Public Accountant Salary
The average Public Accountant in the United States earns approximately $55K annually. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — about a fifth lack coverage. On the flip side, a strong majority have medical insurance and a majority receive dental plans. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Public Accountants. Women make up a slight majority of Public Accountants (50 percent) survey respondents. Male Public Accountants are just a bit more common among those who completed the questionnaire than females ones, with male workers composing 50 percent of the field. The data in this summary comes from 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.
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Pay by Experience Level for Public Accountant
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Public Accountants, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $54K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $62K. Public Accountants bring in $62K after working for 10 to 20 years. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Public Accountants with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $76K.
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Key Stats for Public Accountant
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