Aubrey McClendon, an American businessman and the chief of American Energy Partners once indicated, “I just wanted to be a businessman, and to me, the best way to understand business was to be an accountant” (McClendon). The accountant is a job that I would want to be in the future. For some of the people, their first impression of an accountant might be a job that only keeps cash flow. Instead, an accountant is a job that can best understand business and have more abilities than people thought. To be a successful accountant, people must know the job qualifications, the pros and cons, career satisfaction, and the contribution to society.
One vital step to becoming an accountant as a dream job is to know the job qualifications. For any career, regardless of whether you are interested in the field, the first step is to know the requirements and is you are capable of this job. There are two primary requirements for anyone who wants to be an accountant. The first requirement is honesty and loyalty. The word honest seems easy, but being honest might be hard. There is a quote found on google scholar that provide statistics about cheating in college. The article Do Accounting Students Cheat? A Study Examining Undergraduate Accounting Students’ Honesty And Perceptions Of Dishonest Behavior showed the results that “the results support the first hypothesis which predicted that accounting students (54% said they have cheated in college) are as likely to engage in dishonest behavior as other business majors (52% report cheated in college.) This result may prove a little disheartening to accounting educators since it is logical to assume students who cheat in college will be more likely to engage in dishonest behaviors in their professional careers (Turrens et al. 2001)” (Morris and Kilian 381). The nature of an accountant job requires truly honest about their work. I disagree with this point of view. Although cheating is bad behavior and should not be allowed, it does not mean that a person would not change. People made mistakes. Making mistakes make them stronger. Honesty is the best principle. As an accountant, they have to be professional and be reasonable for their own words. In order to be professional, the second job requirement is to have a license related to accounting. A CPA license is a license that anyone who wants to be an accountant would prepare for. According to the article ‘Why Are You Not a CPA?’ Taking the CPA Exam Gives an Accounting Professor New Ideas for Bridging the Gap between Practitioners, Students, and Academics, the author Tapis mentioned that “ Some professional examinations focus on a plethora of topics but lack depth. In contrast, the CPA exam focuses on a plethora of topics and is comprehensive in-depth. This requires candidates to memorize and understand a tremendous amount of material” (George). I agree that a CPA license focuses on both the plethoras of topics and depth. In my experience, I prepared a license that is similar to CPA back in Taiwan. It took me at least one year to prepare. Although I did not pass the license, the time and efforts were worth it. Passing a CPA license is something that should earn recognition for their outstanding efforts. In my opinion, one way to prove yourself to a stranger is to show your skills. Businesses and Accounting firms would be more interested in those who have a CPA license.
Another elements to know about the accountant is the pros and cons of this dream job. There are many pros for accounting related job. The most significant pros for an accountant is that they are hard to be replaced. The book Career As a Certified Public Accountant : CPA: Crunching the Numbers and Advising Businesses and Individuals on How to Manage Their Financial Affairs, the author pointed about the most significant benefit of this job “As long as other businesses exist, you will always have the opportunity to practice your trade.
