What Are The Types of Accounting Careers?

Accounting is a vast field that plays a big part in a wide range of industries, from corporate business to healthcare facilities. The field involves analysis, problem solving, and management of financial information, as well as communication with an array of people. Accounting professionals work for individual clients, companies, and government organizations. There are various types of accounting careers typically divided into four major subfields: public accounting, management accounting, government accounting, and internal auditing.

Public Accounting

Public accounting is likely the broadest accounting subfield because public accountants provide accounting services to individuals, corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. They provide assistance with financial data and information, tax preparation, budgeting, and auditing. They also perform bookkeeping and consulting duties. Many public accountants provide accounting services to various clients at one time. Some public accountants specialize in a certain area, like tax issues. Most public accountants obtain the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation, either as required by law or to increase their job prospects.

Management Accounting

Management accountants typically work for businesses and private organizations as part of accounting teams. They provide information regarding financial records and analyze data to help the entity operate more effectively. They perform a variety of tasks to maintain the financial security of their organization, such as handling taxes, preparing budgets, assisting in strategic planning, and managing assets to assist with benefits and compensation. Many management accountants working for small firms are responsible for handling all financial management. They also present information for distribution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other organizations. Many management accountants choose to gain professional certification as a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) to remain competitive in the field. The credential is similar to the CPA, but involves more emphasis on financial planning, cost accounting, and management.

Government Accounting

Government accountants work for federal, state, and local government agencies. They review financial documentation, maintain financial records, handle payroll, and perform audits on individuals and businesses that are required to abide by government regulations. They audit tax accounts, investigate financial accounts, and prepare budgets. They also assist in preparing reports to help government organizations plan activities over a certain period of time. Government accountings working for IRS may conduct audits on branches of government agencies to assess financial objectives.

Internal Auditing

Internal auditors work for organizations to evaluate the work of employers to look for irregularities, errors, and oversights. They are employed directly for the entity and work within the organization. They evaluate a particular process or transaction and compare the documentation with the actual activities and report any discrepancies to management. They use a variety of methods to gather information, such as spreadsheets, graphs, and tables. They then use the information to compose final reports. Internal auditors commonly identify criminal activity, unsatisfactory work quality, and waste of company time and resources. Internal auditors are valuable employees, as they help organizations prevent errors and operate more successfully.

Individuals seeking to enter the accounting field will enjoy an array of job opportunities in a large range of industries. There are even unique career paths for those wanting to expand their options, such as environmental accounting, showbiz accounting, and forensic accounting.