An accounting degree prepares students for a diverse range of great accounting jobs, depending on a student’s other interests. Although personal financial accountants are the most notable type of accountant, many different types of positions require a degree in accounting. These five great accounting jobs provide opportunities for exciting and stable work that is far from boring.
1. Forensic Accountant
One great accounting job is as a forensic accountant, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Combining investigative skills with an education in accounting, a forensic accountant can investigate criminal financial activity, design systems to make financial institutions more secure, assess risk for a company or deliver findings for criminal or civil cases. Specific duties depend on whether the accountant works for law enforcement or the legal industry, a corporation or the public sector. Financial institutions, individual police units, legal firms and the Federal Bureau of Investigation all employ forensic accountants. The median salary for forensic accountants is $64,939, according to PayScale.
2. Budget Analyst
By developing, monitoring and evaluating budgets, budget analysts provide the reports and information decision makers need to make informed appropriations. Depending on the specific position, budget analysts create budgets, oversee staff, serve as liaisons between a public or private entity and a financial board, make budgetary recommendations, analyze spending to reduce waste and insure budgetary compliance. This position requires the use of accounting and the ability to communicate budgetary aspects effectively, sometimes to government oversight committees. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for this position is $71,590 a year.
3. Environmental Accountant
Environmental accountants integrate costs and benefits of environmental factors in business and public work decisions. By applying ecological knowledge, environmental accounts analyze data, make calculations and present policy positions. This accounting jobs allows workers to engage an interest in accounting with the ability to make the world a better place. Salary varies widely for this type of accountant, especially between non-profit organizations, private corporations and lobbying firms. It also varies by the type of environmental accountant, as some operate as analysts while others concentrate on public policy or the distribution of environmental resources. Typically, greater environmental regulations increase the demand for environmental accountants.
A controller (or comptroller in the public sector) manages the financial activity of a company. This great accounting job involves preparing financial reports for a company, overseeing the management of financial accounts, analyzing spending, maintaining records for tax purposes, insuring accounting practices follow prescribed regulations, conducting financial analyses, managing payments and payroll and supervising other accountants. A controller for a corporation typically reports to a chief financial officer. Many positions require a graduate level education; however, the median salary for a controller is more than $130,000. Comptrollers, public servants performing controller duties, have a median yearly salary of $62,000, according to PayScale.
5. International Tax Accountant
With the move of many corporations to overseas headquarters or trade with other businesses in other countries, more companies need international tax accountants to help navigate the complex multinational systems involved. International tax accountants assist with property accrual, currency exchanges, payments received and made and more. This requires knowledge of tax laws in the countries in which a company operates. Some positions require knowledge of a foreign language to insure proper understanding of documentation. The salary for an international tax account varies, but the demand for this position continues to grow exponentially, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
A degree in accounting paves the way for challenging job possibilities and a stable future. These five great accounting jobs offer ways to get a return on an investment for a degree in accounting and produce meaningful and exciting work.