Accounting is an integral part of any business set-up, howsoever big or small it may be. And there are plenty of high growth careers in accounting. Also please see Career Options after Commerce Graduation
If you thought ‘accounting’ is just about simple bookkeeping by an accountant in an office, firm, business or service institution, you may have to take a re-look at the whole concept of accounting as it exists today.
In the modern times, accounting has reached new proportions and is still expanding. It offers high growth opportunities to individuals who want to take up a job and make a career in accounting. Accounting offers multiple options in any and every business, big or small. In fact, accounting has a role to play even before you actually start a new venture. Also refer to: High Paying Jobs and Career Choices after MBA
For any venture to be successful, you need a ‘Feasibility Study or Report’ before you start putting your money into it. Viability of a new project or venture and the break-even point play a critical role in your decision making. A competent accountant will use his expertise in accounting to put before you all the figures and financial implications which you may need to consider and use in your decision making.
Recommended reading: Job Interview Questions and Answers for Accounting and Finance Careers. You can also see the videos given at the end of this article.
High Growth Careers in Accounting
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Accounting offers excellent salaries and high growth careers in the traditional as well as some new and emerging fields. Bookkeepers, Auditors, Accountants, Internal Auditors would fall in the traditional field’s category. On the other hand, Forensic Accounting, Payroll Services Accounting, Environmental Accounting and Showbiz Accounting will fall in the category of emerging fields of accounting. We shall look at all these and more as we proceed.
Scope of Careers in Accounting
It would not be wrong to say that the scope of making a career in accounting is indeed very vast. Starting with the traditional bookkeeping, accounting, payroll and auditing, it can go to newer areas such as fraud auditing, cost accounting, business strategy, technical accounting, consulting and so on.
Governments in all countries across the world are now very firm that all businesses have to report accurate and timely numbers to the government as well as to the shareholders. Accountants toil hard to put numbers together for providing such financial information particularly that pertaining to profitability, return on investment and taxation etc. in addition to other statutory details.
The role of an accountant today is not only engaging but also very challenging, demanding and dynamic. An accountant may now be in a job or could be practicing as a consultant. He may also be helping the law enforcement agencies in the investigation of financial crimes. A career in accounting can get you very good financial rewards as well.
You may also like to refer to:
- Upcoming Careers in India
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Careers in Accounting
Modern day accountants, just like their counterparts in the good old days, are required to possess good skills with mathematics. But that is not the end of the matter. Today, accountants are required to be good at bookkeeping and accounting and also at many other things as well. They need to be good at analysis, problem solving and some amount of detective work too. They should also be good at communications and public relations or at dealing effectively with people and not just with numbers. All said and done, an accountant’s job is a diverse job, indeed!
Through bookkeeping and other accounting practices, accountants help individual clients, companies and governments to ensure that financial records are maintained properly and taxes are paid when due.
There are high growth careers in accounting and auditing in the under noted main fields, such as:
1. Management Accounting
Often working in teams, management accountants provide senior executives in a company with the inputs and analysis required for taking key decisions. This information is also used for preparing financial reports for regulatory authorities, shareholders and creditors.
2. Government Accountants and Auditors
Accountants are engaged or employed by various wings of governments for multiple purposes. They may write the books of accounts for government agencies or audit individuals and business houses for ensuring compliance to government rules and regulations and payment of taxes. IRS may also employ accountants for various assignments.
3. Public Accountants
This is a very broad accounting field. Public accountants render accounting, auditing, taxation and multiple consulting services to corporations, governments, individuals and non-profit organisations. Many of such public accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and they specialize in tax preparation and auditing of financial statements.
4. Internal Auditors
Internal auditors do not engage themselves with statutory or external audit. They perform a rather pre-emptive role while remaining within the organization. They examine the internal control mechanisms existing within the accounting framework of a company. They perform an important role in preventing inaccuracies in financial reporting, fraud and mismanagement.
Accountants engaged in the above mentioned fields often follow a nine-to-five office regime. However, they are invariably required to work beyond these working hours in times of a crisis or for meeting tax payment deadlines. They are also extremely busy and work for extended hours during closing of accounts by a company. Tight schedules are required to be met for complying with various statutory requirements and deadlines and for furnishing financial information to the shareholders in a time bound manner.
Unique High Growth Careers in Accounting
Some unique high growth career options in accounting have also emerged in the last few decades for more adventurous and enterprising individuals who are looking for careers in bookkeeping and accountancy. Let us give a brief look to some of these exciting career options:
1. Payroll Services
Whether your business is dealing with products or services, you do need efficient payroll services. Any good payroll services package will enable your business to comply with the ever-changing legislations and keep it protected against fines. Your payroll services will take into account the people who need to be paid, the amounts that they have to be paid and tax filing. As a part of your HR set-up, your payroll services should reduce payroll administration time as well. An effective payroll service will have to be accurate and scalable too.
2. Environmental Accounting
Awareness regarding environmental protection is increasing at a fast pace. Green movement is growing in business with every passing day. Environmental accountants are today engaged in analyzing the costs of pollution. They are looking at various alternatives and the costs involved. Fines, missed tax credits and deterioration in relations with neighbours fall within the ambit of environmental accounting.
3. Forensic Accounting
Perhaps as a fall out of rapid technological advancements, companies are now losing billions of dollars every year due to frauds committed on them. Forensic accounting is all about uncovering such financial frauds and making a ground for suitable criminal proceedings and actions against the perpetrators of such frauds. This is a rapidly growing sector for accountants.
4. Showbiz Accounting
Generally, an accountant’s job is seen as devoid of any glamour. However, some lucky accountants get an opportunity to provide financial services in Hollywood to various production houses, studios, technicians and artists. These services could include traditional ones such as taxation, financial analysis and audits. This may provide a touch of the much sought after glamour to the lives of these accountants.
5. Trustee in Bankruptcy
The U.S. Department of Justice appoints these accountants in bankruptcy court proceedings. The accountants provide protection to the unsecured creditors such as shareholders and others. The objective is to ensure that such unsecured creditors get a portion of the liquidation proceeds in case of a surplus being there for distribution.
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About the Author
Sundeep Kataria is the CEO of ACS Consultants – a Management Consulting Firm. He holds multiple qualifications: MBA, PGDIT (IIFT), MS in Counselling & Psychotherapy and Diploma in Company Law. He has also formally learnt Digital Marketing and Website Making.
In 1995 he pioneered the concept of professional Career Counselling, Executive Coaching and Mentoring. Over the years he has mentored many professionals, like CAs, Engineers, Sales & Marketing Professionals, IT Experts etc.
The unique style of Sundeep Kataria is that he connects with each and every individual personally, holds in depth discussion before undertaking the assignment.