What are the main reasons to be an accountant and what is the highest position a person can achieve if they pursue a career in accounting?

Updated on : December 6, 2021 by Oliver Ward



What are the main reasons to be an accountant and what is the highest position a person can achieve if they pursue a career in accounting?

The main reasons to be an accountant really depend on the accountant. I am currently an accounting student and these are the most common responses I get when I ask my classmates why they chose accounting:

  • The accounting market is growing
  • Your career is stable
  • Public accountants earn a relatively high salary
  • The skills you acquire in accounting are easily transferable and in high demand.
  • An accountant's opinion is generally highly respected within business.
  • They like to organize and interpret information.
  • Accounting is an honorable profession that ultimately seeks to help people (in theory)

The R

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The main reasons to be an accountant really depend on the accountant. I am currently an accounting student and these are the most common responses I get when I ask my classmates why they chose accounting:

  • The accounting market is growing
  • Your career is stable
  • Public accountants earn a relatively high salary
  • The skills you acquire in accounting are easily transferable and in high demand.
  • An accountant's opinion is generally highly respected within business.
  • They like to organize and interpret information.
  • Accounting is an honorable profession that ultimately seeks to help people (in theory)

There is no higher position in accounting that is unanimously agreed upon. Accounting is a broad field and generally accountants will move from accounting to some type of management position as their career progresses. In public accounting, the highest position you can achieve is Partner in one of the Big 4 firms. However, an accountant could eventually become the CEO of a large corporation, which arguably would be "higher" than a partner in terms of prestige and salary. One of the best things about accounting is that it is flexible, so if you want to stay in accounting and move up to Partner, you can, and if you want to do something else and move up the corporate ladder, you can. that too.

I am not going to offer you any convincing argument as to why you should be an accountant. I think the main reasons for being an accountant are totally up to the individual. Some people are made for it and some are not. My personal reason why I became an accountant is because when I enrolled in an elective class in my junior year of high school there were 15 girls and 2 boys enrolled in accounting, so I suddenly became very interested in accounting or accounting. less in the girls who were. in accounting class. Now in class I found out that I was actually pretty good at it, so when I sign up

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I am not going to offer you any convincing argument as to why you should be an accountant. I think the main reasons for being an accountant are totally up to the individual. Some people are made for it and some are not. My personal reason why I became an accountant is because when I went to enroll in an elective class in my junior year in high school, there were 15 girls and 2 boys enrolled in accounting, so I suddenly became very interested in accounting. or at least the girls that were. in accounting class. Now in class I found out that I was actually pretty good at it, so when I enrolled in college, I decided to pursue accounting. There are no great plan ideas or career paths there, I just came across it and have enjoyed the job for the most part.

Personally, I have been a CFO, COO, President, CEO, and CEO of companies and I know several other accountants who have held similar positions, so I believe that the top position is unlimited.

  1. Passion - I love helping others with information that can support their decision making or planning. This could be operational or strategic.
  2. Get the Big Picture - The accountant sees the bigger picture of the business, and I love that. From planning, execution to reporting. For example, we work with companies to develop goals, set strategies, and work together on it. They say that accounting is the language of business.
  3. Dynamic - As accounting standards, best practices, and even business regulations change, the accountant continues to learn.

You may not get all of these benefits in a position due to

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  1. Passion - I love helping others with information that can support their decision making or planning. This could be operational or strategic.
  2. Get the Big Picture - The accountant sees the bigger picture of the business, and I love that. From planning, execution to reporting. For example, we work with companies to develop goals, set strategies, and work together on it. They say that accounting is the language of business.
  3. Dynamic - As accounting standards, best practices, and even business regulations change, the accountant continues to learn.

You may not get all of these benefits in one position due to specialization. For example, large companies have a tax accountant, cost accountant, chief reporting officer, planning and budgeting auditor, etc.

In terms of charge, there is no limit. You are limited by your own imagination, goals, and actions. You can be a Manager, Director, CRO, CFO, CEO or Chairman of the Board. However, you generally won't achieve these positions without other skills, such as business and social skills.

