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Old 10-04-2012, 08:18 AM   #16
DawnM
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It so depends on who you work for. My husband tends to only work long hours from mid Jan-mid April and then sometimes he will work long hours in early October.

It will also depend on how efficient you are

We have a friend who owns his own company. I think he lives at his office. He is trying to get his company going, so I am hoping that the long hours won't be forever.

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Originally Posted by Luv2Scrap View Post
I am carefully reading each and every one of your posts; I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond!

The talk of long hours does have me concerned. I'm 40 years old... long hours does not really appeal to me! What are the chances I would be able to find a job that does NOT have long hours in this field??? (And exactly how long are we talking?) Certain parts of the year, I can understand that and that would be no problem. But long hours all the time?

Oh God, I just said I'm 40. I am NOT 40 yet!!! ONE MORE MONTH!!! LOL
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:24 AM   #17
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Have you considered a more bookkeeping / controller type job?

I do not have an accounting degree, but I am the controller of a small manufacturer, and I am being paid fairly well. I never work over 40 hours.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:34 AM   #18
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I majored in Accounting, have an MBA, and am a CPA. Your hours will depend on where you work but a year round 40 hour work week is hard to come by in this field. My first job out of college we worked the entire month of January, including weeks. During the week it was 12+ hour days, 8-10 hour days on the weekend. My last job was more bearable, but I worked weekends at least a couple times a year as well as working from 8am to past midnight a couple times a year. I was also expected to be accessible at all times - weekends, vacations, evenings and to be immediately responsive to all emails regardless of the time of day. I am now in the elusive 40 hour a week job. My CPA has not been a necessity but it has opened more doors and resulted in better pay. Let me know if you have any specific questions, I am happy to help!
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:38 AM   #19
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There are definitely 40 hour a week jobs in accounting. It depends on the kind of job you want to do. If you want to sit at a desk, at a computer and balance general ledger accounts and do bank reconciliatons-those jobs exist.

There are a broad range of jobs in the field. You can be a CFO or an accounting clerk and a range of things in between. Of course, salary will reflect those choices.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:07 AM   #20
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My dd graduated in May (5 years to complete her requirements) with honors degree's in finance and accounting. She was pursued by the main 4 big accounting firms, and took a posiition with one of them. She also just sat for her first of 4 CPA exams in which she passed. She actually just stated working this week. The comp package was pretty unreal, in addition to paying for the most expensive review program to help their new hires pass the CPA, the is a very generous bonus if all the CPA exams are passed within the first yea of employment. The starting salary was just above the $50,000 mark, and that des not include the bonus and review program they paid for.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:44 AM   #21
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I'm back. DH said he thinks they start new hires at around 50,000.

As for hours...when DH started, 25 years ago, he was told 10% overtime is expected. So, that would be 4 hours a week. He has ALWAYS been of the mind set that he wants a job higher up and more responsibly, which equals more $$. We have SEVERAL friends that started when DH did, that work closer to the 44 hours a week, some even 40. They do not make what he makes now. They are not supervisors, they work a "desk" paying royalties to well owners or things like that. DH has not done actual Accounting for a long, long time.

So yes, you can start at around $50,000 and work around 40 hours a week. But if you want to be a Supervisor or make a lot more, you will have to put in the time. At least that has been our experience with this company.

DH only works an hour, or two, extra a day now. Very rarely has to work evenings from home, but it does happen...had to present to the CFO yesterday, so Tuesday night he was still working on his presentation. He never (never say never ;-)) works weekends any more. He travels to Houston once or twice a month, but its down and back on the corporate jet. He gets home about an hour later than usual.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:51 AM   #22
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Ok, this sounds doable. I don't mind some late hours... just not very long hours all the time! And I think I wouldn't even mind if I stayed near the $50k range to get less hours. That's still $20k more than I make now!

I'm feeling hopeful again!

P.S. My application has been submitted and I'm just waiting to be officially accepted. Should take a week or so to get everything done. I'M REALLY DOING THIS!!!
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:31 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv2Scrap
I am carefully reading each and every one of your posts; I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond!

The talk of long hours does have me concerned. I'm 40 years old... long hours does not really appeal to me! What are the chances I would be able to find a job that does NOT have long hours in this field??? (And exactly how long are we talking?) Certain parts of the year, I can understand that and that would be no problem. But long hours all the time?

Oh God, I just said I'm 40. I am NOT 40 yet!!! ONE MORE MONTH!!! LOL
My husband does not work long hours on a regular basis. He works 8:30-5:30, every so often he stays late, but not usually past 6, 6:30.
Tax filing and that whole Jan-April being busy have nothing to do with him, at all, so he doesn't deal with the crazy long hours for that.
If there is something a client needs, yes he may work extra late, but its not a regular occurence at all.

I'll put it to you this way, he works full time and even with that he has time to be chief of the fire dept in a town of 25,000 people, and he coaches football every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 6-8:30. Works a part time job on Saturday mornings/afternoons when the weather is okay(pump testing fire trucks)' coaches football Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.
His job is not his life, he likes it, he works hard there, he works extra hours when needed, but he can do it and still have plenty of time for other things...and he makes plenty more than 50K(but not big big bucks either! Comfortable.)
The jobs are out there, has he worked til 1,2,3am in the past? Has he worked weekends? Yes. But that's not normal for anyplace he's worked.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JVL1018 View Post
My husband does not work long hours on a regular basis. He works 8:30-5:30, every so often he stays late, but not usually past 6, 6:30.
Tax filing and that whole Jan-April being busy have nothing to do with him, at all, so he doesn't deal with the crazy long hours for that.
If there is something a client needs, yes he may work extra late, but its not a regular occurence at all.

