Accounting Certificate vs. Degree

Accounting Certificate Vs. Degree

So you wanna know whether an accounting certificate is better than a degree? Let’s take a closer look!

We remember the immortal words of one of our nation’s founders, Benjamin Franklin when he quipped that the only two certain things in life are death and taxes.

Accountants are needed for the purpose of taxation which shows how stable their job is. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for accountants are expected to grow at the rate of thirteen percent all through 2022.

The revealing statistics is a good reason why you should invest your hard earned dollars in an accounting education if you are good with numbers.

The return on investment both in the short and long term will be simply amazing. Being a six-figure earner in a decade of practice is certainly worth the sleepless nights and endless cups of coffee to burn the midnight candle.

Let us examine some accounting certifications that are worth the dollar and time for you to make a well-informed choice from.

Enjoy the ride!

Certified Public Accountant

This is arguably the most popular of all accounting certifications in the United States. It has many subsections which include forensic accounting, internal accounting, environmental accounting, tax accounting, financial planning and many more.

The average salary for a CPA is $62,054 annually. They learn how to make use of complex accounting software, bank reconciliation, budgeting, tax preparation, forensic accounting, payroll accounting, auditing, asset depreciation, tax preparation etc.

The cost of this prestigious exam is around $3000 coupled with 150 hours worth of semester education.

Certified Information Systems Auditor

These specialists combine the roles of an accountant and a software analyst. It is designed for IT auditors, audit managers, and security consultants.

The cost of the exam in 2017 was $525 for those who registered early and $575 for late registration. This only applies to ISACA members. For non ISACA members, the exam cost is $710 for early registration and $760 for standard registration.

The annual maintenance fee is $40 for members and $65 for non-members. The average starting salary is $73,279 annually.

The Bureau for Labor Statistics projects their growth rate at 11% between 2014-2024 with over 142,000 jobs added.

Certified Management Accountant

Their focus is on cost accounting. They have a thorough understanding of financial planning, decision support, analysis, control etc.

Their services power multinationals, the civil service, nonprofits, manufacturing and the services sectors.

They function as risk planners, budgeters, strategists and many more. They aid organizations make well-informed decisions as they work hand in hand with the management.

Their annual salary is $74,410 on the average. There is the prediction by the Bureau for Labor Statistics of a 14% growth rate in the period between 2014-2024 with 103,000 jobs added.

Forensic Accountant

Forensic  Accountants work in investigation and litigation. They assess criminal frauds, insurance frauds, employment frauds, securities frauds etc.

They are expected to write expert reports, aid in depositions, help put in criminal and civil investigations, fraud investigations and help to testify as witnesses.

The average pay a year is about $64,520 a year and the Bureau for Labor Statistics projects in the period 2014-2024, their growth rate is 11% and about 142,400 new jobs are expected to be added to the economy.

Accredited Business Accountant

These accountants are specialists in financial accounting, financial reporting, managerial accounting, taxation, ethics, business law, financial statements preparation etc.

The average salary is $67,190 a year. In 2014, it was discovered to have over one million people working in this sector.

According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, there is an expected growth of 9 to 13% and 140,000 new positions are being created in the period between 2014 and 2024. 498,000 fresh positions will also be open in this field as many people will retire or move on to other vacant positions.

Enrolled Agents

These guys are federally authorized tax professionals who are authorized by the treasury department to represent the interests of the taxpayers.

They prepare tax returns for people and corporations and they act as general advisors on tax matters.

The Bureau for Labor Statistics places them on a decline as there is a 6% decrease in the employment opportunities in the period between 2014 to 2024.

The average salary for agents is  about $48,850 per annum. There are around 48000 of them practicing in the United States.

Certified Fraud Examiner

Their job is to prevent, identify and expose fraud by individuals and organizations.

They combine an avalanche of skills ranging from legal to investigative, accounting and criminology. They are fraud experts and help organizations save millions of dollars annually through fraud detection and prevention.

The average salary is $63, 969 annually. The foundation of a Bachelors degree in accounting is desired to build a skill set in this area.

In 2014, there were 146,000 people working in this field. There is a projected growth of between 5% to 8% in 2024 by the Bureau for Labor Statistics.

Internal Auditor

Internal auditors are charged with the responsibility of giving an independent opinion on the finances of the organizations while keeping a beady eye to ensure that they comply with corporate governance rules.

They share their valuable knowledge with the management and influence the decision making echelon of the firm in question.

The Bureau for Labor Statistics shows that most entry-level auditors possess Bachelors Degrees. The average salary is $62,588 a year.

In 2014, there were over 1.3 million jobs in auditing throughout the nation and is expected to grow by 11% by 2024.

To become a competent internal auditor, the interested person has to grasp the fundamentals of risk, compliance, governance, internal controls, accrual accounting, International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF) and many more.

The BLS projects that there will be close to 500,000 employment openings in the period between 2014 and 2024.

Accredited Financial Examiner

Accredited Financial Examiners  help to ensure that financial services institutions operate according to the rules and regulations of the United States.

These guys work mainly in the financial services sector including non-bank financial institutions.

They review balance sheets, income and expenditure accounts, loan documents etc.

The average salary is $60, 830 with a 10% growth prediction by 2024 by the Bureau for Labor Statistics.