Perhaps you’re good with numbers and you enjoy commerce a lot, you might consider going for a major in accounting. However, it’s always good to know if you’re on the right track before making any life-changing decisions.
Accounting is the process of keeping financial records as well as analyzing, verifying, and reporting the result. Finance is a critical concern for all businesses, whether big or small, so accounting-related careers are always in high demand.
Professionals in the field also tend to enjoy better salaries than many other careers in the business discipline. So, yes accounting is a good major with many benefits.
Read more about the benefits, downsides, and job outlook of accounting majors in this article.
Pros of accounting major
Here are some reasons why you should consider a degree in accounting:
1. A wide range of career
Like many business degrees, majoring in accounting gives you a ton of flexibility in the direction that you can take in your career. You can become an accountant, an auditor, a financial analyst, a financial manager, or even a personal financial adviser.
As an accountant, you can niche down to being a public accountant, government accountant, tax accountant, industrial accountant, and so much more.
2. Job security
Businesses would always need accountants to interpret their accounts, balance their books, and do their taxes. Hence, it remains one of the most in-demand careers today.
In fact, compared to many other careers in the business discipline, accounting, and finance-related careers tend to enjoy more job opportunities.
The bureau of labor statistics projects a 6% growth and annual job opening of 136,400 between 2021 and 2031 for accountants and auditors alone.
3. Accounting jobs pay well
Accounting jobs are one of the best-paying jobs in the world. Although while starting out it may feel like you’re doing a lot of work compared to your pay, as you gain better experience and expertise you can command better pay.
It gets better if you’re able to narrow down on a niche as an expert in that field. You could set out as a consultant for individuals and businesses and get well appreciated for the work you do.
Here’s a list of some accounting-related jobs and their annual average salary:
- Accountant & auditor: $77,250
- Financial analyst: $91,580
- Personal financial adviser: $94,170
- Financial manager: $131,710
4. Career growth
According to the Us News, upward mobility for accounting professionals is high. You can move up quickly, especially in a field like public accounting.
And assuming you have your CPA, which is your Certified Public Accounting License, you can get into management positions in a few years.
Keep in mind that the promotion rate varies for every sector or industry. Accountants working in the private or industrial sector may not enjoy as much career growth as public accountants over the years.
5. It can help your personal finance
One interesting benefit of studying accounting is that it helps you gain a good understanding of managing finance. Accounting teaches you to keep a record of your cash flow and how to maintain good cash flow.
It’s easy to apply this knowledge in your life as a person. Since you understand personal finance, investment, and other important factors, you can manage your finances better.
Cons of accounting major
While accounting is a promising discipline with great career prospects, it is important to be aware of the downsides associated with it whether as a student or as an employee.
This will help you make the right decision whether to go ahead with a major in accounting or not. Here are a few of the cons of accounting:
1. Work can be really exhausting
Because accounting professionals deal with finance, they work for at least 40 hours every week. In the first four months of the year when everyone needs to get their tax done, tax accountants work for 50 to 60 hours every week.
The workload could pile up so much that it’s not feasible to take a break. Auditors who work for companies may also have a lot on their table at the start of every year.
3. You may need CPE
In order to obtain your accounting licensure, maintain it, or stay abreast in the field of accounting, you will have to complete a minimum of continuing professional education credits.
For busy professionals, it may be quite hectic adding that to their job. But it’s actually beneficial to take these exams because they keep you updated on new accounting policies, best practices, and relevant information in your industry.
3. Rough start for entry-level
Like in many careers, most entry-level accountants have to do a lot of work at that early stage of their career. Plus, they really have no control over their work schedule since they have to follow the dictates of their managers.
This could be frustrating and almost make you unhappy with your job. However, as you advance in expertise and experience, you can look out for industries that wouldn’t wear you out.
4. It involves a lot of attention to details
Accountants play a critical role in business because they help to carry out and monitor income and expenditure, and provide the management, investors, and government with qualitative financial information.
Any mistake from an accountant can cost an organization so much. As such, they have to pay close attention to details when working.
Accountants also have to go through a rigorous process of spotting mistakes and reconciling an account once there are discrepancies.
5. Work could be boring
As an accountant or auditor, you will basically perform the same daily activities over the years. Most accounting jobs revolve around calculating bogus figures and balancing accounts.
This can be really boring and tiring especially for someone who loves being creative. The job barely demands any form of creativity. Just proficiency with numbers and a solid understanding of accounting principles.
What is the future of accounting jobs?
According to the bureau of labor statistics, the growth rate for accounting-related jobs is projected to be 6% between 2021 to 2031 which is close to the average job growth rate in the US.
As of 2021, there were about 1.4 million accounting and auditing jobs, and about 136,400 job openings are projected to occur annually between 2021 and 2031 for accountants and auditors.
However, technological advancement is expected to affect the role of accountants over the years. Many routine tasks like data entry would be taken over by AI and cloud computing.
Regardless of this, the demand for accountants would not reduce as professionals would be needed for advisory roles and other accounting roles.
Is accounting hard?
Like many disciplines, an accounting major requires a high level of commitment and seriousness to complete. You will have to go through four years of intense curriculums and classes with less free time to yourself.
You must be ready to work with numbers as well as be open to learning numerous accounting principles and applications. Some of the top courses you will encounter include financial account, tax account, intermediate and advanced management account, and so on.
If you’re not a fan of numbers, then accounting will be really difficult for you. It is better that you consider humanitarian careers.
How do you know if you want to become an accountant?
If you love numbers and enjoy business, accounting can be a great career path for you.
Is a finance major the same as an accounting major?
Finance involves planning and directing financial transactions while accounting deals with keeping financial records and reporting.
Is accounting a stressful job?
Most accountants work 40 hours per week and tax accountants could work 50 to 60 per week in the first quarter of the year.
Is accounting worth it?
There is no doubt that accounting is a good major but before starting out, you need to be sure why you want to study the course. Are you doing it because of your affinity for numbers, to fulfill your dream of becoming an accountant, or simply for the money?
Once you’re able to decide your reasons, consider the pros and cons as highlighted in this article to see if you’re up for it.
You can also reach out to practicing accountants to gain more knowledge about what you should expect as an accounting major and even after graduation.
This way you can save yourself from wasting time and switching courses in college or the university. That said, you should check out the article on whether you should major in accounting or finance.
I hope this article helped. Thanks for reading.