When students or career changers explore accounting as a career path, much of the available information focuses on traditional accounting jobs with a firm or as a consultant.
Although such jobs may be lucrative and personally rewarding, there are many other options for professionals looking to diversify their opportunities in the field of accounting.
Advanced educational qualifications – whether in the form of a degree, a professional certificate or a similar credential – can open up nontraditional career paths that incorporate the skills and knowledge associated with accounting. Among the options:
Trade Specialists (International and Domestic)
Trade specialists offer expertise and guidance to companies and organizations in matters relating to the import and export of goods or services. They may help multinational corporations in the marketing and sale of new products, assist government agencies in analyzing trade patterns or writing trade industry policy and provide support to industry associations in promoting exports.
FBI Special Agent
FBI special agents with a background in accounting may assist in investigating financial records, transactions and similar issues relating to white-collar crime and other offenses. They may deal with cases of money laundering, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, public corruption and corporate or mortgage fraud.
Cost estimators project the resources needed for manufacturing and construction projects, including labor, time, raw materials, money and equipment. Their duties can involve running computer simulations and analyzing data in order to increase productivity and cut costs.
Auditors use analytical skills to review a company or organization’s financial performance, including revenue and expenditures, in order to identify any oversights or inconsistencies. As part of the financial team, a skilled auditor can identify areas of possible improvement, including increased efficiency in spending and resource allocation.
Tax specialists work with individuals, companies and organizations to ensure compliance with tax laws. They may develop a niche and work in consulting.
Tax specialists may review the implications of a company’s overseas investments, as well as its capital gains. In addition, they may be tasked with resolving tax disputes with government agencies at the local, state or federal levels.
Working with the Internal Revenue Service or other government agencies, revenue agents typically review the tax returns of large companies and may focus on a specialized area, such as international commerce.
In every business there is an accounting software that is the backbone of the company’s finances. With training in accounting and a solid understand in software management systems, you can position yourself to manage the entire accounting system for the company. If you feel like you need more knowledge in technology, consider doing research on how to get a degree in software management systems.
Individuals with backgrounds and training in accounting can play an integral role in start-up ventures and other entrepreneurial endeavors. Budgetary considerations, purchasing and hiring decisions, and strategic planning are essential components for the growth and development of a new company.
With a solid foundation in the field of accounting, there are ample opportunities for college students and professionals alike to develop a niche and expand their knowledge and expertise in a variety of specialized areas.
Local chapters of professional organizations and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are good resources for learning more about career opportunities related to accounting, whether it involves investigating white-collar crime, analyzing trade opportunities or helping an Internet start-up find financial backers.