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Career and Education Opportunities for Accountants in Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for accountants. There are currently 15,710 jobs for accountants in Alabama and this is projected to grow by 18% to 18,560 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for accountants, which sees this job pool growing by about 21.6% over the next eight years. In general, accountants analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.

Income for accountants is about $24 per hour or $51,560 yearly on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $28 hourly or $59,430 per year. Incomes for accountants are better than in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing in Alabama, and better than the overall Accounting and Auditing category nationally. Jobs in this field include: corporate accountant, tax accountant, and procurement accountant.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including seven within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as an accountant. Accountants usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be an accountant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Accountant

Accountant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, accountants analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.

Accountants ready or analyze accounting records or other financial reports to gauge accuracy and conformance to reporting and procedural standards. Finally, accountants design and document recordkeeping and accounting systems, making use of current computer technology.

Every day, accountants are expected to be able to deal with basic arithmetic problems. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for accountants to report to management regarding the finances of establishment. They are often called upon to establish tables of accounts and assign entries to proper accounts. They also analyze business operations and obligations, to project future revenues and expenses or to furnish advice. They are sometimes expected to survey operations to ascertain accounting needs and to recommend, design, or maintain solutions to business and financial problems. Somewhat less frequently, accountants are also expected to compute taxes owed and ready tax returns, ensuring adherence to payment, reporting or other tax requirements.

Accountants sometimes are asked to advise management about issues such as resource utilization and the assumptions underlying budget forecasts. And finally, they sometimes have to appraise and inventory real property and equipment, recording data such as the description, value and location of property.

Like many other jobs, accountants must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Auditor. Examine and analyze accounting records to determine financial status of establishment and prepare financial reports concerning operating procedures.
  • Budget Analyst. Examine budget estimates for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with procedures and regulations. Analyze budgeting and accounting reports for the purpose of maintaining expenditure controls.
  • Cost Analyst. Prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service. May specialize according to particular service performed or type of product manufactured.
  • Credit Analyst. Analyze current credit data and financial statements of individuals or firms to determine the degree of risk involved in extending credit or lending money. Prepare reports with this credit information for use in decision-making.
  • Financial Analyst. Conduct quantitative analyses of information affecting investment programs of public or private institutions.
  • Financial Examiner. Enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions and financial and real estate transactions. May examine, verify correctness of, or establish authenticity of records.
  • Income Tax Advisor. Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses but do not have the background or responsibilities of an accredited or certified public accountant.
  • Loan Counselor. Provide guidance to prospective loan applicants who have problems qualifying for traditional loans. Guidance may include determining the best type of loan and explaining loan requirements or restrictions.
  • Loan Officer. Evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans. Advise borrowers on financial status and methods of payments. Includes mortgage loan officers and agents, collection analysts, loan servicing officers, and loan underwriters.
  • Personal Financial Planner. Advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, and financial objectives to establish investment strategies.
  • Tax Examiner. Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Accountant Training

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Accounting which graduated thirty-seven and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

Birmingham Southern College - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. Birmingham Southern College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,458 students and an admission rate of 69%. Birmingham Southern College has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

Miles College - Fairfield, AL

Miles College, 5500 Myron Massey Blvd, Fairfield, AL 35064. Miles College is a small college located in Fairfield, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,773 students. Miles College has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated six students in 2008.

Virginia College-Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

Virginia College-Birmingham, 65 Bagby Dr., Birmingham, AL 35209-3703. Virginia College-Birmingham is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,090 students and an admission rate of 64%. Virginia College-Birmingham has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Accounting which graduated five, twenty-eight, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Herzing College - Birmingham, AL

Herzing College, 280 West Valley Ave, Birmingham, AL 35209. Herzing College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 314 students and an admission rate of 82%. Herzing College has 2 areas of study related to Accountant. They are:

  • Accounting, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Accounting and Business/Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Accounting which graduated six and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Accredited Business Accountant/Accredited Business Advisor: This credential is for practitioners who specialize in the needs of small-to-mid-size businesses and in financial services to individuals and families.

