Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Put Your Accounting Degree to Work in Any Number of Professions
Accounting hasn't traditionally been a female-dominated industry; however, the tide is turning. The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants notes that women represent more than 50 percent of accounting graduates who enter the profession, but there's still a ways to go—they make up only 19 percent of partners. However, accounting isn't the only profession you can go into if you've earned an accounting degree, as a number of options are available for number-minded mothers.
With a degree in accounting, the most obvious career path is as a certified public accountant, or CPA. When you work at a public accounting firm, you will provide auditing, tax and consulting services to businesses or individuals. CPA are often self-employed—which provides a lot of flexibility, particularly if you work from home—though you might also choose to work in an office. Along with earning a bachelor's degree in accounting, CPAs must pass a four-part exam. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that globalization, a growing economy, and complicated tax and regulatory environments are increasing the demand for accountants. The median salary for this job, as of May 2016, was $68,150.
A tax examiner reviews tax returns, conducts audits and collects overdue tax payments on behalf of the local, state or federal government. An examiner typically looks at simple tax returns, such as those filed by individuals or small businesses, and contacts anyone who has any outstanding issues with that tax return. The biggest responsibility is to make sure that tax credits and deductions are claimed appropriately. The majority of tax examiners work for the federal government, and they earn a median salary of $52,060, according to the BLS.
If you want to use your accounting degree to work with budgets, then a career as a budget analyst might be for you. These professionals work with businesses, universities and government agencies to prepare reports and evaluate budget proposals, as well as to monitor the organization's spending. A budget analyst's work life can be stressful, as it might require working overtime during final budget review, and there's pressure to meet deadlines—something a working mother should take into consideration when looking for a position. Budget analysts earn a median salary of $73,840 a year, according to BLS statistics.
Use your accounting degree to succeed as a management analyst, also referred to as a management consultant. Those in this career work with organizations to help them learn how to become more profitable by reducing costs and increasing revenue. Sometimes, management analysts have a niche area in which they specialize, such as inventory management, or a specific industry, like health care. Although some management analysts are part of the staff of the company they're analyzing, more often, they work as a contractor, which can be beneficial to a working mom who needs a flexible schedule. BLS projects that employment for management analysts, which pays a median salary of $81,330, will grow faster than average than all occupations between 2016 and 2026, so there's a demand for this profession.
If you would rather prepare a company's financial statement than analyze one, look into a position as a bookkeeper. These employees must be versed in common bookkeeping software, because they use it, along with spreadsheets and databases, to enter financial transactions, record cash, checks and vouchers, and to create balance sheets. A bookkeeper must be detail-oriented while proofreading the reports and spreadsheets for potential errors. If you have an associate's degree in accounting rather than a bachelor's degree, you are still qualified for this position. As of May 2016, the median annual wage for bookkeepers was $38,390.
- California State University Long Beach: Why Major in Accounting?
- AICPA: The Most Important Issues for Women in the Accounting Profession
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Accountants and auditors
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Budget Analyst
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Management Analysts
Kelsey Casselbury has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park. She has a long career in print and web media, including serving as a managing editor for a monthly nutrition magazine and food editor for a Maryland lifestyle publication. She also owns an Etsy shop selling custom invitations and prints.