Anyone interested in becoming a CPA is probably asking themselves, what is the starting salary for a CPA? This is normally the first question anyone asks about a career they have an interest in, and it is an important one. There is no one exact answer to this question as CPA’s work for a variety of private companies and government organizations. Think about it. How many companies and government agencies are responsible for maintaining financial and tax records? All of them. CPA’s also perform work that a person may not think of right away such as working as a FBI agent or as an IRS tax auditor. Knowing something about the jobs available to CPA’s, as well as the companies and agencies they work for, will help one to understand the earning potential of a new CPA.
Qualifications Determine The Starting Salary For A CPA
The first thing a person should know about having a CPA license is that it puts substantial power in determining their starting salary into their hands. The high demand for CPA’s means that opportunities are available at almost every company and government agency at every level within the company. Whether a person wants to work in the fashion, music, industrial, or tech industry it doesn’t matter; there is a need for CPA’s everywhere and the demand is only increasing. The starting salary for a CPA, unlike many other career fields, is heavily dictated by the job-seeker and their qualifications.
Size Of The Firm Determines The Starting Salary For A CPA
Many CPA’s go to work for accounting firms after college. How large a particular accounting firm is plays a role in determining the starting salary for a CPA. A CPA working for a small firm can expect to earn a starting salary between $29,000 and $45,000. A medium-sized firm usually offers starting CPA salaries between $44,000 and $65,000. Large firms typically range from $50,000 to $72,000 a year. Many CPA’s also work in corporate accounting and beginning salaries range from $34,000 to $68,000 and are also dependent upon the size of the firm. CPA’s with graduate degrees or other certifications can expect to earn higher starting salaries.
Not all CPA’s will go to work for private accounting firms. Many CPA’s will go to work for the government performing important jobs such as creating budgets, managing costs, and ensuring taxpayer dollars get collected and spent according to the law. Government employed CPA’s work in almost every government agency including the FBI and IRS. CPA’s are an invaluable asset to the government helping to solve financial crimes, collect taxes, and ensuring that the government continues to run effectively. Starting salaries for a CPA working for the government ranges from $28,000 to $35,000 per year. While this isn’t as high as a CPA working for a private firm, CPA’s working for the government have high job security and can take pride in their work knowing they are helping their country to operate efficiently.
When discussing the starting salary for a CPA and the job opportunities available to CPA’s, small businesses must get a mention. Just like their large counterparts, they too have to deal with managing their taxes and finances. CPA’s are an invaluable asset to the small business owner. However, most small businesses do not keep a CPA on payroll. Rather, they hire a CPA as needed; usually to prepare taxes. In these instances a CPA normally assess a fee that my range from a few hundred dollars to a thousand or more.
CPA’s are an important part of all businesses, government agencies, and industry. A CPA can work almost anywhere they want whether it be in professional sports, the entertainment industry, emerging tech companies, or pursuing criminals as a FBI agent. There is also high potential for salary growth and advancement as a CPA. Many senior CPA’s earn well over $100,000 a year. Upper level positions that become available to experienced CPA’s include working as chief financial officers, corporate controllers, and directors of finance. Accounting represents one of the largest growing job sectors today. The demand for CPA’s is high and will only increase. Not to mention the starting salary for a CPA fresh out of college is better than many other career fields.