a career in accounting and finance

Unlocking the Numbers Game: Why a Career in Accounting and Finance is Your Perfect Match

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One could never defy or discount the authority of their importance. No matter the career path so many of us decide to embark on, they do all have one thing in common and that is their reliance on numbers. With the accounting and finance sector itself booming significantly in recent years, the number game is now serious business and just waiting for some skilled employees to shake things up. This is not only the sign of growth in demand – as with the case on the supply side, there remains to be a separation in accountants with optimism and confidence that employment levels within the next six months will rise. Optimism also remained in regards to the performance of these sectors over the next several years, even when total employment throughout Australia was forecasted to experience a slight cool-down after experiencing some rapid employment growth.

Are you tired of looking for jobs that offer no future? Or preparing to switch careers into a field that you could belong to for a lifetime? If you are, it’s time to divert your attention to accounting and finance because whether a small company or a Fortune 500 corporation, not only do all companies require accountants, but they are all shaped by the outcomes and decisions that are made based on their financial know-how. Therefore, for those with a strong mathematical ability and an interest in the business world and the vast array of opportunities that the public sector, non-profit organizations, and the corporate powerhouse all lay afoot, accounting and finance can be the ultimate career.

Unlocking the Numbers Game: Why a Career in Accounting and Finance is Your Perfect Match

The Importance of Accounting and Finance in Business

In many cases, the managers and investors in organizations use the answer to those questions to make decisions as out-of-the-ordinary as selling everything, changing strategy if they don’t like the trend, or selling or buying a company stock. And if that’s not enough to convince you of the necessity of this profession, try to remember the last time a company in the news tried to merge or lay off employees. These are unpleasant events, but companies cannot move forward (consistency) or grow in new directions without a clear understanding of the company’s financial position and where it has been (track record) to avoid repeating mistakes. A company would not likely sell itself to another company if it could not prove that it was consistently increasing its net earnings and economic value over the last three years. An acquiring company wants both short and long-term benefits.

A useful place to start is understanding what industries need accountants. At the core of every organization, whether it be a boutique clothing store or a Fortune 200 company, are accounting and finance departments. These teams are critical in helping an organization forecast its revenue, control expenses to reach profitability, balance its positives and its negatives (losses), and create a track record to sell the business or expand. Some questions these departments answer are: Where is this company now (business health)? Has it been growing? Is it shrinking? How can it become healthier? Why isn’t it growing? Does the business have too much debt? What is the company worth?

Skills and Qualifications Needed for a Career in Accounting and Finance

Senior roles (Qualified Accountants): These require professional accountancy qualifications in the country of practice (ACA, ACCA, ICAS), with good financial and management accounting skills and relevant work experience, plus technical skills and continuing professional development. Post-qualified, better management and communication skills are essential.

– Keen analytical abilities and problem-solving skills. – Evidence of the ability to communicate effectively and work well in a team. – As the roles progress, a particular interest in developing digital skills (e.g. data analytics, artificial intelligence). – Client relationship management, business advisory, and consultancy will be important. Personal respect for ethics and relationships. – Increasingly, familiarity with several types of professional risk, the ability to plan for and manage them, including cyber risk. Relevant experience/study: Employers often specify the relevance of any degree (e.g. accountancy, finance, economics, or business) or qualification and – in the case of more specific roles – the relevant professional qualifications.

Junior roles: These typically require a range of technical and soft skills, with many employers providing training as part of the job. Entry requirements start at the equivalent of four good A-levels up to the required degree or relevant experience.

Skills, experience, and qualifications

Career Paths and Opportunities in Accounting and Finance

As an auditor, you act as the third-party check on a company’s financial statements. Especially early on, the job involves a lot of travelling and working in small teams. Many accounting and finance professionals do not stay in one role throughout their career. They progress to be part of the senior management team, as a finance director or CFO, with the potential to move into the role of CEO. If you work within finance you could have a number of opportunities at companies in a range of sectors, like consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, mining, or media. If you choose to remain in practice, your long-term options include becoming a partner at an accountancy firm. It’s also possible to become a specialist in an area of accounting or finance. For example, tax is a huge industry in its own right, with a myriad of career opportunities. And, increasingly, accountants also need to be tech-savvy, with a growing number moving into IT. Public finance roles also offer a vast number of opportunities within areas like the police, NHS and private health care companies, transport and defence.

If you choose a career in accounting and finance, your first job is likely to be in an accounting practice. With around 20,000 accountancy firms in the UK, from the Big Four firms to small practitioners, the opportunities are endless. And it’s not all number-crunching. You could advise and support businesses to help them thrive and grow. It’s not unusual for auditors to go on to work for one of their clients. Careers can grow quickly and opportunities to travel and work abroad are vast. A Management Accountant role could open up many opportunities, ranging from budget accountant to financial accountant. You could be very senior in a finance role within five or six years and well on your way to finance director level within ten. Financial analysts advise businesses on their investment and corporate financial reporting. It’s not uncommon for an analyst to go and work for a company they’ve provided advice to.

When you specialize in accounting and finance in a business school, you’re connecting to a vital industry with numerous financial opportunities for growth and development. There is also much to speculate about the continuing evolution of professional finance and how it could drive career paths in the years to come. Although artificial intelligence has aided in the automation of some of the most mundane accounting aspects, many businesses and business owners still require complex financial assistance – particularly as legal and legislative determinations intertwine with international monetary issues.

Your ability to successfully present facts and figures is the difference between staying in business and going under. Those with the knowledge to transform numbers into valuable insights can go far. This cannot be emphasized enough. It highlights why a career in accounting and finance can be right for you. If you enjoy working with numbers and are able to present them in a variety of ways, and if you desire a stable job with multiple opportunities for advancement and specialization, a career in accounting and finance might be the right direction for you.

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