Are you thinking of becoming an accountant? Maybe you love working with numbers and always excelled at mathematics, or maybe you’re looking for a steady, lucrative career. Many factors may have drawn you to consider being an accountant.
Like any career path, there are pros and cons to choosing the accounting profession. It’s best to be informed of both before you dedicate many years of schooling to become an accountant. Here are eight pros and cons of being an accountant.
1. Clear Career Path
If you choose to study accounting, you’ll learn the practical skills you need for your career. Once you graduate, you’ll be equipped with the expertise and knowledge that employers are seeking. Whereas the career path of someone graduating from Sociology or English is harder to define, when you graduate with a degree in accounting, it will open doors to a specific profession. If you like the predictability of this, it is one of the pros of being an accountant.
2. High Demand
Since accountants are crucial to the running of any business, they are in high demand, making career opportunities very favourable. The best part is that the demand for accountants is on the rise. This is due to the need for businesses to have more transparency, controls, and accountability in their financial reporting.
If you choose this career, you can rest assured that your skills will be highly sought after. A bonus is that being an accountant lets you work for a variety of different businesses, leaving your options wide open.
3. Salary & Advancement
You’ve probably heard that accountants make a good salary. If so, you’re correct. Accounting is one of few occupations that virtually guarantees a high income from the get-go. Even an entry-level position in accounting is high paying. As you gain more experience in the field, you can easily earn a six-figure salary.
Another pro to being an accountant is job advancement. It’s common for accountants to move up the ladder quite quickly. Once you become a senior accountant, the salary will likely be double what you earned as an entry-level accountant.
4. Job Security
Who doesn’t want job security? A definite pro to being an accountant is the job security that comes with it. Accountants are imperative to any business so once you graduate, you can bet you’re quite likely to secure a good, steady job. While there are definitely many pros to being an accountant – who doesn’t want a high salary and job security? – be cautioned that it’s a lot of work and if you don’t have a passion for it, it will be very difficult.
5. Lengthy Education
Are you ready for many years of education? That’s what you can expect when you embark on an education in accounting. You’ll need to complete a four-year Bachelor’s degree, often followed by additional schooling to gain your certification. The longer you spend in school, the longer it will take you to secure a career and start earning a salary.
Lengthy schooling is also costly. Since this career requires you to know a wide variety of skills, the schooling is often gruelling and very difficult. You must be committed to this profession before embarking on an education in accounting.
6. Job Stress
Another con of being an accountant is the inevitable on-the-job stress. Accountants have a lot of responsibility and pressure managing the company’s finances and need to have an eye for detail as this career is prone to human error. In addition, accountants face a busy season where they must deal with a jam-packed workload and long work hours – tax season.
During tax season, accountants work hard to ensure everything is in order for the tax deadline. This often includes working evenings, weekends, and skipping lunch breaks.
7. Work Hours
It doesn’t need to be tax season for accountants to work long hours. Depending on the size of the company, an accountant’s workload could mean they need to put in extra hours during the evening or on the weekends. Like the education to become an accountant, you can expect to put in a lot of hard work and long hours.
8. Tedious Work
Accounting often has a reputation for being repetitive and tedious. People in this field spend most of their time dealing with financial statements which can become tedious to some people. That’s why it’s so important to assess whether accounting fits your personality before you embark on this career path.
We hope these eight pros and cons of being an accountant will help you determine whether a career in accounting is right for you. Assess whether these pros and cons fit with your personality, and above all else, ensure you have a passion for this line of work.