Accounting is a complex field. It is a collective set of jobs that track the money circulated in the business world. Accountants are responsible for accomplishing financial statements that are accurate, objective and rigorously detailed. These financial statements are what companies, regulatory bodies, and government agencies use in comparing financial performances, detecting financial trends, and forecasting or predicting future trends and needs.
Here is a shortlist of interesting accounting fields that are increasing in demand:
The tracking of sensitive financial information to detect any illicit or criminal funding activity is the main focus of Forensic Accounting. This is an investigative accounting specialty that requires proficient accounting skills combined with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the law.
Forensic accountants are tasked to investigate and track financial discrepancies within organizations and corporations.
The demand for forensic accountants continues to increase as more people are becoming aware of different corporate discrepancies that need clarifications and solutions. (Find Forensic accounting job interview Q&A here)
Also called as Managerial Accounting and Corporate Accounting, Management Accounting deals with the financials of corporations. It involves the accounting tasks that are necessary for managing and balancing financials in business operations.
It works internally within the companies or corporations; therefore management accountants actually work for these businesses to keep their operations on track and continually evaluate business performances and profitability.
Management accountants are different from financial accountants, who work externally for separate organizations that need financial evaluation of the businesses’ status. (Find Management accounting job interview Q&A here)
CPA – Certified Public Accountant
A CPA usually serves as an accounting consultant for individuals and small corporations in the accomplishment of financial services for their business operations. They are like “freelancers” who can be hired for their specialized services without being tied to their internal affairs.
CPAs perform different financial functions for their clients such as public accounting, tax planning, asset management, risk management, financial reviews, and financial compliance. (Find CPA job interview Q&A here)
Financial Accounting is mainly focused on evaluating the financial standing of businesses to provide financial reports as references for related external bodies or organizations such as banks, stockholders, shareholders or board of directors, tax agencies, the public, etc.
Financial accountants work externally but alongside management accountants and auditors in solving financial discrepancies or imbalances in profits and losses to detect financial anomalies.
Public reports on the financial status of companies and organizations are executed by financial accountants for different public purposes such as trend detection and prediction. (Find Financial accounting job interview Q&A here)
Auditors are the law enforcers in the financial realm. They are responsible for reviewing financial data to make sure that companies and organizations are complying with accounting policies and regulations.
It is imperative for them to call out suspicious discrepancies and facilitate reassessment and reevaluation of financial data to straighten out the imbalances. Audits can be done internally by internal auditors who are employed by the companies themselves, or externally by external consulting auditors who are employed by external organizations or bodies.
However the audits are done, the auditors are tasked to make the same reports and point out any noncompliance. (Find auditing job interview Q&A here)
Government Accounting is simply accounting applied to and provided by government agencies instead of corporations. Government accountants track the financials of government bodies and the financials of the private or corporate bodies that are regulated by government agencies.
There is a wide range of government accounting jobs and competition is extremely tight. The most common accounting positions in the government include Internal Auditors with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Assistant Examiners, and Treasury Enforcement Agents.
Accounting is comprised by many accounting positions and specializations, but they all work towards a single goal—track and manage the circulation of money. Different specializations offer different sets of career highlights, but whatever specialization you aim to attain, an accounting degree can surely take you anywhere because money is omnipresent.