Accountants & 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.

Job Outlook through 2024

Employment Current: 59,330
Employment Projected: 65,170
Percentage Change: 9.8%

Education/Training

  • Most accountant and auditor positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Some employers prefer to hire applicants who have a master’s degree, either in accounting or in business administration with a concentration in accounting.
  • A few universities and colleges offer specialized programs, such as a bachelor’s degree in internal auditing. In some cases, those with associate’s degrees, as well as bookkeepers and accounting clerks who meet the education and experience requirements set by their employers, get junior accounting positions and advance to accountant positions by showing their accounting skills on the job.
  • Many colleges help students gain practical experience through summer or part-time internships with public accounting or business firms.

Duties

  • Prepare, examine, or analyze accounting records, financial statements, or other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards.
  • Report to management regarding the finances of establishment.
  • Develop, implement, modify, and document recordkeeping and accounting systems, making use of current computer technology.
  • 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.
  • Develop, maintain, and analyze budgets, preparing periodic reports that compare budgeted costs to actual costs.
  • Analyze business operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations to project future revenues and expenses or to provide advice.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Average Wages in PA

Entry Level: $46,740
Average: $73,500
Experienced: $86,890