Accounting is the study of how businesses track their income and assets over time. Accountants engage in a wide variety of activities besides preparing financial statements and recording business transactions including computing costs and efficiency gains from new technologies, participating in strategies for mergers and acquisitions, quality management, developing and using information systems to track financial performance, tax strategy, and health care benefits management.
There’s a lot to get out of a career in accounting. Perhaps most important: You will learn how business works. The field of accounting offers stimulating and challenging work that is constantly evolving. Because accountants spend a lot of time looking under the hoods of businesses they really learn how business works. It’s no surprise that many successful players in business began their careers as accountants. It’s also no surprise that most Chief Financial Officers of large corporations have a background in accounting. An accountant is perfectly positioned to become a CFO because he or she probably has the best understanding of what drives business and profits in a company.
Audit: Work in audit involves checking accounting ledgers and financial statements within corporations and government. This work is becoming increasingly computerized and can rely on sophisticated random sampling methods. Audit is the bread and butter work of accounting. This work can involve significant travel and allows you to really understand how money is being made in the company that you are analyzing. It’s great background!
Budget Analysis: Budget analysts are responsible for developing and managing an organization’s financial plans. There are plentiful jobs in this area in government and private industry. Besides quantitative skills many budget analyst jobs require good people skills because of negotiations involved in the work
Financial: Financial accountants prepare financial statements based on general ledgers and participate in important financial decisions involving mergers & acquisitions, benefits/ERISA planning and long-term financial projections. The work can be varied over time. One day you may be running spreadsheets. The next day you may be visiting a customer or supplier to set up a new account and discuss business. This work requires a good understanding of both accounting and finance.
Management Accounting: Management accountants work in companies and participate in decisions about capital budgeting and line of business analysis. Major functions include cost analysis, analysis of new contracts and participation in efforts to control expenses efficiently. This work often involves the analysis of the structure of organizations. Is responsibility to spend money in a company at the right level of our organization? Are goals and objectives to control costs being communicated effectively? Historically, many management accountants have been derided as “bean counters”. This mentality has undergone major change as management accountants now often work side by side with marketing and finance to develop new business. Tax
Tax accountants prepare corporate and personal income tax statements and formulate tax strategies involving issues such as financial choice, how to best treat a merger or acquisition, deferral of taxes, when to expense items and the like. This work requires a thorough understanding of economics and the tax code. Increasingly, large corporations are looking for persons with both an accounting and a legal background in tax. A person, for example, with a JD and an CPA would be especially desirable to many firms.
PLACES WHERE ACCOUNTANTS WORK
Public Accounting Firms: Public Accountants work in partnerships which provide accounting services to individuals, businesses and governments. The largest, high-profile public accounting firms are known as the Bix Six and dominate the field of accounting. This field offers advancement potential to audit manager, tax manager or partner reached by only two to three percent of new hires.
Government: Government accountants may work at the local/state level or the federal level and administer and formulate budgets, track costs and analyze programs. This work can have high impact on the public good but can also get political and is subject to bureaucratic obstruction. Government accounting offers advancement in most organizations to controller and possibly to higher administrative positions. Places which hire heavily at the federal level include the Department of Defense, the General Accounting Office and the Internal Revenue Service.
Corporations: Corporations big and small typically have an accounting group which prepares financial statements, tracks costs, handles tax issues, and works on international transactions. The work is exciting and offers tracks to audit manager, tax manager, cost accounting manager and controller on the accounting side or to manager of financial planning and analysis and Treasurer on the finance side.
Solo: A time-honored form of employment is to become a CPA and hang out your own shingle. This form of work requires you to generate your own business, but has the benefits of offering close customer contact, a high degree of independence and, depending on how good you are, high financial rewards. This work can be risky but puts you in the midst of community affairs.
ACCOUNTING: SKILLS AND TALENTS
Accounting offers superb career opportunities in many different contexts. The field is normally divided into three broad areas: auditing, financial/tax and management accounting. The skills required in these areas differ as follows:
Skill Audit Accounting Tax & Financial Management Accounting
People skills Medium Medium Medium
Sales skills Medium Medium Low
Communication skills Medium Medium High
Analytical skills High Very High High
Ability to synthesize Medium Low High
Creative ability Low Medium Medium
Initiative Medium Medium Medium
Computer skills High High Very High
Work hours 40-70/week 40-70/week 40-50/week
NATURE OF ACCOUNTING
Accounting is very team-oriented: You will usually start as a junior member of a team responsible for auditing an important account or preparing financial statements. It is important then that you enjoy working as part of a team and that you learn to do so in your education.
You’ve got to Surf Waves of Innovation: The field of accounting has seen constant technological and intellectual innovation in recent decades. Firms are implementing new electronic systems for submitting and preparing financial statements. And ways of tracking costs have improved with the introduction of techniques such as activity-based costing.