I'll put it to you this way, he works full time and even with that he has time to be chief of the fire dept in a town of 25,000 people, and he coaches football every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 6-8:30. Works a part time job on Saturday mornings/afternoons when the weather is okay(pump testing fire trucks)' coaches football Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.
His job is not his life, he likes it, he works hard there, he works extra hours when needed, but he can do it and still have plenty of time for other things...and he makes plenty more than 50K(but not big big bucks either! Comfortable.)
The jobs are out there, has he worked til 1,2,3am in the past? Has he worked weekends? Yes. But that's not normal for anyplace he's worked.
That sounds very do-able! Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:17 PM   #25
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I got my accounting degree in 1998. First two years at a private college, last two years at a night school. I work in a small town law office. I started part-time (young kids) doing probate work and checking tax returns. Now I'm almost full-time and have taken over office manager duties in addition to the other. I also have a handful of my own tax clients.

So, I take care of the bookwork at the office- which isn't all that complicated. Pay the bills, make deposits. The tax work would be considered accounting work as well, but a lot of what I do is not exactly accounting- estates, real estate. I do help some clients with payroll in varying degrees. Got quarterly reports this month! My point is it can be a helpful degree in a variety of jobs. I think I make good money for small town Iowa.

My brother is a CPA and he works at ADP- something to do with companies' health benefits. I have no clue what he does.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjscheel View Post
I got my accounting degree in 1998. First two years at a private college, last two years at a night school. I work in a small town law office. I started part-time (young kids) doing probate work and checking tax returns. Now I'm almost full-time and have taken over office manager duties in addition to the other. I also have a handful of my own tax clients.

So, I take care of the bookwork at the office- which isn't all that complicated. Pay the bills, make deposits. The tax work would be considered accounting work as well, but a lot of what I do is not exactly accounting- estates, real estate. I do help some clients with payroll in varying degrees. Got quarterly reports this month! My point is it can be a helpful degree in a variety of jobs. I think I make good money for small town Iowa.

My brother is a CPA and he works at ADP- something to do with companies' health benefits. I have no clue what he does.
Thank you for your input. This is exactly what I was hoping for - a degree that is flexible enough to be helpful in a variety of jobs!!!
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:51 PM   #27
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I have a BS in accounting. I never wanted to be a CPA, so I was happy stopping there. I had my first child while in college, so being a CPA and working long hours during tax season just wasn't appealing to me.

My first job was full-time for an accounting firm. I handled client day-to-day bookkeeping needs (payroll, payroll taxes, accounts payable and receivables, inventory etc) and left the tax returns to the CPAs in the firm. Sometimes they would ask for help doing simple returns during tax season, and I could do those on my schedule and they would pay a bonus per return, but I didn't pull 60-80 hours a week like some of the CPAs did. A couple of the places I would travel to their office which I enjoyed because I met new people, worked in a different environment a few times a month.

I quit the full-time stuff when I got pg with DD and just worked for one of the clients because they didn't want anyone else. I stayed there until I got pg with DS and by then the owner was willing to hire and train someone in house and then I took some time off to be home with DD and littlest DS.

Now I work part-time for a not-for-profit. I LOVE my job. I work 9-3 Monday-Thursday and have a flexible schedule so if someone is sick, I'm at home. I can do most of my job from home if I want. I do all the accounting, payroll, reporting plus some HR duties. I'm paid very well, right in line with accountants in firms, just as a part-time basis, which is my choice and all the job needs. I still do tax returns through my former firm if they ask *really* nicely

Of course I could make more money if I worked full-time and switched companies, but I'm very happy where I'm at and it's a great fit for our family. An accounting degree is very flexible as you can see from all the stories of jobs in this thread.

I laughed at your "not strong at math" comment. That's me! I was okay at math, not great, and actually fell into my accounting degree by working for a neighbor's accounting company part-time while going to school as a favor to her when her partner quit. I found that the total OCD person in me loved making everything balance, keeping things organized, doing spreadsheets etc. I changed majors then and from that point on have been very happy.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:33 AM   #28
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I have a Masters in Accounting and have been practicing public accounting for about 9 years. I have a CPA license and it is required for my job. I make very good money for where I live. I work about 60 hours a week for 2 1/2 months a year and then I work a straight 40 hour week generally. I also get about 5 weeks vacation a year. I agree with a PP who said you need to understand the theory more than being good in math. If you haven't already done so, take the intro to financial and intro to managerial accounting courses. If you get those, you can probably make it through an accounting degree. It gets more difficult, but if you understand the basics, you can do it.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:39 AM   #29
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I have my BA in accounting but no CPA. I am the controller for a manf. company. I usually work 40-45 hours per week and a few more at month end. I worked public accounting for 5 years and I would suggest that every new accountant work at least a year in public accounting before moving into industry. You get exposed to a greater variety of situations in public accounting vs private.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:57 AM   #30
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OP here, still appreciating the input! I have finished my Microeconomics class and now in Macro. Next up with be the intro Accounting classes. I am *hopeful* that I will "get it!" I really want this to work - I love the idea of the variety of options for future careers, and for being able to move out of clerical support positions and into something more lucrative.

I already have my math credits but it was so many years ago that I bombed a basic test I took online that was supposedly the kind of math I'd need for an Accounting job. So my plan is to either work with my husband on those specific types of math skills and hope that's enough (he's quite good at math, so is DS16), or else I will suck it up and take an intro to college math class again if I start to feel like I'm in over my head once I start to take the Accounting classes.

I can hardly wait to get through these Econ classes and move into the important stuff and see how I do!
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