Financial Accounting Careers

Updated on April 4, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

The persons opting for the Financial Accounting Careers are responsible for financial accounting which helps in budgeting, data analysis for management action, and for preparation of financial statements in order to give the report to the external stakeholders who need to have a degree in the accounting field or related fields.

Financial Accounting Careers Roles

Financial accounting careers involve public reporting of a company for the purpose of various stakeholders who need information on the company’s financial status. These stakeholders could be internal management and leaders or external shareholders, creditors, debt holders, government agencies, etc.

Apart from basic accounting knowledge, financial accounting professionals should possess strong numerical, analytical, communication, and presentation skills with attention to detail. They need to be conversant with the economy’s accepted accounting standards like GAAP, IFRS, etc. This is necessary to maintain consistency in reporting so that comparison is feasible across peer companies.

Financial Accounting professionals may be engaged as Financial Accountants, Auditors, Financial Managers, Comptrollers, Management Accountants, and Financial Analysts.

Financial Accounting Careers

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Top 6 Financial Accounting Careers List

Careers in Financial AccountingExp. (yrs.)
Role
  • Financial Accountant

0

Recordkeeping, Preparation of financial statements
  • Auditor

>=3

Ensuring fairness of financial statements
  • Financial Manager

5-10

Managing the financial functions of an organization
  • Controller

>=5

Overseeing operations of the accounting department
  • Management Accountant

>=3

Analyzing financial information for management decision making
  • Financial Analyst

>=3

Providing investment advice to companies and individuals

#1 – Financial Accountants Career

Financial Accounting Career - Accountant

Financial Accountants are responsible for detailed record keeping and preparation of monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements. These records and statements help in budgeting of future sales and expenses, internal and external auditing for maintenance of good financial practices, data analysis for management action, and preparation of final accounts for reporting to external stakeholders.

Financial Accountants need to possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting, finance, business, economics, statistics, or other related fields. Big companies usually recruit chartered accountants for this role.

#2 – Auditors Career

Financial Accounting Career - Auditing

source: deloitte.com

This career in financial accounting examines the financial statements of a company to ensure its fairness and materiality as per relevant financial reporting standards. Auditors may be independent firms rendering the independent opinion of the accuracy of financial statements for infusing confidence in the financial statements among lenders and investors of the company. Auditors may also work within a company acting as internal control agents to maintain the fairness of the accounting procedures. Auditors may also be employed by government bodies to audit books of government agencies as well as private sector businesses and individuals who need to conform to government regulations for paying tax. The latter is termed as Tax Examiners.

Apart from bachelors’ degrees in accounting, finance, or related fields, auditors need to have accounting certification like Chartered Accountants in India, or Chartered Public Accountants in the USA, etc. At least three years of professional work experience in an accounting role is needed to gain certification in India.

#3 – Financial Manager

Financial Accounting Career - Financial Manager

source: monster.com

This financial accounting career organizes the various financial functions within an organization. This may encompass accounting and involve meeting the financing needs of the organization, overseeing short-term and long-term investments, negotiating financial terms with other institutions, planning securities issues, mergers, and acquisitions, etc. The financial managers manage the team of accountants and assistants and administer the creation of financial reports, statements, and projections. They communicate the financial analysis and projections to the top management and external stakeholders and provide valuable advice for finalizing the company’s financial goals.

Financial managers usually need to have five to ten years of experience as financial accountants to enter management roles apart from technical qualifications with the preference for CAs or MBAs in finance.

#4 – Controller

Financial Accounting Career - Controller

This financial accounting career oversees the operations of the accounting department. They make sure that the general ledgers of income, expenses, assets, and liabilities, and the financial statements, are maintained in conformance with laws and regulations. Controllers maintain a comprehensive set of controls and budgets to minimize risk and enhance the accuracy of reported financial results of the companies. Controllers also manage the accounting operations of a company’s subsidiaries, especially their control system, policies and procedures, and transactional processes. In a small company, the controller is also responsible for managing the cash and risk in operations. Controllers in senior positions are usually referred to as Comptrollers.

These positions are usually filled by financial accountants who have more than five years of experience with preference being given to CAs or MBAs in finance.

While financial managers are involved with the management of the company’s finances, controllers are more focused on accounting functions of internal control, supervising data gathering, and reporting.

#5 – Management Accountants

Financial Accounting Career - Management Accountant

source: cimaglobal.com

This financial accounting career analyzes company financial information to prepare and present reports that aid in management decision making to achieve strategic goals. They play crucial roles in budgeting sales and expenses, handling taxes, managing assets, and in preparation of strategic plans for the future. The work may involve cost-reduction analysis, competitor analysis, variance analysis, tender preparation and review, investor appraisal, etc. This role is a combination of accounting, finance, and management.

The role of management accountant also requires a high level of analysis and good communication and presentation skills to build and present business strategies.

#6 – Financial Analysts

Financial Accounting Career - Financial Analyst

This financial accounting career is entrusted with providing investment advice to the companies and individuals. They keep a continuous tab of the social, economic, political, technological, and other relevant factors of the economy which affect the industry and the company. These professionals undertake detailed data analysis and track trends and future requirements for advice to senior managers on current and future investment decisions. Financial Analysts may report to a senior accountant or financial manager. Analysts could be investment analysts, securities analysts, risk analysts, or portfolio managers.

Financial Accountants with three or more years of experience can join a financial analyst position. Companies prefer CAs, MBAs (Finance), and/or CFAs as added qualifications.

Financial Accounting Careers – Conclusion

Financial Accounting provides a vast range of careers involving issuesenance, management, and/or analysis of financial accounts of a company. Apart from technical knowledge, these professionals need to possess very good numerical, communication, and analytical skills and should be detail-oriented in their approach. While the traditional career in financial accounting involves accounting or auditing of accounts, several new careers in financial accounting have also emerged, like Forensic Accounting, Environmental Accounting, Showbiz accounting, and trustee in Bankruptcy.

Forensic Accounting involves the uncovering of financial frauds made by companies. With companies increasingly devising illegal ways to dupe investors, creditors, or tax authorities, this career in financial accounting has been one of the fastest-growing in recent years. Increasing awareness for a greener environment has led to the recruitment of environment accountants who analyze the pollution costs and impact of tax credits, fines, and bad relations with neighbors. Showbiz accounting is another field which involves providing financial services to companies and professionals in showbiz, for example, production houses and artists. Bankruptcy trustees are usually appointed by the government to manage bankruptcy court procedures.

This has been a guide to Financial Accounting Careers. Here we provide the top 6 Financial Accounting careers list, including a financial accountant, management accountant, financial analyst, auditor, controller, and finance manager. You may also have a look at these articles below on accounting –

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