Are You Planning To Pursue A Degree In Accounting? Check Out Your Career Prospects

By EasyUni Staff | Last modified 23 Feb 2018
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Just remember, you can use this as an ideas list, remember that it represents some, but certainly not all of the careers you might consider. Some careers may take additional qualifications.

1. Financial Controller

  • A company’s controller is the chief accounting officer and heads the accounting department. The controller is responsible for the company’s financial statements, general ledger, cost accounting, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, tax compliance, and various special analyses.
  • At larger companies the controller will supervise accountants and other professionals who assist him. Titles of the subordinates could include accounting manager, cost accounting manager, tax manager, accounts payable manager, credit manager, payroll manager, and so on. These managers might be supervising accountants who are supervising accounting clerks.
  • At smaller companies it is possible that the controller will be the only accountant and will be assisted by an accounting clerk and an accounts payable clerk.
  • Often, the controller reports to the chief financial officer (CFO). However, at small companies, the controller might report directly to the president or owner.

2. Forensic accountant

  • Forensic accounting combines accounting with information technology, using computer software to analyse financial data and look for proof of embezzlement, fraud, and other illegal activities for use in court cases. Pretty much like playing a secret investigator or detective to solve crimes and mysteries in matters of finance!
  • Other than that, forensic accountants primarily provide analyses for discussion, debate and dispute resolution. They testify in court cases as expert witnesses for civil or criminal cases, to determine the economic damages resulting from breach of contract, professional negligence claims, to provide evidence for proof of insurance fraud, embezzlement, bankruptcy cases, money laundering, identity theft, price fixing, and so on.
  • Some forensic accountants do not participate in court proceedings, but work in matters such as fraud assessment.

3.Tax accountant

  • Tax accounting focuses on taxes rather than public financial statements.
  • Balance sheet items can be accounted for differently when preparing financial statements and tax payables. For example, companies can prepare their financial statements implementing the first-in-first-out (FIFO) method to record their inventory for financial purposes, and use the last-in-first-out (LIFO) approach for tax purposes. The latter reduces the current year’s taxes payable.
  • An accountant who is trained in tax law is responsible for preparing tax returns or developing tax strategies.

4. Payroll accountant

  • A payroll accountant is generally responsible for balancing accounts within a company or organisation’s accounting system and prepares accounting documents, schedules and summaries.
  • They may also be involved in assessing the need for new accounts, conduct reviews, advise payroll staff on the treatment of complex transactions and perform internal audits.
  • Most payroll accountants have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, such as the Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
  • Payroll accounting covers a wide range of duties and is an essential area in any successful business.
  • The role of the payroll accountant has increased in prominence year on year as changes in industry regulations, compliance, legislation and audit controls require that organisations ensure their payroll and accounting procedures remain compliant and robust.
  • Payroll accounting duties can vary from the timely and accurate reconciliation and approval of payrolls, reconciliation of general ledger accounts, payroll control account, employee benefit contributions through to P35 and year end balances.

5. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

  • Services by Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) range from helping an individual develop a personal financial plan to assisting a business owner with things such as tax planning, financial statement analysis and understanding complex financial transactions for business decision-making.

6. Internal and  external auditor

  • Internal and external auditors typically perform similar work, though an internal review is generally more focused on risk management and internal control procedures.
  • An internal auditor normally reviews his organisation’s procedures and operations closely, confirming that they are being followed correctly and that they support the organisation’s goals and objectives. After examining processes and procedures, the internal audit department reports its findings and works closely with audited to provide accurate and pertinent recommendations that help the organisation to adhere more closely to its objectives.
  • An external auditor is a third-party professional who performs an independent review of an organisation’s financial records. Generally reporting to an audit committee of company executives, he evaluates accounting, payroll and purchasing records, as well as anything related to financial investments and loans, searching for any mistakes or fraud. Afterwards, he provides an accurate, unbiased report of the company’s financial condition to management or those responsible for corporate ethics.
  • In general an auditor reviews the financial records of companies and other organisations. If you are good with numbers, enjoy analysing data and are prepared to work long hours in an office environment, this job is for you.
  • In an entry-level auditing role, you work with a senior auditor to check the financial records of companies and make sure they conform to business and accountancy regulations and ethics. You could work in-house as part of a company’s internal audit team, or for an accountancy firm that conducts audits for clients.
  • A senior auditor supervises the designing, planning and implementation of all internal audits (except Systems/EDP audits) and participates in the conduct of and reporting on such audits to the extent necessary to ensure reliability of findings and recommendations.

7. Bookkeeper

  • A bookkeeper processes the paperwork for a company’s business transactions. Ultimately the transactions will be recorded in accounts within the company’s general ledger. Today this often involves the use of cost-effective software such as QuickBooks from Intuit.
  • Bookkeepers are expected to be accurate, efficient, and knowledgeable about debits and credits, the chart of accounts, accounts payable procedures, sales and accounts receivable, payroll, and more. Each bookkeeper’s specific responsibilities will vary according to the type and size of the business.
  • The bookkeeper’s role may be expanded to include adjusting entries in order for the bookkeeper to generate income statements and balance sheets from the accounting software.
  • An accountant or the small-business owner usually oversees the work of a bookkeeper.

8. Accounting clerk – receivables or payables

  • An accounts receivable clerk’s job duties include but not limited to posting customer payments by recording cash, checks, and credit card transactions; posting revenues by verifying and entering transactions from lock boxes and local deposits; updating receivables by totalling unpaid invoices; maintaining records by microfilming invoices, debits, and credits; verifying validity of account discrepancies by obtaining and investigating information from sales, trade promotions, customer service departments, and from customers.
  • An accounts payable clerk’s main duties include but are not limited to compiling data, computing fees and charges, and preparing invoices for billing purposes (tasks include computing costs and calculating rates for goods, services, and shipment of goods; posting data; and keeping other relevant records).
Posted on 09 Oct 2017
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