The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
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.
Sample of reported job titles:
Accountant, Accounting Officer, Audit Partner, Auditor, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Cost Accountant, Financial Auditor, General Accountant, Internal Auditor, Revenue Tax Specialist
Prepare detailed reports on audit findings.
Report to management about asset utilization and audit results, and recommend changes in operations and financial activities.
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 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.
Analyze business operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations to project future revenues and expenses or to provide advice.
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.
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.
Develop, maintain, or analyze budgets, preparing periodic reports that compare budgeted costs to actual costs.
Prepare, analyze, or verify annual reports, financial statements, and other records, using accepted accounting and statistical procedures to assess financial condition and facilitate financial planning.
Process invoices for payment.
Review data about material assets, net worth, liabilities, capital stock, surplus, income, or expenditures.
Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Detailed Work Activities
Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
Advise others on financial matters.
Report information to managers or other personnel.
Advise others on business or operational matters.
Examine financial records.
Collect evidence for legal proceedings.
Investigate legal issues.
Oversee business processes.
Examine financial records or processes.
Discuss business strategies, practices, or policies with managers.
Analyze business or financial data.
Prepare financial documents.
Verify accuracy of records.
Verify accuracy of financial information.
Analyze financial information.
Conduct financial or regulatory audits.
Calculate tax information.
Advise others on human resources topics.
Represent the interests of clients in legal proceedings.
Develop business or financial information systems.
Assess financial status of clients.
Coordinate regulatory documentation activities.
Evaluate effectiveness of personnel policies or practices.
Analyze budgetary or accounting data.
Pay charges, fees, or taxes.
Prepare operational budgets.
Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?
Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
Letters and Memos — How often does the job require written letters and memos?
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — How responsible is the worker for work outcomes and results of other workers?
Coordinate or Lead Others — How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?
Level of Competition — To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
Degree of Automation — How automated is the job?
- Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
- Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.
- Related Experience
- A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
- Job Training
- Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
- Job Zone Examples
- Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
- SVP Range
- 2-4 years of preparation (7.0 to < 8.0)
Training & Credentials
- State training
- Local training
- State licenses
- Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov
to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Wages & Employment Trends
- Median wages (2020)
- $35.37 hourly, $73,560 annual
- State wages
- Local wages
- Employment (2020)
- 1,392,200 employees
- Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
- Projected job openings (2020-2030)
- State trends
- Top industries (2020)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data
and 2020-2030 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
- State job openings
- Local job openings