Among the various business careers that one can choose from, one field can offer a rare combination of stability, prestige, money, and excitement: accounting.
The days of suit-clad, briefcase-toting accountants who were probably a more sophisticated and educated version of bookkeepers are long gone. Modern-day accountants are business-savvy individuals who are effective communicators and heavy users of technology.
An accountant’s job is more than keeping the financial books of a company or individual in order. They are the custodians of a business’s or public entity’s overall financial health.
If you want a career that’s highly marketable, extremely challenging, immensely rewarding, and fairly resilient to economic ups and downs, then start evaluating accounting degrees at the colleges and universities of your choice.
Career Options with an Accounting Degree
A Bachelor’s in Accounting degree is the key that can open the door to various exciting career possibilities. Some have been around for years and have retained their character, some have evolved over time, and others are fairly recent entrants into the world of accounting.
Here are a few careers you can pursue once you graduate from a bachelor’s degree in accounting program:
- Public Accountants: Public accountants provide a variety of accounting-related services to their clients. The client list of public accountants includes business corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and individuals. Public accountants audit financial statements of various entities, provide tax advice to clients, and offer consultation on employee benefits and compensation to businesses, etc.
- Management Accountants: Also known as corporate or private accountants, these professionals form part of a company’s executive team responsible for strategic planning and key business decisions. In addition to maintaining financial records, management accountants perform a variety of other tasks, such as making budgets, evaluating the financial performance of the company, managing cost and assets, and preparing financial reports for internal and external stakeholders.
- Government Accountants: As the title suggests, government accountants work in the public sector. They are responsible for maintaining the financial records of their clients, which may include federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as private firms and individuals that are subject to government regulations. Ensuring timely collection of revenues and compliance with the law in making expenditures are also part of a government accountant’s job role.
- Internal Auditors: Internal auditors have the important task of ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization’s internal controls; checking for mismanagement or waste of funds and fraud; verifying the accuracy of a business’s financial records; and making certain that its operations comply with corporate policies and government regulations.
- Forensic Accountants: Forensic accountants are public accountants who apply their knowledge of accounting to investigate financial crimes. For this job, familiarity with the legal system is as important as accounting skills. Individuals interested in this exciting career should look for accounting degrees that offer a concentration or emphasis in forensic accounting.
Preparing for an Accounting Career
If you are convinced that your future lies in accounting, then there are a few things that should precede and follow your Bachelor’s in Accounting degree.
Since most accounting degrees in college require students to complete courses in college algebra, statistics, calculus, etc., it’s important that you build a strong foundation by taking as many courses in math as possible in high school.
But accounting is not just about number crunching. Modern-day accountants must be familiar with using basic- to advanced-level accounting software. They should also look to develop their verbal and written communication skills.
Many accountants and auditors acquire additional certifications to enhance their employability. The Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, certification is among the top professional certifications for accountants and is mandatory for all accountants filing reports with the Securities and Exchange Board (SEC).
To become a CPA, one should graduate from a four-year bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field, pass a national examination, and meet the requirements of the state they practice in. Accountants can earn an average of $68,960 annually, depending on education, location, and experience*.
Source by Michael M B