Certified Public Accountant Career Guide

Certified Public Accountant Career Guide

The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics is responsible of keeping an eye at all major professions and industries in the country. The institution has forecast the prospects a stable future for those who are pursuing a career as Certified Public Accountants. The body predicts that the profession is likely to grow by approximately 16% each year by the end of the decade. This is a rate of growth that is equivalent to majority of the other industries throughout the country. There are estimates of about 190,000 jobs for accountants and auditors till the current decade reaches its closure.

Those who are interested in becoming Certified Public Accountants are definitely encouraged by the median salary prospects. In 2010, the median salary for a certified public accountant slightly nudged over $61,000 with an hourly rate of $29.66. It is essential for new entrants and students into the field of public accounting to be equipped with the appropriate resources, best connections and a list of government guidelines that can bolster their comprehension of the best practices and common protocols. We bring to you our comprehensive CPA career guide that encompasses everything ranging from accrediting bodies to twitter accounts and government agencies.

Accrediting bodies

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Accounting is always a part of the school of business within a college or a university and so it falls in the ambit of the strict accreditation standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which is also known as AACSB. Any business program that is able to gain AACSB’s recognition is considered a worthy one and so it becomes immensely important for any accounting program for both the graduate or post-graduate level.

Having said that, the accreditation granted by AACSB is gained on voluntary basis and there are still plenty of schools out there that do not have its recognition yet. Recognition by AACSB means that a business school portrays top quality peer evaluation processes and shows strong commitment to self-evaluation programs.

International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education

Hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the US hold this accreditation by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. There are a few institutions around the world that also hold this recognition. The accreditation is considered as privileged as the one offered by AACSB but it is not as common and numerous prospective employers may not be acquainted with the mandate of the body when it determines whether or not to recognize a certain school’s business and accounting program.

Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs is another voluntary program for business school accreditation. Slightly more than 500 institutions around the country have been recognized by this body. The accreditation by Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs is considered next to regional higher education accreditation programs. It emphasizes peer evaluation process and assigns tremendous significance to academic formidability and career education programs that support internships and other such initiatives.

Accounting industry journals and authentic publications

The Certified Public Accountant Journal

The accounting profession is quite a vast one which is evident from the massive number of posts and titles that are designated for graduates who are able to successfully complete a graduate level program. There are numerous journals that lay lot of emphasis on accounting, the CPA Journal focuses the latest trends and happenings in the industry as it is related to the current certified public accountants or those who are planning to become ones.

It delegates plenty of importance to regulatory changes and significant variations in international, national and state laws in the field of accounting. The journal also publishes personal stories by current certified public accountants and academic research is also published. The journal boasts both online and paper-based editions and is a must-have subscription for the existing as well as ambitious CPAs.

The Journal of Accountancy

As opposed to the CPA Journal, the Journal of Accountancy demonstrates a broad perspective to accountancy industry. It has been published for the past several decades and has excelled in providing industry information and research. It is one of the most popular publications among accountants across the country. It is the official publication of the American Institution of Certified Public Accountants and produces invaluable information in each of its editions. The Journal of Information furnishes comprehensive insight about regulatory changes, technological developments and research into different aspects of the field of accountancy.

The International Journal of Accounting

The International Journal of Accounting is geared towards promoting greater comprehension of accounting and the theories that are instigators behind the profession. It is the leading publication for accountants from all over the world. It portrays a versatile perspective on financial regulations, latest news and developments in the accounting industry and changes in international law.

Accounting, auditing and accountability Journal

The Accounting, auditing and accountability Journal takes pride in enforcing ethics, ensuring accountability and resolving conflicts and disputes that may lead to impediments in laws and financial oversight. It assigns significant importance to legal challenges, ongoing discourses about best practices and industry regulations and policies.

Specialized job boards for accounting professionals

CPAstaffing.com

As discussed above, the Bureau for Labor and Statistics believes that the market for CPAs is stable and growing strong. CPAstaffing.com is a living testimony to this research which provides a brilliant conduit between prospective employers and CPAs. It is a leading online staffing platform and brings forth job opportunities in all fifty states of the country along with a few off-shore openings. It is an ideal way for the new job applicants to a job that matches their interests, skill set and experience.

