• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Any accountants?

MarineTpartier

Haters gon' hate
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 30, 2011
Messages
5,586
Reaction score
2,420
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
So, I posted a while back that I was interested in getting a BS in Environmental Studies or Natural Resources. I love the environment and wanted to make a difference there. However, 15 years of "Marineing" has taken a toll on my body. Slowly but surely I'm realizing that if I'm as broke down as I am at 33 (partially ruptured plantar fascia, low to no cartilage in both knees, partially torn rotator cuff, etc, etc) that I can only imagine where I'll be at 38 and beyond. It's not like my injuries are going to heal either with a lack of down time. Anyway, (I'm done crying:boohoo:) I have been looking at what would be a job that is in demand, wouldn't require me to be on my feet a lot, and would be a degree that I can work towards online. Business Administration in general popped into my head. After that, I concluded that my resume of having 20 years as a Marine will give me plenty of credibility as a manager. So I started looking at an Associates in Accounting. I know I can't be a CPA with an associates and that CPA is the money maker so please don't advise me of that.
I guess my question is would my combined military experience and the degree get me something paying around 35K-50K. I'm not looking to be rolling in money. I'm not a guy driven by money. I just want to take care of my family, fulfill my financial obligations, and have a job until I'm around 55-58. Very modest goals I think. I would consider pursuing a BS in Accounting later, however, I received some advice that I think is good. "It's better to have an Associates and be pursuing a Bachelors at a job interview that to be just pursuing a Bachelors." Any advice from anyone? Whether you're an accountant or not. Thanks in advance guys.
 

TurtleDude

warrior of the wetlands
Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
281,619
Reaction score
100,383
Location
Ohio
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Talk to Luther. I think he's the only actual CPA on board.

That is probably a good idea. I am a trial attorney in a very narrow field, I don't have an accounting background-my major was political science and I also have a graduate degree in Labor issues. I know several CPAs and they do very well-better than most attorneys. Attorneys aren't doing as well these days and there is a major glut in the market. Sure the kids graduating with Honors from schools Like UVA or Cornell or Harvard are getting big bucks jobs as are the very top grads at top state schools like Illinois Indiana or Ohio State but those in the middle of their classes at state schools are really struggling.

Business Administration is fairly common and routine. Accounting, on the other hand is in far more demand from what I have been told
 

MarineTpartier

Haters gon' hate
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 30, 2011
Messages
5,586
Reaction score
2,420
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
That is probably a good idea. I am a trial attorney in a very narrow field, I don't have an accounting background-my major was political science and I also have a graduate degree in Labor issues. I know several CPAs and they do very well-better than most attorneys. Attorneys aren't doing as well these days and there is a major glut in the market. Sure the kids graduating with Honors from schools Like UVA or Cornell or Harvard are getting big bucks jobs as are the very top grads at top state schools like Illinois Indiana or Ohio State but those in the middle of their classes at state schools are really struggling.

Business Administration is fairly common and routine. Accounting, on the other hand is in far more demand from what I have been told
Thanks TD
 

GottaGo

Rock and a hard place
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
5,635
Reaction score
4,910
Location
Miles to go before I sleep
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
That is probably a good idea. I am a trial attorney in a very narrow field, I don't have an accounting background-my major was political science and I also have a graduate degree in Labor issues. I know several CPAs and they do very well-better than most attorneys. Attorneys aren't doing as well these days and there is a major glut in the market. Sure the kids graduating with Honors from schools Like UVA or Cornell or Harvard are getting big bucks jobs as are the very top grads at top state schools like Illinois Indiana or Ohio State but those in the middle of their classes at state schools are really struggling.

Business Administration is fairly common and routine. Accounting, on the other hand is in far more demand from what I have been told

I don't have a degree in accounting, but it's what I do. As long as there are businesses and taxes, CPAs and Full Charge Bookkeepers will always be in demand.

Good attorneys who know how to speak in layman's language are few and far between and worth every dime.
 

Lutherf

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Messages
46,052
Reaction score
52,049
Location
Tucson, AZ
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
So, I posted a while back that I was interested in getting a BS in Environmental Studies or Natural Resources. I love the environment and wanted to make a difference there. However, 15 years of "Marineing" has taken a toll on my body. Slowly but surely I'm realizing that if I'm as broke down as I am at 33 (partially ruptured plantar fascia, low to no cartilage in both knees, partially torn rotator cuff, etc, etc) that I can only imagine where I'll be at 38 and beyond. It's not like my injuries are going to heal either with a lack of down time. Anyway, (I'm done crying:boohoo:) I have been looking at what would be a job that is in demand, wouldn't require me to be on my feet a lot, and would be a degree that I can work towards online. Business Administration in general popped into my head. After that, I concluded that my resume of having 20 years as a Marine will give me plenty of credibility as a manager. So I started looking at an Associates in Accounting. I know I can't be a CPA with an associates and that CPA is the money maker so please don't advise me of that.
I guess my question is would my combined military experience and the degree get me something paying around 35K-50K. I'm not looking to be rolling in money. I'm not a guy driven by money. I just want to take care of my family, fulfill my financial obligations, and have a job until I'm around 55-58. Very modest goals I think. I would consider pursuing a BS in Accounting later, however, I received some advice that I think is good. "It's better to have an Associates and be pursuing a Bachelors at a job interview that to be just pursuing a Bachelors." Any advice from anyone? Whether you're an accountant or not. Thanks in advance guys.