The main reasons to be an accountant are:

  • Accounting is the "language of business", and if you understand accounting, you will be the "one-eyed man in the land of the blind."
  • Accounting requires discipline, concentration, and analytical skills, something that many business executives lack these days. So you have an advantage over most of your competitors.
  • Accounting gives you a certain prestige among your peers. It is a clear advantage in almost any business activity, including sales.

How high can you rise in the business world? How about the CEO or the owner of your own business? Many accountants

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The main reasons to be an accountant are:

  • Accounting is the "language of business", and if you understand accounting, you will be the "one-eyed man in the land of the blind."
  • Accounting requires discipline, concentration, and analytical skills, something that many business executives lack these days. So you have an advantage over most of your competitors.
  • Accounting gives you a certain prestige among your peers. It is a clear advantage in almost any business activity, including sales.

How high can you rise in the business world? How about the CEO or the owner of your own business? Many accountants get pretty rich, in a way, because they understand money and how to get it.

In my opinion, the two main reasons are that you are good at it and you like it, because then you can reach the level you want.

This is an interesting question and I've asked myself while looking out the window on my desk, daydreaming at work (I hope my bosses don't read this).

My fellow accounting colleagues understand that the number one conversation killer in a social function is when we are asked, "What do you do?" resonating with: "I am an accountant." That response kills conversations faster than light coming out of a room once you flip the switch.

Since then I have learned to say (when asked what I do): "I am an accountant with a special touch." The next obvious question is then: "what is the twist?" (assuming that d

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This is an interesting question and I've asked myself while looking out the window on my desk, daydreaming at work (I hope my bosses don't read this).

My fellow accounting colleagues understand that the number one conversation killer in a social function is when we are asked, "What do you do?" resonating with: "I am an accountant." That response kills conversations faster than light coming out of a room once you flip the switch.

Since then I have learned to say (when asked what I do): "I am an accountant with a special touch." The next obvious question is then: "what is the twist?" (assuming they didn't fall asleep or politely felt the need to complete their drink). You can then retrieve a conversation thereafter.

In general terms:

"Accountants record transactions in a way that provides meaningful information to the decision maker."


With that being said, today's accountant goes far beyond the simple record of transactions to a more "trusted advisor" role, where people rely on their advice to make informed decisions. This means that accountants are gaining more knowledge about business on a holistic level (that is, understanding all areas of the business, not just the ledgers).

As laws change and become more complex, particularly from a retirement (401k) and tax standpoint, so does the role of accountants.

The best way to really answer this question would be through a handful of scenarios based on the different segments that make up the "accounting industry" to see the breadth of the scope of today's accountant. An accountant usually has to choose where they want to specialize quite early in their career:

Taxes

The best tax advisers are accountants. At times, I have relied more on the advice of an accountant than a lawyer when it comes to tax law.

Accountants understand and, more importantly, interpret tax laws very well. Almost all transactions that a company carries out have tax consequences. Good accountants know this and guide the business in the right direction.

Even more important, tax planning plays a vital role in a good accountant, especially in the run-up to the end of the financial year.

Good accountants can find ways to minimize the tax due through a number of strategies (Note: minimizing taxes is fine, avoiding them altogether is not).

Knowledge of taxation is the cornerstone of the accounting base.

Audit and security

Accountants verify that the information provided in a financial report (particularly for entities listed on a stock exchange) is a true reflection of that entity.

Many transactions involving large companies will seek guidance from the auditor, particularly as to how the transaction should be disclosed in the financial statements and how that transaction should be properly recorded to ensure compliance.

Given the public interest, especially in relation to publicly traded companies, the auditor bears a heavy burden of responsibility.

Good auditors know how to search for information to independently verify what has been disclosed.

Financial reports

Accountants prepare financial reports for an entity that enables users of those reports to make informed decisions. The key financial reports are:

  • Profit and loss statements;
  • Balance sheet;
  • Cash flow statement; and
  • Informative notes to the financial statements.


Good accountants in this area understand the relevant Accounting Standards, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and International Financial Reporting Standards.

