Anyone who is thinking about a career in accounting, needs to make some decisions about the type of accounting career they want to pursue. Accounting careers are not all the same, and may require different skills and education. Depending on your chosen path, you may end up as a bookkeeper, a clerk, a controller, a director, a manager or a financial officer. Learning about the different types of accounting careers will help narrow your decision.
Public accounting is a type of accounting career that includes bookkeeping, account management services and financial analysis. Clients of a public accountant may include individuals, public or private businesses, charities and other non-profit organizations or government agencies.
A business that features public accounting may consist of one single accountant, all the way up to hundreds of accountants. Public accounting duties range from basic tax preparation or advice, to consultations to external auditing. Forensic accounting is one of the more interesting specialties that fall under the umbrella of public accounting. A forensic accountant will analyze historical financial data to try and track down white-collar criminals.
Unlike a public accountant, a management accountant doesn’t offer his services to the general public. A management accountant, also known as a private accountant or corporate accountant works for a specific business or agency.
In that role, the management accountant will tackle jobs like cost management, performance evaluation, asset management and budgeting. The budgeting aspect often comes in when new products are released or financial data must be prepared for tax authorities or investors. Generally, a management accountant will analyze both past and current data to better plan for the future.
Internal auditing is an overall review of a company’s financial management practices. An internal auditing accountant will check for any mismanagement of funds, financial waste or fraud. In an internal audit, the accountant will perform a thorough evaluation management and operations system for efficiency, performance and legal compliance. An internal auditing accountant may specialize in one of several areas, including environmental auditing, compliance auditing or information technology auditing.
Most people are familiar with tax accounting, and many have used the services of a tax accountant at one time or another. Tax accountants must be well versed in the rules and laws that govern tax policies, and will often provide planning and advice along with filing income tax returns.
Tax accountants are very important in the business world, as the tax scenario for most businesses is quite complex. Without a tax accountant to keep everything organized, many businesses would find themselves in serious trouble in several tax-related matters. Even though many like to try and take care of taxes themselves, it is one area that is usually best left to an expert.
Whether which accounting job you decide to embark, all of the aforementioned careers require a bachelor’s degree in business as a minimum education accreditation.