Accounting professionals today have careers that require a range of skills that apply to highly specialised roles.
When the 19th century ‘Journal of Accountancy’ compared an accountant to a business physician, its editors could not have envisioned the dynamic areas of practice that would exist years later.
An accountant's work is not limited to documenting financial transactions. You can also utilise your skills in;
- non-traditional jobs involving investigation similar to a detective
- working with sports figures
- getting closer to celebrities
- Alternatively, making the most out of your acquired knowledge.
Now, let us take a look at the five unique accounting roles you can take up when deciding the specialisation area of accounting.
1. Forensic Accountant
If the idea of putting together your love for numbers and your investigative skills excites you, consider pursuing a career as a forensic accountant.
Most accounting firms have a forensic division. Some firms also specialise in offering forensic accounting services to identify financial crimes and internet fraud.
Banks, attorneys and law enforcement agencies rely on forensic accountants to track and analyse financial information. Having the required accounting training and knowledge of finance is considered a critical skill if you work with an enforcement agency to investigate business crimes.
To become a forensic accountant, you need to have a strong foundation of accounting basics and good problem-solving skills. Having these skills will help you to detect frauds & misappropriation and effective communication skills to address all stakeholders.
2. Environmental Accountant
With the increasing emphasis on adopting environmentally sound business practices, organisations are looking to hire environmental accountants.
An environmental accountant will be working on:
- Computing a company’s cost of complying with environmental norms
- Identifying environmental costs to help companies design cleaner products and better use the existing resources.
Environmental accounts may work on trading and selling pollution licenses and other clean technologies. They help identify and tap potential sources of income, such as the sale of scrap. Such professionals also help implement an Environmental Management System (EMS).
An EMS is a management technique that ensures the implementation and systematic review of environmental practices.
Besides this, an environmental accountant’s work is not restricted to working on environmental costs. It includes internal accounting to help a company make decisions related to capital investment, financial accounting of a company’s costs and liabilities, and accounting for a country's natural resources.
3. Sports Accountant
Let us not forget that professional sports teams need accountants as well.
Moreover, if you have a passion for sports, it is the correct match. You can use your accounting skills to handle budgets and manage the payroll of a sports team.
Like businesses and organisations, sports teams require fully-fledged financial management with controllers, accountants and analysts. These accountants may also have to account for taxation related to players' earnings, which includes appearances, branding, and the salary drawn by them.
In order to work as a sports accountant, you will need strong math skills to keep track of the funds which have been routed for advertising and sponsorships.
You will need to have strong communication and interpersonal skills to cooperate and communicate with different stakeholders effectively.
However, as the finance department of a sports team is not always large compared to an enterprise, the competition for this accounting job is high. In order to ensure you cut, you can start small, gain experience and make your way up to the top.
4. Corporate Entertainment Accountant
This accounting field offers a great deal of variety in terms of the work environment and the tasks performed.
A corporate entertainment accountant can be employed by an entertainment firm such as a film company or a TV studio. It is also possible to be hired by an individual actor or personality in the entertainment industry.
When it comes to accounting for individuals, the duties may vary from bill payment, providing advice on contracts and helping in tax management.
In working with firms, accountants are likely to handle bookkeeping, auditing, cost accounting, payroll handling and taxation. Besides this, other responsibilities which can fall to the professional include budgeting, financial planning, ensuring compliance and handling insurance claims.
In order to work as a corporate entertainment accountant, you will need strong accounting skills, knowledge of financial regulations and good communication skills.
You get access to opportunities worldwide if you pursue the ACCA course. ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants) is a globally recognised accountancy organisation. Acquiring an ACCA qualification is a great way to build a career in accountancy and finance.
Reasons to choose ACCA is that ACCA members can work in sectors like;
- Audit and assurance
- Business development
- Business restructuring
- Commercial finance
- Compliance and risk
- Consulting and advisory
- Corporate and business accounting
- Corporate finance
- Education and training
- Finance and administration
- Investor relations
- Project management
- Support services, tax, treasury, etc.
It is also a great idea to know the entertainment industry and big entertainment or production houses for which you may be interested in work.
5. Apparel Industry Accountant
An apparel industry accountant can be considered a trusted financial advisor who provides market-specific solutions to companies.
The business insights provided by them help apparel companies to accomplish their goal of remaining competitive and stay profitable.
When it comes to the activity they perform, accountants in the apparel industry monitor the books of accounts, depreciation of assets and amortisations. They support the preparation of financial statements on a quarterly and annual basis.
These accountants work with internal and external auditors to ensure the timely filing of taxes, reporting profits, and cost accounting. They also establish accounting policies across the organisation.
Apparel industry accountants work to perform specialised accounting assignments which involve complex data.
Regarding the required skills, apparel accountants require a specialised master’s degree and a Certified Public Accountant certification.
Apparel industry accountants must have the required knowledge of working with software such as Oracle and SAP. They must have the ability to write manuals and reports for business correspondence.
As the apparel industry is driven by innovation and intense completion, the accountants working in the apparel industry are not the average accounting professionals. Instead, they have to deal with thin profit margins, sensitive data, and products subject to frequent change.
The apparel industry accountants have to be open to working with different software and be comfortable with the latest technology to be on the top of their game.
Get the right start with accounting training.
Becoming an investigative finance expert or a sports accountant for a favourite sports team might seem exciting at first. However, you will need to get the basics right before you route for one of these careers.
The first step is to possess a vital education in accounting. You will be learning in an accounting program that includes business and finance fundamentals, economics, business management, and qualitative analysis methods.
From there on, the options are limitless, whether you choose a conventional accounting job or take the path of a unique career in.
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