9 answers

What is a regular day for an accountant and how much do they get paid?

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9 answers

Allison’s Answer

Updated

Hanna -

I'm also an auditor for a big 4, similar to Astou. We do have busier times in which the traditional 40 hour work week may increase to 55-70 hour weeks. With that said, the firm does a really great job at promoting flexibility to complement those busier times. 

If you look to industry, your schedule is likely to more closely mirror the traditional 40 hour work week, with the exception of having a couple busy days every month for when books close. 

As for a typical day in the life - I'm at a senior level and 90% of the time I spend my days on site at the client. Our team works from here and my day can consist of working in our internal system on our audit workpapers, discussions with the client, and maintaining team oversight. The atmosphere for me is very team-oriented; however, teams will range in size depending on the client. 

As you work to decide your next steps, I would first take consideration as to what you want your daily routine to look like and allow the answers within to guide you in the direction that best suites what you're looking for. 

Allison’s Answer

Updated

Hanna -

I'm also an auditor for a big 4, similar to Astou. We do have busier times in which the traditional 40 hour work week may increase to 55-70 hour weeks. With that said, the firm does a really great job at promoting flexibility to complement those busier times. 

If you look to industry, your schedule is likely to more closely mirror the traditional 40 hour work week, with the exception of having a couple busy days every month for when books close. 

As for a typical day in the life - I'm at a senior level and 90% of the time I spend my days on site at the client. Our team works from here and my day can consist of working in our internal system on our audit workpapers, discussions with the client, and maintaining team oversight. The atmosphere for me is very team-oriented; however, teams will range in size depending on the client. 

As you work to decide your next steps, I would first take consideration as to what you want your daily routine to look like and allow the answers within to guide you in the direction that best suites what you're looking for. 

Astou’s Answer

Updated

Hi Hanna,

I hope all is well! You asked a very good question. There are so many different types of accountants and their pay as well as what they do on a regular basis changes depending on the company they work for and their specific roles. Accountants can be

  • Auditors (like myself) who look at financial records and make sure they are appropriate
  • Forensic accountants who investigate cases such as financial fraud or irregularities
  • Budget analyst who help to create sustainable budgets for a company or projects
  • Tax accountants who are experts in giving tax advice and resolving tax related issues
  • Staff Accountants who can work in companies' account receivable or payable and may help in preparing financial statements

These are just few examples of the various roles that an accountant can have.

Additionally the amount of work can changes depending on the company you work for. For example, you might have a much bigger workload if you worked for a BIG4 public accounting firm than if you worked for a small private company or a Bank. As an employee of a BIG4 firm, my days can be pretty busy from January-- April and a little lighter during summer. For some of my friends who work in a Bank, their days and workload can be a bit more consistent throughout the year.

In terms of pay, the answer varies even more depending on where you live and how big your company is. In New York, the average salary is 60,000 according to Glassdoor. As mentioned earlier, the salary can also change depending on your specific role as well.

I hope this helps. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have more questions.

Astou recommends the following next steps:

  • Figure out what kind of accountant you want to be and the kind of company you want to work for
  • After completing step one, refine your research in terms of pay and workload for the type of accountant you want to be.

James’s Answer

Updated
Hi Hanna,

A regular day in public accounting can vary dramatically depending on which line of service you choose. For example, the two largest lines of service are Tax and Audit. In Tax you will work regular 9-5 hours when you're out of busy season but busy season hours can be up to 70 hours in some cases. Busy seasons are usually determined by filing deadlines so for tax a busy time is leading up to the April 15th deadline. For Audit, many clients have deadlines 45, 60 or 90 days after year end so the time from Jan-March will be very busy.

Hope this helps

Lisa E.’s Answer

Updated
I see you received a ton of "A day in the life of an Accountant" input so I wanted to add something about pay. Compensation tends to depend on a few things including the market you are looking to work in (cost of living plays a part), role/specialties, and different level of degrees earned. There may be other items that are taken into account for specific roles but to answer your question pay definitely varies.

Iman’s Answer

Updated
My normal day in accounting (auditing specifically) starts around 8:30AM -6PM. We use a lot of different internal softwares and we travel to our client sites on a regular basis. I am at the client's office 80% of the time working with the client to see how they've done their accounting.

Diana’s Answer

Updated

Glassdoor is a good space to look for salary range. It would depend on staff level. Accountants typically work longer hours especially during "busy season" Jan - March, sometimes later into the night Other times of the year it is a more normal 8-5 /6.

Keri’s Answer

Updated

There are many "regular" days for an accountant depending on the type of accounting role you will accept. I was an auditor with Deloitte for a couple years and the majority of my time was spent at client sites. I was able to serve many different companies, both large and public companies and smaller private companies. Each came with a different set of challenges, but it was rewarding to see different industries. Different seasons of the year are busier, such as the typical year end, which takes place in January - March, but the summers are generally relaxed. Working for a Big 4 accounting firm was a lot of hard work, but also a very rewarding experience that led to many great opportunities to further my career in accounting. This will mean you getting to choose a company or industry you enjoy and will also likely come with a large pay increase, in addition with a more regular schedule--you will know what time you go home everyday. Each day can be different as you could be looking at different accounts on the financial statements, the risks the are associated with those accounts, recording entries to those accounts, or analyzing movements in those accounts, and the list goes on.

Rachael’s Answer

Updated

Hi Hanna,

As an auditor of private companies, I was at the client site during the course of my audit work. The day would typically consist of working through my testing areas. Achieving this would require working with the client contact to obtain the necessary support from the people within the company in charge of these areas (i.e. payroll testing support would be provided by the payroll manager). This support would be used to complete and verify the testing necessary for the engagement team to gain comfort over this area. Compensation will certainly depend on the size of the company and level in which you are at. I would suggest researching positions at some companies you think you would be interested in. Typically a position will list its compensation or have a range of what professionals in the field make.