Perhaps the most important decision you could make for your career right now is selecting the right career path. Yes, that’s correct. Even if you’ve just entered college or university, research thoroughly what you aim to achieve with your college degree and work your way towards it. Now, it’s kind of difficult to predict where you’ll end up but there are certain jobs that’ll always be in demand, in particular accounting jobs.
In the following article, you’ll find out why the accounting field is worth pursuing and which jobs are in demand with some of the highest salaries across the industries.
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Why choose to become an accountant?
From ancient times man has learned how to count—cattle, time, the date on a calendar, barter—and eventually money. That’s when the first accountant was born. Today, an accountant does more than just counting money. They’re responsible for keeping the company’s finances in proper documentation as well as ensuring compliance and best practices are implemented when recording income, expense, inventory, etc.
The choice to become an accountant depends on your temperament and career prospects. So, choose to become an accountant if you are a person who likes:
- Numerical challenges like calculating taxes, money, currency conversion, financial statements, profits, and similar computations.
- Determining financial outcomes of a business through tabulation of costs, expenses, income, profits, inventory, etc.
- Finding solutions for complex accounting of company balance sheets, profit and loss statements, reconciliation of differences, etc.
- Setting standards like budgets, expense limitations, policies, and similar account management strategies.
If you’ve been nodding your head to the above points, then becoming an accountant is a good move. Moreover, accounting is the foundation of businesses in the world. Without accounting, you can’t run any organization, even the church needs one.
“You have to understand accounting and you have to understand the nuances of accounting. It’s the language of business and it’s an imperfect language, but unless you are willing to put in the effort to learn accounting—how to read and interpret financial statements—you really shouldn’t select stocks yourself.”
All in all, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Whether it’s a good career choice for you to pursue depends on what you aim to achieve in the future. Here are some rewarding aspects of accounting careers.
Top in-demand accounting jobs
If we’ve got your attention till this section, then you must be interested to know which are the most in-demand accounting jobs in the industry. So, without delay here are the top ones from beginner to senior level.
You might start your career with the lowest level as an intern followed by the role of a staff accountant and then you can work your way through towards a managerial accountant position. This role requires you to keep records, as well as process them to generate reports, financial statements, and financial planning for operations such as staff salaries, budgets, costing, and forecasting.
The role of an auditor is two-fold. Within the company, you work with, inspect and review accounting processes and records for accuracy before external auditors come in and check them.
External auditors usually work for public organizations like government bureaus or private auditing companies like EY or PwC which deal with forensic accounting.
Information Technology Accountants
Accounting is an evolving field, and it’s moving fast with technology. Somebody’s got to help accountants transition into the new tech environment by converting accounting systems, principles, and processing to digital form. Technology accountants are most in demand for helping companies by providing them with IT solutions such as which software to use, which tools are suitable for the company, and bringing them to automation.
As accounting processes, systems, and practices become more complex, criminals in this area too become hard to catch and malpractices become elusive to the simple executive accountant. This is why the role of forensic accountants has also become high in demand both for internal audit as well as for external auditing organizations such as insurance companies, revenue bureaus, and justice departments.
Unlike accountants who work on day-to-day activities and records, financial analysts are more into the strategic and planning aspects. In large organizations especially, merely balancing cost and income doesn’t cut the deal; they’re more into investment and re-investment to ensure business continuity. The financial analysts generate, project, plan, and forecast for investors based on the company’s current financial health and business prospects.
If you’re ambitious and really want to grow into an executive role fast, then the financial controller role is for you. The controller oversees all of the accounting department processes including payroll, costing, income, budgeting, tax compliance, forecasting, financial statements, and auditing of the internal processes. The controller has a huge responsibility of ensuring all processes run smoothly, compliance is followed and best practices are implemented at all levels.
Chief Financial Officer
While the financial controller oversees the processes and systems, the CFO is more responsible for the financial management and performance based on the business strategy. S/he is also responsible for managing financial risks across all aspects of the business. This will help the company make better and more informed decisions.
There you have it. These are the in-demand jobs in accounting that you might consider. However, you can always find out which areas you want to specialize in as you grow into your roles and adapt according to the change in the field. For more roles and salaries, check this infographic by BusinessSchoolHub.com.
Ways to find accounting jobs
While beginner positions like bookkeeping are easier to find, top accounting posts are difficult to come by because most companies don’t want to change their accountants. Some of the top destinations to find the above in-demand accounting jobs include:
- Job portals like Indeed, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, Accounting Jobs Today, Salary.com.
- Associations like The American Accounting Association, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
- Networking with fellow professionals, which will help you land accounting jobs that are not posted publicly.
- Company websites: if you are interested in being employed in certain companies, then search for their career section to find out about the position.
Is an accounting career path a good choice?
For college graduates, one of the most important decisions is choosing the right major, and continuing with it to grow their career path. If you’ve decided that you want to stick to accounting as your career, you’ll be happy to know that it’s a great choice because of the following reasons:
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Whether you are a cost accountant or a forensic one, a chartered public accountant (CPA) or a certified management accountant (CMA), you’ll always be given high priority in a business, company, bank, or large public organization because… money matters!
That’s right. As an accountant, you’ll be responsible for taking care of money for the organization; developing strategies to conserve and grow it, and also ensuring that all money-related recordings are in a transparent and informative manner. For this, you’ll need specialized skills and licensing to make sure you’re recognized as someone the business can trust. Once you get those chops, you’ll definitely be picked up by major companies.
High Employment Rate
Accounting has one of the highest employment rates in the U.S. with credit supervisor’s employment rate of 16% and 17% for financial controllers. This is because the field of accounting is a requirement, not an option for individuals as well as businesses. As long as there are transactions and money, there will always be a demand for accountants.
So, even if you’re not hired by a company, you can always work as a consultant if you have enough experience, license, or certification to do so.
Of course, all that calculation, tabulation, and estimation require hard work, brain, and experience, not to mention a college degree in accounting from an accredited business school will fetch some of the highest-paid jobs.
You’ll be happy to know that one of the beginner jobs as an executive accountant has a median pay of $86,000 while a CPA auditor can start at a salary of $60,000. On the flip side, the high-end salaries of a financial manager are $186,000, and $129,000 for the financial controller. Now, isn’t that motivation enough to get you into the field of accounting?
Even if accounting is one of the oldest fields in history, it’s still growing. It’s a field that has bright career prospects that are at par with many other professions that are being replaced by AI tools and automation. With innovation in technology, accounting has also evolved drastically, to adapt to the change in the way businesses operate.
Many of the traditional methods and ways of recording accounting components and principles are becoming redundant due to artificial intelligence tools. However, this doesn’t mean that accounting and finance roles will be replaced by AI. In fact, they’re evolving and expected to grow more complex in the future.