Career in Accounting
Many people when they hear the word accountant they often see the dark room in the basement away from the rest of the workforce with an adding machine on the desk and of course the never-ending supply of numbers being thrown at the person.
Skills you will need to have for a career in accounting includes a strong background in mathematics and of course, a talent to work with numbers.
The education needed to gain a career in accounting differs according to the employer, but in most cases, the bare minimum is a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or related field. Of course, the accounting field is very competitive and possessing other more advanced degrees will always be in your best interest. More advanced degrees such as master’s in accounting or a master’s in business administration emphasizing accounting will always look excellent on your CV. According to the type of accountant you wish to become, you may need other training or may even have to pass an exam(s).
Of course, salaries for accountants vary by specialty, region, and even education. In the majority of cases, entry-level accountant earn around £25,000 per year. For those with an advanced degree or other certifications you can add another £2,000 or more to the base salary. Senior accountants employed at large corporations can receive a salary from £38,000 to £62,000 a year.
Opportunities in an Accounting Career
In the accounting field, you will find four major types of accounting, which are public accounting, management accounting, governmental accounting, and internal auditing. Within each type, there are other specialties.
All accounting positions involve such tasks as bookkeeping, recording business transactions, analyzing business transactions, and assessing the financial capabilities of businesses, non profit companies, and government organizations. Of course, the type of accounting methods differs according to the business in which you will be working.
Public accounting is also referred to as assurance services and is the most common type of accounting. These accountants can be employed by individuals, private businesses, government agencies, public firms, and non-profit organizations. Some companies may hire one public accountant or a team of accountants.
Duties of a public accountant can include tax preparation, tax advice, consultations on subjects such as employee compensation or even the design of the accounting system. According to the company, a public accountant may do external auditing. A specialty accounting field in the public accounting domain is a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant analyzes historical financial data to find white-collar crimes like embezzlement, securities fraud, and money laundering to name a few. In many cases, forensic accountants have knowledge of not only accounting but law as well as they may work with attorneys and law enforcement.
You will hear the terms private accountants, cost accountants, industrial accountants, or corporate accountants when talking about management accountants. This type of accountant does not offer their services to the public but is hired by a business to record and analyze the financial data of the business. The accountant will use the information compiled to perform tasks such as performance evaluation, cost management, asset management, and budgeting. In some cases, the accountant is involved in budgeting prior to the release of a new product as in the preparation of the financial data for tax authorities and investors. On the other hand, you may find that a Certified Public Accountant can be hired for such positions as Chief Financial Officer in the private sector, if they have the experience needed to qualify.
Governmental accountants of course work in the government sector as the name implies. A governmental accountant can work in government agencies and even private businesses that are under government regulations. These accountants work to ensure their employer’s revenues and expenditures are carried about according to government law.
Internal auditing accountants work with companies by reviewing their financial management practices, while checking for fraud, waste, or mismanagement. These accountants evaluate the budget, management system and operations for efficiency, performance and compliance with regulations and laws. Some internal auditing accountants may specialise in technology auditing, environment auditing, or compliance auditing.
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