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Accounting Technology

Accounting Technology Degree Programs

Individuals interested in learning how to use accounting software, how to work with information technology professionals in building or selecting new systems, and how to use these systems to analyze financial statements, may be interested in studying accounting technology. Programs can be found at most levels, from certificates up to doctoral degrees. Schools may offer students multiple options to earn their degree, including online, on-campus or a hybrid format. There are also part-time and full-time options available at some schools.

Students enrolled in certificate and undergraduate degree programs may learn about technical writing, accounting and spreadsheet software such as QuickBooks, Peachtree and Excel, business taxation and financial management. Graduate level courses can build upon the fundamentals of accounting technology while broaching deeper topics that may include information systems management, IT acquisitions, systems analysis and information security.

While admissions requirements may vary from school to school, many institutions ask that students applying for graduate studies have earned an undergraduate degree in either business or accounting. Please contact an admissions councilor from your school(s) of interest to check their specific requirements.

Accounting Technology Careers

There are many different career options that may be available to individuals with accounting technology degrees. Some people may work for nonprofit organizations, companies of various sizes, and perhaps even government agencies. The following table shows a few of the potential positions along with their common responsibilities, education requirements, and accounting technology certification or licenses that may be needed.

Occupation

Common Duties

Typical Education Requirements

Certification Options

State Licensure Required?

Bookkeeper

  • Post financial transactions.
  • Check reports for accurate numbers.
  • Handle payroll, purchases, invoices, and overdue accounts.

High school diploma or some postsecondary education

  • The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers offers the Certified Bookkeeper designation.
  • The National Bookkeepers association offers certifications in bookkeeping, payroll, Excel, QuickBooks and taxes.

No

Internal Auditor

  • Monitor funds for mismanagement or possible fraud.
  • Identify ways to improve the use of company money and eliminate waste.

Bachelor's Degree

  • The Institute of Internal Auditors offers four certifications: the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), the Certified in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA), the Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) and the Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA).
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Only if becoming a Certified Public Accountant

Accountants who file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission must become licensed CPAs.

Accounting Clerk

  • Work in specialized areas such as accounts payable or payroll.
  • Post transaction data into accounting software.
  • Balance billing vouchers.
  • Calculate interest owed on accounts.

High school diploma, but employers may prefer those with a college degree.

  • The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers offers the Certified Bookkeeper designation.
  • The National Bookkeepers association offers certifications in bookkeeping, payroll, Excel, QuickBooks and taxes.

No

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012

Job Outlook and Salary for Accounting Technologists

People interested in pursuing one of the above positions may want to know the potential job growth and the mean national salary. The table below contains that information.

Occupation

Mean Annual Wage

United States

(May 2012)

Projected # of New Jobs

United States

(2010-2020)

Projected Job Growth Rate

United States

(2010-2020)

Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks

$36,640

259,000

14%

(Equal to national average)

Accountants and Auditors

$71,040

190,700

16%

(Above national average)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012; Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, 2013

* Salaries and employment opportunities may vary based on experience, education, location and other factors.

Sources:

Accountants and Auditors, May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm

Accountants and Auditors, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm

Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks, May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2012

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes433031.htm

Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/bookkeeping-accounting-and-auditing-clerks.htm

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