The financial information company, Sageworks, recently conducted a study of the most profitable industries in the United States and found that accounting and accounting related fields are the most lucrative of any sector.
The study found that on average, accounting fields generated more profit per dollar of sales than any other field. The study showed a profit margin of nearly 20 percent. That is more than twice the average margin for private companies.
Other industries that were high on the list included Commercial and industrial machinery, oil and gas extraction, legal services, and dental practices.
According to the study, the high profitability of both the accounting and legal services industries could largely be attributed to their relatively low overhead costs. Both professions, accounting in particular, are such that many who are in them maintain successful businesses from their homes, which eliminates the need for things like employees and expensive office equipment, rental space, and other expenses.
Additionally, because professionals in accounting are considered experts in their field – and are expected to be by their clients – they are able to charge a higher hourly rate, which in conjunction with low overhead costs equates to higher profitability than other professions and industries.
Other professions such as real estate also yield high profits but the lagging economic slump in general and a weak housing market in particular have made significant profitability in real estate hard to come by.
The study pointed out that profitability levels are not static and can easily vary on a long enough time line. But for the last several years, with the economy in a seemingly perpetual state of recovery, more and more people are looking for professional assistance with managing their finances which has led to an overall increase in the profitability in the accounting sector.