CAREERS IN ACCOUNTING 1
Someone with an accounting education can pursue a career in auditing,financial accounting, forensic accounting, management accounting, orteaching, among other fields. Depending on the career path onechooses to follow, accountants may offer their services to bothprivate and public organizations such as schools, hospitals, andnon-governmental agencies. For example, one can work as an auditingclerk, a bookkeeper, a payroll clerk, a management trainer, or anaccounting clerk. A forensic accountant is a professional who auditsa business, company, or a person`s financial documents whenever thereis a dispute or an impending litigation. These professionals are alsoexpected to report their findings to a court or any other disputeresolution body. Most of the cases that are handled by forensicaccountants include breach of contracts, insurance claims, anddivorces. According to the Associationof Certified Fraud Examiners (2016), businesses acrossthe world lose about 5% of their revenue to fraud annually. Thismeans that a company seeking to hire a forensic accountant stands togain by preventing the loss of its revenue through fraud. To be asuccessful forensic accountant, one requires certification from therelevant bodies. These bodies include the Association of CertifiedFraud Examiners and the American Institute of Certified PublicAccountant.
Apart from a career in forensic accounting, one can work as afinancial accountant upon acquiring an education in accounting. Sucha professional conducts a public reporting of an organization’sfinancial status. Financial accountants are also responsible forinventory processing, program administration, and tax reporting.Besides, they may help in forecasting future trends that are likelyto affect a business. Additionally, these professionals may offeradvice on how their clients can prepare for the future. For one towork as a financial accountant, he/she must be a holder of abachelor`s degree in accounting. Additionally, one must be acertified public accountant.
The other career option available to individuals with an education inaccounting is auditing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015) hasprojected an 11% faster than the average job growth rate for auditorsbetween 2014 and 2024. There are two types of auditors who differdepending on whether they are part of an organization`s workforce ornot. While internal auditors are individuals employed permanently byan organization to review its financial records, the external onesare outsourced from companies that deal with providing auditingservices to a wide array of clientele. An internal auditor shouldevaluate the likelihood of the occurrence of fraud within anorganization. Regardless of whether one is an internal or externalauditor, his/her task involves reviewing an organization’sfinancial records for adherences with laws and regulations. As such,an organization seeking to hire accounting professionals to serve asauditors stands to save a huge amount of money that could have beenspent in litigation for the violations of laws and regulations. Forexample, it is the job of auditors to ensure that a company adheresto the country’s tax laws. Additionally, these professionalsconduct a comprehensive evaluation of a company’s accountingpolicies and procedures. Some of the skills that both internal andexternal auditors must have include interpersonal, communication,analytical, and critical thinking skills.
An individual offering auditing services needs to possess certainprofessional certifications that culminate in him/her being referredto as a certified auditor. There are several benefits that come withbeing certified by the relevant agencies. A certification in fraudexaminations equips an auditor with skills and knowledge needed toevaluate an organization’s accounting systems efficiently.Additionally, a certified fraud examiner is more likely to get a jobas an auditor faster compared to an uncertified one. Similarly, aperson with certification in fraud examination gets a higher paycompared to his/her uncertified peers. A study conducted by theACFE’s global salary reported that certified fraud examiners earnapproximately 23% income premium in comparison with their colleagueswithout the certification (Associationof Fraud Examiners, 2016). The auditing career hasseveral levels depending on one’s qualification and work-relatedexperience. To work as an auditor, one requires at least a universitydegree. As an entry-level internal auditor, one must possess thebasic skills needed to review an organization’s accounting policiesand procedures. On the other hand, a senior internal auditor mustpossess a bachelor’s degree with an accounting major in addition toat least five years of related experience. As a person climbs theaccounting profession`s ladder, he/she is required to possess otherqualifications such as MBAs in addition to an accounting degree andat least eight years of related experience.
In conclusion, upon graduating with a degree in accounting, one canwork as a financial accountant, an auditor, or a forensic accountant,among other jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an 11% jobgrowth rate for auditors between 2014 and 2024. This means thatauditors are in higher demand compared to most of otherprofessionals. While a degree in accounting is crucial in getting ajob as a forensic accountant, an auditor, and a financial accountant,one requires certification from relevant bodies. The certificationcomes with several benefits such as a higher likelihood of getting ajob. Additionally, accountants with certain certifications earn ahigher salary compared to their uncertified peers.
Associationof Certified Fraud Examiners. (2016). “ACFE Reports EstimatesOrganizations Worldwide Loss of 5 percent of Revenues to Fraud.” Accessed on August 25, 2016.http://www.acfe.com/press-release.aspx?id=4294973129
Associationof Fraud Examiners. (2016). “Career path-internal Auditor.”Accessed on August 28, 2016.http://www.acfe.com/career-path-internal-auditor.aspx
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2015). "Occupational OutlookHandbook: Accountants and auditors." Accessed on August 27,2016.http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm