Have you thought about the value of an online Master’s degree in accounting in today’s fast-paced, disrupted business world?
By now, you’ve probably heard of the 1099 workforce. Form 1099 is what independent creators and contractors get when they’re paid by their clients, in contrast to the W-2—the age-old mainstay of the 9-to-5 job.
Technology is overcoming the 9-to-5 world. We live in a time of gig work, independently owned startups, and new or rising business models such as LLCs and S corporations. And now, everyone from Airbnb hosts to web designers need to know:
- How to pay direct income taxes rather than having employers take care of withholding.
- How to finance, or refinance, their homes with an eye to tax savings.
- How to make tax decisions surrounding retirement accounts and income.
- How they can file tax forms and keep track of their accounts electronically.
Without the government taking out deductions from wages every two weeks, solo entrepreneurs and small businesses also need to know how to calculate and send in their own (estimated) taxes every quarter. They need to know if and where they should establish certain kinds of business structures, and how best to set themselves up for success. They need advice on employment taxes and healthcare payments. You get the picture.
All of this adds up to a burgeoning interest in hiring up-to-date, professional accountants. And this is where an online accounting degree comes in.
Accounting Degrees Are in Demand in a Wide Range of Industries
Nearly every startup, entrepreneur, business, or nonprofit can benefit from a trained accountant who can offer financial advice, check the health of the business, and prepare state and federal income tax returns. So, accountants are always in demand. Regardless of changes in society or the economy, they command good pay and tend to enjoy solid career success. And the more tax laws change, the more important an accountant’s advice becomes.
While accountants are well paid, they are also carefully trained and educated. Talented accountants may be called upon not just to offer tax advice, but to give their opinions about financial decisions at companies facing challenges from their shareholders. They can explain and apply business ethics rules. They’re experts at dealing with all things financial.
Financial specialists such as tax accountants might work “in house” for the organizations that need them, or they might open their own businesses, or even work from home offices.
Remote Accounting Jobs Are Definitely a Thing
Companies that hire accountants remotely range from huge corporations to small businesses and nonprofits. There are also many flexible accounting jobs for professionals who aren’t CPAs.
Online groups match companies up with degreed accountants to manage accounts and data, bookkeeping, auditing, tax filing assistance, cryptocurrency tax advising, customer service, payroll management, and a wide range of other tasks.
Some work-from-home jobs may pay less, but offer you a way to work the hours you prefer, in your space and on your terms.
So, Just How Much Does an Accountant Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall range for an accountant’s annual earnings varies across a wide range, from about $40,000 to more than $122,840. With seniority, education, and certification comes higher earnings.
Achieving a high income depends on a variety of factors, such as education. For example, once you become a degreed tax accountant, you are on the path to become a Certified Public Accountant—a qualification which draws rates at the higher end of the pay scale.
Location matters, too, with Washington, D.C. and New York paying accountants the highest salaries, followed by New Jersey, Virginia, and California. You’ll also make a better hourly rate if you do business in a state with a great need for tax accountants.
Once you have a combination of education and real-world work experience under your belt, you can set a goal of studying for the Uniform CPA Exam and apply to be licensed by your state. But, of course, you will likely need to earn your master’s in accounting first.
What Are the Steps to Becoming a Tax Accountant?
Tax accountants stay busy year-round in tax preparation companies, government agencies, schools, private businesses, or through remote work. Here are the steps to get there.
- Earn your bachelor’s degree in accounting.
- Gain experience working in an accounting role.
- Earn your master’s degree in Accounting, which you have the option to do completely online.
- Become a CPA. This widens the scope of your employment options as a tax accountant. Plus, becoming a CPA is statistically proven to raise your yearly income. You’ll achieve the qualifications necessary to become a CPA through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. And once you pass the Uniform CPA Exam, you qualify for CPA certification.
- Apply to be licensed as a CPA in your state.
There are other career roles for accountants, too. After CPA licensing, some accountants choose these specialized career paths:
- The Certified Management Accountant.A CMA has a focus on finance. Their areas of expertise involve preparing earnings and revenue forecasts and advising businesses in strategic decision-making.
- The Chartered Financial Analyst.The CFA loves to handle risk assessments and manage investment portfolios.
Your particular talents and interests will draw you in your own direction. It’s a great idea to explore these different roles and learn which one excites you. We’re here for you as you make decisions on how to get started, and how best to navigate those forks in the road.
The Payoff: A Solid Career With Many Choices
Tax accountants today enjoy the sought-after benefits of career stability, flexibility, strong incomes, and an exciting array of possibilities.
Get started on the right path with Post University. Whether you learn online or on our beautiful Waterbury, Connecticut campus, you’ll experience the personal approach to education which our experienced faculty and staff are proud to provide.
Still have questions? We have answers! Talk to one of our dedicated admissions counselors today, at 800.582.8250.