Acquisitions Tax Manager Careers: Job Description & Salary

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An acquisition tax manager's median annual salary is about $66,000 a year. Is it worth all the education and training requirements? Get the truth about job descriptions and career prospects to decide if this career is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of an Acquisition Tax Management Career

Acquisition tax managers review, audit, and analyze business transactions and monitor compliance with government regulations. Read the following pros and cons to determine if this career is right for you.

Pros of Becoming an Acquisitions Tax Manager
Anticipated increase in employment (13% growth between 2012-2022)*
Better-than-average earnings ($65,940 annually as of May 2014)*
Protect your company against a financial risk*
Highly regarded position*

Cons of Becoming an Acquisitions Tax Manager
May involve long hours*
Tasks can be demanding and stressful*
May need master's degree*
Any inaccuracy in taxation filing may be serious**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*Net

Essential Career Information

Job Duties and Description

According to the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University, acquisitions are the stocks or assets bought from another company. The purchasing process is subject to federal regulations and requires an acquisitions tax manager to consider the costs and risks of such investments. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an acquisitions tax manager is a type of public accountant who reviews all financial transactions, ensuring that they follow federal rules and regulations (www.bls.gov). During an acquisition, they audit and analyze the financial health of the acquired company's stock or assets. This process can be complex, but it helps to determine the financial health and legality of the assets in question, thus protecting the acquiring company from taking on risk.

Job Salary and Prospects

In May 2014, the BLS stated that the median annual salary for all accountants and auditors was $65,940, while the top-earning ten percent made $115,950 annually. The BLS indicates that job prospects for all accountants will increase 13% from 2012-2022. Besides firms and management companies, many of these professionals work for state and local governments. Part of the anticipated increase in jobs comes from the development of new government regulations that require an accountant to assess.

Career Requirements

Education Requirements

A bachelor's degree in accounting or a closely-related major is needed to become an accountant. These programs include coursework in financial reporting, taxation and auditing. Additionally, courses in calculus and business are required. There are some jobs that may prefer individuals with a master's degree.

Training Requirements

Many employers prefer to hire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) over a regular accountant as an acquisitions tax manager. To become a CPA, you must meet your state's CPA requirements and pass a national exam administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). According to the AICPA, it is recommended you take at least 150 semester hours of coursework because this is a requirement in 40 states as of 2012 (www.aipca.org). This means that holding a master's degree or 30 extra credits of accounting work prior to the CPA exam is suggested.

What Do Employers Look For?

Many employers looking for acquisitions managers prefer a CPA with several years of professional experience in accounting. Additionally, having some consulting work and good communication skills may help. Other taxation responsibilities will be required since a tax manager performs more duties than analyzing acquisitions. The following job listings were posted in April 2012:

  • A New York finance and accounting services company needs a mergers and acquisitions analyst to provide consultation for clients. The analyst will help assess acquisitions, as well as creating tax-planning and saving strategies for the clients.
  • A Pennsylvania manufacturing company needs a tax manager to help with acquisitions. The tax manager not only has to audit to ensure that acquisitions do not pose risks, but also consult with the supervisors on how new tax laws will influence future acquisitions.
  • A Massachusetts company needs a tax manager who can help provide financial insight on acquisitions and mergers. Other responsibilities include basic tax reporting, as well as suggestions on how to gain more revenue based on new taxation laws.

How to Stand Out in the Field

Develop Related Skills

Many employers want acquisitions tax managers to hold experience from a major accounting firm. Working for a large or prestigious firm will educate you on many of the major accounting and business practices. To gain experience at a major firm, you may consider completing an internship program while still in college.

Continuing Education

Continuing education helps you become more skilled in dealing with the complexity of the tax code. The AICPA stipulates that the CPA status is maintained only if a CPA holder enrolls in 120 credit hours of continuing education courses every three years. One can view this requirement as an opportunity to become a better CPA and acquisitions tax manager, especially since the BLS states that the job market will become more competitive across the 2012-2022 decade.

Alternative Careers to Consider

Accounting Clerks

If you are interested in an accounting career that doesn't require the educational requirements of an acquisitions tax manger, you may consider becoming an accounting clerk. These individuals produce records for organizations under the guidance and direction of licensed accountants. The BLS estimates that employment opportunities for accounting, auditing and bookkeeping clerks were expected to increase 14% from 2010-2020. In May 2011, the BLS reported that these individuals earned almost $35,000 annually.

Internal Auditors

If you like the consultative angle that comes with being a tax manager, but you do not want to deal with taxation issues, you may want to become an internal auditor. Internal auditors review the managerial practices and budgets of a company to see if there is room for improvements and cost savings. They may suggest ways to eliminate waste or they may find fraud in some practices within the company. The BLS indicates that internal auditors typically are not CPAs, but their standards are regulated by the Institute of Internal Auditors. In May 2012, Payscale.com reported that most internal auditors earned from $33,000-$72,000, including bonuses.

Popular Schools

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Featured Schools

George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration

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Kaplan University

  • MS in Accounting- Tax Specialization
  • Bachelor: Tax Accountancy
  • Associate: Accounting
  • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate

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Georgetown University

  • Master of Science in Finance

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Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Science in Government Analytics

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Baker College Online

  • Business Administration - DBA (Doctorate)
  • Accounting - MBA (Master's)
  • Accounting - Bachelor
  • Accounting - Associate

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Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Advanced Accounting
  • PhD in Business Admin - Advanced Accounting
  • MBA - Financial Management
  • MS - Accounting

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Saint John's University

  • Master of Business Administration: Taxation
  • Master of Science in Taxation
  • Master of Science in Accounting

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Colorado State University Global

  • Master of Professional Accounting
  • BS - Accounting
  • Graduate Specialization - Accounting

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