Public Accountant Salary
Public Accountants in the United States take home an average $55K per year. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Slightly less than a fourth of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, a fair number report medical coverage and a majority claim dental coverage as well. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 53 percent. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Public Accountant
Public accountants work primarily for accounting companies, while some work independently, and are responsible for preparing, reviewing, and/or auditing their clients' financial statements, such as balance sheets and income statements. They also prepare income tax returns for companies or individuals and assist clients with estate and tax planning, and some public accountants provide bookkeeping services.Read More...
Public accountants who work as auditors for public companies must avoid conflicts of interest, and a variety of professionals, including investors and lenders, depend on the reports and statements generated by public accountants. These accountants may also represent clients in case of an International Revenue Service (IRS) audit and must have strong verbal and written communication skills as well as interpersonal skills to work well with clients.
Those in this position should have a bachelor's degree in accounting and have passed the CPA exam, and licenses must always be kept current as required by the state of employment. They may be required by the state to obtain ongoing professional education credits, and proficiency in Microsoft Office programs such as PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and Outlook is also necessary. Public accountants should be familiar with their employers' computer software and applications, and flexibility is also beneficial to travel to meet clients, go to IRS offices on behalf of clients, and coach and mentor new public accountants.
Public Accountant Tasks
- Analyze financial data in order to prepare financial reports.
- Generate and interpret financial records and statements for management.
- Maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
- Maintain general ledger as needed.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Job Listings
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Pay by Experience Level for Public Accountant
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Public Accountants — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. The average inexperienced worker earns $54K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $60K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $61K in this role. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $76K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.