There are many people who are mistaken by the skill and job involvement of an accountant. People are surprised to hear for instance that accounting involves far more than just numbers. It blends problem solving, analysis and detective work. It’s not simply a matter of sitting in front of a screen all day working on a spreadsheet, you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively with your colleagues and deal with clients diligently. As such, the role of an accountant is far more diverse than most people assume.
A Typical Day…
Accountants work for companies, clients and governments to help ensure that the business runs smoothly, or as smoothly as it possibly can. In order to do achieve this, accountants need to keep accurate records of the business’ incomings and outgoings, as well as ensuring that taxes are paid. Accountants are also expected to analyse budgets and provide financial planning services, in addition to IT consulting.
Fields of Accounting
There are four main fields of accounting to consider. Accountants can choose an area in which to specialise, as the different fields within accountancy provide varying roles, these are as follows; Public Accounting, Managements Accounting, Government Accounting, and Internal Auditing. Here we will discuss the roles of each of the fields mentioned above:
Public Accounting; This is one of the broadest fields of accounting, as a public accountant provides an array of services to the general public, both to businesses and to individual clients. Services that they provide might include; tax, auditing, consultancy services as well as other accounting duties. Many public accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), however they may specialise in a certain field, such as auditing financial statements or undertaking tax preparation for businesses.
Management Accounting; Generally, if you’re a management accountant, you’ll work within a team. You will deal with company executives and directors in order to provide them with details backed up with analysis to assist in big decision making. Information that a management accountant provides might help in the preparation of financial reports also.
Government Accounting; If you’re working as an accountant for the government, your day-to-day activities could include anything from doing the books for government agencies, to auditing businesses who are required to confirm to government regulations or pay tax.
Internal Auditing; This is where the detective skills come into action… Auditors implement detective skill into their day-to-day work by examining the internal controls of a business and attempting to discover and prevent inaccuracy, possible fraud or mismanagement.
We hope this information has opened your eyes a little more to the career of an accountant. As you can see, being an accountant isn’t as predictable as you may have originally thought. There are varied positions to choose from, each role encompassing different specialisms.
Want to be an Accountant?
So, if you are considering a role within accounting, it might be worth considering which of the fields above you’d prefer to work within; Public Accounting, Management Accounting, Government Accounting, or Internal Auditing.
There are also other more unique career paths within the field of accountancy that might interest you, such as; forensic accounting, environmental accounting, entertainment accounting, sports accounting, international accounting, mergers and acquisitions accounting, as well as many more.