For more information, see the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation website.

Accredited Tax Advisor: This credential is for practitioners who handle sophisticated tax planning issues, including ownership of closely held businesses, qualified retirement plans and complex estates.

For more information, see the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation website.

Certified Forensic Accountant: Forensic accountants are professionals who use a unique blend of education and experience to apply accounting, auditing, and investigative skills to uncover truth, form legal opinions, and assist in investigations.

For more information, see the American College of Forensic Examiners website.

Associate in Risk Management: The Insurance Institute of America's newly revised Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation program will teach your employees the practical, relevant skills they need to help manage risk at all levels of your company.

For more information, see the American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America website.

Associate in Premium Auditing: The Associate in Premium Auditing program provides a sold foundation in essential auditing, accounting, and insurance principles.

For more information, see the American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America website.

Associate in Risk Management for Public Entities: The Insurance Institute of America's newly revised Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation program will teach your employees the practical, relevant skills they need to help manage risk at all levels of your company.

For more information, see the American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America website.

Personal Financial Specialist: CPAs who specialize in personal financial planning can earn a specialist's designation, the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS).

For more information, see the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants website.

Certified Public Accountant: Certified Public Accountant candidates must pass a national exam certifiying that they are eligible to be licensed in the state(s) of their choosing.

For more information, see the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants website.

Biomedical Auditor Certification: The Certified Biomedical Auditor is a professional who understands the principles of standards, regulations, directives and guidance for auditing a biomedical system while using various tools and techniques to examine, question, evaluate and report on that system's adequacy and deficiencies.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Certified Treasury Professional Associate: We recognize the accomplishments of these full-time students who successfully completed the Corporate Treasury Management program at their college/university and passed the CTP exam to earn the Certified Treasury Professional Associate credential.

For more information, see the Association for Financial Professionals website.

Certified Fraud Examiner: The ACFE established and administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.

For more information, see the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website.

Certified Energy Auditor: The Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) certification identifies professionals as having the required knowledge and experience needed to succeed in the growing field of energy auditing.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Certification in Distressed Business Valuation: The Certification in Distressed Business Valuation (CDBV) is a unique valuation certification program designed to train and accredit professionals who value distressed assets, including distressed and/or bankrupt companies.

For more information, see the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors website.

Certified Bank Auditor: The purpose of BAI Center for Certification - Certified Bank Auditor® (CBA) Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Program is to promote professional development and to provide a means for recognizing CBAs to keep current with industry changes or furthering their own development in banking, technology, auditing, or other disciplines that contribute to a CBA?s growth and development.

For more information, see the BAI Center for Certification website.

International Certificate in Banking Risk and Regulation: The role of risk management is becoming more important as both banks and supervisors around the world increasingly recognize that sound risk management practices are vital, not only for the success of individual banks, but also for the banking system as a whole.

For more information, see the Global Association of Risk Professionals website.

Stay Sharp Program - Defeating Rogue Access Points: Security professionals who are concerned about the weaknesses of wireless networks.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Certified Internal Auditor: The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation is the only globally accepted certification for internal auditors and remains the standard by which individuals demonstrate their competency and professionalism in the internal auditing field.

For more information, see the Institute of Internal Auditors website.

Accredited Insurance Examiner: An Accredited Insurance Examiner (AIE) is awarded to insurance regulatory professionals who have been extensively trained in one of two primary fields of insurance regulation, Property and Casualty or Life and Health.

For more information, see the Insurance Regulatory Examiners Society website.

Bookkeeper NRB: Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks may apply for our examination with qualified experience or education.

For more information, see the National Center for Competency Testing website.

Certified Valuation Analyst: The primary goal of CVA certification is to provide you with information that will serve as a solid foundation for your professional valuation endeavors, whether or not you plan to pursue a designation.

For more information, see the The National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts website.

LICENSES

Accountant, Certified Public

Licensing agency: AL State Board of Public Accountancy
Address: P O Box 300375, Montgomery, AL 36130-0375

Phone: (334) 242-5700
Website: AL State Board of Public Accountancy

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.