Careers In Accounting

Updated on April 2, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byPallabi Banerjee
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Are Careers In Accounting?

Accounting is a field where a person is involved in handling the finances of an organization. It involves a wide range of activities like bookkeeping basics, financial analysis, financial reporting, auditing, statutory obligations, major financial decisions, etc. The kind of work a person does depends on the years of expertise and various degrees and certifications a person has acquired.

Careers in Accounting

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There are plenty of career options available in accounting, and qualified candidates are always in demand. Accounting is paid well, and you will need a bachelor’s degree to enter the field. However, demand increases significantly if the candidate acquires a Certified Public Accountant – CPA certification or other relevant certifications.

Careers in Accounting Explained

A career in accounting can be considered to have a good financially rewarding and a professionally fulfilling experience. People who work in the accounting field play a very important role in streamlining and managing the financial resources of the organization in order to facilitate decision making.

There is a huge list of opportunities available in the careers in accounting and finance for the candidate to explore, which offer great career prospects and a high potential to earn. But at the same time, it is also crucial to keep oneself updated regarding the different changes in accounting standards, regulations and new avenues of working so that they can be accounted for while pursuing an accounting profession.  

Globally, this career careers with a degree in accounting is continuously growing over the years and have good future prospects. This is a field that is required in every business in the form of accountant, tax expert, auditor, finance manager, public accountant etc. With growing number of startups and new avenues of business, the demand for candidates who are experts in managing finance and accounting is also on the rise.

A career in this field may attract a lot of candidates who aspire to have a lucrative job in finance and accounting and plan to rise up the corporate ladder within a short period of time. But it is necessary to understand one’s own strength and weaknesses in order to identify the right area of work for themselves in this field so as to achieve success, because even though it is a great career option, the candidate needs to be a right fit for it.

It is necessary to have a good grasp over the various pros and cons of careers in accounting and finance profession, take time, do research, prepare and then decide about it.  

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List Of Top 4 Careers In Accounting

Below are some of the best careers in accounting options that you can opt for.

Career #1 – Finance & Accounts Manager

Who is a Finance & Accounts Manager?

Finance & Accounts Manager takes care of complete Accounts PayableAccounts Receivable, preparation of financial statements and other statutory reports for audits.

Finance & Accounts Manager – Job Description
ResponsibilitiesResponsible for finance and accounting function for preparation of profit & loss and balance sheet.
DesignationFinance & Accounting Manager
Actual RoleActively manage the daily operations of the payables and receivables and take calls on vendor/customer management for deals and negotiations.
Job StatisticsThe Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US displays that job growth for accounting managers is 10% from 2016-26, which is faster than average.
Top CompaniesUSAA, Capital One Financial, One deck Capital, JP Morgan Chase, Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), KPMG, Bank of New York Mellon, Automatic Data Processing Inc, etc.
SalaryThe base salary for an accounting manager ranges from $91,835 to $116,722
Demand & SupplyThere will always be a good demand for this role as monthly book closing and reporting is widely accepted practice now.
Education RequirementBachelor’s degree in finance for entry-level jobs and CPA/CFA/ MBA for further progression.
Recommended CoursesBachelor’s degree in finance for entry-level jobs and CPA/CFA/ MBA for further progression.
PositivesExtensive knowledge of the different accounting functions and exposure to statutory and internal accounting requirements.
NegativesIn the long run, the accounting function becomes a repetitive task.

Career #2 – Statutory Auditor

Who is a Statutory Auditor?

Among different careers in accounting, the statutory Auditor is the representative of the appointed audit firm who examines the financial statements of an organization to ensure that it complies with standards set internally and by statutory authorities.

Statutory Auditor – Job Description
ResponsibilitiesResponsible for examining the prepared books of accounts to identify any malpractices, fraud, or deviation from set standards.
DesignationAuditor/ Senior Auditor/ Audit Manager
Actual RoleEnsure the transaction is accounted as per accounting laws by doing sample checks of journals, ledgers, and any other item from the Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet. Auditors also do the physical check of assets reported in the books to ensure that they actually exist.
Top CompaniesErnst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), RSM, Grant Thorton, BDO, CBIZ, BKD, and other audit firms.
Job StatisticsThe Bureau of Labor Statistics of US displays that job growth for auditors is 10% from 2016-26, which is faster than average.
SalaryThe base salary for an entry-level auditor is $ 61K which increases with years of experience and career progression.
Demand & SupplyThere will always be a good demand for this role statutory audits has become compulsory for almost all organizations.
Education RequirementBachelor’s degree in finance for entry-level jobs and CPA for further progression.
Recommended CoursesBachelor’s degree in finance for entry-level jobs and CPA for further progression.
PositivesExtensive Knowledge of the various accounting functions and exposure to statutory and internal audit requirements
NegativesIt involves a lot of traveling as the auditors have to visit the client site for the understanding of financial statements and physical verification of assets.

