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What You Need to Know About Accounting Careers

Updated on August 25, 2017


The finance field is largely controlled by professionals who work in accounting and bookkeeping. And this can be attributed to the fact that they necessarily follow the money, from the point of receiving to usage, as well as reporting.

In all organizations, there is a function or more that needs to be completed by accounting and bookkeeping experts on a daily basis otherwise the pace of business will be largely diminished.

In small companies, you might find the owners taking charge of accounting functions or in conjunction with other individuals. In medium and large-scale business, you will find different layers or cadres that are occupied by individuals with accounting and bookkeeping specialization.

Is Accounting and Bookkeeping the Same?

Accounting and bookkeeping are closely related, and sometimes used interchangeably although a differentiation can be made.

Bookkeeping involves record keeping and retrieval of items of financial transactions for required use. Accounting involves the analysis and interpretation of financial transactions in order to aid management decision making.

While bookkeeping is a primary function that might require lesser skills, accounting requires greater skills and the capacity to wade through financial records.

To understand the implications of the figures behind the financial statements in such a way as to identify the key indices that serves as a pointer to the financial health of the organization, requires accounting education.

A set of financial statements prepared from financial records provide a huge insight on the viability, prudence and financial state of an organization.

In small companies, there might not necessarily be a well-established accounting department with every layer of the required personnel for a fully staffed accounting section.

In this wise, you might have a bookkeeper who doubles as the accountant as well. In others, you might find two or three persons holding forte in the accounting department with one head of department and two assistants.

In larger organizations, you will find bookkeepers and accountants in full employment.They will oversee specific areas of financial transactions that are handled by a staff in smaller companies.

Legal Framework

The laws and regulations that are adhered to in the formation and running of companies requires that books of account must be kept in order to meet legislation, financial requirements, and other concerns like the filing due to IRS, and the company registry.

In order to ensure that they do not run afoul of the law, companies have a duty to recruit professionals to handle the financial affairs that are conducted on a daily basis. This also extend to government departments that have to be adequately manned by professionals in accounting and bookkeeping so that the business of government can be accounted for, documented and reviewed in accordance with stated legislation.

In dealing with financial institutions; companies, organizations and government departments have a need to present records that are expected to conform to specific requirements and this requires expert handling.

In this regard, many accounting and bookkeeping roles have to be filled from time to time and this requires that trained and capable individuals be employed to occupy these positions and meet the expectations.

This explains the need for continuous training, recruitment and replacement that goes on across departments on a daily or periodic basis.

Career Openings

In accounting departments, you will find designations like Chief Accountant, Director of Finance, Bursar and others, depending on the type of organization, and what their daily operations are about.

In government, you can find that various terms describe the head of the accounting department like Chief Accountant or Director of Accounts or finance.

Some or all of these positions can be in use depending on how diverse the organization might be. Educational institutions also use terms like Bursar or Chief Bursar to describe the head of the department.

Certainly, training in bookkeeping and accounting can open you up to a role in the many cadres that are recognized in the field of finance.

The expanding frontiers of accounting has resulted in such roles like external auditing which requires specialized firms to carry out audit functions in order to certify the accuracy and integrity of financial reports presented by companies, organizations and the various departments of government.

In government service, professionals in bookkeeping and accounting are employed for a variety of roles including auditing. While government departments have a responsibility to the Auditor General,private companies and organizations have to appoint a statutory external auditor to certify their books or financial statements.

These duties provide more roles for professionals in the field of bookkeeping and accounting that students can look forward to as they prepare themselves for a career and make an eventual choice on their preferred pathway.

The onslaught of the Internet has opened new pathways in SEO for finance professionals, for those with a writing bent.. They can also work as finance writers, information systems auditors, website analysts, stock market reporters, hedge fund managers and associates, and lots more.

© 2017 Oare Da Vinci


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