When you think accounting, you think of crunching numbers mostly, whilst this is true, there are other areas of involvement, but all still focused on digits. Accounts span out on a broad spectrum, leaving a questionable thought as to where exactly does it consistently falls. Each area of business has its own subsidies and accounts just happen to be a necessity for all.
There are several forms of accounting ranging from auditing to tax return preparation. Accountants appear to specialize in one of these fields, leading to different career paths.
Taking financial information and making external reports. Financial accounting requires detailed knowledge of the accounting framework used for a company’s financial statements, such as GAAP or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Or, if a corporation is publicly owned, it requires knowledge of the requirements provided by the government body responsible for monitoring any public company in the area. For financial accounting, there are several career options involved. External reporting specialty is a discipline that usually involves a detailed knowledge of accounting standards. There is also the role of managers, which includes a combined knowledge of financial and accounting management.
Accounting for the public
This area reviews the financial statements and supports companies’ accounting systems to ensure that clients’ structure their financial statements accurately to reflect their finances and financial position. This area requires excellent knowledge of the applicable accounting structure, as well as an inquiring personality capable of delving into company processes as required. The career path here is to advance to become an audit partner through various audit staff positions.
Accounts for the state
This sector uses a unique accounting system to generate and administer funds from which cash is disbursed to pay for a variety of expenses related to a public entity’s provision of services. Government accounting requires such a different set of skills that accountants tend to specialize throughout their careers in this area.
Accounting involving forensics
This field includes the reconstruction of financial information when there is no complete set of financial records. This skill set can be used to reconstruct a destroyed business record, reconstruct fraudulent records, convert cash-based accounting records, and so on. It tends to attract auditors in this career. Usually, it is a consulting position, a few companies require a full-time forensic accountant’s services. Those in this area are more likely to be involved in an audit firm’s insurance industry, legal support, or specialized practice.
Accounting for management
This field is concerned with the process of collecting internal operational reporting accounting information. This covers areas such as paying for expenses and planning for goals. A career path in this field will eventually lead to the position of the controller or diverge into a variety of specialized roles such as cost accountant, billing clerk, payables clerk, and payroll clerk.
Accounting for taxes
This sector includes effective compliance with tax regulations, tax filings, and tax planning to reduce the tax burden of a company in the future. There are several tax specialties that work towards the role of the tax director.
The field is concerned with analyzing the processes and transactions of an organization to identify vulnerabilities in regulation, fraud, waste, and mismanagement, and reporting to management of these findings. The career track progresses to the internal audit manager from various internal auditor positions. Specialties such as the auditor of information systems and the environmental auditor are available.
So there you have it, with this brief analysis, you can have just a closer idea as to some of the broader aspects that accounting is involved with and how it is best suitable to all.