An Associates in accounting isn't worth a whole lot on its own. It will get you entry level work at most. That being said, the accounting field covers a lot of ground and not everything required a Masters.

Basically what you'll find in the accounting realm is:

1. Large firms that handle publicly owned corporations. You will probably need a Masters to get a foot in the door and then you'll be doing work that a 4th grader is capable of but getting paid pretty well for it.

2. Large local firms that handle medium to large private businesses. In such a firm you'll probably get to do more stuff and learn a lot more but they'll want more than an associates. You might be able to get in a place like that and work up.

3. Small tax and accounting firms. This would be a "jack of all trades" kind of thing and you'd have the opportunity to learn a lot but it won't pay what you're looking for. The up side is that it's a great way to get into private practice.

4. Go to work for a private company in their accounting department. This may be the easiest way to get in anywhere with an associates but you'll probably be doing more collections than anything else.


Of those options the area where you're most likely to make a good living is in private practice. Get the accounting basics down, learn how to put together a good quality financial statement for small businesses, Learn how to check and know that the statements clients give you are worth a damn and then start doing tax returns. You can become an Enrolled Agent even without any degree but there is a test involved. If you do good work, get along well with people, understand that you have a serious responsibility to your clients, etc. you can make a very nice living even without the CPA.
 

MarineTpartier

Haters gon' hate
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 30, 2011
Messages
5,586
Reaction score
2,420
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
An Associates in accounting isn't worth a whole lot on its own. It will get you entry level work at most. That being said, the accounting field covers a lot of ground and not everything required a Masters.

Basically what you'll find in the accounting realm is:

1. Large firms that handle publicly owned corporations. You will probably need a Masters to get a foot in the door and then you'll be doing work that a 4th grader is capable of but getting paid pretty well for it.

2. Large local firms that handle medium to large private businesses. In such a firm you'll probably get to do more stuff and learn a lot more but they'll want more than an associates. You might be able to get in a place like that and work up.

3. Small tax and accounting firms. This would be a "jack of all trades" kind of thing and you'd have the opportunity to learn a lot but it won't pay what you're looking for. The up side is that it's a great way to get into private practice.

4. Go to work for a private company in their accounting department. This may be the easiest way to get in anywhere with an associates but you'll probably be doing more collections than anything else.


Of those options the area where you're most likely to make a good living is in private practice. Get the accounting basics down, learn how to put together a good quality financial statement for small businesses, Learn how to check and know that the statements clients give you are worth a damn and then start doing tax returns. You can become an Enrolled Agent even without any degree but there is a test involved. If you do good work, get along well with people, understand that you have a serious responsibility to your clients, etc. you can make a very nice living even without the CPA.
Thanks for your reply Luther. I appreciate it.
So, if I were applying for a job that would be equivalent of something like an officer manager at a small business, would my experience plus the associates carry more weight than a bachelors? By officer manager I'm talking at most 5-10 employees. Nothing huge.
Like I said in my post, I'm just looking to start out around 35K-40K and hopefully move up to 50K at some point.
 

Lutherf

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Messages
46,052
Reaction score
52,049
Location
Tucson, AZ
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Thanks for your reply Luther. I appreciate it.
So, if I were applying for a job that would be equivalent of something like an officer manager at a small business, would my experience plus the associates carry more weight than a bachelors? By officer manager I'm talking at most 5-10 employees. Nothing huge.
Like I said in my post, I'm just looking to start out around 35K-40K and hopefully move up to 50K at some point.

I can't really answer that. What you'd make depends a whole lot on what part of the country you're working in. For example, an "office manager" in Tucson is going to pretty much be a secretary making $12-15/hr. Getting a supervisory position is going to depend a LOT more on your experience than a degree.
 

MarineTpartier

Haters gon' hate
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 30, 2011
Messages
5,586
Reaction score
2,420
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I can't really answer that. What you'd make depends a whole lot on what part of the country you're working in. For example, an "office manager" in Tucson is going to pretty much be a secretary making $12-15/hr. Getting a supervisory position is going to depend a LOT more on your experience than a degree.
I will live in upstate South Carolina. I would think 20 years as a Marine is good managerial experience correct? That's why I'm going after a degree that gives me a skill to go with my experience. I can't really get a job based solely off of my experience leading people I don't think. I have to have some sort of skill to go with it. Sorry to keep going back and forth with this. I'm just trying to make sure I don't waste my time on a useless degree.
 