Career #3 – Taxation Manager/Expert

Who is a Taxation Manager/Expert?

The taxation Manager takes care of all the Tax related work in the organization. This is a very niche profile as the companies are always looking for different ways of saving Taxes. The Tax manager also ensures that VAT inputs are taken, refunds are processed, and various tax filing with the government are done promptly. Complex regulatory requirements due to cross-border functions are met.

Taxation Manager/Expert – Job Description
ResponsibilitiesResponsible for direct and indirect tax-related matters, tax filing, and tax audit facilitation with auditors.
DesignationTaxation Manager
Actual RoleIn most countries, the tax is payable quarterly, and there are so many details like fixed assets, debtors list, creditors list, and other information to be provided while filing tax returns; all these are taken care of by the tax team.
Job StatisticsThe tax professionals are very high in demand and the average salary is $105K for a tax manager.
Top CompaniesErnst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), RSM, Grant Thorton, BDO, CBIZ, BKD, other audit firms, and every organization needs at least a team for audit facilitation.
SalaryThe base salary for entry-level tax personnel is $ 71K which increases with years of experience and career progression.
Demand & SupplyThere will always be a good demand for this role as the tax requirements are becoming complex day by day.
Education RequirementBachelor’s degree in finance for entry-level jobs and CPA/CFA/MBA for further progression.
Recommended CoursesBachelor’s degree in finance for entry-level jobs and CPA/CFA/MBA for further progression.
PositivesExtensive knowledge of the various tax functions and exposure to statutory and internal tax requirements.
NegativesTax rules are subject to constant change and it becomes difficult to keep pace with changes.

Career #4 – Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Who is a Certified Public Accountant?

Certified Public Accountant provides different careers in accounting, taxation, and other financial services to the general public. A person has to qualify for the CPA exams and then acquire a license to practice as a CPA. The USA allows a CPA to provide services in any state once the person clears the CPA exam. Also, there are certain conditions to be met locally for practice.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – Job Description
ResponsibilitiesResponsible for providing accounting, taxation, and various other financial services like insurance, investment, tax planning, a mortgage to the general public and small businesses.
DesignationCertified Public Accountant (CPA)
Actual RoleCPAs provide all kinds of financial services, consulting, and guidance to the general public. From tax filing to tax planning, bookkeeping, accounts preparation, and audit of small businesses are some of the activities a CPA does.
Job StatisticsThere are around 700K licensed CPAs in practice in the USA and they are highly in demand.
Top CompaniesA CPA practices on their own at their place of choice.
SalaryCPA charges fees for their services and they make good money in practice per the report of Bureau of Labor statistics of US.
Demand & SupplyThere will always be a good demand for licensed CPAs due to the increasing financial integrity imposed by governments and organizations.
Education RequirementCPA – Certified Public Accountant degree.
Recommended CoursesCPA – Certified Public Accountant degree.
PositivesOver a period, a CPA becomes an expert in their field of practice and the money also starts flowing handsomely. Practicing as a CPA also gives a lot of satisfaction compared to a job as it is like setting up a sole proprietorship.
NegativesA licensed CPA has to keep themselves always updated with frequent changes in the accounting and taxation field.

These are some of the major areas where the person with accounting knowledge can work. However, various other careers with a degree in accounting like Forensic accounting, Valuation, Arbitration, Data Science, etc., are emerging and have a great scope for a person with an accounting background. With recent developments globally, IFRS being implemented worldwide, there will be many changes in the way books are prepared. Accountants will be in great demand to keep pace with changes and ensure that financial requirements are met.

From the above, we come to know of different areas which provide best careers in accounting. Each type in the above list gives an overview about the basic roles and responsibilities the professional has to have, top companies who hire such experts including how much they pay, the educational requirements to get it and its pros and cons. It is necessary to study the same to get a clear idea of each.

Thus, we can summarize that the accounting job role is a great career field. This is not a new field, and the origin can be traced back to as early as 2000 to 3300 BC, and this field is still evolving. Accounting is not only about preparing financial statements and presenting them but about maintaining financial integrity and entrusting public faith in public limited companies. Incidents like Enron, Tyco, Worldcom, etc. posed a threat to accounting practices, and it gave birth to SOX compliance. Accountants are viewed in very high regard as they are considered the watchdog of an economy, and they are the people who can keep a tab on money laundering and black money. So an accounting career also imposes a moral obligation for accountants towards society and country.

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This has been a guide to what are Careers In Accounting. We explained the concept along with the top 4 career option in this field. You may also have a look at these finance career articles below –

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