Money makes the world go ’round, as the adage goes, and it holds true even today. That’s part of the reason why an accounting degree is such a strategic one for college: you’re almost 100% sure that there’s a job out there that’s looking for the degree. Every company regardless of size handles a certain amount of money, and it’s the accountants who make sure that the money flows smoothly from one place to the other.
Local Opportunities for Philippine Accountants
One of the great things about an accounting degree is that one need not look very far for a job. Small local companies need accountants and bookkeepers just as much as the largest multinationals in the world, so jobs are rarely scarce for people with accounting degrees.
Given that sort of job situation, the only deciding factor that plays a part for most new (and even repeat) job seekers is the remuneration. Salary rates can vary widely depending on the size of the company, the location of the company and the tasks that one is required to handle. It’s no surprise that small companies with equally small accounts would only pay a proportionately small sum to the ones handling their books.
Location can be a factor in wage levels, even when searching within the Philippines only. It’s hardly surprising that the NCR offers the highest salaries for the bookkeeping and accounting sector, with the 2008 average at PhP13,150 according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The same report says that other counterparts in other regions can get as little as two thirds what Metro Manila accountants and bookkeepers receive monthly.
What’s good about the situation is that there’s been an upward trend for accountants and bookkeepers in the country. There was a nationwide increase in wages in the sector in all but four regions of the country, with those in NCR scoring a 7.8% salary hike. And with everyone keeping tighter tabs on cash in this economy, it’s a trend that’s likely to go on.
Philippine Accountants, International Clientele
Compared to the kind of salaries that accountants and bookkeepers from more developed nations expect, Philippine accountants’ wages are almost spare change. That’s why a job with a foreign firm is a good way to go if one is looking for quick returns on tuition.
Now that business process outsourcing (BPO) is a thriving industry here, though, work with a firm abroad doesn’t necessarily mean going abroad and dealing with higher living costs and visa hassles. Many Philippine-based companies like IBM Daksh outsource their accounting departments here – and pay accordingly. Starting salaries are reportedly a bit higher than customer service representative (CSR) figures; PhP18,000 to PhP25,000 for a fresh accounting grad (compared to PhP12,000 to PhP15,000 for CSR’s) is typical.
Should visa applications and higher standards of living seem inconsequential, however, opportunities abroad are in no short supply. Neither, however, are competitors, which means that stellar grades from a prestigious school are necessary for the foreign company to justify their importing you and handling your visa application. The rewards, however, are considerable: the median American salary of accounting graduates was just under $60,000, and that figure is expected to grow all the way to 2016.