New York Makes Work Pay - Developing a path to employment for New Yorkers with disabilities

Business and Financial Operations

Accountants and Auditors

Accountants and Auditors help to ensure that firms are run efficiently, that public records are kept accurately, and taxes are paid properly and on time. They analyze and communicate financial information for various entities such as companies, individual clients, and Federal, State, and local governments. Beyond carrying out the fundamental tasks of the occupation - providing information to clients by preparing, analyzing, and verifying financial documents - many accountants also offer budget analysis, financial and investment planning, information technology consulting, and limited legal services. Specific job duties vary widely among the four major fields of accounting and auditing: public accounting, management accounting, government accounting, and internal auditing:

Most accountants and auditors work in a typical office setting. Some may be able to do part of their work at home. Accountants and auditors employed by public accounting firms, government agencies, and organizations with multiple locations may travel frequently to perform audits at branches, clients' places of business, or government facilities. Almost half of all accountants and auditors worked a standard 40–hour week in 2008, but many worked longer hours, particularly if they are self-employed and have numerous clients. Tax specialists often work long hours during the tax season.

Education/Training

How to Obtain:

Possessing a bachelor's degree or master's program in accounting or a related field is necessary for entry as an accountant or auditor. Some employers prefer applicants with a master's degree in accounting (MAcc), or with a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting.

In addition, some accountants and auditors may opt to get a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential. Any accountant or auditor filing a report the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required by law to be a Certified Public Accountant. Requirement for becoming a CPA vary by state but candidates generally must:

Requirements for becoming a CPA in New York State:

The Uniform CPA Examination is required by all 50 states and the District of Columbia in order to become a CPA. The examination is difficult and less than one-half of those who take it each year pass every part on the first try. Candidates are not required to pass all four parts at once but must pass all of them within 18 months of when they passed the first part.

CPAs must complete a certain amount of continuing education before their licenses can be renewed.

More Information on Licensing and Certification:

Average Costs:

Tuition and fees for a master's degree earned at an accredited public university in an area such as business administration or accounting costs an average of $16,000* per year. Completion time is generally 2 years

Certified Public Accountant: The cost of this exam varies by state. In New York, the application fee is $125.00, and the entire exam costs $823.00 (although the cost is usually split in sections), plus the cost of any exam study aids.

Costs of continuing education vary.

* Note: This figure does not include federal, state, or university financial aid resources such as grants, fellowships, scholarships or work study. It also does not include vocational rehabilitation or other state resources available specifically to people with disabilities. The out-of-pocket expense may be significantly less.