Risks Of An Accounting Career

Risks Of An Accounting Career

Accountants are saddled with the responsibilities of accurate processing and reporting of a company's financial information, and mistakes can incur penalties, or worse. The job usually involve long, stressful hours, and sitting at a desk all day isn't particularly good for your health. But the good news is that the attention to detail and lifestyle changes can help minimize the risks.

EDUCATION
Although bachelor's degree in accounting is  a minimum requirement for the job of an accountant. While it's possible to obtain employment without one, by combining some college work and experience, your opportunities for advancement and higher pay will be greatly limited. Even a bachelor's degree can't guarantee you a good position. Some employers will prefer to hire a master's degree holder; if you have one, your advancement opportunities will be on a rise.

PENALTIES
The suspension or revocation of CPA's license can occur as a result of criminal activity or a violation of ethics in some cases. Licenses to operate are issued by a state board of accountancy, which typically has the power to investigate complaints and discipline CPAs. This may differ from on country to another. In Nigeria, ICAN has the power to revoke the licence of its members. The Securities and Exchange Commission also have the power to ban CPAs from working for businesses registered with the SEC, but only state boards can fully revoke a license to practice.

STRESS
Some accountants are usually classified as exempt employees, so they don't qualify for pay on overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. It can also mean that they aren't compensated even if they work for long hours at the office during tax season, or closing the books at month end and the end of the fiscal year. Audit deadlines and the potential penalties as a result of inaccurate reporting can cause stress to the accountant. Because accounting departments is not revenue generating, Downsizing often occur in economic downturns, leading to overwork and doubts over the future of remaining staff.

HEALTH
Accounting isn't an active career. Majority of it is spent sitting at a desk in the office, which has effects on health. Some researchers at Loughborough University and their counterpart at University of Leicester, England found in a 2011 study that long periods of sedentary behavior led to an increased risk of developing diabetes and sometimes heart problems which can lead to health issues, including death from a cardiovascular event. They found out that sitting all day in a place might not be the primary cause of the increased risk, but the evidence is compelling enough to recommend increased movement and regular exercise for desk workers.

PAY AND OUTLOOK
While the average annual wage for accountants was $70,130 in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the bottom 10 percent earned $39,640, so it isn't always a lucrative career.

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