Management accounting

"Management accounting is a profession that involves partnering in management decision-making, designing planning and performance management systems, and providing financial reporting and control expertise to assist management in formulating and implementing financial strategy. an organization"

(Management accounting)


Unlike financial accounting, management accounting is:

  • primarily prospective, rather than historical;
  • model-based with a degree of abstraction to support decision-making in a generic way, rather than case-based;
  • designed and intended for managers within the organization, rather than intended for shareholders, creditors, and public regulators;
  • generally confidential and used by management, rather than publicly reporting;
  • calculated by reference to the needs of managers, often using management information systems, rather than by reference to general financial accounting standards. (wikipedia.org)


Here is a good diagram that explains the interactions of how management accounting dovetails with taxation and financial accounting:


Insolvency and business reconstruction

Accountants in this segment are highly effective problem solvers with an entrepreneurial flair. Some days you are given the reins of a struggling business (that is, you have run out of money and cannot pay your bills) and you must negotiate that business in hopes of finding a buyer. Some days they just give you some assets to sell. Other days, there is nothing there and you have to investigate where the property or money went and 'get it back'.

Most accountants in this field consider themselves quasi-attorneys because of their extensive knowledge of company law, property law, tax law, and other general business laws.

The best accountants in this field understand the technical legal position and apply highly commercial thinking in their business dealings.

As business and industry become increasingly complex, particularly with the global reach of commerce, so will the roles of accountants. Professional accounting bodies (Chartered Accountants and CPAs) continually update their training programs to adapt to this changing business environment.

If you manage to become one and keep it and one that you really want, yes, according to some of my friends, it's still worth it. Other times, not so much.

I know many people who are / were accountants / controllers / payroll, etc. Their stories vary enormously. It is a mixture of experiences that I see or hear.

My sister's story

My sister, for example, worked as a comptroller, but actually studied as an economist at university. She is very good at her job. It makes a lot more sense than I do with numbers. He had very good job offers from banks, but finally accepted a job at a

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If you manage to become one and keep it and one that you really want, yes, according to some of my friends, it's still worth it. Other times, not so much.

I know many people who are / were accountants / controllers / payroll, etc. Their stories vary enormously. It is a mixture of experiences that I see or hear.

My sister's story

My sister, for example, worked as a comptroller, but actually studied as an economist at university. She is very good at her job. It makes a lot more sense than I do with numbers. He had very good job offers from the banks, but he finally got a job at a ringtone company. Which was a good bet on their part, because the job offers from the banks later dropped.

She then switched to IKEA, where she worked a lot of unpaid overtime that she wasn't happy with. Her superior was a typical queen bee, so it wasn't funny, she had a lot of narcissistic traits with a series of short-term failed relationships with various men. My sister readily admits that she didn't like her superior very much and doesn't miss working at IKEA much.

She met her future boyfriend and father of her child at a party for her former employer, the ringtone company (he was the former owner and now owns a lodging company), and my sister is now a happy housewife. home. Now that my nephew is about 4 years old, he is looking for a new part-time job, which is very difficult to find, often full-time positions.

You're considering offers from nonprofits, but the pay is pretty bad, but at least it's part-time with little to no overtime.

My High School Friend's Story

A friend I have known since high school works as a certified accountant for a large franchise accounting firm. Of the group of high school friends that I know and have kept in touch with, he was the first to get a job and he was very young at the time. Although he started out in the lower ranks as an assistant, he eventually earned additional certificates and diplomas and eventually took a senior position and was basically managing an entire department within a branch office.

However, it was a position that he did not ask for, but was basically handed over to him, because the company had to downsize. He sometimes complained about the way he had to handle his former colleagues, many of whom appeared to have numerous mental problems. He also complained about his lack of training for certain farm accounting jobs.

You mentioned to me once that there were clients at the old company, mostly from the restaurant industry, who were doing shady bookkeeping. The kind of restaurateurs with the flashy red sports car who shouldn't be able to afford. Something that you didn't like, you have integrity, but also because your certificates can be at stake and it can basically be the end of your career.

He also complained about one of the business partners in senior management. One that entered the firm through a merger. Thankfully this top manager was fired and fired, and it's a good thing they did, hearing the story, it seems to me that the top manager was a genuine psycho and as a dark triad they can basically destroy a company.

