Mathematical, computer, analytical and problem-solving skills are essential qualifications for anyone in the Accounting field. Good communication skills and being detail-oriented and motivated are also important. Accountants compile and analyze business records and prepare financial reports such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cost studies and tax reports. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently. Typical duties include examining financial statements to ensure that they are accurate and comply with laws and regulations; computing taxes owed, preparing tax returns, and ensuring that taxes are paid properly and on time; inspecting account books and accounting systems for efficiency and use of accepted accounting procedures; organizing and maintaining financial records, assessing financial operations and making best-practices recommendations to management; and suggesting ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits.
Ellsworth Community College offers three Accounting programs, depending on your career goals:
- A one-year Diploma program for those seeking an entry-level accounting position.
- A two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree for those who want to go directly into the workforce after graduation
- A two-year Associate of Arts (AA) degree for those who want to transfer their ECC credits and complete a baccalaureate/bachelor’s degree at a university.
The links under Degrees Awarded (below) outline our different program options. The Diploma and AAS programs include on-the-job training that has proven to be invaluable to our students for professional networking, building their resumes, and getting their foot in the door to make a great impression on a local employer.
Accounting offers many career opportunities as a wide variety of businesses employ people who do accounting jobs. Job prospects increase with advanced degrees and proficiency in accounting and auditing computer software or with expertise in specialized areas such as international business, specific industries or current legislation. Accounting professionals may be employed with financial management and consulting services, government agencies, public accounting offices, private industries, secondary and post-secondary education or self-employment. Job titles may include accountant, auditor, teacher/professor, clerk, bookkeeper, credit analyst, financial planner, tax preparer, accounts receivable manager, or payroll manager.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the 2012 median pay for Accountants and Auditors, which requires a bachelor’s degree, was $63,550 per year; the job outlook for 2012-2022 calls for a 13% growth in employment, about as fast as average for all occupations. The 2012 median pay for Bookkeepers and Accounting/Auditing Clerks with a high school diploma (or equivalent) was $35,170 per year; the job outlook for 2012-2022 calls for a 11% growth in employment (about average), which may provide a significant advantage to those with an associate degree.
Note: For Accountants and Auditors with a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, certification within a specific field of accounting improves job prospects. For example, many accountants become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).
ECC’s two-year Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree is designed to meet the requirements of colleges and universities to which students may wish to transfer for completion of baccalaureate (BA or BS) degrees. In many instances, transfer colleges accept this degree as equivalent to their own general education requirements.
Because the requirements for an AA degree change periodically, students should check with their academic advisor or the ECC Admissions Office to confirm that they have the most current information. Students are responsible for knowing the requirements for the degree they hope to obtain and for planning their schedule accordingly.
Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State, UNI and Iowa
ECC participates in the Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to enable ECC students to transfer credits seamlessly to any of the state universities. Participants are dual-enrolled at ECC and the university with access to academic advising and student services at both institutions. The universities guarantee admission into the desired degree program, provided all requirements are met. Ask the ECC Admissions Office for more information!
THE ELLSWORTH EXPERIENCE
- Many of our Accounting students participate in the Business Professionals of America Club, where they gain valuable professional and leaderships skills and compete against other Iowa community college students.
- ECC currently has the 17th highest student success rate (graduation rate + transfer rate) of any community college in the nation.
- The College offers generous scholarships and financial aid packages, which is why our graduates have one of the lowest average student debt loads of any college in Iowa, public or private, two-year or four year!
- What students appreciate about ECC is our smaller class sizes, which results in more one-on-one attention from the instructor and greater classroom success.