Ways to Make More Money in Accounting: Accounting remains one of the most consistently in-demand career fields available. As an accountant, you should never find yourself out of work. Even so, many accountants are ambitious, hoping to make as much money as possible as they develop their careers.
What are the most important steps to take to ensure you can make more money over time?
How to Make More Money in Accounting
These strategies should help you reliably increase your earning potential in accounting:
The most important thing you can do is learn to negotiate, since your negotiation skills will help you in every position and with every client you take on. Before discussing salaries or rates, you need to do your research, be prepared to ask for a high amount, and work with your employer or client to get closer to your expected salary range. The more you push, the more you’ll stand to make.
Earn more certifications.
For accountants, it’s important to get more certifications. You can start with something basic, like becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) after passing the CPA exam. From there, you may consider becoming a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) or specializing in other areas. Every line you add to your resume will help you earn more.
Get more experience.
It should come as no surprise to learn that accountants with more experience tend to make more money. This is something that comes with time, so don’t be in a rush. However, you can get more diverse experience to add to your resume by taking on a variety of different jobs with different employers.
Move to a different area.
Your finances will look different in different areas of the country. You could move to a big city where people make much higher salaries. Or you could move to a low cost of living area where you can save money and make your salary stretch further.
Work with higher-profile clients.
You can also make more money by holding out for higher-profile clients. If you’re working for an employer, you can transition to a position or a different company that serves more lucrative clients. If you’re working for yourself, you can look for higher-paying clients on your own.
Ask for raises.
If you’re working for someone, make sure to ask for raises on a regular basis. At minimum, you should be getting periodic cost of living raises. If you add more certifications to your resume or if you make a leap forward in terms of experience, you should ask for a merit-based raise as well.
Take on more responsibilities.
Employers tend to pay employees based on the value they provide to the organization. You can justify a higher salary (and increase your likelihood of having your raise requests granted) by taking on more responsibilities.
Don’t be afraid to leave.
Occasionally, you’ll find yourself reaching your maximum potential with a given employer. If you feel stuck, or if you’re not getting the raises you deserve, you need to be prepared to leave and work for someone else.
Start a practice of your own.
While working for an employer, your salary will always be limited by how much they’re willing to pay you. If you own a practice of your own, you can set your own salary – and make practically unlimited income based on your performance. Owning a business is risky and stressful, but it affords you much more upward potential for growth.
Market yourself. Whether you own a business or are just looking for a new position, make sure you market yourself effectively. Use marketing and advertising to showcase your brand and appeal to as many people as possible.
Other Goals to Consider
Money isn’t everything. You should also think about your other goals as you advance your career:
- Title and leadership. Are you interested in achieving a certain position? Or do you like the idea of leading and managing others?
- Time and flexibility. How much of a salary cut would you take to have flexible hours? Is it a priority to be able to work whenever you want?
- Social good. Are you interested in doing the greatest amount of social good with your work? If so, you may prefer to work for a nonprofit or start a venture of your own.
- Entrepreneurship and control. Do you want to be in total control of your work? If so, entrepreneurship may be your only viable option.
With the preceding tips and strategies, you should be in a position to make much more throughout your accounting career. It may take some time to develop the skills and experience necessary to justify those higher earnings, but in time, you’ll get there.