Often referred to as the “Language of Business”, accounting has been one of the fastest growing employment fields in the nation. The profession has doubled in size each decade for the past four decades. Much of the demand for accounting services is created by the passage of new laws and regulations, additional requirements in corporate record keeping and disclosure practices, as well as changes in the tax code. Another contributing factor has been the creation of management information systems departments that offer consulting services to companies in the design and implementation of accounting information systems. Today, approximately one third of practicing accountants is employed by public accounting firms or is self-employed. A large number of accounting professionals work in the private industry, non-profit organizations, or local, state, and federal government. Salaries for those trained in the field of accounting are excellent and job security is good.
Most of the jobs in the accounting field can be grouped into a “professional level” and a “clerking level”. Professional level accountants evaluate financial data and generate financial reports necessary to ascertain assets, liabilities, budgetary constraints, revenues, and other current and prospective economic activities within organizations. Professional accountants apply their skills in auditing, taxation, management policy, information systems, computer operations, or education. The professional level typically requires a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. To become a practicing CPA, an individual must complete additional coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree and possess a certificate and a license issued by the State Board of Accountancy upon applicant’s passing of the Uniform CPA Examination. Continuing professional education is necessary to maintain one’s license. Similar certification rules apply to Certified Management Accountants and Certified Internal Auditors. Those with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting may also qualify for numerous “non-accounting” jobs in banking, marketing, finance, and management. As a matter of fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, one of the preferred educational qualifications required for an appointment as an FBI agent, is a Bachelor's degree with a major in accounting. Certain accounting positions and specializations stipulate possession of a Master’s degree.
The GCC Accounting Certificate program provides comprehensive training in accounting theories and procedures, the application of accounting information, and the analysis and reporting of financial data for business operations from an information-user, decision-making viewpoint. The program examines the functions, characteristics, organization, and challenges of business. The coursework covers various aspects and strategies of technical writing as well as computer concepts and technology of processing information. Emphasis is placed on developing relevant skills necessary to execute a variety of accounting functions. The curriculum does satisfy the major requirements for the Associate in Science degree and will enable students to qualify for clerking level accounting positions. Completion of extra elective courses will allow students to choose an area of specialization such as payroll accounting or tax preparation.
Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s degree should consult with an academic and/or transfer counselor to discuss their specific university transfer requirements.
Key Skills and Characteristics
- Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices.
- Expertise in database and spreadsheet software.
- Ability to analyze and interpret data.
- Complex problem solving, logical and critical thinking skills.
- Proficiency in administrative and clerical procedures, attention to detail.
- Numerical competency and ability to use 10-key adder and calculators.
- Computer literacy.
- Effective organizational and time-management skills.
- Enjoy teamwork, yet be able to work independently.
- Capability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
- Advanced oral and written communication skills.
- Capacity to adapt well to frequent change.
Related Career Titles
*Certified Public or Industrial or Corporate or Private Accountant *Tax Accountant or Systems or Budget Accountant *Internal Auditor *Controller *Treasurer *Chief Financial Officer *IRS Agent *Tax Examiner *Securities Investigator *Environmental Accountant
HOT AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION (Professional Level)
*Information Technology *Assurance Services *International Accounting *Environmental Accounting
*Accounts Payable or Accounts Receivable or Billing or Accounting Data Entry or Payroll Clerk *Bookkeeper *Income Tax Preparation Assistant
Please visit the GCC Career Center to research detailed occupational information and learn more about your selected career path.