Accounting is a career that offers many job opportunities and advancements, and a little hard work will inevitably lead to happiness and success. Accountants have different duties depending on the size and nature of the company where they are employed. Usually accountants prepare and analyze financial reports that polish up-to-date information for government agencies, businesses, and other organizations. The data accountants provide information that influences nearly every business and government decision. This is important because a company’s financial condition is the most important thing. Accountants also have many opportunities for part-time work especially with small businesses. There are four major Accounting fields: Management, public, government, and internal auditing. Most accountants are management accountants that are usually employed by a single company to handle their financial records. A few management accountants function as internal auditors, a fast growing field. About 1/3 of all accountants are public accountants. They usually specialize in taxes, and they work for themselves or for an accounting firm. Government accountants maintain and examine the financial records of government agencies and check the record of businesses and individuals whose financial activities are connected with government agencies. Internal auditors review financial records and reports, to judge their reliability. They also review procedures and controls. They appraise the effectiveness and efficiency of operations and check to make sure their companies are competing with corporate policies and government regulations. (Encyclopedia of Careers 1-5, VGM’s Careers Encyclopedia 1-4), Church and small business Accountants need to meet some qualifications such as; being neat, accurate, articulate, honest, responsible, and able to work with limited supervision. They also need an aptitude of Mathematics, high school accounting, keyboarding, and an economics class. Training is available at business schools in addition to junior colleges, colleges and universities. The cost of education varies. For example, Southern Connecticut State University has a good accounting program that costs $4,800 a year for commuters and $9,600 a year to live on campus. Salve Regina University also has a very good accounting program that costs $24,000 a year. Most large public accounting and business firms and the federal government require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, but many employers prefer a master’s degree. (Encyclopedia of Careers 1-5, VGM’s Careers Encyclopedia 1-4) Two important things in choosing a career are opportunities and advancement. In 1997 there was around 962,000 accountants in the United States, and job opportunities will continue to increase at an average through the year 2005. You can gain experience by starting with simple jobs like a cashier or even as a stock person. Another consideration could be working as a treasurer for a student organization requiring financial planning and money management can also help you gain experience. Advancement is one of the first things people look at when searching for a job/career. Accountants may advance to such jobs as chief plant accountant, chief cost accountant, budget director or manager of internal auditing. Highly talented accountants achieve corporate positions such as controller, treasurer, corporate presidents, financial vice presidents or presidents. Income is important to most people, because we all like a job that can provide for our families and ourselves. Junior accountants and auditors start at about $25,000 and earn an average of $35,000. The starting salaries for accountants with a bachelor’s degree average $29,400 a year. Public and private accountants receive similar increases, and the larger the corporation or firm, the higher the salaries will be. In public accounting the low mid-level salaries range from $28,200 to $32,000, and upper mid-level salaries range from $30,000 to $75,000. The lower end of these salaries are in smaller towns, while the higher end are from larger cities with higher rates. Managers earn around $40,000 to $80,000 per year, and controllers bring in around $85,000. Top salaries are made by CFO’s. CFO’s bring in salaries that can exceed $142,900, which can allow most people to live comfortably. Benefits rise with experience, and position. Accountants in larger firms and corporations usually receive more benefits than accountants in smaller firms (Encyclopedia of Careers Vocational guidance p.6). In conclusion accounting is a career that offers a lot of job opportunities, advancement, and with a little hard work an income that will lead me to happiness, success and hopefully a great family (Encyclopedia of Careers and VGM’s Careers Encyclopedia).