In the current business world, accounting is one of the most highly regarded careers. A career in accountancy is all about helping companies, from small charities to global businesses, and individuals to assist in the management of their finances. Accountants are to ensure they comply with relevant legal regulations and to plan appropriately for the future. Accountants are responsible for interpreting financial information and to make informed decisions about an organisation’s prosperity and direction.
Recent economic challenges have now meant that accountants are crucial for businesses to meet the needs of dynamic business environments. Accounting and finance professionals work to ensure that companies and businesses are financially efficient and profitable along with producing and providing information and records. An accountant must have strong mathematical and analytical skills and considerable technical accounting knowledge. Accountants are also highly valued for their commercial know-how, analytical thinking and leadership abilities.
It is possible to study and work as an accountant in three main areas - within an accountancy firm that provides services to external clients, within the finance sector of a commercial organisation and within the finance sector of a public sector organisation.
Various Areas of Work
There are a wide range of disciplines to choose from and specialise in, and within each there are various types of roles to select from:
- Commercial Finance
- Corporate Finance
- Corporate Recovery
- Corporate Treasury
- Financial Accounting
- Forensic Accounting
- Internal Audit
- Management Accounting
- Professional Services IT
- Public Sector Accounting
- Risk Assessment
Duties and Tasks
- Analyse the potential risk of investments.
- Develop weekly, monthly and yearly financial management reports, including profit and loss statements, balance sheet statements and cash flow statements.
- Adhere to accounting procedures and regulations and ensure all accounting activities comply with statutory laws and requirements.
- Investigate and resolve financial discrepancies.
- Compose and analyse budgets, financial statements and reports.
- Provide advice on all aspects of business operations, business plan, taxation etc.
- Work with internal and external auditors.
Opportunities for Professional Development
Professional accounting qualifications, such as the Advanced Diploma of Accounting (FNS60210) will enable participants to undertake the duties of a professional accountant. These qualifications are highly respected and many career paths are available to you, whether you want to work in an accounting role within a practice, an industry or the public sector. This career path will also make it possible for you to move into other highly paid business areas. Working within this sector will also give you an in-depth business knowledge that would be invaluable should you wish to start your own business.
Obtaining a recognised accountancy qualification will open up many career opportunities. A higher percentage of board members have an accountancy qualification than any other kind of post graduate qualification.
Employment and Salaries in Accountancy
An accountant earns an average salary of $54,988 per year. Your earning potential will increase significantly once you have completed your qualifications. If you choose to study and work in the banking and investment sector your salary is more likely to be significantly higher. Employment for accountants has risen by a rate of 2.6% over the past 5 years and is expected to increase strongly through 2017.
If you work for an accounting firm, the nature of many areas of work will mean you will spend a considerable amount of time out of your office visiting your clients. For instance, if you are required to audit a large company, you could potentially spend three or four weeks working away from the office.
As a whole, accountants enjoy a decent work/life balance with fairly normal working hours. However, there are exceptions when it comes to busier times on the years such as financial quarterly and end of the financial year where the pressure will be a little more intense. If you do not work well under pressure then this may not be the career path for you. Status and earning potential are some of the great benefits of being an accountant and accounting qualifications can open career paths worldwide.
If you are just starting out consider registering with a temporary staffing agency. It is highly beneficial to use a temporary staffing agency and it can help you find a variety of accounting jobs and open up doors to potential industries. You can find a wealth of temporary accounting jobs during the end of the financial year tax season. Although this will give you a look into a variety of companies, obtaining contemporary work can give you insights into different accounting jobs. This can also be a head start to full time accounting roles.
Accounting is a diverse career with virtually unlimited options. If you have the right skill set for the job you can find a way to apply them that will also suit your personal strengths and personality.
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