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Accounting is about the way of tracking income in business and benefit from it by time. Accountants engage in plethora of activities such as preparing financial statements and recording business transactions including computing costs and efficiency gains from new technologies, participating in strategies for mergers and acquisitions, quality management, developing and using information systems to track financial performance, tax strategy, and health care benefits management.
The most important part in accounting is to learn how business works. This field presents inspiring and challenging work that has been continuously developing. Accountants really learn how business works because they use up a huge time looking under the top of businesses. It is not doubtful that most of the successful people initiated their careers in this field. It is also not doubtful that most Chief Financial Officers of large corporations have got their knowledge in accounting. An accountant is completely placed to become a CFO since he or she has the best background knowledge and perceptive of what drives business successfully and profits in a company.
Careers in Accounting
The accounting field offers a plethora of job opportunities with very reasonable salaries. Accounting is an essential part of all businesses. Thus, career opportunities exist in a wide variety of work environments. Career choices consist of large and small accounting firms, national and international companies, government agencies, and not for profit organizations. Following is a brief overview of some possible careers in accounting.
The need of meeting severe government regulation combined with an aging working force and escalating global market has made this a time to look for a career in accounting. Many firms that feel under examination of new government regulations have paradoxically benefited from those same rules, facing less competition while collecting hefty fee for government-mandated service.
Today, most of the industries hire graduates of college or university accounting programs who are graduated recently.
The expansion due to accounting can be seen in government, corporation and public job market.
By far, the most hires are hired for the positions such as senior level audit specialists, but specialty areas such as financial analysis and forensic accounting are also experiencing boosting growth.
Big four accounting jobs are still highly popular and currently offer a conventional career course with great experience.
The big four and other firms give people opportunities to a broad range of companies and industries.
"I'll use to flight technology if I go to work in the big four" said by a famous successful accountant. These firms have been the most confidence and aggressive users of intranets, extranets and e-commerce technologies among the all business firms.
Generally, getting employment opportunities at each level across the country is not very tough thing in which especially senior level skills are in demand, with plentiful vacancies in the north-eastern southern regions.
Interference of internal politics is a big role when it comes to employment at the big four.
Especially during the tax season, accountants are disgraceful for working late. Also, client demands should be met and numbers should be checked and double checked. Fortunately, life is often relatively reasonable during the off season.
Creativity and daily work variation are highly required in the industry (Wet Feet).
Non-public Accounting Career Path
In general, management accountants start their career as cost accountants, junior internal auditors or trainees for other accounting positions. They may promote to accounting manager, controller, chief cost accountant, budget director or manager of internal auditing while they move forwards in their organizations. In the same field, some people become treasurers, vice presidents of finance, chief financial officers or corporate presidents. Many senior corporate executives keep their background in accounting, internal auditing or finance.
Financial accounting and reporting
Staff accountant (1-3 years)
The direction of senior accountant guide financial and reporting staffs, who perform comprehensive work assignments in one or several of the following areas, for instance receivables, payroll, payables, property, general ledger and financial statements
Senior accountant (3-6 years).
Senior accountants, who have the responsibility for certain reports and financial analyses, supervise the work of staff accountants and
Accounting manager (6+ years)
Accounting managers, who have the responsibility for financial accounting, which is a functional area, or budgetary planning and control, help the controller. They guide the work of employees involved in detailed accounting entries, internal financial reporting and financial statements (James 2007)
According to the 2008-2009 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the employment rate of accountants, which is faster than the standard for all employments, is expected to grow by 18 percent between 2006 and 2016. This profession would have a huge number of new jobs come up, around 226,000 over the projections decade. An increase in the number of businesses, changing financial laws, and corporate governance regulations, and increased accountability for protecting an organization's stakeholders will direct to the threshold of growth in this sector. (Labor 2008)
Skills needed for a Career in Accounting are
Accuracy, Analytical skills,, High Ethical Standards
Communication skills, both oral and written, Computer skills
Ability to work with limited supervision, High standards of integrity
Ability to work with others as part of a team, Decision-making skills
Typical Job Titles for Accounting Majors
My career plan
The Careers Action Planning Cycle
Where am I now?