MarineTpartier

Haters gon' hate
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 30, 2011
Messages
5,586
Reaction score
2,420
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I don't have a degree in accounting, but it's what I do. As long as there are businesses and taxes, CPAs and Full Charge Bookkeepers will always be in demand.

Good attorneys who know how to speak in layman's language are few and far between and worth every dime.
Oh, you're an accountant? Do you have a degree and if so what level? Also, what are some of the certifications you can get as an accountant? Besides the CPA obviously.
 

GottaGo

Rock and a hard place
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
5,635
Reaction score
4,910
Location
Miles to go before I sleep
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
I will live in upstate South Carolina. I would think 20 years as a Marine is good managerial experience correct? That's why I'm going after a degree that gives me a skill to go with my experience. I can't really get a job based solely off of my experience leading people I don't think. I have to have some sort of skill to go with it. Sorry to keep going back and forth with this. I'm just trying to make sure I don't waste my time on a useless degree.

I am an Office Manager, heavy on the accounting aspect. No degree on paper, but 30 some odd years in the field. Small office, but 100 +/- employees in the company.

Pay rates are very much affected by regions, the employer, and experience. Someone with a freshly minted degree but no practical experience won't be making as much as someone with no degree but 5 years practical experience.

Go to some of the job sites like Careerbuilders.com, Monster.com, and see what the offerings are for a similar position and what the requirements are for degrees/experience.
 

GottaGo

Rock and a hard place
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
5,635
Reaction score
4,910
Location
Miles to go before I sleep
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
Oh, you're an accountant? Do you have a degree and if so what level? Also, what are some of the certifications you can get as an accountant? Besides the CPA obviously.

No, no degree. I've taken a multitude of classes through the years, but didn't get a degree. ;)
 

sawdust

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
Messages
3,177
Reaction score
1,533
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
So, I posted a while back that I was interested in getting a BS in Environmental Studies or Natural Resources. I love the environment and wanted to make a difference there. However, 15 years of "Marineing" has taken a toll on my body. Slowly but surely I'm realizing that if I'm as broke down as I am at 33 (partially ruptured plantar fascia, low to no cartilage in both knees, partially torn rotator cuff, etc, etc) that I can only imagine where I'll be at 38 and beyond. It's not like my injuries are going to heal either with a lack of down time. Anyway, (I'm done crying:boohoo:) I have been looking at what would be a job that is in demand, wouldn't require me to be on my feet a lot, and would be a degree that I can work towards online. Business Administration in general popped into my head. After that, I concluded that my resume of having 20 years as a Marine will give me plenty of credibility as a manager. So I started looking at an Associates in Accounting. I know I can't be a CPA with an associates and that CPA is the money maker so please don't advise me of that.
I guess my question is would my combined military experience and the degree get me something paying around 35K-50K. I'm not looking to be rolling in money. I'm not a guy driven by money. I just want to take care of my family, fulfill my financial obligations, and have a job until I'm around 55-58. Very modest goals I think. I would consider pursuing a BS in Accounting later, however, I received some advice that I think is good. "It's better to have an Associates and be pursuing a Bachelors at a job interview that to be just pursuing a Bachelors." Any advice from anyone? Whether you're an accountant or not. Thanks in advance guys.

Don't get a job. Build a career around something you love. Do it with passion. Don't worry about the money, if you love it, are passionate and competent, the money will eventually take care of itself and you will lead a life filled with satisfaction. If you are passionate about accounting and find numbers interesting, that's fine. If you want to go into business, accounting will help you. If you have another passion, follow it.
 

Gipper

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2008
Messages
25,116
Reaction score
7,658
Location
Theoretical Physics Lab
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Oh, you're an accountant? Do you have a degree and if so what level? Also, what are some of the certifications you can get as an accountant? Besides the CPA obviously.

CPA - public accounting
CIA - internal auditing
CMA - managerial accounting
CFP - financial planning

You can also become a CA - chartered accountant. This is useful if you want to practice accounting overseas.

I have an MBA, concentrated in accounting. You only need that MBA to sit for...I think 4 or 5. Utah, last I checked, has the most stringent requirements to sit for the UCPA.

Four states will allow you to sit for the CPA with just a Bachelors - I know Colorado and New Hampshire are 2 of them. A little research will tell you the other 2.

Most other states require 120 hours (Bachelors) but with a certain blend of accounting classes.
 

