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The Growing Demand for Qualified Accountants

April 27, 2019

The definition of “stable job” should feature a picture of an accountant. It’s the rare profession that weathers most economic storms. In any society that uses money, a need will exist for people to keep track of where it’s coming in and where it’s going. Accounting jobs are notably stable in growth. That’s good news for those earning a graduate degree in accounting. They position themselves as better job candidates by learning the latest accounting tools and techniques such a degree program offers.

What Is Driving Growth in the Accounting Field?

Because the profession is tied directly to managing money, accounting often reflects macro-economic and business trends. That’s apparent in the list of reasons why accountants are in high demand. They include the following.

Globalization. As more companies expand into different countries, they need accountants who can handle tax laws and business regulations in these new markets.

Expanding economy. The Internet has opened the door for more accounting work as the cost and time of starting a business is relatively small. With more people throwing their hat into the ring of business ownership comes a greater need for qualified accountants. Also, as more companies go public, accountants are needed to ensure they adhere to laws regarding publicly traded companies.

Changing role. Business leaders now turn to accountants for more data-driven reports regarding potential company financial moves, as well as advice on the best options to choose. This has happened partly because technology has freed accountants from routine accounting tasks, giving them more time to engage as business advisors.

Accounting Jobs in Massachusetts

Massachusetts currently employs more than 37,000 accountants, making the state one of the biggest employers of accountants in the U.S. That number is expected to grow 8.5% by 2026, according to Projections Central, which breaks down numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by state.

Accountants in Massachusetts also enjoy higher pay than most places in the country. The mean annual salary nationwide for accountants is $77,920. In Massachusetts, that number is $80,280. The top 25% earn more than $90,600, according to the BLS.

The Boston metropolitan area is one of the nation’s highest employers of accountants. The pay there is among the best in the state, with accountants earning a mean annual wage of $82,410

Accounting Jobs Around the Country

What do employers want from accountants? Patty Pogemiller, national director for talent and acquisition and mobility for the accounting firm Deloitte, told U.S. News that companies want accountants who have skills beyond expertise in accounting.

She said they want people with demonstrated problem-solving skills. They want analytical thinkers and those who can communicate well with clients, managers and other members of their team.

National numbers reflect the growing need for accountants. The BLS projects 10% growth in the profession by 2026. That will result in more than 1.5 million people working in the accounting field.

The areas where accountants receive the most pay, in descending order, are:

  • Finance and insurance
  • Management of companies and enterprises
  • Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services
  • Government

The BLS also noted that competition is fierce for jobs with the top accounting firms and that those who have earned a master’s degree in the field may have an advantage over other applicants. That’s something to keep in mind for accountants who are considering entering a graduate level accounting program.