PUBLIC ACCOUNTING: What is Public Accounting (+ Detailed Salary Structure)

Public Accounting
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Firms that render accounting services to other organizations are regarded as public accounting firms. Also, they are certified Public Accountants CPAs. However, public accounting is being paid good salaries and has different jobs and positions in an organization. Also, there is a difference between private and public accounting. Nevertheless, the article will discuss in detail more of these.

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Without further all do, lets get started.

What is Public Accounting

Public accounting refers to firms that offer accounting services to other firms. Public accountants render accounting expertise, auditing, and tax services to their customers. However, their clients are businesses, individuals, nonprofit organizations, and governmental organizations.

These firms vary in size from sole practitioners to big international firms that employ thousands of CPAs worldwide. However, in between are local and regional firms as well as big national and international firms.

Employees in public accounting firms are often certified public accountants or CPAs. Many accountants leave larger public accounting firms after many years of experience and become an employee at other organization. In this new position, they are known as a private accountant, corporate accountant, or internal accountant.

Additionally, the main services offered by public accounting firms are the preparation, review, and auditing of financial statements. Also, they are involved in Tax work, consulting, and advice on accounting systems, M&A, and capital raising.

People who work in public accounting jobs are CPAs and grow through the roles of staff, senior, manager, and partner.

Public Accounting Firms

Public accounting firms are firms that offer accounting expertise, such as auditing and tax services, to organizations. However, public accountants are independent third parties that assess a company’s financial reporting. Also, they do this by examining its financial statements and other documentation. However, they can work with a client on an outsourced basis.

Public accounting is not the same as private accounting. The latter involves setting up systems and recording business transactions that are aggregated into financial statements. However, the former follows the systems in place by the client.

Also, public accountants have a broader range of experience, education, and certifications than private accountants. However, they may be certified as a Certified Public Accountant. Private accountants do not need certification. However, there are certifications open such as the Certified Management Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, and Certified Fraud Examiner.

Public Accounting Skills

Here are some of the important skills public accountant should possess:

Analytical and research skills

They need high-level analytical and research skills to analyze a company’s reported and actual financial statements. However, the ability to research and analyze information across many areas is crucial to reach an accurate evaluation.

Communication skills

 Public accountants manage elements of great importance: a company’s financials. It’s vital that they communicate clearly and effectively throughout their process.

Interpersonal skills

Every public accountant works with many people in a wide range of industries. They must develop positive working relationships with clients through their interpersonal skills.

Public Accounting Salaries

A newly eligible CPA with less than a year of work experience can earn an annual salary of about $66,000. Also, the average salary for public accounting in the United States is $119,000. Those CPAs who have vast experience working in the accounting and finance areas can earn much more. Also, a person with 20 years of experience could get an average of $152,000 annually.

You should note that bonuses are not included which could be in the range of 10% of annual salaries. Additionally, public accounting can get a higher salary increase of 4% to 5% every year.

However, the salaries of CPAs depend on a host of factors. These factors could be years of experience, the industries, and the nature of work that you have handled.

Jobs in Public Accounting

As mentioned earlier, These firms offer accounting and other related services to other businesses. Some of the jobs of CPAs are auditing the financial statements of firms, the preparation of tax returns, and assisting clients in the preparation of their financial statements.

Furthermore, they could be a small organization with few employees or one that is much larger. However, the “Big Four” accounting firms are Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC. These firms have clients all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of employees work for each of them. For example, Deloitte has over 250,000 employees.

Job Titles Used in Public Accounting

These are the job titles used within a large public accounting firm:

  • Staff
  • Senior
  • Manager
  • Senior Manager
  • Principal
  • Partner
  • Office Managing Partner
  • Regional Managing Partner
  • Managing Partner


in conclusion, public accounting firm offers accounting and other related services to other businesses. Some of the jobs of CPAs are auditing the financial statements of firms, the preparation of tax returns, and assisting clients in the preparation of their financial statements.

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