Over the years, accounting has developed a reputation as one focused on income tax preparation and little else. If you get a degree in this field, your job will consist of you trapped in a room, pouring over financial documents until you go home for the day — only to repeat this process the next.
The reality, however, couldn’t be farther from that.
In truth, earning a degree in accounting opens you up to some of the best, most interesting jobs in any industry that you can name. In fact, here are not one but ten different careers that can lead to a lifetime of excitement that are more than worth exploring.
Also commonly referred to as Chief Financial Officers, CFOs are more than just accounting professionals — they’re essentially the brains of any organization they work for.
They’re tasked with managing the financial risks of any business — to which there are obviously a lot, regardless of the industry you’re talking about. In addition to financial planning and records keeping, they also monitor things like cash flow, budgets, liability, and more. They’re also in charge of monitoring various departments including finance and portions of human resources.
Controllers tend to work underneath the CFO at large organizations, and they manage the accounting department specifically. But this isn’t an entry level position. They’re usually promoted at businesses where they already work.
They, too, oversee the monetary activities of an organization. They make sure everything is on the up and up so that the business itself is always moving in the right direction: forward.
Think of a finance manager as something of a “financial doctor” for any organization. They’re tasked with overseeing the financial health of a business. They perform research, leverage analytics to make the most informed decisions possible, and use reporting to track historical performance over time.
Here, you’d be tasked with coming up with the types of financial strategies that will ultimately propel a company to long-term success. They report directly to organizational leaders and to say this position is important would definitely be an understatement.
Also called Certified Public Accountants, CPAs have a lot of freedom in terms of who they choose to work for. They can perform traditional accounting duties or take their careers to the next level and act as business consultants.
In large part, they’re responsible for things like corporate finance tasks and tax preparation. But in a lot of situations, they play an invaluable role in coming up with the types of financial strategies that help organizations thrive moving forward.
A sports accountant is by far one of the best career path for sports aficionados anywhere. It’s a job that allows someone to be deeply involved with not only the budget management of a sports team, but payroll operations, as well.
This career path also offers a great degree of flexibility. Sports accountants can be employed internally within an organization or act as independent contractors. Regardless, if you’ve ever wanted to find out exactly how much money your favorite player makes, this is how you would do it.
An auditor is an important part of the “checks and balances” system that exists within any company. Essentially, they’re tasked with going over the financial records to make sure they’re both accurate and reliable.
This is important, especially considering that the IRS audits businesses just as much as it does private individuals. An internal auditor would make sure that everything is accurate so in the event of an audit, no major (re: expensive) problems are uncovered.
In addition to making sure that a company is complying with all applicable laws, they can also help make sure that important tax and other financial documents are filed on-time and with the appropriate entities.
Financial analysts go by many names including investment analysts, research analysts, and more. Regardless of what the actual job title is, the description remains the same: They dive deep into the investment options that are available for both private individuals and companies, helping others make the most informed decisions possible given the current conditions.
These individuals are part of the backbone of any business, as they need to constantly stay up to date on all market activities and industry trends. The trajectory of an investment can change as frequently as the weather and if a financial analyst isn’t on top of things, it can cost their client a tremendous amount of money. In general, they help evaluate not only the internal financial operations of a company but their financial standing, too — meaning that they have a tremendous amount of power for anyone they’re employed by.
Believe it or not, forensics accountants are one of the most popular jobs in law enforcement today. As the name suggests, they dive deep into instances of fraud and use their myriad accounting skills to provide educated legal opinions about certain cases.
This is a particularly good position for people who are extremely detail oriented, as any findings they uncover or recommendations they make will certainly need to hold up in a court of law. A judge or attorney isn’t going to care if you made a mistake with a calculation, but they will certainly use it as an excuse to hold your feet to the proverbial fire.
As opposed to a tax accountant, which is someone who prepares state and federal income taxes on behalf of a client, a tax consultant is something a bit more intimate. Here, you’d be pouring over the financial documents of a company in order to come up with the most effective strategy to save your client as much money as possible.
Again, this isn’t necessarily an entry level position — you’d probably start out as a tax accountant first. But once you prove your worth, you may be promoted into a position where you can offer more strategic advice. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that all tax accountants need to have a current CPA license in the state in which they’re employed.
Finally, we arrive at the role of a budget analyst — a job description that can be a bit complicated.
Obviously, businesses need to spend a certain amount of money to succeed, but arriving at that number without over or under spending is tricky to say the least. That’s what budget analysts are for — they examine the current budget and try to uncover opportunities to cut money where it is unnecessary and spend the remaining funds more efficiency with an eye towards increasing profits.
In addition to analyzing reports from the financial department, they also monitor where money is going, provide regular reports on how the company is doing, present financial data in a way that is easy for everyone to understand, and more. They can often find employment not only in private businesses, but in virtually all areas of the federal government as well.
On the one hand, it’s natural to assume that a degree in accounting essentially equates to a lifetime of jobs filled with “number crunching” and the like. It’s understandable to think that way — but it’s also incorrect.
Few other careers open up this level of opportunities — from opening your own accounting firm to working for the federal government to employment in some of the biggest businesses in the world. When it comes to a degree in accounting, the choice is well and truly yours, which is why this is one educational path that is well worth exploring.
Originally founded in 1870, Wilmington College offers majors in not only accounting but also business administration, education studies, and more. Classes are offered face-to-face, via a hybrid model, and even in a fully online format, all to accommodate the schedules and preferences of as many students as possible.
To find out more information about the exciting career possibilities that an accounting degree brings with it or to get information about the strategic organizational leadership degree offered at Wilmington College Cincinnati, please contact us today.BACK