Five Pros and Cons of a Career in Accounting

Are you confused about whether to choose a career in accounting?  Is becoming an accountant is the right job for you?  Below are five pros and five cons of an accounting career that every college student needs to know before they choose their career path:


Pros of a career in accounting:

#1—Lots of job opportunities

Almost every organization and business is in need of an accountant.  Accountants play an essential role in keeping businesses within their budgets.  So as long as there’s business, there will be accountants. The number of jobs for accountants and auditors is projected to grow 13 percent through 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

#2—A clear career path

Any accountant knows their career path since college.  If you’re looking for a clear career path with no surprises, accounting may be the perfect choice.

#3—High salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for an accountant is well over $70,000.  A person in the field of accounting usually earn more if he or she is certified or employed by a big accounting firm.  Additionally, immediately after graduation, accounting students can earn a higher salary the first year as compared to students from other majors.  Finally, women accountants do particularly well, as the accounting industry is considered one of the top 10 highest salary professions for women.

#4—Stable position

Accountants can look forward to a stable career even when the economy fluctuates.  As stated above, every business needs accountants, so most accountants don’t need to worry about economic downturns.

#5—Flexibility of choosing the boss

There’s a lot of flexibility when you choose an accounting position.  Since every company needs accountants, you could choose from any field and company in which you’re interested.


Cons of a career in accounting:

#1—Needs the CPA certification

Not all accountants are CPAs, but CPAs usually have a higher salary.  CPAs not only can earn more, but they also have the potential to advance higher in their careers than non-certified accountants.  But, if you want to pass the notoriously difficult CPA exam, you will need to study hard and sacrifice your leisure time.

#2—The Work Can be a Grind

If you are a person who enjoys routines, and rule and regulations, the customary nature of accounting can be a good thing.  However, if you are a creative person, and don’t like the same work every day, the routine nature of accounting can be a con.

#3—Overtime work

Be prepared to work overtime if you want to be an accountant.  Long hours are often cited as one of the downsides of high-paying accounting jobs.  This does not usually apply all year round, but during tax season when the workload is high, accountants usually work on evenings and during weekends.


There are two possibilities for accountants in this area: travel every week or no travel at all.  For auditors, they need to travel to every company they work at and need to go to different cities, even countries, because they have different cases.  For accountants who work within a company, it can be tedious office work.  You may sit at a desk for eight hours a day, five days a week.  You’ll need to make an extra effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle and get enough exercise after work.

#5—Higher stress

Accounting can be stressful, starting with the seemingly endless deadlines.  As a result, an accountant will find that a heavier workload will make it hard to balance competing daily work and life concerns.

As you have seen, these are some weighty pros and cons for you to consider as you evaluate a career in accounting.  As you consider this information, what will you decide?  Is accounting right for you?

Jacqueline Hill, Esq.

This post was written by .

Jacqueline Hill is a partner at Lexacount Search, where she places top senior-level and other legal talent with law firms and corporate legal departments across the United States. She has been writing about careers, lawyers, attorney professional development, and the legal industry for more than a decade. She can be reached at or 215-740-0104, extension 101.

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