In my life cycle, I'm now in the very important stage, which is the stage that when I get to decide my entire life plan. While spending 22 years in this world, I have gained some of the educational and professional skills, experiences and knowledge that are shown below
Advance level in business studies
HND in Accountancy
Working experience as Bookkeeper (4 months )
Working as crew trainer in McDonalds
Now I'm doing my BA (Hons) BusinessÂ studies in London School of Commerce. Additionally, I'm very good at mathematics and accounting.
What do I want to be?
My ambition is to be a finical accountant. If I want to reach my dream job, I have to gain some of special stages, experiences and education qualification. In order to achieve it, first of all, I have to find my career path in which there are some stage of careers that are give below.
Book keepers should have the skills of managing all the financial data for companies. Information tracked in the books assist business owners make potential decisions involving sales planning and product offering, and manage many other financial aspects of their business.
There are no minimum entries required for this career, but employees are often asked for GCSEs (A-C)/ S grades (1-3) or comparable in Maths and English. Skills in computer are also highly expected in certain firms today.Â
For details of qualification equivalents look at the following:Â
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)Â
Scottish Qualifications AuthorityÂ
A number of useful qualifications are available. These include:Â
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) offers a number of qualifications including NVQ/SVQs in accounting at levels 2, 3, and 4. There are no minimum entry requirements. The AAT Book keeping Certificate (ABC) is also available. The AAT also offers a range of specialist qualifications including the NVQ/SVQ in Audit (Internal), the NVQ/SVQ in Payroll Administration and the AAT Diploma in Government Finance. After successfully completing any of AATs qualifications, except ABC, students automatically become AAT Affiliates and can progress to Membership.Â
International Association of Book-Keepers (IAB) offers a range of examinations at various levels. They can apply for IAB membership, after passing certain IAB exams.Â (web1)
Assistant Accountants assist in the day-to-day running of the Accounts Office. They help the Key Assistant Accountant and Production Accountant to maintain records of invoices and creditors' payments. They keep records of all transactions, and are usually responsible for the preparation of accounts payable, invoices and purchase orders, and petty cash and payroll calculation. Assistant Accountants also process cheques, maintain filing and invoice monitoring systems, and audit petty cash envelopes as well as carrying out other duties assigned by the Production Accountant.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Knowledge of the principles and practices of bookkeeping and accounting, knowledge of standard office practices and procedures, knowledge of data processing, personal computer and network functions and knowledge of basic statistical methods and applications may need knowledge of rules and regulations leading payroll processing and record keeping; may require knowledge of filing procedures for form 941; may require knowledge of FLSA labour laws and HIPAA requirements; ability to interpret and follow complex written and oral instructions; ability to prepare neat, concise and accurate reports; ability to identify problems and recognize their component parts; and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.
The Assistant Accountant has to be educated up to graduate level and currently studying towards anÂ accounting qualification, for either ACCA or CIMA or looking to start.Â
A minimum of 1 years experience within a varied finance role is essential for this role.Â
The Assistant Accountant will be looking to work within a fast paced and challenging environment andÂ has strong communication skills with the ability to liaise at all levels confidently.Â
How do I get there?
To accomplish my goal, I need to enhance some of the skills required to be an accountant. As I'm a BABS student, I currently gain some skills in accountancy and management. Add to this, working as an intern in a company that deals with financial aspects also would help me improve my skills. Moreover, I can personally develop my skills by practicing and searching for techniques online and through having contacts with experts in the particular area.
While working in a company and working as a trainee, I can gain my experience in this field. In addition, I could do some special courses related to this field, such as ACCA and CHARTED, which would make me improve myself as a professional accountant. Also, these courses would qualify me in accountancy. I will develop an impressive skills set that I can take elsewhere, whether I want to hang out my own accounting shingle, go into industry, or pursue an entirely different profession.