When the company he worked for was at one point busy downsizing, the possibility of additional layoffs was even raised, when things got tough during the crisis and the years after, where my friend even worried that his job was in Game.

He no longer works at that company, but at another accounting firm. From what you tell me, the new company pays a lot more salary, but they have a really outdated IT system, with things strewn all over the place from previous mergers. He's very fond of the new management, the clients, and the colleagues, so it definitely seems like a good move in more ways than one.

The story of my wife, a friend from high school

One of the people who was cut down at the company my friend worked for is, in fact, his wife. When they initially lived together, she worked as an accounting and economics teacher, initially her salary as a teacher was better than her salary as an assistant, but she accepted a job offer in the same company where my friend worked, although in a different office and in a different department. When the 2008 crisis broke out, the company had to lay off almost half of the people, she was one of the many who were laid off.

She has been trying to get a job ever since but has had no luck so far and has now been unemployed for a long time. I know a few things about labor economics and she is basically what we call here a 'lost generation' and as a long-term unemployed person, she has less than 1% chance of ever getting an accounting job again. Like in IT, she is dealing with recruiters and when they see a gap in her resume they think something must be wrong with her which is complete and utter nonsense as there is nothing wrong with it. She just has bad luck.

However, he has done some freelance work, in fact some of those accounting projects I gave him. The problem is, those projects were from small-time startups or organizations with very messy accounting, basically the worst kind of accounting jobs you can get, there were some clients there who, moreover, were also showing signs of mental problems (I suspect that one of the clients had limits), which I warned him about, including accounting clutter. My friend's wife managed to complete them, but compared to her previous job, the salary was much worse for that kind of hassle.

The story of my younger sister, a friend from high school

The friend from high school also has a younger sister, who also used to work in accounting, but never had as much training or certificates. She is not as smart as him. He was primarily in charge of menial accounting for a large bakery company, whose owner retired due to health concerns (respiratory problems due to early age exposure to airborne flour particles) and had no replacements. Instead of continuing with the business, the buildings and equipment held by the business were sold to become a retirement fund for the owner.

She and everyone else who previously worked there was out of work. Once again, like his wife, he has been trying to get a job ever since, but with no luck.

They have another younger brother who is on the IT side, but he also handles accounting firm clients and is doing very well.

The story of the small entrepreneur

I also know a small business owner who deals primarily with agricultural accounting, in which he specializes. However, it appears that he is struggling to survive on a very meager income. I met this guy in one of the networked entrepreneur groups. I'd say he's a decent accountant, he knows some of the loopholes he exploits for his clients.

However, his problem is that he mostly handles smaller clients with cash problems. They are the type of clients my grandfather would call 'keuter boeren', which roughly translates to cottiers. Clients who mostly come from an orthodox Calvinist background apparently, while he is a member of a board of an LGBTQ community, which means he is gay. You wouldn't think this is a problem in the Netherlands, but there are still some groups, even here, that can be very discriminatory.

Story of a retired accountant

I know of another now retired accountant who worked for a mid-sized accounting firm, also in the agricultural accounting business. I found out about him through a volunteer organization. Although he no longer works there, he mentioned that the company was one of the few companies that was actually growing rather than shrinking. They paid decently, with little overtime, well-trained and pleasant colleagues, good management as well, apparently with a good business owner.

However, the problem is that they do very well a niche. But his customers, who are mostly ranchers, are really struggling now. So they are not doing as well as before. I see a lot of trucks in the forage business and barn engineers lining up in the office in the morning so they must be doing something good and expanding into other side niches to make ends meet. So it looks like they are weathering the storm.

However, there have been a lot of murky accounting rumors in that industry regarding calf registration. I don't know if they are involved.

Life story of two fired accountants

I know two other former accountants, two former colleagues who worked in an insurance office. They are both in their fifties. This large insurance company cut about two-thirds of its entire workforce in the last decade and a few years ago they were still operating at a loss of more than 600 million euros. They have both been struggling to find employment ever since.

Although they were mentioned as accountants at another business meeting, it seemed to me that they had mostly done the lower-level accounting at the insurance company. They are the kind of dime you don't want.

