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Advance Your Accounting Career With These Tips

What is an Accountant?

An accountant inspects and audits financial records. They are the nation’s business bookkeepers. These professionals are as highly trained as they are ethical; organizations trust them with bottom-line numbers that drive highly strategic decision-making. Perhaps that’s why the U.S. News & World Report lists accounting as #11 on their list of Best Business Jobs. They list the salary range for accountants between $57,110 to $97,530, with an average of $73,560.

Accountants must earn a professional degree and many take the certified public accounting (CPA) test. They must also keep up with continuing education to keep their licensure current. Having an accounting degree is one thing, but if you have the CPA certification, you become more attractive to accounting and finance recruiters and the employers who hire them to find top talent.

Once an accountant completes their education and certification, what are the next steps? What types of accounting careers await them in the future?

What Are the Various Types of Accounting Careers?

Accountants do a lot more than pay taxes. If you’re looking at certified public accounting jobs, you should first consider the types of accounting within the field. There are eight types of accounting positions:

  • Financial accounting reports on fiscal transactions, usually for a corporation.
  • Management accounting is more strategic and designed to take the numbers reported and make some determinations as to the strategic direction of a company.
  • Government accounting falls under its own set of rules for monitoring and reporting public service finance.
  • Public accounting is a service-based business that works for a variety of clients, from non-profits to retailers, individuals, to corporations.
  • Cost accounting looks at fiscal reporting as a way to track the actual fixed and variable costs of doing business.
  • Forensic accounting focuses on criminal areas such as fraud and embezzlement.
  • Tax accounting is regulated by the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and focuses on ensuring that all of the tax rules are followed.
  • Audit accounting provides an independent analysis of fiscal reporting to ensure its accuracy.

All of these accounting categories are governed extensively by regulatory rules. These professions require the utmost accuracy and professionalism to ensure that each person in a certified public accounting job fulfills their commitment to the companies, governments, or organizations they serve.

Within these subsets of the field, there are several types of accounting careers available. Let’s look more closely at:

  • Managerial accountants
  • Forensic accountants
  • Financial accountants
  • Auditors

Managerial Accountant

Investopedia says, “Managerial accounting is the practice of identifying, measuring, analyzing, interpreting, and communicating financial information to managers for the pursuit of an organization’s goal” This description implies the true value of management accounting. Instead of just reporting on the numbers, a management consultant helps corporate employers understand the implications of their bottom line and make decisions to maximize it.

Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants are fiscal detectives. These professionals analyze incidents of bribery, embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, or other illegal activities. They are the pros behind corporate headlines about securities fraud or asset misappropriation. Forensic accountants may also specialize in patent or trademark infringements compensation disputes or even identity theft. The IRS and FBI have forensic accountants on staff, but corporations are also increasingly hiring for these positions.

Financial Accountant

A financial accountant collects and tracks fiscal data but also uses it to forecast the future of a company’s finances. Financial accountants have a seat at the c-suite table in most enterprise organizations, and often have the ear of the CEO. Financial accounting is different from an auditor, who reviews the reports that the financial accountant provides. Some of the duties of a financial accountant include:

· Preparing profit and loss statements and balance sheets.

· Tax reporting.

· Collecting and analyzing fiscal data.

· Advising on estimates for future project funding.

· Creating corporate fiscal key performance indicator (KPI) reports.

· Preparing year-end statements.

· Conducting internal audits.

· Managing or training staff.

Public Accountant

A public accountant is a business that offers accounting to clients. When you think of an accountant, this may be the role that comes to mind. You may go to one of these companies to have your taxes done each year. However public accountant firms provide this service to companies as well as individuals. They do more than just taxes, too. A public accountant may assist their clients with the preparation of financial statements. They can do all of the tasks that an in-house financial accountant can do—but as an outsourced service. These firms often serve as the backbone of small companies that don’t have an in-house accountant to track and audit their books. Public accounting firms typically hire CPAs with a high level of accounting expertise to provide services to their clients.

Auditor

Auditors are like the police of the accounting world. Their role is to ensure that a company’s financial statements follow GAAP or generally accepted accounting principles. All public companies are required by law to have regular audits of their finances. Auditors assess financial operations to ensure that organizations are functioning properly under the law. They look closely at cash flow and how these funds are reported and accounted for. Some of these auditors work internally for these companies while still others end up working for a third-party accounting firm.

Now that we’ve looked at some of the types of accounting careers, let’s focus on the best ways to advance your career in the accounting field.

Why Become a Certified Public Accountant?

If you’re considering accounting as a future career, at some point you’ll face the decision to earn your CPA. This designation is the highest level of achievement in the profession, and we recommend considering it.