Businesspeople will always require the services of a trained, professional accountant who can keep a close eye on their books, advise them, and help them to keep their business profitable” (Institute for Career Research 19). Every business needs an accountant to help their company. Although artificial intelligence replaced many jobs, the accountant is a job that is hard to be replaced. The most significant advantage of an accountant is their decision making. Decision making could be similar, but no one has the exact way to solve problems and write their financial statement. On the other hand, this job also has some cons. One of the severe disadvantages that not many people can accept is working overtime. In the book Accountants with Attitude: A Career Survey of Woman and Men in the Profession, the author pointed that “Most responders have contractual working hours between 35 and 38 hours a week, although 20 percent of men and 10 percent of women report that their contractual working hours are more than 38 hours a week” (Charles and Hayday 26). This respond showed that at least 30 percent of accountants claimed that they work more than 38 hours a week. Especially for the tax season May and June, almost every accountant will have to work overtime. The accountants in accounting firms have to help their clients to file their internal revenue taxes. As for accountants working in companies, they have to file taxes every two months. For those who can sacrifice their time with their families and friends would acclimatize working overtime. In my personal opinion, I think working overtime is not always a bad thing. This means I show respect for my work. Although it might seem lost some time with the people you care, it does not mean I will lose everything. Doing what you are interested in will keep you motivate and will not feel bored. After knowing the job requirements and the pros and cons, knowing the career satisfaction of accountant job is also essential. Job satisfaction includes wage, benefits, and more. The first thing that everyone would be curious about is the wage. As for an accountant, this job is a job that is gender equality in the workplace. All genders are equal pay and should not be worried about different wage because the wage depends on your skills. According to the statistic provided by the article How Much Can a Accountant Expert to Get Paid?, it showed that “Accountants made a median salary of $69,350 in 2017. The best-paid 25 percent made $91,770 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $54,250” (How Much Can a Accountant Expert to Get Paid?). In my point of view, I think the wage of an accountant is decent. I believe the more you contribute, the more you get. I would make up for any lack of experience with perseverance and hard work to earn what I deserve. As for job satisfaction, the book Career As a Certified Public Accountant : CPA: Crunching the Numbers and Advising Businesses and Individuals on How to Manage Their Financial Affairs indicated their research that “I find enjoyment in my job (82 percent of men and women agree or agree strongly)… I have no regrets about choosing accountancy as a career (76 per cent of women and 69 percent of men agree or agree strongly)” (Institute for Career Research 13). From all the statements of the survey, more than half of the response were positive. Job satisfaction reflects on the working condition, collogues, benefits, and more. It is essential to have positive job satisfaction in any job. As my own experience, I had a short intern that worked in a company’s accounting department. I felt satisfied with my job. It was tough when I first got in because I was lack of experience. The colleagues were helpful. I inspected and learned from them. Although the work was challenging, I enjoyed and had a positive satisfaction as well.
A successful accountant also contributes the society as well. There can be many ways to contribute the society. It can be either direct or indirect. The accounting-related job shows an indirect contribution to society. For instance, helping people to create a way to organize is one of the contributions to society. According to the article The Accountant Who Changed The World, it tells us what it the lifelike without accounting, “Before double-entry, people just kept diaries and counted their money at the end of the day. This innovation allowed merchants to see every aspect of their business in neat little rows” (Kestenbaum). This whole system started by merchants in Venice back in the 1400s. They used Arabic numerals to record and made up the double-entry bookkeeping. I believe those who created the system helped society. People still use double-entry in most business now because it is accurate and can avoid making a mistake.
Moreover, many accountants would help people to file taxes and teach people basic tax knowledge as volunteering. Although they did not help any directly, they would try their best to help those in needs. Knowing the qualifications, the advantages and disadvantages, satisfaction, and contribution are essential. People can know whether the job suits you or not after knowing all these critical elements. My dream job is to be an accountant in the future. To be honest, I never imagine that I would be interested in accounting before I started learning it. I found passion in accounting, and I set a long term goal to achieve my dream job. In the next five years, I will transfer to a university that has an accounting major, and devote time and efforts to prepare for the CPA license. Moreover, I will seize every opportunity to learn more and broaden my horizon. I believe my dream job will eventually come true.
- “How Much Can a Accountant Expect to Get Paid?” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/accountant/salary.
- Institute for Career Research. Career As a Certified Public Accountant : CPA: Crunching the Numbers and Advising Businesses and Individuals on How to Manage Their Financial Affairs. Institute for Career Research, 2006. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=147261&site=eds-live.
- Jackson, Charles, and S. Hayday. Accountants with Attitude A Career Survey of Women and Men in the Profession. Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse, 1997.
- Kestanbaum, David. The Accountant Who Changed The World. 4 October 2012. 16 July 2019.
- Morris, et al. “Do Accounting Students Cheat? A Study Examining Undergraduate Accounting Students' Honesty and Perceptions of Dishonest Behavior.” SSRN, 28 Aug. 2007, papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1010277.
- P., Gregory. “'Why Are You Not a CPA?' Taking the CPA Exam Gives an Accounting Professor New Ideas for Bridging the Gap between Practitioners, Students, and Academics.” Journal of Accountancy, American Institute of CPA's, 1 Feb. 2016, www.questia.com/read/1G1-443652509/why-are-you-not-a-cpa-taking-the-cpa-exam-gives.