MarineTpartier

Haters gon' hate
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 30, 2011
Messages
5,586
Reaction score
2,420
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Don't get a job. Build a career around something you love. Do it with passion. Don't worry about the money, if you love it, are passionate and competent, the money will eventually take care of itself and you will lead a life filled with satisfaction. If you are passionate about accounting and find numbers interesting, that's fine. If you want to go into business, accounting will help you. If you have another passion, follow it.
A wife and soon to be 4 kids says get a job lol. I don't have the normal situation here. The course of action I have picked is what I think will be best for my family. Plus, if you read the OP, you'll see other reasons why I picked accounting. The other big benefit is that I can use Tuition Assistance for my degree if I do it while on active duty.

-If I wait until I retire in 5 years, I will be stuck with an income of about 25K supporting 6 people. Not good. I know there are people in this country doing that right now, however, I'm not going to be one of them. Plus, I will use up my GI Bill on myself which will eliminate my ability to send my kids to school.
-If I pursue a Bachelors on active duty I will most likely not complete it by the time I retire. So I'll be some dude who retired after 20 years from the Marine Corps who's only skills are killing people and some college courses. Killing people doesn't seem to be in demand right now lol.
 

obvious Child

Equal Opportunity Hater
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
19,883
Reaction score
5,120
Location
0.0, -2.3 on the Political Compass
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Other
I can't really answer that. What you'd make depends a whole lot on what part of the country you're working in. For example, an "office manager" in Tucson is going to pretty much be a secretary making $12-15/hr. Getting a supervisory position is going to depend a LOT more on your experience than a degree.

Also, office manager isn't that descriptive, especially for smaller firms. Some office managers for smaller firms do little actual accounting (or none) where some are the accounting staff. It's really had to say with a generalization like that.
 

obvious Child

Equal Opportunity Hater
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
19,883
Reaction score
5,120
Location
0.0, -2.3 on the Political Compass
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Other
An Associates in accounting isn't worth a whole lot on its own. It will get you entry level work at most. That being said, the accounting field covers a lot of ground and not everything required a Masters.

Basically what you'll find in the accounting realm is:

1. Large firms that handle publicly owned corporations. You will probably need a Masters to get a foot in the door and then you'll be doing work that a 4th grader is capable of but getting paid pretty well for it.

Like auditing cash? Or doing 1040s that have a single W-2 and an interest statement? I don't know if a 4th grader could handle that, but that stuff is pretty simple. That said, the Big 4 don't keep you there long. I've only seen 1 tax return that simple. The rest were monsters.

3. Small tax and accounting firms. This would be a "jack of all trades" kind of thing and you'd have the opportunity to learn a lot but it won't pay what you're looking for. The up side is that it's a great way to get into private practice.

And they have actual control. Whatever the New York office says, the rest do. The partners in some ways have just about as much control as the staff do, it's gotten that bad. The Big 4 are so rigid these days and it's just a meat grinder. Fresh master's grads just ground up after a few years in time for the next batch to get ground up. The industry has to change. It can't live like it did in the 80s and 90s. Smaller firms IMO are better once you put your time in.

4. Go to work for a private company in their accounting department. This may be the easiest way to get in anywhere with an associates but you'll probably be doing more collections than anything else.

Yeah, AP/AR, simple stuff like that. I got a friend who got his BA in BA and that what he was doing for a roofing company.
 

obvious Child

Equal Opportunity Hater
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
19,883
Reaction score
5,120
Location
0.0, -2.3 on the Political Compass
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Other
I'm still studying for auditing and attestation. The other 3 I'm not too concerned about.

I don't know about you, but FAR was an uber pain.

And since I'm not an auditor, auditing was hard too.

Reg and BEC were cakewalks though for me comparatively.
 

Gipper

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2008
Messages
25,116
Reaction score
7,658
Location
Theoretical Physics Lab
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
I don't know about you, but FAR was an uber pain.

And since I'm not an auditor, auditing was hard too.

Reg and BEC were cakewalks though for me comparatively.

I could sleepwalk through BEC, and Regulation isn't too bad since I've been doing taxes for many, many years. Financial accounting doesn't look like the easiest, but it definitely looks doable. However, from the looks of it, A&A looks considerably harder than FAR.
 

obvious Child

Equal Opportunity Hater
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
19,883
Reaction score
5,120
Location
0.0, -2.3 on the Political Compass
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Other
I could sleepwalk through BEC, and Regulation isn't too bad since I've been doing taxes for many, many years. Financial accounting doesn't look like the easiest, but it definitely looks doable. However, from the looks of it, A&A looks considerably harder than FAR.

FAR might be easier now with iFRS. Which in many ways makes more logical sense then how we did it before. I took the pre-IFRS FAR.

Auditing tends to be one of the hardest for tax people.
 
Top Bottom