Career options for aspiring accountants

You might have observed the stereotype of accountants as dull, introverted, middle-aged men, all doing very similar jobs. It’s time to challenge this perception, and realise that accountants come from all kinds of backgrounds, and go down an array of exciting career paths.

Here are some of the options open to aspiring accountants.

Financial accounting

This is what most people think of when they hear the word “accountant”; however, financial accountants work in a broad range of roles spanning almost all industries, from entertainment to manufacturing.

Financial accountants provide reporting and analysis that is essential to organisational success. They are responsible for preparing financial statements and accounts, which help paint an accurate picture of performance over a period of time.

Financial accountants aren’t just number crunchers; they must also be great communicators, as they’ll need to regularly liaise with others, whether it’s their clients or others within the company they work for. The ability to simplify financial jargon and tailor it to different audiences is key.

Management accounting

Management accountants work at a more strategic level, using their financial expertise to help drive organisations forward.

They use financial reporting and analysis to make recommendations to management, helping to identify and address risks and opportunities. They are involved with financial planning and drawing up budgets.

Even more so than financial accountants, management accountants must have excellent communication skills, as their audience’s understanding of financial information could make or break the organisation in question.

Analytical accounting

Like all of the paths looked at here, analytical accounting spans a wide range of roles. While financial accountants are focused on the preparation of accounts, analytical accountants are responsible for organising financial data in line with different goals and contexts.

They identify financial trends that contribute to management decision-making, and act as a basis for organisational strategy. For example, they can identify the sources of changes in costs and revenues, which can then aid management in planning future investments.

Forensic accounting

This accounting career path is a surprise to most people, who assume that forensic roles are limited to detectives and scientists.

Forensic accountants work with professionals in the criminal justice system and in other areas to provide expert financial advice and evidence. They can play a key part in court cases and investigations regarding financial disputes, from insurance claims to large scale cases of fraud. Evidence from forensic accountants can even be the basis for criminal convictions.

This contrasts hugely with the accounting stereotype, and involves very varied work and lots of communication with others; no hiding behind a desk all day.

To find out more about the different types of role available to budding accountants, and explore what you might be best suited to, sign up for the webinar.