Accounting Analyst Jobs and Education Information

Oct 20, 2021

Accounting analysts interpret financial data and perform audits of accounting systems for businesses and individuals. Some other careers an accounting analyst might hold include budget analyst or fund accounting analyst. These professionals typically hold bachelor's degrees and a CPA certification.

Essential Information

Accounting analyst jobs require the knowledge and use of generally accepted accounting principles to review and interpret financial data. Education requirements for accounting analyst positions usually include the minimum of a bachelor's degree, and some employers may require applicants to be licensed or certified, depending on job duties. One common option is a bachelor's degree program in accounting, which teaches students about financial monitoring for public organizations, government entities, and individuals. Students can also learn about tax reporting and preparation, auditing protocols, budget reports, and other financial data records. Some degree programs prepare students for industry certification, such as becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Career Titles Accounting Analyst Budget Analyst Fund Accounting Analyst
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements CPA certification may be needed N/A CPA certification may be needed
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) 4% for all accountants and auditors* 3%* 5% for all financial analysts*
Average Salary (2020) $81,660 for all accountants and auditors* $82,690* $96,630 for all financial analysts*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Accounting analyst jobs require one to monitor, review and interpret financial data using accounting principles. Jobs such as accounting analyst, fund accounting analyst, and budget analyst fit into this category.

Accounting Analyst

Accounting analysts, also referred to as accountants, evaluate financial information, research accounting discrepancies, produce revenue and expense reports, and implement accounting control procedures. By performing regular audits of the accounting system, accounting analysts ensure accurate statements of income and cash flow, which are required by the U. S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). Additional responsibilities may include distributing payroll and data entry.

Accounting analysts must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or a similar field. A master's degree in accounting or a master's degree in business administration with an accounting specialization are commonly required for employment. In some cases accounting analysts are required to be CPAs. This designation is awarded after completing the CPA exams given by individual state boards of accountancy.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts establish a framework for projecting future monetary necessities and expenditures, while looking for ways to increase efficiency and revenue. A budget analyst often reviews financial proposals or program performance, judging it for accuracy, and compliance with procedures. Many budget analysts are hired by federal, state, and local governments, as well as businesses.

A bachelor's degree is required for a budget analyst. A graduate degree may open more job opportunities, though. This occupation requires advanced analytical and mathematical proficiency, thus accounting and statistics courses are recommended.

Fund Accounting Analyst

Fund accounting analysts review funds' financial data, such as income, expenditures, and shareholder purchases and sales, and determines the value of the fund on a daily basis. Funds include mutual funds and private equity funds. A fund accounting analyst also prepares and files regular SEC and shareholder reports.

A bachelor's degree is required for a fund accounting analyst. Job candidates will require knowledge of fund accounting principles and strong analytic abilities. In addition, since these professionals submit files and reports directly to the SEC, they will need to complete the CPA process.

Job Outlook and Salary Statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for accountant and auditor positions, including accounting analysts, was projected to grow by 4% during the 2019-2029 decade. Predictions for that same decade imply that budget analysts would experience a 3% rate of growth and financial analysts, such as fund accounting analysts, would experience a 5% growth rate. Salary statistics gathered by the BLS in 2020 showed that the average annual salary for accountants was $81,660. Also in 2020, the BLS reported that budget analysts earned an average annual salary of $82,690, and financial analysts earned $96,630.

Accounting analysts must have strong mathematics and business economics skills. They must also posses great communication and organization skills.

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