Accountants are responsible for providing the data required to make an assessment of the current and future economic activities. They work for government agencies, businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals among others. Accountants perform a variety of tasks or duties, apart from preparation of financial statements. They also perform duties like calculating the computing cost, planning tax strategy, taking part in business acquisitions, calculating efficiency gains for upcoming technology, developing information technology systems to measure financial performance.
The field of accounting offers a host of career possibilities. Most of the final year students think that they would become an accountant after completing an accounting degree program. You can definitely choose the career path of a general accountant, but this is just one of the many careers that accounting offers.
Major Career Paths in Accounting
There are many specialization careers that candidates can choose from. Aspiring candidates should make their career choice depending on their skills, aptitude and interests. Given below are the key areas that an aspiring candidate can choose to specialize in.
Auditing is the core work area in the field of accounting. An auditing career involves completing tasks like checking ledgers and financial states for a wide range of businesses and organizations. The work in this occupation of accounting has become increasingly computerized. Auditors are, therefore, responsible for reviewing the financial statements of businesses to ensure the latter is accurately and relevantly presented.
Candidates who have a keen interest in accounting can also consider becoming a budget analyst. The accounting career of a budget analyst involves making financial plans for businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations among others. These professionals work both in private and government sectors. Those who aspire to become a budget analyst should also possess excellent people skills for completing negotiating successfully.
Another career option that accounting offers is to become a financial accountant. These accountants are responsible for preparing the financial statements of businesses and enterprises. When there are acquisitions and mergers in businesses, financial accountants play a crucial role in making important financial decisions. Candidates choosing this career should have a strong combined knowledge of accounting and finance.
Major job duties of management accountants include capital budgeting and business analysis. These accountants perform activities like contract analysis, cost analysis and controlling the expenses of a business or an organization. They work in close contact with marketing managers and financial managers and help in making business decisions.
Candidates who have a strong passion in taxation can choose to become a tax accountant. These accountants work both for businesses and individuals. They are responsible for preparing the income tax statements for corporate and personal income. To become successful as a tax accountant, candidates should possess a strong knowledge of economics, tax code and legal procedures involved.
Accounts have plenty of employment opportunities awaiting them in different organizations and at different levels. Given below are different types of employment options available to accountants.
Public Accounting Firms
Joining a public accounting firm can give your career a good start. These firms work for different types of businesses, government agencies and individuals. A career in this field would help you gain the knowledge that you need to build a solid foundation in a specialist area of accounting.
Employment in government agencies is available at different levels. Government accountants hold job responsibilities like preparing the budget, tracking the cost and analyzing the government initiatives. Though bureaucracy can be a downside in government agencies, candidates can of course benefit from advanced career opportunities in this sector.
Employment in corporations offers a dynamic work environment and excellent career prospects. Businesses have their own accounts department where accountants are employed to prepare financial statements, work on major business transactions, prepare tax returns and track costs among others.
Apart from making a career in other areas of accounting, you can also choose to become self employed. Becoming self employed means you own your own business and need to work around your own schedule. If you are really proficient and have the capability to establish a large client base, good returns await you in this career. This career option will definitely require you to have excellent skills and several years of work experience.
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