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Accounting distance learning courses and the career paths you can take

Accounting Distance Learning Courses and the Career Paths you can take

Accounting is pervasive in every field and discipline in the world. It constitutes the backbone of businesses and world economies. Those who are disciplined, proactive self-starters, committed and good with numbers can find excellent career avenues in accounting. Accountants take care of financial accounting and auditing of individuals and businesses like maintenance of books, payroll, and tax compliance and filing returns.

There are a host of programs offered by institutions to prepare students for careers in accounting. These programs are offered through campus and online modes making it convenient for working staff to balance work and study commitments. Programs span Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees. Professional certifications like Certified Public Accountant [CPA] are also available accrediting individuals on their proficiency.

The programs usually cover auditing, taxation, cost accounting, economics, law, finance, management and quantitative methods. Courses focus on data, analysis and interpretation for purposes of problem solving and decision making. Course ware discussions and activities involve financial statements, risk assessment and control, tax preparation, managing accounting information systems alongside audits and fraud detection. This field is more about the practical aspects rather than purely theory.

The accounting discipline offers tremendous career opportunities through domestic and global forums enhancing career mobility. New entrants step into entry-level positions before graduating to higher positions based on level of education, specialization and experience garnered. Certifications are crucial for career advancement. Career paths can traverse personal and public accounting, managerial accounting, cost accounting, professional accounting, auditors, accounting administrators, payroll administrators, computerized accounting specialists, forensic accountants and financial accountants, to name a few. The career that you settle in will largely depend on formal education, specialization, certification and experience. Students can also acquire additional certifications such as CPA and CMA by qualifying in respective exams.

Career outlook is strong for the accounting discipline since no business can effectively function without them. As per Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in Accounting and Computer Technicians fields is projected at 18% and 37%, faster than average of all occupations, through 2016. Salaries vary but are generally attractive. As per a salary survey conducted by National Association of Colleges in 2006, the average salary offer for Bachelor’s degree holders starting in this field was $46,718. Likewise, it was $49,277 for those holding Master’s degrees.

Accountants can potentially earn salaries between $32,320 and $88,610 as per the U.S. Department of Labor. Average salary of payroll administrators in the USA was $46,940. The levels of salary also depend on responsibilities being handled. CPAs and federal tax examiners enjoy lucrative salaries drawing median incomes of $50,770 and $52,830 respectively in 2004. Forensic accountants on the other hand drew median annual salaries of approximately $50,000 in 2004 with potential to go over $100,000. This is in fact one of the fastest growing professions. Budget analysts also experience lucrative salaries and drew median annual salaries of $56,040 in 2004.

Overall, this is an exciting and lucrative discipline offering excellent career opportunities for potential accountants in different specializations.

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