Cultivate Your Network: It’s important to have a good network of business contacts in consulting as you progress. New business development becomes part of your job. As your classmates rise in their respective business areas it is important to stay in touch with them as they may become your future customers.
ACCOUNTING JOBS IN INDIA
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Accounting as a profession holds its roots back to the early days of human civilization. It’s one of the oldest professions that have ever existed. With the recent phenomena of globalization taking hold of the world economies, accounting jobs India has made their presence felt in the corporate sector. It has again made its way up to the top jobs category. Accounting jobs in India are among the most sought after jobs. Every small, medium and large corporate house is on the hunt for efficient accountants. If you have it in you, fat pay-packets are there for the grab.
ACCOUNTING FIELDS: If you are interested in making it big in the accounting profession, you may try various options. Colleges offer bachelors degree in commerce with specialization in accountancy or finance. A B.Com Honors degree is all what it takes for a well paid job. There would be at least one institute in every small town that provide specialized trainings and crash courses to prepare you with some practical demos for accounting job. Once you pass out with flying colors, getting a job of your liking isn’t a big deal.
A company accountant is trusted with duties like:
Setting up an accounting system
Preparing the annual audit
Filing the annual tax return of the company
Help in company secretarial work
Provide interim help with preparing accounts or book-keeping
Running the company’s payroll
Advice in corporate finance
The accounting discipline offers the following accounts jobs:
If you thought that the scopes with this profession lie only with corporate houses, you aren’t probably aware of the bigger picture. Accounting has its applications in the following sectors, which also offer number of opportunities to qualified accountants, such as Schools, Colleges, Universities, Government organizations, NGOs, Small, medium and large scale commercial units.
Financial Jobs: Financial Jobs, the source for professional careers in banking, accounting, corporate finance and investment. Browse this site for open positions accounting & financial jobs, entry level jobs in finance, corporate finance jobs, banking finance job, financial job search, financial job listing, finance manager job, finance director jobs, and real estate finance jobs.
Accounting Jobs: Accounting and financial jobs site that has openings in disciplines like Accounting & financial job USA, finance jobs in Canada, healthcare finance jobs, finance executive jobs, MBA Finance jobs, financial jobs in Dubai, auto finance jobs, finance jobs in UK etc .Accounting has always had an image problem, stuck in the public consciousness as a profession populated by math geeks who love crunching numbers but little else. While this stereotype may have been accurate at one point in history, it no longer presents an accurate picture of what the career is like. While the basic mechanics of accounting can certainly become tedious, such functions are increasingly becoming automated, with accountants focusing more on analysis, interpretation and business strategy.
In fact, accounting has been rated one of the most desirable professions available. According to the 2002 Jobs Rated Almanac, “accountant” was the fifth best job in terms of low stress, high compensation, lots of autonomy and tremendous hiring demand. Furthermore, the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Winter 2002 Salary Survey ranked the accounting services industry first among the top five employers with job offers for graduating college students.
There are several other financial services that offer good career prospects. These include costs and works accountancy, chartered financial analysis, financial planning, investment planning, business finance, merchant banking, foreign exchange dealing and so on.
Cost and Works Accountancy: This specializes in stabilizing budgets and standards, evaluating operational efficiency and the effectiveness of production and service management, formulating the profile planning programme, guiding managerial decisions, identifying accountability for cost and profit variance, and thus rendering valuable assistance to the management. The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI), New Delhi, provides training in this area. It has several branches all over the country.
Chartered Financial Analysis: This is basically an additional qualification for financial executives. A financial analyst’s areas of expertise include corporate finance, which deals with management accounting and financial management; investment management, which includes aspects of economics, quantitative techniques, economic legislation and security evaluation; and financial services, which cover project planning, merchant banking services, portfolio management, venture capital, leasing, hire, purchase, new issue management, credit rating and other allied areas. The ICFAI is the premier institution for this programme. Some business management institutes also offer this course.
Financial Planning: Financial planning is required mainly in the financial services sectors of banking, insurance and investment advisory services. The International College of Financial Planning, New Delhi (with branches in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad) provides training in certified financial planning. The Institute of Financial and Investment Planning, Mumbai offers a diploma course in financial and investment planning.
Business Finance: This is a specialization which not only includes aspects of conventional auditing and accounting but also as vast range of activities like fund raising, foreign exchange, treasury management, investment banking, money market operations and broking. The Department of Financial Studies, University of Delhi (South Campus) offers a master’s degree in finance and control essentially to commerce/economics graduates. The Indian School of Finance, New Delhi offers a master’s in business finance.
Thus accounting offers a variety of job opportunities to the students in different fields. There are many institutes offering divergent courses on accounting to update their knowledge and improve their skills.