History of the accounting and entrepreneur duo

I met two other accountants who were co-owners of a small accounting firm. They seem to be good with numbers, good at advising their clients, but they struggle because they don't have a good online presence or use any modern computing tools. One of the duo members approached me and was hinting at a possible creation of a web application, but I realized immediately that there was not a lot of money for that. Although they were a relatively young duo, it seemed to me that they were stuck in the past and that they had been doing accounting for a long time that could be automated very easily if they only had the money. They seem to be on a slow and slippery slope towards further obsolescence.

Accountant who pays for the history of construction, the one he does not want to know

I know of another registered accountant, although not very well as the others mentioned (I only spoke like three times), but it is an interesting story, who mainly handles payroll builds as a freelance for employment agencies. I know the accountant had been in real estate before and got into a lot of debt. I met this accountant at a course meeting through a dyslexic designer / military guard and met with this accountant one more time about a possible project offer, which I also declined.

However, the second time I spoke to this accountant, it was already obvious to me that this accountant had no integrity whatsoever. He knew that any offer this accountant came up with would be trouble, and he didn't trust this accountant a penny.

I met this accountant once again at a hotel / conference room years later elsewhere, where it turned out that this accountant was planning to get additional certificates, at least that's what they were telling me. It was a lie! The certificate had been lost. Either someone had done suspicious bookkeeping and got caught, or they didn't have the money to invest in license renewals.

Another story from a friend from high school

I know another friend I have known since high school, who was mostly in menial accounting, usually for smaller organizations in the creative sector. It is a sector well known for messy accounts. He barely made it. Then he worked for a co and now he's thinking about joining IT (I told him not to, but he has a knack so who knows).

Story of a friend of a friend from high school

I don't know him as well as the other friend, but I heard that he works as an accountant in a large banking firm, although it seems that he works primarily as a manager these days and primarily manages IT staff in his department. It is in the type of branch that is highly automated. There is no lower level accounting anymore, everything is gone, everything is automated.

He manages because he has an affinity for IT stuff, despite acting more of a manager, but he struggles with the legal aspects of the trade and still relies heavily on a colleague for that. The bank wants you to have more additional training on that. Probably because they want to downsize their colleague to save even more on overhead.

From what I hear, the pay is good. These are mostly normal business hours with little time and not as stressful as it sounds, most technical staff take care of overtime if there are problems. But you have to know your stuff in multiple areas and you have to be able to manage people.

In summary

Only the best, or the lucky ones, get by, many things are becoming more and more automated.

You have to be able to promote yourself, be able to manage people, have an affinity with programming, have to be able to handle your clients or your boss, have to know the legal technicalities and, finally, you have to be a good accountant who knows more than mere slavish accounting.

Be prepared for a great deal of on-the-job training, continuous learning, and earning more certificates. You will have a very difficult first for many years, but do it and yes, the salary is good and the work can also be good. But if you're not that good, or you're not that lucky, don't bother.

It is not for everyone and if you want to have some excitement you can always try to be a lion tamer. ;) Although I heard that circuses are also shrinking a lot these days, so the counter is probably a better race.

If you love what you do in a job, you never worked at all. That's a saying I always tell myself.

The accounting career is really very exciting. This profession opens up many job opportunities in areas such as finance, auditing, tax, business secretariat, banking, and accounting. The sky is the limit actually! If you work hard and smart, you can even move up the corporate ladder to become CFO, CFO, or even CEO of the organization you work with.

I will not say this as cons, in the following simple list there are challenges that you might face while taking these jobs ...

  1. work is always
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If you love what you do in a job, you never worked at all. That's a saying I always tell myself.

The accounting career is really very exciting. This profession opens up many job opportunities in areas such as finance, auditing, tax, business secretariat, banking, and accounting. The sky is the limit actually! If you work hard and smart, you can even move up the corporate ladder to become CFO, CFO, or even CEO of the organization you work with.

I will not say this as cons, in the following simple list there are challenges that you might face while taking these jobs ...

