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Career and Education Opportunities for Accountants in Columbia, South Carolina

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for accountants in the Columbia, South Carolina area. Currently, 14,040 people work as accountants in South Carolina. This is expected to grow by 17% to 16,450 people by 2016. 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.

Income for accountants is about $24 hourly or $51,240 per year on average in South Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $28 per hour or $59,430 yearly. Incomes for accountants are better than in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing in South Carolina, and better than the overall Accounting and Auditing category nationally. Accountants work in a variety of jobs, including: finance director, industrial accountant, and controller.

There are twenty schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including six within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as an accountant. The most common level of education 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 Columbia include:

  • Assessor. Appraise real and personal property to determine its fair value. May assess taxes in accordance with prescribed schedules.
  • 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.
  • Real Estate Appraiser. Appraise real property to determine its value for purchase, sales, or loan purposes.
  • 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 South Carolina-Columbia - Columbia, SC

University of South Carolina-Columbia, , Columbia, SC 29208. University of South Carolina-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,500 students and an admission rate of 59%. University of South Carolina-Columbia has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Accounting which graduated ten and fifty-three students respectively in 2008.

Columbia College - Columbia, SC

Columbia College, 1301 Columbia College Dr, Columbia, SC 29203. Columbia College is a small college located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,405 students and an admission rate of 77%. Columbia College has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated one student in 2008.

South University - Columbia, SC

South University, 9 Science Court, Columbia, SC 29203. South University is a small university located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,099 students and an admission rate of 60%. South University has an associate's degree program in Accounting which graduated one student in 2008.

Midlands Technical College - West Columbia, SC

Midlands Technical College, 1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170-2176. Midlands Technical College is a large college located in West Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,157 students. Midlands Technical College has an associate's degree program in Accounting which graduated forty-three students in 2008.

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College - Orangeburg, SC

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College, 3250 Saint Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, SC 29118-8299. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College is a small college located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,605 students. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Accounting which graduated two and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Benedict College - Columbia, SC

Benedict College, 1600 Harden Street, Columbia, SC 29204-1086. Benedict College is a small college located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,892 students. Benedict College has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated sixteen 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

ACCOUNTANT, CERTIFIED PUBLIC

Licensing agency: S.C. State Board of Accountancy
Address: 110 Centerview Drive, Kingstree Bldg., Suite 104, P. O. Box 11329, Columbia, SC 29211

Phone: (803) 896-4492
Website: S.C. State Board of Accountancy

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.