Union-Tribune: Report: Auditors and Accountants Are in Demand

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Union-Tribune: Report: Auditors and Accountants Are in Demand   ______________________

San Diego Union-Tribune: Report: Auditors and Accountants Are in Demand

By Jennifer Davies

A recovering economy might not lift all boats but it is boosting the demand for accountants and auditors. The reason is simple: As more companies start up and already established businesses grow, there is a greater need for people who can, as they say, follow the money.

In fact, UC San Diego Extension’s recent “Emerging Careers for 2016” report, which detailed the hottest jobs with the highest growth potential for college grads, found that accountants and auditors were the 10th most in-demand job category in San Diego and the third most in-demand nationally.

Not surprisingly, an affinity for math and an obsession with reading the fine print will help you succeed in these careers. While accountants and auditors might not be considered the sexiest jobs, almost everyone — from the chief executive of a Fortune 500 company to a single person filing a tax return — needs their services.

Accountants and auditors monitor a business’s balance sheet; help clients prepare financial documents and file tax returns; offer guidance on how to comply with various financial regulations; and provide assistance on a variety of other things. To provide this type of service, accountants and auditors need to be experts in their fields and have a detailed understanding of complex laws related to taxes and finance. Generally, they need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field and many universities offer specialized programs.

But accountants and auditors are no longer merely numbers people.

Josh Maxwell, partner at Hone Maxwell LLP, said that like all fields, computer and information technology know-how is increasingly important as is an understanding of international financial rules.

“One big growth area is that of an IT auditor, which is where you are auditing the systems and processes to ensure results. With automated systems, you have to make sure the outputs can be trusted. It is a unique area where you need both IT skills and auditing skills,” he said. “Another area of growth is international tax, where new laws are causing problems for small- and medium-sized businesses.”

The projected job growth on a national level for accountants and auditors in these fields is almost 11 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is higher than most other careers.

The wages for these accountants and auditors are competitive as the median annual salary on a national level is $63,550 and the top 10 percent making as much as $111,510.

To find out more about the demand for sales representatives and to view the full Emerging Careers report, visit extension.ucsd.edu/about/images/emergingCareers2016.pdf.

Jennifer Davies is the assistant dean of external affairs for UC San Diego Extension. She can be reached at jadavies@ucsd.edu.

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