  1. work is always cyclical, especially if you work in the accounting department. There will always be tight dates, long working hours, monthly or quarterly and yearly closings. Some accountants find these cyclical routines mundane and boring, as the duty cycle never seems to end ... well ... that's true,
  2. you need a keen sense of detail and to be able to review snippets of numbers and reports. You need to understand all this information to keep your bosses updated on what is going on in this business,
  3. From data analysis and financial information, you may even need to help your marketing channels and marketing people on how to set your next business course to increase profitability and improve long-term business viability,
  4. You will need to deal with auditors, who are there to review and investigate what you have been doing ... this could be an overwhelming experience, especially if there are many lapses in internal controls, processes and other safeguards in your company.
  5. Your responsibility to manage cash flow well is also a great responsibility and at times quite challenging, especially when your cash flows are tight and when you have exhausted all sources of funding. You may need to plan for delays in payments to some of your vendors and that is very difficult to do, especially if the delays exceed your established credit limits.
  6. when you are in charge of the finance and accounting department and when you are faced with staffing issues (that is, you are faced with a shortage of manpower in your department), you will face a lot of work stress such as the need to be on hold and filling in some job duties while waiting for new staff to be hired, working late and on weekends, delays in closing your books, delays in your legal filings, etc.
  7. you may also need to deal with the IRS for all tax matters, compliance matters with your internal auditors or compliance department, industrial regulators ... which are people who are sometimes quite 'difficult' to deal with ...

Well the above may sound 'scary', but believe me, when you're at work ... this will all come very naturally to you. I think most people will be able to 'survive' being an accountant or working in these finance related industries. To be successful, get a good certification like ACCA, Bachelor of Accounting or the like. If possible, it is good to get CA or CPA to be seen as a professional and in a way an "authority" in this field. With these certifications, it will be relatively easy to get hired for senior or executive positions.

Good luck and God bless all your efforts?

As an accountant myself, I first became involved in this industry at my A levels when I was interested in financial statements.

Other reasons people want to be an accountant are primarily based on job security and job demand:

1. You can work in almost any industry

From fashion to entertainment, from construction to nonprofits, one thing unites (almost) every industry: They need financial professionals to help manage and advise them.

When you train as an accountant, you gain skills that can be applied to almost any industry of your choice. In fact, go ahead and name an organization. We bet that t

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As an accountant myself, I first became involved in this industry at my A levels when I was interested in financial statements.

Other reasons people want to be an accountant are primarily based on job security and job demand:

1. You can work in almost any industry

From fashion to entertainment, from construction to nonprofits, one thing unites (almost) every industry: They need financial professionals to help manage and advise them.

When you train as an accountant, you gain skills that can be applied to almost any industry of your choice. In fact, go ahead and name an organization. We bet they'll need financial professionals somewhere.

2. It is a great foundation to be an entrepreneur.

If every business needs finance professionals, it makes sense that startups have some finance experience. Without the need to hire an accountant in the early days of the business, it is certainly inexpensive, and a fundamental understanding of how a business's finances should be structured and maintained will also be crucial to keeping the business profitable.

3. It is perfect if you are an adventurer who wants to live abroad.

Accounting is (possibly) the highest laptop rating. Not only are the principles universal and applied worldwide, but membership in a body like ACCA (the Association of Certified Public Accountants) is also recognized and respected globally. If you have the ambition to move abroad, an accounting degree could be your passport to the city of your dreams.

4. It is more about advice than number calculations.

Consulting and advice make up the bulk of what accountants provide today, using their expert knowledge to help their clients select the right business structure, minimize unnecessary tax expenses, and forecast their cash flow for the coming year. .

5. It is a seasonal business

The end of January, February, and March represent the close of the financial year, and accountants fear them as "tax season." It is the busiest time of the year, but on the other hand, it can mean an easier time during the other nine months. Its predictability also makes it easy to know when to plan your vacation.

6. You can use it to be a really valuable volunteer for charities.

Love volunteering your time to charities and other good causes? If you are a qualified accountant, your time will be invaluable to them, saving them a fortune in fees for business needs like tax planning. It's a great way to make an accounting qualification as rewarding for others as it is for yourself.

7. You don't need a title

Some accountants have titles, others do not. Having an accounting degree may allow you to skip some exams on the way to full qualification, but it generally doesn't matter whether or not you've been to college. There is nothing stopping you from entering the ground floor with beginner accounting courses.

