Accountants Claim The Top Spot As Remote Workers in 2024, Drawing Over $150K in Annual Salaries

Accountants Claim The Top Spot As Remote Workers in 2024, Drawing Over $150K in Annual Salaries
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

In the rapidly evolving landscape of remote work, it's not the tech gurus leading the pack but accountants who have claimed the top spot as the most sought-after remote workers in the United States, according to FlexJobs' annual ranking. This unexpected surge in demand for accounting professionals spans various industries, including finance, health care, and government.

Pexels | Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich
Accountants have claimed the top spot as the most sought-after remote workers in US (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich

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The United States faces a shortage of accountants, largely attributed to retiring Baby Boomers and a decline in students enrolling in accounting programs. Companies are responding by offering more remote or hybrid accounting roles, aiming to attract new generations of talent and modernize traditional roles. Julia Pollak, Chief Economist at ZipRecruiter, emphasizes that remote work is pivotal in assuring professionals of autonomy and flexibility.

The demand for accountants has expanded beyond the finance and consulting sectors, driven by rapidly changing tax regulations and financial reporting standards. On ZipRecruiter, the share of open remote accountant roles surged from 8% in 2019 to nearly 20% in 2023, reflecting the industry's adaptation to remote work.

Pexels | Photo by Kuncheek
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth of at least 4% in accounting jobs over the next decade (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by Kuncheek

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth of at least 4% in accounting jobs over the next decade, with more than 15,000 jobs added annually. Compliance with evolving regulations has elevated the importance of accountants, making them crucial for mitigating financial and reputational risks. Pollak notes, "There's a lot of oversight...you can't afford the legal liability of messing this up."

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The core responsibilities of accountants, such as managing financial records, analyzing data, and preparing tax returns, lend themselves well to remote work. Toni Frana, Lead Career Expert at FlexJobs, acknowledges accounting as a field that has long been considered ideal for remote careers. She anticipates a surge in remote accountant openings ahead of tax season.

Pexels | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
Accounting as a field has long been considered ideal for remote careers (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Top companies hiring for remote accounting roles, as listed on FlexJobs, include Kforce, Supporting Strategies, and Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH). Qualifications typically include a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field, along with certification in a specific area, such as becoming a licensed Certified Public Accountant.

While the average mean salary for accountants in the U.S. is around $68,000, ZipRecruiter data reveals that experienced accountants can earn upwards of $150,000 to $200,000 annually. Despite reports of job cuts in 2023 by the Big Four accounting firms—KPMG, PWC, EY, and Deloitte—the risk of layoffs for accountants remains low.

As highly valued employees, accountants are considered trusted members of the inner circle within companies. Pollak highlights their role in navigating companies through challenges, stating, "You're a trusted member of the inner circle, you see all of the dirt and get the company out of trouble—it's a very important, stable job."

The unexpected rise of accountants as the most in-demand remote job reflects the industry's adaptability to changing work dynamics. Fueled by a shortage of skilled professionals and a need for compliance in an evolving regulatory landscape, accountants have become pivotal in ensuring financial stability and minimizing risks for organizations. With attractive compensation and a low risk of layoffs, the accounting profession stands out as a stable and rewarding choice in the evolving landscape of remote work.

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