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Are Accountants paid hourly?

hrawlinshrawlins Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
edited August 2014 in Business Major
Do Accountants get paid hourly or salaried? If hourly, then how does that work during tax season for example? Do all those >40 hour work weeks equal time and a half? If salaried, does it matter how much they work? Thanks! Also, how common/often do Accountants get raises?

Replies to: Are Accountants paid hourly?

  • DrGoogleDrGoogle Registered User Posts: 11,047 Senior Member
    Not hourly. But you practically give up your life during tax season. My sister was low pay for a long time with no overtime paid.
  • hrawlinshrawlins Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    So you really must be dedicated then huh? All those extra hours for no extra pay? Thank God for good Accountants!
  • Twinmom2014Twinmom2014 Registered User Posts: 484 Member
    They get paid comp time during the busy season and take lots of time off on the summer.
  • Twinmom2014Twinmom2014 Registered User Posts: 484 Member
    By the way the best paid accountants go into business for themselves . Hire other people when they grow.
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 4,297 Senior Member
    A CPA is generally a salaried employee.
  • hrawlinshrawlins Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    Twinmom2014 explain how comp time works for Accountants :)
  • DrGoogleDrGoogle Registered User Posts: 11,047 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    I don't think they get comp time or get to take summer off. It's a hard life for those big 8. My sister did have a business but she gave it away to a friend. She was not interested in it enough. She has MBA and CPA.
  • Twinmom2014Twinmom2014 Registered User Posts: 484 Member
    Small firms offer that. I know because I own a payroll company. They just award extra vacation days based on hours worked
  • arc918arc918 Registered User Posts: 711 Member
    I've spent my entire career in public accounting (25 years), working in firms if all sizes - solo, 3 CPA, small local (15 people), large local (100+ people), Big 4 (500+ people in tax department) . Overtime policy and expectations will vary by firm. Generally, the pay is pretty good, but you can get squeezed early in your career if you need specific experience (may not apply to your state).

    Indeed we get crazy busy during tax season, but the good news is we know it will all be DONE (or extended) by April 15. Other careers get busy as well, but they don't always know when it will start and end. I KNOW I can leave for vacation on April 16.

    Bottom line, don't let the hours scare you. Once you've paid your dues (got a few years under your belt) you can take more control of your career if you see fit. You can always find hourly tax season only positions if that is what you are looking for.

    Thinking back, my first CPA firm (small local firm) was pretty much 9 - 5 hours. Almost no overtime (maybe a 4 - 5 extra hours a week if we were trying to get some thing done).
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 36,566 Super Moderator
    In 1999, when my husband and I started our structural engineering firm, our accountant's hourly rate was identical to ours. Our rate has gone up 37.5% since then. His has gone up more than 100%. So I think I should have become an accountant instead of an engineer!
  • arc918arc918 Registered User Posts: 711 Member
    Some firms do offer comp time during busy season. You basically bank your extra hours, then take them as paid vacation later in the year (or cash them out depending on the policy). There usually are some limits to how much vacation can be banked, as a smaller firm likely can't have the staff taking off for too many weeks at a time.

    I worked somewhere where we could bank time, then cash it out after we got on annual salary increase. So that was a nice little bonus.

    Another firm didn't offer comp time, but we all got bonuses after tax season.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 22,902 Forum Champion
    Big 4 hasn't done comp time for quite a while. It is a straight salary. Some smaller CAP firms still have comp time. And yes, the hours are big a times, but it is all about building your professional credentials at the start of your career. It will pay off eventually.
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