A careers action plan is a personal statement that can be reviewed. It will help you manage the transition from education to employment and prepare you for lifelong learning. It diagrams out the processes you need to take from where you are now to where you want to be. Moreover, tt guides you to find out what you should actually do to become a successful accountant in your career life. It should have
â€¢ S Specific; my action plan needs a specific focus.
My career plan is to become a financial accountant, and thus I have to get
A degree in a subject with direct relevance to study: For example, accounting, business studies, law, mathematics, economics and the MBA
Registration with one of the professional bodies.
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
â€¢ M Measurable; I should make sure that objective is measurable how I will know if I reach my goal?
In my career path, though I'm in the beginning level I'm very confident and interested to reach my future position.
â€¢ A Achievable; ask myself: what's in it for me?
In career and educational field everything is achievable, if we pay full attention and interest on it. When I came to UK I was really worried about my English knowledge. In my LSC first class, I didn't understand anything, because I couldn't guess what they were teaching. Then, teacher told me about Student portal, so in the next class, I prepared myself to that certain class and I somewhat understood lecture more than the previous class. Thus, if I prepare and plan my career, I'm confident that it will be achievable.
â€¢ R Realistic; how achievable my objectives are and my overall career goals? ...
Though I'm confident and working hard to reach my goal there are some obstacles that I need to face and tackle. Since I'm a foreign student, I need to face VISA expirations here. Also, I have to work for certain hours to fulfil my expenses and thus, the amount of time I have to work on my goal becomes less. Even when I finish my studies here I'm doubtful whether I can get my dream job here. Moreover, I don't have a 100% opportunity to get my ideal job in my home country either. Thus, I realize that getting my ideal job is not an easy matter, so that I should be ready to tackle these complications in order to fulfil my aim.
â€¢ T Timed; put in a range of timescales to help with my planning.
Within next 7 years, I will become a financial accountant. In 2012, I will finish my honours degree, BA (Hons) and then, I will study MSc in Finance and Accounting. At the same time, I will finish my ACCA studies, and in this way I would achieve my dream job within 7 years.
Options after Graduating
Graduating from university is a thrilling time. However, it can also be frightening because people start to think about their next steps in life after their graduate. After they have graduated from the universities, several options are available to them. Choosing the right path is not always an easy thing to do. Therefore, they should discover each option to find out the best way. The main options for students after they graduate include finding a job, further study at postgraduate level, setting up a business or rest from any commitment for a while. If they are looking for a career, taking courses or any other type of opportunity, they must get organized as soon as possible.
However if they are not sure about their first step as a graduate, brainstorming their options can help them come up with ideas. If they are looking to get a certain job, will a postgraduate qualification improve their chances? Or would it be better to get some work experience? So if we are still confused and cannot make our own decision, we can get some help and advice from the university or college careers services. They can advise us on options to further study and provide some tips on where to look for career 'leads'. However, for those who are looking to go straight into a job after graduation, it will be easier if they register with the careers services as soon as possible.
Graphs to Illustrate Career Maps
To conclude, planning a career after my first graduation is not an easy thing since there are many complications to achieve my career. However, being confident and hardworking would help me reach my goal if I dedicate myself to it. Accountancy requires certain skills, training, qualification and knowledge. In order to perform efficiently, I have already started building myself as an accountant, and thus I prepare myself to face and tackle challenges. Also, I'm developing my skills in illustrating career maps, explaining and analyzing distinguish career paths, analyzing challenges and dealing with standard financial organizations confidently. Considering my career map, future graduates can get an idea of choosing a different possible career that would help them improved in their career life while keeping their values and choices without any contradictions.
WetFeet (2008), career in accounting, 2008 edition, Page 2, USA available from
James (2007), James A. Heintz and Robert W. Parry (2007), College Accounting, 19 editions, Thomson South-Western
Labor(2008), Â Labor Dept Bureau of Labor Statis, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009, Â Government Printing Office, USA, page 550,
Web 1, Book KeeperÂ Profile, red goldfish website, available from