Choosing a career in accounting can be a smart decision as there are many benefits like a high salary, significant growth in the industry, and a huge demand for qualified accounting professionals. Accounting is also known as Accountancy, the processing of information about economic entities like businesses and corporations. Once you have decided to opt for an accounting career, you will find that the field is larger and more diverse than your expectations. This article provides you the advice for choosing an accounting career path.

Accounting

Accounting Career Paths:

If you are interested in choosing an accounting career path, most of the accounting careers require fundamental technical accounting skills and few accounting career options are available to you.

Tax Accountant:

Tax Accountant, the name itself suggests that it solely focuses on tax-related accounting work. The charge of a tax accountant is to prepare and file tax returns for individuals and companies. Successful accountants know state, local, and federal laws and regulations on taxes. Tax accountant clients range from individuals to corporations to government organizations.

In tax, an accounting career path means specializing in filing tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You should need a CPA license to work as a tax accountant and few choose to get an Enrolled Agent (EA) designation, which allows them to represent clients to the IRS legally.

Financial Accountant:

Financial accountants work for a single organization or business and prepare reports that assess fiscal performance like Profit and Loss statements, Cash flow statements, and balance sheets for stockholders, taxing agencies, and creditors.

Forensic Accountant:

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A Forensic accountant is in charge of analyzing financial records and transactions to find if any fraud has occurred. They are typically employed in the legal, accounting, and insurance sectors. The forensic accounting career path involves financial statements examination to find evidence of crime like fraud. They typically have CPA licenses and work for insurance companies and law enforcement agencies.

Few forensic accountants work for government organizations like the IRS or the SEC. Using CPA knowledge, they locate if the company or individual committed an act of fraud or embezzlement and is also involved in investigations like divorce proceedings.

Government Accountant:

Government accountants are employed by provincial, federal, and local governments to look after the financial records of public funds. They work in various departments like revenue, taxation, treasury, and auditing. Their main focus is on the management of funds to check whether it’s being collected and spent as per appropriate laws.

Internal Auditor:

In corporations, internal auditors make sure that the resources are used effectively, the company complies with state and federal requirements, and no mismanagement of funds. They also perform audits on other aspects like compliance with banking regulations.

Managerial Accountant:

Managerial accountants provide financial information to managers in the company for making decisions to manage company investments. They also help in cost analysis, budgeting, and other types of accounting.

Financial Planner:

Financial planners provide guidance and advice to clients on retirement, tax planning issues, and a range of investments and they create long-term financial plans for businesses or individuals by analyzing client’s goals, income statements, balance sheets, risk tolerance, and cash flow statements. They aid individuals from budgeting to investing.

Public Accountant:

If you have CPA certification, you are eligible to work in a public accounting firm. A public accounting firm provides tax, auditing, consulting, and accounting services for clients across a range of sectors including individuals, governments, nonprofits, and individuals. A job in public accounting gives experience in different facets of the accounting field.

Other Career Paths for Accountants:

If you have an accounting background or accounting credential like a CPA or CMA license, this does not mean you need to compulsorily stay in accounting because, in finance, accountant skills are highly transferable to other careers.

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In a company, if you are working as an accountant, there is a possibility to climb the corporate ladder and become Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The above-mentioned are the few accounting career options that may be useful for you to choose an accounting career path.

Skills for Accountants:

An important skill for an accountant is to understand the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). These are the guidelines, standardized classification collections, and procedures that all accountants should follow.

Additionally, accountants should have the skills mentioned below:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Time management
  • Attention to detail
  • Proficiency in software like MS Excel
  • Understanding business practices

Accountants who have a CMA license may require leadership skills and a stronger understanding skills of corporate finance.

Advantages of an Accounting Career Path:

  • Various opportunities
  • Good pay
  • Stability

Accountants work in various industries and are always needed. There are always new opportunities and they can work anywhere in the world because accounting principles are necessary everywhere.

Disadvantages of an Accounting Career Path:

  • Busy season
  • Tedious
  • Stressful environment

Unfortunately, accountants do have a busy season. Tax season is a stressful time for any accountant reviewing financial statements even for those who don’t specifically work in tax accounting. Accountants are responsible for accurately recording and reporting company finances and there is a lot of pressure to ensure no decimal points are out of place.

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Conclusion:

Choosing the accounting career path is an empowering and exciting journey as you all know accountants are required in every type of business, and across all sectors it is up to you to decide where you will fit best. Your work environment varies significantly based on the type of accounting you do. I hope this article gives you information about the few accounting career options that might help to choose this career.

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FAQs:

Q.1: What is Accounting?

Ans: It is the process of classifying, recording, and summarizing financial transactions to give useful information when making business decisions and fulfilling laws and regulations.

Q.2: Is it good to opt for an accounting career path?

Ans: It is a good career choice for those who show interest in using their mathematical skills and technical training that help companies maintain and track financial positions.

Q.3: What are the qualifications of an accountant?

Ans: The minimum qualification required to become an accountant is senior secondary certification or 10+2 in any stream except fine arts. Pursuing 10+2 in Commerce, Finance or related subjects helps you to pass accountant examinations. Even candidates with a diploma or related areas and completed bachelor’s degree/post-graduation in accounting or any other field related to finance are eligible to become an accountant.

Q.4: What are the two main types of accounting?

Ans: The two main types of accounting are:
1. Accrual accounting
2. Cash accounting

Q.5: What is an accounting method?

Ans: An accounting method refers to the rules followed by the company in reporting, expenses and revenues.

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