8. Counters are always in demand

If every business needs finance professionals, it should come as no surprise that those professionals are always in demand. Nor is it a career that goes nowhere; While increasing automation means there may be less to do on the calculations side, that just means accountants spend more time consulting and advising on strategy.

9. You can spend your time helping people

Do you like to help others? It could be the perfect race. Accountants help their clients around the clock, especially those who work for an accounting practice. We believe that helping people solve their problems and achieve their business goals is a very rewarding way to invest your time.

10. It's (almost) recession-proof

Okay, nothing is 100% recession proof, but the accounting is pretty close. When times are tough, it is generally departments such as sales and marketing that are hit the hardest. On the contrary, money problems usually mean a duplication of the finance department, to make sure not a penny is wasted.

Here's the lowdown on accounting. They are not the boring numbers that everyone thinks of. Yes, there are accountants who deal with accounting books and such, but accounting is a huge field. Some of the subfields that are included in accounting are auditors, forensic accountants, payroll, general ledger, consultants, and many, many areas.

Unlike some fields, accountants are unlikely to be outsourced or replaced by computers. Yes, accounting software has automated much of what accountants typically do, but humans will never trust software to fully control it. They will always want a human to double check

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Here's the lowdown on accounting. They are not the boring numbers that everyone thinks of. Yes, there are accountants who deal with accounting books and such, but accounting is a huge field. Some of the subfields that are included in accounting are auditors, forensic accountants, payroll, general ledger, consultants, and many, many areas.

Unlike some fields, accountants are unlikely to be outsourced or replaced by computers. Yes, accounting software has automated much of what accountants typically do, but humans will never trust software to fully control it. They will always want a human to double check the software.

At the same time, corporate leaders will always want to keep the people who handle money close. There is little chance that they will outsource accounting or auditing to a third world country to save a few bucks. Answer customer questions can go to Bangladesh; the people who prepare our finances should stay close to where I can keep an eye on them.

Much of finance is being automated. Many financial investors realize that they cannot beat the market and are buying index funds. In fact, on my 401K, all of my retirement is in various index funds because they have the lowest rates and show the highest overall returns. No human needs to even look at them, as a computer can handle it.

So what is the end of the game for someone with an accounting degree? That depends on where you want to finish, what education you have, and what certifications you acquire. I am an internal auditor and I am studying for my Certified Internal Auditor certification. In my career path, I can easily end up as a director of internal audit. By doing the right policy in the right company, I could become Vice President of Internal Audit (if the company has the position). If you received your CPA certification (in the US), you could easily become a controller, CFO, or even president of a company. With your CPA, you can also join an accounting firm and end up as a partner, or start your own firm and control it all.

Yes, there are major downsides to being an accountant. Some of them are:

  • Long hours. This is especially true for CPAs, but even corporate accountants typically work more than 40 hours a week.
  • The job is BORING. Although interesting projects come up from time to time, most of the work is the same over and over again.
  • You are generally paid less than many other company employees who are roughly on the same level as you.
  • You are underrated. I have worked as a CPA, for large publicly traded companies and small private companies. Only a few of these recognized companies
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Yes, there are major downsides to being an accountant. Some of them are:

  • Long hours. This is especially true for CPAs, but even corporate accountants typically work more than 40 hours a week.
  • The job is BORING. Although interesting projects come up from time to time, most of the work is the same over and over again.
  • You are generally paid less than many other company employees who are roughly on the same level as you.
  • You are underappreciated. I’ve worked as a CPA, for large publicly traded companies and small private businesses. Only a very few of these companies recognized that, in any of these roles, I could be of assistance in planning and operations. Some didn’t even allow accountants to assist with departmental budgets. However, when their plans didn’t work out financially I received a share of the blame.

These are, in my mind the big downsides to being an accountant. There are a number of smaller ones. A lot of the smaller ones, for me, are really related to my personality and outside interests. Many other accountants I know don’t see a lot of these as downside, so I won’t bother with them.

Accounting is not for everybody. Some people just don’t have the needed attention to detail. Others can’t be glued to a desk. For the right person, the upsides of accounting far outweigh the downsides and accounting can be a great road to success.

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