When thinking of an accountant, the image of someone sitting in a cubicle analyzing data, finance reports, and tax returns often comes to mind. But being good with numbers is just one hard skill people should possess to enter and succeed in the profession.
In addition to crunching numbers, an accounting professional often wears several hats, from a project manager and business consultant to an effective communicator and technology expert — and demand for the profession has never been higher.
Interested in a career in accountancy? Here are four different career paths worth pursuing:
1. Management Accountants
Management accountants work for public companies, private businesses, and government agencies to provide executives with important information and analysis to make sound decision-making. Their role is to record and crunch numbers for use within the company. Their day-to-day responsibilities include preparing reports, budgets, undertaking financial administration and internal audits, and understanding past trends to foresee future needs.
An auditor’s role is to scrutinize financial documents to check for inaccuracies and ensure compliance with tax norms. Auditors also look to pinpoint any discrepancies in accounting methods. An internal auditor performs random or scheduled audits to ensure internal policies are being followed or offer recommendations. Meanwhile, an external auditor is most often a CPA who advises clients on financial matters and prepares and files tax documents.
As the name suggests, the role of a tax accountant is to provide tax preparation advice and services to companies while making sure taxes are filed with precision. By offering advice on the timely performance of financial transactions, they help companies save money. It is on them to keep track of the company’s compliance with state, federal, and local taxes. More often than not, tax accountants have completed accounting degree programs online or in-person to enter into and advance within the profession.
A payroll accountant ensures compliance within the organization. They share information regarding employee financial activities with local, state, and federal governments while making sure the correct amount of taxes is extracted from each employee’s paycheck.
If you already have a love for numbers, then pursuing a career in accounting may be right for you. As you can see, there are many different paths to pursue, from getting a specialization to starting your own firm and beyond. And while working to obtain a degree and subsequently passing the CPA exam can be challenging and demanding, the payoff is a high-paying job and room for growth in a diverse and in-demand profession.