,000 – USD 69,000 annually, whereas in Chicago it is between USD 55,000 – USD 68,000. In the DC area, the salaries are 25% higher than the average for the rest of the country.
Work Experience and Type of Employer
Graduates must understand that obtaining a license can increase their earning potential by 10 – 15%. A junior level employee in medium-sized firms can earn about USD 40,000 – USD 60,000 per year, while their counterparts in large public accounting firms make between USD 50,000 – USD 70,000 annually. The pay scale for those in corporate firms is usually between USD 39,000 to USD 60,000 annually. Those professionals who are at senior managerial positions like chief financial officer (CFO) or a controller, can earn anywhere between USD 200,000 to USD 400,000 per year!
The job of a CPA is treated with great respect and value by the business owners, chiefly because their work responsibilities are very crucial in imparting stability to the organization. They are known for their diverse range of activities related to finance and accounting of the firm. They are responsible for auditing and attestation services for company books and financial statements, tax returns, and various other facets of accounting work. They also work for non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, and public enterprises.
Career prospects in this profession are excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the demand for these professionals to grow by 16% annually between 2010 – 2020 because the auditing rules and regulations are only getting more complex, and there is increased scrutiny after the recent scandals. Moreover, the economy is expected to rapidly expand in the coming years, and this credential is starting to gain acceptance outside the US as well.