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Career and Education Opportunities for Accountants in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

There are many career and education opportunities for accountants in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. About 11,710 people are currently employed as accountants in Iowa. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 19% to 13,900 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for accountants are expected to grow by about 21.6%. 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.

The income of an accountant is about $24 hourly or $50,720 yearly on average in Iowa. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $28 hourly or $59,430 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing, people working as accountants in Iowa earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing nationally. People working as accountants can fill a number of jobs, such as: tax expert, tax accountant, and payroll accountant.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Cedar Rapids area, including five within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as an accountant. Accountants usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Cedar Rapids 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.
  • Insurance Underwriter. Review individual applications for insurance to evaluate degree of risk involved and determine acceptance of applications.
  • 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

Coe College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Coe College, 1220 First Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-5092. Coe College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,326 students and an admission rate of 63%. Coe College has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated three students in 2008.

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has an associate's degree program in Accounting which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.

Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus, 3165 Edgewood Parkway SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404. Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus is a small university located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 594 students. Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus has an associate's degree program in Accounting which graduated ten students in 2008.

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Accounting which graduated four, twenty-eight, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Mount Mercy College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Mount Mercy College, 1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797. Mount Mercy College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,555 students and an admission rate of 80%. Mount Mercy College has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated five 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 (CPA)

Licensing agency: Iowa Accountancy Examining Board
Address: Professional Licensing & Regulation Division, Iowa Department of Commerce Ankeny, IA 50021-3941

Phone: (515) 281-4126
Website: Iowa Accountancy Examining Board Professional Licensing & Regulation Division Iowa Department of Commerce

Licensed Public Accountant (LPA)

Licensing agency: Iowa Accountancy Examining Board
Address: Professional Licensing & Regulation Division, Iowa Department of Commerce Ankeny, IA 50021-3941

Phone: (515) 281-4126
Website: Iowa Accountancy Examining Board Professional Licensing & Regulation Division Iowa Department of Commerce

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.