The Pros and Cons of Public Accounting

public accounting

If you are unsure of whether to pursue a career in public accounting, this article will give you a quick overview of the requirements, education requirements, and stress of this profession. You can also get salary figures and more detailed information about the job itself. Read on to learn more about this career and its pros and cons. Listed below are some advantages and disadvantages of this profession. However, you should know that public accounting requires a high level of education, which is not always feasible.

Career options

For those who want to transition from public accounting to corporate banking, there are several paths available. Although these positions require technical skills, accountants also need strong writing and verbal persuasion skills to make persuasive arguments. The technical knowledge and background acquired during their public accounting career is highly valuable in this sector. The skills developed during this profession are also highly transferable to the banking industry. The role of corporate bankers requires an in-depth knowledge of financial statements and general market conditions.

The career path an accountant takes will depend on the type of company they work for and their background. There are many areas of public accounting, and the demands are high. Those who want to work in a large corporation may consider a career in auditing or forensic accounting. There are also many job opportunities in government, nonprofit, and industry. All of these career options will require a bachelor’s degree and some experience. If you have the skills and the interest, you can work in either public or private accounting firms or in a financial-related position with a government agency.


A certified public accountant in New York would earn $123,670 per year and take home about $3,353 per paycheck, according to the Office of Personnel Management. Assuming a bi-monthly pay period, that would be about $80,481 in take-home pay. As of 2018, the federal and state tax tables are used to estimate taxes. The study did not consider metro-specific taxes. In New York City, salaries for public accounting managers are at the 77th percentile.

Starting salaries vary by firm, with entry-level accountants at audit and management-oriented firms earning about $50,000 to $62,000 annually. However, these salaries vary widely. As you get more experience, your salary will be higher. A first-year accountant in audit-oriented firms will make from $54,250 to $60,000 a year. The top 10 percent will earn around $109,000 a year. However, the bottom 20 percent of accountants will have lower salaries.

Education requirements

To become a certified public accountant (CPA), you will usually need a four-year bachelor’s degree with a concentration in accounting, along with an additional year of full-time study. The “150-Hour Rule” requires five years of full-time study, and virtually all states require at least a bachelor’s degree before applicants can sit for the examination. A CPA’s education is crucial, but it can be obtained through a number of different ways.

A US bachelor’s degree is required to become a CPA, although a three-year bachelor’s degree can substitute for a two-year master’s degree. Some state boards also recognize courses taken at a post-secondary school as equivalent to higher education. Some CPAs attempt to transfer their exam credits to another state without fulfilling the education requirements. For these reasons, it’s important to check your state’s specific requirements.

Stress of the job

The stress of public accounting can be a constant, and it can be particularly bad for those with attention-deficit disorder. The hours of work are predictable, but the stress contributors are not. While the stress of the job is generally inevitable, it can also trickle down from the senior management. One bad day from a busy manager can make all the other managers’ days sour, and this can lead to increased stress. Unfortunately, most public accountants have bad days at some point, and the problem is only exacerbated if one or several staff members is overworked.

Job scope, job ambiguity, and excessive quantitative and qualitative workloads are some of the role-related stressors that affect the performance of public accountants. These pressures negatively affect performance and job satisfaction, which can be a factor in turnover intentions. The pressure of time constraints also creates a high level of stress in accounting professionals. But these stressors don’t necessarily have to be detrimental to performance. A recent study by Jones, Norman, and Wier found that role-related stressors are not directly related to turnover intentions, but are linked to job-related burnout.

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