Top 5 Business-Centered Accounting Careers

In the business world, accounting is what makes everything work. It tracks the flow of money in and out of companies’ financial accounts, and detects discrepancies that can affect the economic framework of businesses.

Management accounting is the accounting field that specializes in corporate financial planning and monitoring. Its main goal is to accurately record, balance and report financial data of business operations. Management accounting consists of different positions and specializations that tackle with the different dimensions of business and finance. And though different private companies designate different job titles for every specialization, they follow common frameworks that set specific job descriptions and boundaries of responsibilities.

Here is an overview of these specialty positions and their functions:

Budget Analyst

This position comes in different job titles including budget accountant, cost estimator and management analyst. It can also be found in both public and private organizations, companies and agencies. Budget Analysts usually report to finance managers or accounting managers, and they are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Budget development
  • Financial task organization
  • Cost monitoring
  • Revenue trends monitoring
  • Budget reporting to managers
  • Formulation of recommendations for resource allocation and planning

Financial Analyst

This position can be found in insurance companies, international agencies, companies and organizations with job titles like risk analyst, portfolio managers and accounting staff or staff accountant. Financial Analysts report to finance managers, accounting head or head accountant, or senior accountant. They are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Fund investments
  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Cost management decision-making
  • Financial practice evaluation and improvement
  • Budget trend tracking

Accounting Manager

This position is also known in different job titles like senior accountant, managing accountant and accounting supervisor, and it can be found in various settings like non-profit, educational and healthcare organizations or institutions. The Accounting Manager is usually tasked to take responsibility over:

  • Balance sheets and financial statements
  • Auditing requirements
  • Regulation compliance
  • Supervision of organizational accounting processes
  • Training and supervision of accounting staff

Controller

The Controller position is also known as Comptroller, and comes in different titles such as accounting director and finance manager. Controller positions can be found in business, government, educational, non-profit, and healthcare organizations. Controllers are responsible for the following:

  • Supervision of all accounting processes and functions
  • Supervision of all transactions in accounts payable and accounts receivable
  • Maintenance of financial data
  • Auditing of financial processes and documents
  • Filing of tax returns
  • Creation of financial reports
  • Establishment of internal accounting procedures
  • Establishment of internal accounting policies

CFO – Chief Financial Officer

This is a top-level executive position found in large and even small companies or corporations. CFOs have variable sets of responsibilities, depending on the budget, nature and scale of operation. This position comes in titles like director of finance, vice president of finance and treasurer. A CFO’s responsibilities include:

  • Management of all financial operations
  • Risk management and budget planning
  • Enforcement of regulatory compliance
  • Reporting to board of directors and major investors
  • High-level decision-making on asset allocation
  • Participation in high-level strategic planning
  • Supervision of accounting offices and human resources
  • Fundraising and investment programs

There are many different career paths that can be pursued with an accounting degree. The above mentioned positions may not only require a formal accounting degree or diploma, but also years of related job experiences, certifications and licenses, and advanced accounting degrees (master’s and doctorate).

The complexity of professional requirements will depend on the level of the positions and the professional standards of the companies themselves.