Accounting is a career that helps ensure businesses are run efficiently by keeping financial records accurate. Most jobs in the accounting field require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in business or accounting. Accountants can work in business management, for the government, in public accounting or as internal auditors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for accounting and auditing careers is strong due to stricter regulations, especially for accountants with college degrees and certifications.
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Median wage and salary compensation for accountants was £35,509 as of May 2006, with an average range of £27,638 to £46,774. Top accountants earned more than £61,132, while the bottom-earning accountants earned less than £22,405.
Average Starting Salary
The average starting salary for an accountant with a bachelor's degree in accounting was £30,366 in 2006. Salary offers can vary based on the prestige of the college attended, college performance, company industry and type of accounting position. Typically, the top students from prestigious colleges and universities command higher starting salaries than students with average or sub-par grades from smaller or regional colleges.
Junior accounting and auditing positions for the federal government had starting salaries of £18,760 for 2007, but could be as high as £23,238 for students with outstanding academic marks. In 2007, the average salary for accountants in federal government jobs was £51,125, while auditors received £54,159. Federal government wages are subject to regional differences. In 2006, accountants and auditors working for a local government had an average salary of £32,578, while those working for state governments averaged £30,680.
Accountants working in tax preparation, payroll services, bookkeeping or other public accounting roles had an average salary of £37,063 in 2006. Managerial accountants for companies averaged £36,114. Compensation typically increases as accountants are given more responsibility.
Standard benefits for accountants include medical and general health insurance, 401(k) plans, paid leave and life insurance. Additional perks may be given to top-tier accountants such as expense accounts and company-car use.
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