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Accounting Careers in Georgia

Written by AnonymousJune 9, 2011
Georgia

Examining Accounting Careers in Georgia

Georgia is a great place to be an accountant! The state has enjoyed steady job growth in this career field for three straight years. In 2006, the state was home to just over 25,000 accountants — today, there are nearly 30,000. Employment growth isn’t the only thing Georgia has going for it. Salaries are growing too. Georgia accountants average $10,000 more per year today than they did just a few years ago.

Many Georgia accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). To become a CPA in Georgia, you must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. college or university, or an equivalent degree from a college or university in another country. In order to satisfy application requirements, your degree must be in accounting or a related field.

Although the right degree can help you earn your CPA license, top Georgia employers want more. A master of accountancy (MAcc) or an MBA with an accounting focus is the minimum requirement to land a job at the state’s most prestigious firms.

Salary Trends for Accountants in Georgia

Accountants across the U.S. averaged $67,430 in 2009. Georgia accountants averaged $69,890, making it one of the nation’s highest paying states for accountants. Salaries are expected to grow at a rapid pace too. Between 2006 and 2009, the salary increased from $59,430 to $69,890. That’s an increase of $10,460 in only three years!

Although Georgia accountants overall make more than the national average, some fare better than others do. Accountants living in the largest metropolitan areas in Georgia average between $48,510-$72,150. They are:

  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA: $72,150
  • Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC: $66,770
  • Savannah: $63,010
  • Columbus: $59,430
  • Athens-Clarke County, GA: $48,510

The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan area is home to most of Georgia’s accountants. CPAs will find the best opportunities in these cities, so consider taking the Georgia CPA licensing exam as soon as you’ve met the Georgia Board of Accountancy exam requirements.

Employment Trends for Accountants in Georgia

There were 25,430 accountants living in Georgia in 2006. In 2009, there were 29,500. Job growth here is expected to remain in step with the nation overall, which is projected at 22 percent. If you’re wondering where look for an accounting job in Georgia, search the areas below. Here are the employment figures:

  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA: 21,690
  • Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC: 1,320
  • Savannah: 950
  • Columbus: 710
  • Athens-Clarke County, GA: 410

Career Outlook

Accountants are in high demand thanks to increased public and private scrutiny of companies’ financial activities and an increase in unlawful financial pursuits by companies, crime syndicates, and individuals. CPAs can handle the task, but more and more companies and government agencies are turning to forensic accountants.

Forensic accountants are responsible for investigating white-collar crimes such as money laundering, bankruptcies, securities fraud, and embezzlement. They handle contract disputes and they are often called on to appear as expert witnesses during trials. Although the demand for all accountants is high, forensic accountants will have the most job offers, no matter where they live.

For more information about what it takes to become an accountant in Georgia, visit the Georgia Board of Accountancy at http://www.sos.ga.gov/plb/accountancy/.

Note: The statistics in this article are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).