Accounting is a highly competitive field that requires both skills and work experience. The following positions are challenging, rewarding and increasingly on the rise, presenting opportunities for career advancement and growth. And you will need more than bachelor’s degree to land a job in any of these positions.
- Accounting Manager
In most organizations, an accounting manager is responsible for the development and implementation of systems that gather, analyze, and report a range of financial information. The duties of an accounting manager include, but are not limited to, hiring, training, and coaching subordinates; administering company policies, rules, and procedures relating to financial management, budget and accounting; providing financial analysis statements; applying recommendations to the financial operations of other departments and more. Typically, accounting managers hold a bachelor’s degree in finance, but most organizations prefer a Master’s degree in finance and experience in the field.
- Senior Accountant
A senior accountant is responsible for keeping a company financially organized. Their duties include generating and interpreting financial records; analyzing financial data; preparing budget forecasts; maintaining records of financial activities and investigating discrepancy issues. Their most important skill is accuracy because they have to keep all the financial information together and never miss a single number. Most organization requires that a senior accountant holds a master’s degree in accounting as well as a solid working experience.
Auditors review the financial and operational activities of the organization to ensure adherence to the organizational policies and procedures. An auditor’s duties include preparation of reports related to auditing activities; recommendation on how to improve the company’s accounting processes; analysis of financial data; cooperation with the company’s departments; and collaboration with all the departments in the organization. To be an auditor, a bachelor’s degree in accounting is typically sufficient, although a master’s degree can pave the way for a certified public accountant (CPA) certification.
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
The duties of certified public accountants may vary depending on their employer and specialization, but in general, they are responsible for auditing the processes for organizations, governments, and individual customers. A CPA is responsible for reviewing the financial information of the organization; maintaining records of financial activities; analyzing financial; preparing financial reports related to finance, taxes or auditing; and ensure compliance with federal and state laws, among other tasks. Typically, a CPA is required to hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting and the CPA certification, but each state has different requirements.
- Corporate Accountant
Corporate accountants monitor the financial activities of an organization and submit periodic reports, forecasts, and financial analysis as requested by the management. Other responsibilities include the preparation of accounting reports; the consolidation of financial data from different departments within the organization; ensuring the accuracy of financial reports and compliance with federal and state regulations; the preparation of accounts for auditing and more. Most corporate accountants are required to hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a CPA certification
- Tax Accountant
Tax accountants are specialized in the preparations of tax returns in compliance with federal and state tax laws. The duties of a tax accountant include, but are not limited to, analyzing tax regulations; recommending proper policies to minimize tax burden; devising tax strategies; preparing tax presentations and more. A tax accountant typically holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or business administration, but most organizations require a CPA license and a relative working experience with a solid financial background.
- Managerial Accountant
Managerial accountants prepare financial information solely for the management of the organization with the aim to help effective managerial decision-making. The duties of a managerial accountant include, but are not limited to, preparing financial reports on a weekly, quarterly and yearly basis; overseeing daily accounting operations; providing technical guidelines; ensuring compliance with federal and state laws and more. Most organizations require a master’s degree for a managerial accountant position plus three to five years of working experience.
- Forensic Accountant
A forensic accountant works for financial institutions and insurance companies. The duties of a forensic accountant include, but are not limited to, investigating financial evidence; analyzing financial records for discrepancies and irregularities that may suggest fraud or embezzlement; preparing for legal disputes; preparing financial reports; ensuring compliance with the law and more. They also serve as expert witnesses in court when required. Most organizations require a bachelor’s degree in forensic accounting, but a master’s degree and a certification like CPA, CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) or CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) will take you further.
- Payroll Accountant
Payroll accountants are responsible for the generation, maintenance, and interpretation of various financial statements for the organization. Their duties are specific to payroll accounting and preparation which requires them to work closely with the Human Resources and Accounts departments and most of their work includes maintaining records of financial activities; analyzing financial data; reporting employee earnings using accounting principles and more. Normally, the lowest level of a payroll accountant is covered by bachelor degree holders in the field of accounting, finance, and business administration. However, at the highest levels, companies require CPAs, although some companies offer the proper training to entry-level candidates to obtain this certification
- Cost Accountant
Cost accountants are responsible for determining the fixed and variable expenses that are required for production. A cost accountant’s duties involve performing routine analysis to determine the cost-effective operations in the organization; assessing the best raw materials that can be used to meet the company’s objectives; evaluating inventory and related costs; reporting the manufacturing costs; analyzing ledger activities and more. All the information gathered by a cost accountant can be used for budgeting and product pricing, thereby cost accountants work closely with all other departments within the organization. Normally, a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is sufficient for a cost accountant position but if you hold a master’s degree you will probably be preferred over other candidates.
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