Today’s accountants are required to do more and know more than their counterparts from even ten years ago.
Many accountants are venturing into the fields of information technology consulting, financial/investment planning and even in some cases; legal services.
Employment Prospects and Jobs for Accountants
Public Accounting Jobs
Public accountants may work in public, private, government or non-profit sectors. The types of work they perform are quite diverse. In some organizations public accountants provide advice on taxes while others focus on employee compensation and benefit issues.
Public accountants are even stepping into the fields of technology design as well as crime investigation.
Many accountants consult with software companies to assist with the development of data processing systems and software while others work with law enforcement personnel to investigate money laundering schemes, embezzlement and securities fraud.
Government Accounting Jobs
Government accountants and auditors work to ensure revenues and expenditures are handled in accordance with federal, state and local laws.
Most government accountants are associated with the Internal Revenue Service. However, there are many other accounting jobs in the public sector that involve such tasks as budget analysis or administration.
Internal Accounting Jobs
Internal accountants focus on verifying the accuracy of financial records as well as looking for signs of fraud or mismanagement. This is accomplished in corporations as well as non-profit organizations.
Internal accountants must have excellent math skills, and in many cases they must have good people skills as well if they will be working with large groups of people.
Management Accounting Jobs
Some of the primary responsibilities of management accounts are budgeting and cost management. Management accountants may work in executive offices, assisting with strategic planning to ensure corporations make good financial decisions or in product development, working out cost to profit ratios on new products.
Financial Accounting Jobs
Financial accounting is one of the many new fields where accounting jobs can be found today. This field requires a good understanding of finance as well as accounting procedures. This type of work involves preparing financial statements and participating in financial planning. May involve work with mergers and acquisitions as well as benefits and ERISA.
One of the most traditional fields for accountants is tax preparation for both corporate and personal income tax statements.
Job Search for Accountants
Traditional accounting jobs in government and corporations are relatively easy to find and can be accessed through a number of means such as networking and internet job search sites.
Nontraditional accounting jobs may be a bit more difficult to track down in traditional ways. Resume distribution services can assist individuals who wish to work in accounting in such fields as information technology, investment planning and law enforcement.
These types of services not only provide assistance with writing a winning accounting resume but also with distributing accounting resumes to employers who may be interested in hiring accountants in nontraditional accounting fields.
Cover Letters for Accounting Jobs
The field of accounting may have a conservative reputation, but the accounting cover letter doesn’t have to be bland. The accounting job seeker should consider highlighting key points they can contribute to the organization by using bulleted items to concisely list accomplishments. The bullets will draw attention to what the job seeker can do for the employer.
Resumes for Accounting Jobs
With the broad array of job functions and fields available within accounting today it is best to be specific when writing resumes for accountants, especially in regards to the objective. Don’t just state “An accounting position that will allow me to utilize my experience” as an objective.
Instead, state something like… “Managing a department and accounts for up to $500,000 in monthly transactions.”
The secret to creating a winning accounting resume is to create the image you want to project, and sell, with power words. Instead of “Supervised staff”, say “Directed workflow.” This breaks away from traditional wording and gives the job applicant a more powerful image.
Training and Qualifications for Accounting Jobs
With such a vast array of opportunities, the employment outlook for this occupation appears to be favorable, although an increased number of individuals who wish to obtain an edge over the competition are obtaining professional recognition such as licensure and graduate degrees.
Most accounting positions require at least a bachelor’s degree, Certified Public Accountants (CPA’s) are required to obtain licensure through a state board of accountancy.
Accountants who wish to pursue employment in the information technology field may choose to pursue credentials as a Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP). There are similar professional designations for other nontraditional accounting careers such as financial specialists.
In addition, almost all accountants and CPA’s are required to complete continuing education credits in order for their licenses to be renewed.
An increasing number of employers require some experience in accounts.