There was a time when accounting was considered a dull profession. Professionals in the field needed to perform some of the most tedious jobs out there. If you asked anyone what an accountant does, they would tell you that all accountants do sit at their desk, going through extensive paperwork and doing calculations. In simple words, their world revolved around number crunching.
However, things have changed unimaginably with time. Today, accounting is one of the most in-demand and cutting-edge professions in the world. The accountants of today perform many different roles across different sectors, helping individuals and businesses stay on top of their financial affairs.
If you are an accounting professional weighing your career options, here are 7 of the most in-demand specializations you must consider:
Estate accountants work with individuals, couples, and families to help them plan how their wealth can get distributed upon their death. The death of an individual has many financial implications; there’s a need to manage investments, make claims against life insurance policies, and distribute the inheritance. Estate accountants can take care of it all and eliminate the risk of incurring any tax penalties by encouraging individuals to plan. Even if the deceased individual had done no prior financial planning, then an estate accountant gets hired to manage all financial matters upon their death, which is why the services of these professionals are always in demand.
The responsibility of a forensic accountant is to scrutinize business records and report any irregularities or fraud. It is done by reviewing and auditing the financial statements and records of both public and private companies. If any anomaly gets identified as part of their examination, forensic accountants act as key witnesses in the court of law in the prosecution of staff members involved in embezzlement or white-collar crimes. Most forensic accounting jobs include working for the state or government agencies such as the FBI and the US Secret Service.
With increasing awareness of environmental issues, the services of ecological accountants are more in demand than ever before. These professionals focus on managing the environmental costs for a business. For instance, they may assess the value of proper waste disposal and cleaning spills and measure it against the possibility of lost revenue as a result of failing to take these measures. This analysis then gets presented to the management for decision-making.
PERSONAL FINANCIAL ADVISORS
Personal financial advisors help individuals set financial goals and come up with suitable strategies to achieve them. They ensure their clients are saving up for education and retirement, making the right investments, and carrying out estate planning. They have extensive knowledge of bonds, stocks, and other financial assets, which allows them to assist their clients with investment planning. It is an exciting field because once you make a name for yourself, you can expect to work for the rich and famous who need someone to take care of all their money!
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACCOUNTANTS
If you are tech-savvy and have a love for accounting, there is undoubtedly no better job for you than becoming an information technology accountant. Today, every industry gets fueled by technological progress, and it applies to the account too. There was a time when accountants had to do tons of paperwork and maintain extensive records. Today, almost every business, regardless of its size, relies on information systems to manage their accounting functions.
IT accountants are responsible for helping businesses choose the right information system according to the needs of its accounting department. They also maintain these information systems to ensure optimum performance.
It may be surprising to some, but accounting professors are amongst the most in-demand and highest-paid accounting professionals. You can make a very decent living for yourself if you choose to go down this route, especially if you have an advanced qualification, such as a Ph.D. As a professor, you get the opportunity to transfer your love for accounting to your students and also carry out research in your field. Your research can revolve around financial or managerial accounting, accounting systems, auditing, and tax accounting.
RISK AND COMPLIANCE OFFICERS
Violating laws and regulations can have severe consequences for a business. It can even put the survival of the most successful companies at risk, which is why every business needs a professional to oversee that they are complying with all regulations that apply to it. It is where risk and compliance officers come in. From labor laws to environmental management, these professionals ensure the company is abiding by all relevant laws and ethical standards.
As you can see, accountants of today play a variety of roles across different industries and sectors. From helping individuals with estate planning and financial management to detecting fraud and irregularities in a business, there is a lot more to the world of accounting than people think. However, regardless of which career path you decide to pursue, you will only go far if you have the necessary education, skills, and experience needed for each role. The more time you invest in your chosen field, the more you will succeed as a professional.