The CPA Career Center

This job portal is run by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants that aims to matching new and experienced CPAs with relevant job openings. It is billed as the only official CPA career source and provides a great platform for jobseekers to find out the updated job posts throughout the country.

AwesomeAccountants.com

It is a multipurpose web-based platform that serves both as a job portal as well as a career resource website. It is an excellent resource for connecting ambitious certified public accountants with the jobs they are looking for. The website is brimming with handy tutorials, guides and publications from authoritative journals that will help the aspiring job candidates in getting ready for the competitive environment they will be facing once they get the call for the interview and finally the job they have been dreaming of.

DirectoryCPA

There are tons of job portals available on the World Wide Web for certified public accountants who are looking for their first jobs or are planning to make a transition to a new position with a new employer. DirectoryCPA can be thought of as an accumulator which collates job postings from all the relevant fields and places them at a single platform. It provides a brilliant niche for job seekers to just hang onto a single web resource while they search for a job they have been looking for.

Government resources for the accounting industry

Government Accounting Standards Board

The Government Accounting Standards Board is the sole institute that is responsible for ensuring the implementation of best practices and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in the US. It is a regulatory body that keeps an eye at the certified public accountants, auditors and other professionals working in the accounting industry. The institution has come up with the Statements, Interpretations, Technical Bulletins and Concept Statements guide while the government employees are answerable to the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board.

Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board

The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board serves state, local and federal government departments and works in collaboration with the Government Accounting Standards Board to formulate generally accepted accounting principles for government departments and public job posts. A series of GAAP guidelines is typically published by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board that are in accordance with those forged by the Government Accounting Standards Board.

Professional Associations and Societies Dedicated to Accounting

Association of Government Accountants

The Association of Government Accountants consists of certified public accountants who are responsible for dealing with public funds or are direct government employees. It is a professional body that aims to unite public accountants at a single platform that issues its own publications, offers its members some benefits along with development of online resources to assist in better comprehension of government accounting principles and strengthening the arms of public sector accountants so that they can stay competitive.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants was set up way back in 1887 and is the oldest representative body of certified public accountants in the United States. The professional agency publishes its own journal which is known as the Journal of Accounting. As a matter of fact, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants also strives to forge its own protocols of generally accepted accounting principles. However, these endeavors to create the generally accepted accounting principles by the professional organization are considered secondary after the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley financial regulatory legislation.

American Accounting Association

It is yet another secondary professional body for the members of the accounting industry along with certified public accountants. The organization does not parallel the capacity, history and mandate of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants but strives to unite accountants at a single platform and get to know about the industry standards and latest regulatory developments.

Professional Association of Small Business Accountants

Small business accountancy is an ever-expanding stream in the larger realm of accounting industry and has been forged to unify all these professionals at a single platform. It has been engineered to give voice to small business accountants who had no representation in the past. The Professional Association of Small Business Accountants convenes web seminars and conferences against the aftermath of industry’s best practices, regulatory developments, small business considerations and ethics. If you are a certified public accountant who aims to develop a crystal clear comprehension of the small business industry, then membership of this professional body is mandatory.

Twitter accounts for accounting professionals

@AccountingToday

Twitter is a magnificent online interactive social media platform that provides brilliant opportunities to different industries to begin their daily digests. Accounting Today may be referred to as a similar daily digest to the aspiring certified public accountants. Latest news from the accounting industry such as research, regulatory developments, tax code changes and achievements by the big guns of the industry are published on this Twitter handle on daily basis. In addition, this handle also covers web based seminars, conferences, live chats and national conventions.

@AICPA_JofA

There is no official Twitter account of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But the organization was always tempted towards Twitter. The AICPA now maintains its Journal of Accountancy Twitter account that publishes informative articles and commentary on the latest happenings in the industry that would not be available to the accountants until the release of the next issue of the journal. It definitely is one of the best sources of news, research and regulatory developments for both aspiring accountants as well as those currently working as CPAs.

@AccountingWEB

This twitter account is another brilliant resource that could be used by accounting professionals as well as aspiring accountants along with the aforementioned accounts. It portrays latest news and commentary regarding the issues ailing professional accountants. It contains tons of international news on regulatory developments and research that is be conducted the world over. It also provides an option to followers to get engaged in live twitter chats and participates in web based seminars to enhance their comprehension about the industry.