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Career and Education Opportunities for Accountants in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Accountants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area. There are currently 6,260 working accountants in Arkansas; this should grow by 26% to 7,900 working accountants in the state by 2016. This is better than 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 $22 hourly or $46,620 per year on average in Arkansas. Nationally, their income is about $28 per hour or $59,430 per year. Accountants earn more than people working in the category of Accounting and Auditing generally in Arkansas and more than people in the Accounting and Auditing category nationally. Jobs in this field include: accounting bookkeeper, account administrator, and staff accountant.

The Fort Smith area is home to nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can get a degree as an accountant. Given that the most common education level for accountants is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Fort Smith 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 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.
  • Tax Examiner. Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Accountant Training

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith - Fort Smith, AR

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, 5210 Grand Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith is a medium sized university located in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,846 students and an admission rate of 62%. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated twenty-one students 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

Certified Public Accountant

Licensing agency: Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy
Address: 101 East Capitol, Suite 450, Little Rock, AR 72201

Phone: (501) 682-1520
Website: Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.