Eligible for Higher Pay

CPAs are the most in-demand professionals in the accounting field, and as such, they make a higher salary. The Controllers Council reports there is a shortage of these professionals in the field. The lack of CPA talent is caused by:

· Retirees from the baby boomer generation leaving the workforce.

· Assumptions that technology will take over the accounting field.

· Too many specialists and not enough generalists in the field.

This “perfect storm” is exactly what new CPAs can take advantage of, which is why, if you have the CPA designation, you can employ top dollar from employers and better job opportunities in the field.

Increased Career Opportunities

The CPA shortage has created more career opportunities for these elite professionals. As finance becomes more complicated, companies are increasingly looking for the CPA designation to align themselves with the industry’s best talent. This spells an opportunity for CPA professionals searching for work. You’ll find CPA recruitment has exploded with certified public accounting jobs in industry, government, and non-profits.

Job Security

If you’re looking for job stability, certified public accounting jobs offer it—and then some. Computers cannot take the place of human insight, so there are plenty of CPA jobs being filled daily by accounting and finance recruiters. The CPA designation ensures that employers will look at you as a valuable asset worth keeping around for the long haul. Having the CPA designation will help you keep working even when there is an economic downturn.

The CPA designation is well-respected, well-paid, and highly sought after. It’s a designation that’s so highly recognized, that even people who know nothing about accounting know what a CPA is. If you’re considering the CPA credential, we highly recommend it.

How to Advance Your Accounting Career: Diversify Your Accounting Experience

Pursuing the CPA designation is just one way to diversify your accounting experience. Four ways you can diversify your accounting skills include:

1. Improving technical literacy.

2. Becoming a mentor.

3. Furthering your education.

4. Contributing your business acumen.

Improve Technical Literacy

The CPA designation was your first step toward continuous learning. Accounting, like all professions, is heavily impacted by technology. Your job is to keep up with it. Knowing and understanding Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, and Oracle accounting tools is an absolute career requirement. But you should also use business intelligence tools like Crystal Reports or Cognos, in addition to having a good grasp of the value of ERP platforms.

Become a Mentor

If you’re serving as a mentor, employers know that you are invested in giving something back to the community you serve. You provide people that are new to the accounting profession with the advice and support they need to become a valuable part of the field. Mentorship benefits both the mentee and the mentor by sharing best practices and career advice. It’s a great give-back that also looks great on a resume.

Further Your Education

In addition to expanding your technology understanding, you should continue to build your credentials. Some of the most valuable certifications listed in certified public accounting jobs nationwide include:

  • CIA — Certified Internal Auditor
  • CCEP — Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional
  • CPP — Certified Cost Professional
  • CFA — Certified Financial Analyst

There are many types of CPEs available today for a variety of certified public accounting jobs. Employers increasingly look for these continuing education credits in their efforts to hire the best talent.

Contribute Business Acumen

Business acumen is a soft skill that accountants can offer their employers. This is an area where you can define yourself beyond the accounting software and the number reporting that is part of your job. The best accountants and CPAs offer business strategies to ease the burden of taxes or identify business risks that could cause serious harm later on. By offering your insight into what drives cash flow and profits, you set yourself up as the right arm of c-suite executives increasingly concerned by the bottom line.

Lean on an Accounting and Recruiting Staffing Agency for Certified Public Accounting Jobs

Searching for a certified public accounting job is incredibly time-consuming. That’s why CPAs work with accounting recruiting agencies to help them efficiently find the right fit. These professional job placement agencies specialize in CPA recruitment by matching top employers with highly skilled accounting professionals. Some of the benefits of working with an accounting recruiting agency include:

  • Resume and interview prep to set you apart.
  • Industry-specific career search insight.
  • Career feedback and guidance.

Resume/Interview Prep

Searching for a new career is much easier when there is an accounting and finance recruiter in your corner. These professionals work closely with employers and can give you valuable insight into what’s important with these businesses before you go in for the interview.

Industry Insight

Working with an accounting recruiting agency to find a certified public accounting job means that you receive the full benefit of knowing what’s been happening in the marketplace. This means your recruiter can help you with everything from company culture to salary negotiation. It’s like having a secret weapon in your job search.

Feedback and Guidance

Searching for feedback and guidance on your resume or your career aspirations? Accounting recruiting agency teams can help guide your career in some unexpected ways. Their work is always free to job candidates—the employers pay their fees.

Advance Your Accounting Career with Keenbee Talent Solutions Today

Keenbee Talent specializes in finance and certified public accounting jobs in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico markets. We’re a top accounting staffing agency in New Mexico and accountants look for us as their exclusive professional job placement agency in the region. Contact us today to help you find a job tomorrow.

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