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What is Accounting Technology?
Accounting Technology & Accounting Technician is a field of study focused on analyzing, measuring, processing, and communicating financial information of businesses, corporations, and/or government entities. Accounting technology is a compilation of business acumen and financial accounting in broad terms versus the advanced studies of a certified accountant. An accounting technician may be tasked to perform any of the following depending on the scope of the job and size of the accounting firm:
- Recording receipts and payments
- Paying and processing invoices
- Preparing reports and validating ledger balances
- Processing and completing tax returns
- Managing company expenses
- Handling accounting systems and software
- Prepare financial reports
- Planning budgets
- Working in conjunction with other accountants and cross-disciplinary teams
Degrees in Accounting Technology
At most accredited colleges and universities, a degree in accounting technology is generally an associate’s degree or certificate program. Students in either program will learn the basics of accounting that can readily be applied to a number of industries ranging from for-profit to nonprofit organizations.
Accounting technicians blend accounting principles with business acumen to prepare for a variety of careers in the field of accounting. Below we have detailed out the most common degrees for an accounting technician to help prospective students make sense of the field of study. Undergraduate options include an associate’s degree and certificate program. To learn more about either educational track, simply connect with schools on this resource page today.
Certificate Programs in Accounting Technology
Classroom based certificates or online certificates in accounting technology are popular programs found at many colleges across the country. An undergraduate certificate is designed to provide students with essential skills in accounting with a series of focused courses. Unlike degree granting programs, a certificate is typically shorter in nature and does not include general education courses. Online certificate programs offer students the ability to take courses remotely utilizing technology to learn from accredited schools in a flexible, convenient modality. Certificate programs in accounting will generally take students less than a year to complete on a full-time basis with part-time students taking longer to finish.
Associate Degrees in Accounting Technology
Online associate degrees in accounting technology are conferred as either an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) depending on the program emphasis. Associate degrees typically take 2-years to complete of full-time matriculation. Both the AAS and AA degrees blend liberal arts education with business principles to provide students with a well-rounded education. Examples of general education courses found in an associate’s degree include communications, English composition, history, philosophy, creative writing, and psychology.
The core classes will vary from school to school but will often cover a very similar set of concepts in the field of study. An example of core curriculum found in accounting programs include the following: accounting principles, federal taxation, cost accounting, financial literacy, intermediate accounting, accounting information systems, nonprofit accounting, business law, forensic accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and computer systems. At the completion of most programs, students will take a capstone course and participate in a school-approved internship. By blending real-world activities with academic knowledge, students will be better equipped to analyze and synthesize information in the business world after graduation.
Educational Requirements for Accounting Technicians
In terms of educational requirements, Accounting Technology & Accounting Technician degree holders will have typically studied the following courses while in college:
- Business Management
- Computer Management
- Customer Service Management
Skills & Abilities Required in Accounting Technology
- Reading Comprehension
- Active Listening
- Speech Clarity
- Deductive Reasoning
- Mathematical Reasoning
- Oral Expression
- Oral Comprehension
- Speech Recognition
- Written Comprehension
Online Colleges Offering Degrees in Accounting Technology & Accounting Technician
Employment Information & Specialization
For students that earn a college degree in Accounting Technology & Accounting Technician, there are several fields of specialization that one can pursue. The options range from accountant, bookkeeping, auditing, budget analysts, cost estimators, financial clerks, loan officers, and tax examiners to name a few.
Career Opportunities in Accounting Technology
Accounting technicians will learn to apply a variety of accounting principles, methodologies, standards, and theories to real world accounting activities. Education in the field will also equip students to leverage technology, analyze data, generate financial reports, and communicate findings to all relevant stakeholders. Career opportunities will span from large public companies to small private entities and all options in between. An overview of common job titles for accounting technicians include:
- Financial Analyst
- Budget Analyst
- Management Accountant
- Internal Auditor
- Credit Analyst
- Financial Accountant
- Tax Accountant
- Accounting Technician
- Internal Auditor
- Financial Clerks
Job Growth, Salary, and Related Fields
The job growth in the greater Accounting Technology & Accounting Technician domain are most closely tied to small business growth as smaller firms tend to employ bookkeepers and accounting technicians as they are less expensive than hiring a large accounting firm. The median annual income for a bookkeeper is nearly $38,000 a year while an accountant is approximately $67,000 with the range varying by industry and geographic location.