The role of an accountant cannot be overemphasized in any financial establishment. Their professional skills range from tax payments and bills, book balance, execute payroll and issuance of financial statements to other establishments.
These skills may seem quite easy on paper, but as a professional, accountants need to be fully aware of regulations and principles to avoid bringing dishonor to themselves and the organization they represent, which may result in heavy fines.
Gone are the days when the role of an assistant majorly involved spitting calculators and ledger sheets as the accounting industry today has developed more technically advanced software.
More career accountants now carry the consulting badge, fewer hours spent on crunching numbers, and spend more time as an ordinary financial translator for the administrative fields.
The new badge also comes with other functions and skills set as employers require modern accountants with not just arithmetic knowledge but those with analytical thinking skills that enables them to uncover challenges and proffer the best solutions.
It is important to note; the best solutions need to be communicated to skilled personnel who can execute it. This makes strong written and verbal communication skills an integral part of a modern accountant.
Entry-level positions for the role of an accountant require a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or management of information systems (MIS) to be considered suitable training to succeed by employers for technical, analytical, and communication skills.
According to The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, to qualify for the CPA examination, you need to complete; 150 hours of university education and thirty hours more than a standard four-year degree program.
There are also the Internal Auditors or the Institute of Management Accountants in charge of issuing certificates, which are often required by employers for anyone starting a career in internal auditing and management accounting.
Degree holders from a different field, high school graduates and associate degree holders can qualify for a bookkeeping position, which is usually less regarded.
However, these positions tend to be more draining and less compensating.
On the bright side, there are many accounting career tracks in the industry that specify several interests and accounting training. Some of these are; bookkeepers, government accountants, management accountants, public accounting, in-house accountants, internal auditors, auditing clerks.
Bookkeepers and auditing clerks are charged with the task of inputting necessary information into the organization’s financial database.
The financial authority in charge of revenue collection and disbursement by law is the Government Accountants.
Preparation of a company’s tax statement as well as external auditing, which readily makes financial records available to both the government and the public are roles managed by Public Accountants.
Their skills are only required by small and big corporations alike, which makes the role of an accountant in this field a bit more flexible.
Managing assets, developing budgets, payroll, and tracking payments as well as managing other financial issues are functions executed by In-House Accountants.
Both Internal Auditors and Management Accountants shoulder a more internal responsibility, which involves checking accounting systems for clerical errors, upholding rules and regulations, redesigning processes, advising on crucial matters and other strategic planning.
Although, once you’ve bagged your CPA, the enthusiasm of becoming an entrepreneur gains ground as more organizations prefer accounting consultants who advise and do all the tax return work on a contract basis.
Notwithstanding, there are several opportunities in the accounting career to helping get up the ladder.
Endless industry scandals have led to companies searching for ethical candidates to take up forensic roles to rebuild their client’s trust. There are also many available auditing and tax positions in the public accounting industry.
You can also apply for the role of an accountant in the manufacturing and health care sectors.
Although the Big Four Accounting firms; PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu are always in a look-out for outstanding youngsters to fill up junior roles as they can in exchange have a big name organization printed on their resume.
Salaries offered by the Big Four Accounting Firms are far higher in comparison to the competition out there.
Management Accountants have impressive remunerations which may exceed six figures yearly.
However, lower remunerations may be offered by smaller firms, and the accounting industry is generally projected to have a rising salary scheme over the next few years so you can be confident in the role of an accountant.