Electronic Funds Transfer Careers: Options and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to have a career in electronic funds transfers. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and licensing to find out if this is the career for you.

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When is the last time you paid for something with cash? A lot of people now use debit cards and online banking services to perform electronic funds transfers instead of carrying paper money on them. To help manage the digital cashflow, banks and other companies and organizations hire auditors, bookkeepers, and financial analysts.

Essential Information

Electronic funds transfers (EFTs) are used to send money by computer instead of by paper. EFTs are faster but require significant maintenance. Multiple careers in the financial and banking industries deal with using EFTs effectively and securely. Businesses also employ professionals to handle EFTs.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in accounting
Other Requirements Master's degree in business administration also common; certification available
Projected Job Growth 11% from 2014-2024 for accountants and auditors*
Median Salary (2015) $67,190 annually for accountants and auditors*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Options for Electronic Funds Transfer Careers

Auditor

Sometimes referred to as internal or compliance auditors by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), auditors watch over a company's financial practices to verify that procedures are followed efficiently. Many auditors monitor electric funds transfers (EFTs) by checking where each transfer originated, whether it reached its destination and how long it took for the transaction to be completed. Auditors often provide suggestions for improving EFT practices, such as updating software or changing transaction procedures.

The BLS expected employment for auditors and accountants to increase by 11% during the 2014-2024 decade. As of May 2015, the BLS reported the median salary for auditors and accountants was $67,190.

Bookkeeper

Financial records are notated and maintained by bookkeepers, sometimes known as accounting clerks, according to the BLS. Although some bookkeepers still write records by hand, most use computer spreadsheets to monitor EFTs and other financial transactions. In some companies, bookkeepers are responsible for payroll and purchases. Since so many banks offer direct deposit, bookkeepers often submit payroll checks by EFT. Bookkeepers often make office-supply orders online and in-person. Many pay with EFTs instead of cash or check.

The median salary for bookkeeping, auditing and accounting clerks was $37,250 as of May 2015, the BLS noted. These workers were expected to see their employment opportunities decrease from 2014 until 2024 by as much as 8%.

Financial Analyst

Working mainly as consultants, financial analysts help companies and individuals make decisions about investments and spending practices. As analysts review financial records, they sometimes look into current EFT procedures. In some cases, analysts may suggest restricting employees' EFT access as a way to control and limit company spending. Other companies may profit by giving up paper-based financial transactions. In these cases, analysts might suggest implementing EFT practices for items like payroll, stock investments and office-supply purchases.

Employment for financial analysts could increase 12% between 2014 and 2024, the BLS predicted. Its May 2015 salary report showed $80,310 was the median salary for financial analysts.

Requirements for Electronic Funds Transfer Careers

Education

Auditors and financial analysts usually require the minimum of a bachelor's degree; however, the BLS reported that many employers require graduate degrees. Auditors usually earn a bachelor's degree in accounting. Accounting programs often include courses like business law, taxes, database management and fraud examination. Financial analysts can also major in accounting; however, many choose finance, business or economics.

Analysts and auditors often earn Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degrees. MBA degree coursework usually includes financial management, strategic planning and global marketing. Most programs allow students to pick a concentration during their second year, such as accounting, economics or finance.

Bookkeepers require a less formal education since most of them are trained on-site. Information from the BLS showed that several employers only require applicants to have the equivalent of a high school diploma. Larger organizations may require applicants to possess an associate's degree in accounting.

Licensing and Certification

As part of the investment and securities industry, some financial analyst positions require licensing. Since the licensing process requires employer sponsorship, most analysts get licensed after securing a position. Auditors who submit reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission must be certified public accountants. Both bookkeepers and auditors can choose to earn voluntary certifications as well. For instance, the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers offers a Certified Bookkeeper credential program.

Of the three occupations, qualified auditors should have the best job outlooks. Although financial analysts have a faster than average job growth, the higher salary may attract more applicants, so earning certification can be beneficial in securing a position.

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