If you are a woman and you are looking for a career where the playing field is better balanced at least and tilted only so slightly at worst, you would be well advised to look into the field of accounting, where the top money earners, called Certified Public Accountants or CPAs for short, are increasingly women. And even if a person doesn’t want to commit to the field to become a CPA, there are many excellent accounting professions out there that women currently or are increasingly fill.
Although it may be true that more than 70 percent of the New York-based American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) are men, it is also true that 57 percent of new accounting school graduates in 2002 were women, and that figure shows no sign of lessening.
Why the Trend Change?
Accounting has always been a good career path, but recently there have been a number of work/life peculiarities that have made the profession more attractive to women who wish to enter it. This article outlines those features.
It’s a Stable Career
Especially in today’s rough and tumble business climate, accounting is an exceptionally stable career. First, when was the last time you looked through the want ads in the newspaper or looked on a company’s website and didn’t see at least several accounting jobs listed? These positions might not necessarily been for CPAs, but accounting jobs are frequently plentiful. And this isn’t even considering many of the other outlets for finding accounting jobs, such as recruiters and employment agencies that find only accountants for their clients.
It Pays Well
If demand for accountants does little more, it’s to keep salaries high for everyone. CPAs often start for a minimum of $ 30,000 at a small public accounting firm and more than $350,000 for a chief financial officer at a large corporation.
Welcome to Accounting Hell
It’s a fact of life that if there were no taxes there would probably be little need for accountants. Most accounting records are kept simply because of the need for reporting tax information. As a result, the closer a firm gets to tax season the more hectic things get and the more hours accountants work. All of this culminates when tax season finally arrives and CPA virtually live at the office. Fortunately, many firms allow their accounting staffs to trade off personal time for time spent during tax season, something that most other professions have no need for. This off time is especially attractive to women with families, especially with children.
Not a Number Cruncher?
Many people are turned off to an accounting career since they don’t see themselves spending every day putting numbers in little boxes and crunching these numbers for results. Contrary to what many people believe, this is not the case for many accountants, especially those who are in the public accounting business. A CPA, as opposed to a private accountant, is employed by a firm which works for the public for hire. In this capacity a CPA does much more than just accounting and reporting functions. A CPA’s primary role is business consulting that is frequently based on the results of accounting functions.
Resources for Women CPAs
- Women in the Profession Resources – AICPA
- AWSCPA – American Women’s Society of Certified Public Accountants
- Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance
It doesn’t take much investigating to learn that there is a very bright future for anyone who wishes to enter the accounting business, and for women this is especially true.