Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Globalization, a growing economy, and a complex tax and regulatory environment are expected to continue to lead to strong demand for accountants and auditors.
In general, employment growth of accountants and auditors is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy. As the economy grows, these workers will continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records. In addition, as more companies go public, there will be greater need for public accountants to handle the legally required financial documentation.
The continued globalization of business may lead to increased demand for accounting expertise and services related to international trade and international mergers and acquisitions.
Technological change is expected to affect the role of accountants over the next 10 years. As platforms such as cloud computing become more widespread, some routine accounting tasks may become automated. Although this will allow accountants to become more efficient, this change is not expected to reduce the overall demand for accountants. Instead, with the automation of routine tasks, such as data entry, the advisory and analytical duties of accountants will become more prominent.
Demand for accountants may lead to good prospects for entry-level positions. However, competition will be stronger for jobs with the most prestigious accounting and business firms.
Accountants and auditors who have earned professional recognition, especially as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), should have the best prospects. Job applicants who have a master’s degree in accounting or a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting also may have an advantage.
The median annual wage for accountants and auditors was $69,350 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $43,020, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $122,220.