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Summary Report for:
13-2011.01 - Accountants

Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain record of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.

Sample of reported job titles: Accountant, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Staff Accountant, Accounting Manager, Cost Accountant, General Accountant, Accounting Officer, Business Analyst, Accounting Supervisor, Financial Reporting Accountant

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Establish tables of accounts and assign entries to proper accounts.
  • 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.
  • Maintain or examine the records of government agencies.
  • 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.
  • Provide internal and external auditing services for businesses or individuals.
  • Analyze business operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations, to project future revenues and expenses or to provide advice.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Desktop computers
Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
Scanners

Technology used in this occupation:

Accounting software — ATX Total Accounting Office; Intuit QuickBooks software; Sage CPAClient Checkbook; Summit Software Summit Biofuels Accounting
Compliance software — ACCUCert software; FLS eDP PAYROLLtax; Intrax ProcedureNet; Paisley Cardmap
Enterprise resource planning ERP software — AcornSystems Corporate Performance Management; Microsoft Great Plains Solomon; Oracle PeopleSoft; Sage Platinum for Windows PFW
Financial analysis software — Brentmark Estate Planning Quickview; Cartesis Magnitude iAnalysis; MethodWare ProAudit Advisor; Paisley AutoAudit
Tax preparation software — ATX Total Tax Office; CCH ProSystem fx TAX; Orrtax Software IntelliTax Classic; Thomson GoSystem Tax

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Knowledge

Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

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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.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Abilities

Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

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Work Activities

Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Work Context

Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and special agents.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
79   Bachelor's degree
  Associate's degree
  Master's degree

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Computer Science — Accounting and Computer Science

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

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Interests

Interest code: CE

Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

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Work Values

Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

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Related Occupations

11-3111.00 Compensation and Benefits Managers
13-1141.00 Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
13-2011.02 Auditors Bright Outlook
13-2031.00 Budget Analysts
13-2041.00 Credit Analysts
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13-2052.00 Personal Financial Advisors Bright Outlook Green Occupation
13-2053.00 Insurance Underwriters
13-2099.02 Risk Management Specialists Bright Outlook Green Occupation
43-3031.00 Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks Bright Outlook

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Accountants and Auditors.
Employment data collected from Accountants and Auditors.
Industry data collected from Accountants and Auditors.

Median wages (2013) $31.29 hourly, $65,080 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 1,275,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 544,200
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Accountants and Auditors external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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