Edited by Susan Sullivan | March 30, 2018
Does the idea of going to college and majoring in accounting sound boring? While it’s true that the number of college students majoring in accounting has declined in recent years, you should know that modern accountants have evolved far beyond the stereotypical “bean counter” role.
New trends, technologies, and tools have made accountants more versatile and business-savvy than ever. And the corporations, businesses, and organizations that employ them are competing among themselves to attract new talent.
In today’s global business environment, understanding sound, ethical accounting principles and practices is a career option that can propel you to great heights. It’s also a career that will last a lifetime. And while the job does demand a lot of time spent preparing and auditing financial reports, modern accountants are more than just number-crunchers.
- In many companies, accountants have a more forward-thinking role, advising organizational leadership about how to implement cost-effective processes and procedures and when, where, and how to expand operations and services.
- With cyber-crime a growing threat for average citizens as well as corporate conglomerates, forensic accountants work with law enforcement agencies to detect fraud, embezzlement, bribery, corruption, and other financial crimes.
Still not exciting enough for you? Consider that accountants are found in every type of business enterprise. Here are just a few of the industries where accountants can be found.
Sports and entertainment
From professional athletes to rock stars, models, and actors, people in the spotlight need trustworthy financial experts by their side. So do film companies, television networks, animation studios, radio stations, record labels, and sports franchises.
- The rich and famous need accountants they can trust. Whether you work with young, up-and-coming professional athletes or well-established entertainment super-stars, as a sports and entertainment accountant you’ll help your clients build, manage, and protect their income, assets, and investments.
- These accountants function as personal CFOs (chief financial officers) who are trusted members of the team. They build budgets, manage payrolls, oversee merchandising, control inventory, supervise charitable giving and philanthropic endeavors, monitor expenditures, secure liquid assets, protect copyrights and cash flow, pay personal and business taxes, collect royalties, and more.
Are you bilingual? Like to travel? Consider becoming an international accountant who works with foreign companies and clients, whether at home or abroad.
As globalization trends continue, companies and individuals are engaged in more international financial transactions than ever. These accountants understand financial practices and standards in countries around the world.
- Accountants who are knowledgeable about foreign currency exchange rates and the latest International Financial Reporting Standards manage multinational, cross-border financial transactions and business activities.
- They understand international financial reporting and tax regulations, know how to read international financial statements, monitor international trade developments, audit international accounts to ensure accuracy and prevent fraud, prepare consolidated financial statements for global operations, and engage in other accounting-related activities required to manage world-wide business operations..
Nonprofit companies can be affiliated with religious, educational, healthcare, social service, arts and culture, youth and amateur sports, the environment, animal protection, and many other types of social causes and movements.
While they do a tremendous amount of good around the world, nonprofit organizations are still subject to regulatory, tax, and other types of financial compliance. That’s why they need solid accounting practices and good internal controls.
- Many nonprofit organizations often rely on donations of money, goods, and services. They raise funds through membership dues, program revenue, grants, fundraising events, endowments, and investments.
- Accountants in nonprofit roles must ensure that revenues are greater than expenses in order to ensure the services they provide to those who need them can be maintained and expanded over the long-term.
The real estate industry is highly diverse, ranging from independent realtors who sell single-family homes to high-powered national and international companies who engage in complex commercial real estate transactions.
- Accountants who work in the real estate industry must be highly knowledgeable and skilled about local, regional, national, and international market conditions.
- They need experience in leasing and rental agreements, cost estimates, annual reporting, purchasing, payroll, working with independent contractors, forensic accounting, inventory management, and real estate tax structures
Does one of these industries interest you? As an accountant working in one of these fields, you can put the image of an accountant as a pencil-pusher to rest. On the contrary, you’ll be a sought-after business pro with ample career opportunities.
Learn more about Marian University’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree!