According to Warren Buffet, accounting is the language of business. Becoming a professional accountant is usually attained by passing examinations by an professional accounting body as well as performing the required period of accounting experience required before certification.
Several countries or jurisdictions have their own professional accounting bodies. As an example, the UK has the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
The Canadians have (CICA) Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the USA has (AICPA) American Institute of Certified Public Accountants among others.
Hereunder are the pros and cons of pursuing a career in accounting:
The Pros of a Career in Accounting
Highly Demanded Skill
Every business needs an accountant. The larger the business the more complex the accounting needs required.
Even small businesses needs an accountant to ensure that the company is in compliance with local Government regulations as well as provide taxation services.
Therefore, having this skill makes you extremely employable. Accounting is also viewed by many as a noble profession. In most countries, accountants can receive a respectable salary for their skills.
Work Abroad Opportunities
Due to the fact that accounting is an in demand skill, one can get opportunities easily as a qualified accountant to work abroad.
So if you have an interest in travel or want to become an expat in another country, accounting is a skill that can be used as vehicle in making this dream a reality.
People within the organisation don’t understand it
Non accountants tend not to have a thorough understanding of what the accountant does and accounting principles. This is an advantage as fewer persons within the organisation will have an opinion on your role.
Comparing the role of the accountant to the role of the Marketing Manager, non-marketers may tend to have an opinion on a new marketing campaign.
They may criticise the creatives, advertisement, billboard and posters. Non accountants would rarely chime in on how fixed assets in the organisation are being depreciated.
Opportunities for Career Diversity
Accounting is a great foundational skill to have. Many accountants overtime tend to move into operational roles within organisations as well as executive managerial roles such as CEO.
As an accountant there is much room for career advancement.
Membership to an accounting body means that you have to keep up to date with accounting standards and development in the profession. This means that you will need to embrace the spirit of continuous learning and development which will elevate your career.
Accounting is an exciting field. As an accountant within a business you will be a part of several projects that can make the job fulfilling. You can also choose to work in various areas such as public accounting, auditing, private companies or consultancy businesses.
As an accountant you have a degree control over your job. The main role of the accountant in most organisations is to manage the financial structure of the operations of the business. In doing so, the accountant could institute measures to assist in meeting these objectives.
These measures include things such as cutting costs and implementing consequences for lack of compliance to internal processes.
On the other hand, if an individual is a sales manager within the organisation, there are several factors which affect the accomplishment of the role which is outside of the individual’s control.
As an example, an outbreak of a virus may make it more difficult to sell more products as persons disposable income may be allocated in other areas.
The Cons of Accounting
Accounting as a role within the same organisation could get very dull and monotonous especially if the company is not expanding or taking on embarking on new areas of development.
Chase Process with Non Accountants
While the accountant is in charge of internal process and internal controls, the persons carrying out the role which impacts the accounting function are non-accountants.
The accountant usually has the responsibility of chasing the process to ensure that individuals understand its importance as well as comply with accounting standards.
As an example, one such process is the purchasing process. An engineer who has an emergency may get so focused on completing the tasks that he calls out contractor without raising the relevant purchase order in the accounting system.
This could lead to expenses reaching the accountant which are not properly recorded which can lead to inaccuracies in the financial reporting.
Make Tough Decision
The accountant in many organisations may have to make tough decisions such as cutting budgets or firing individuals in periods of economic challenges.
These decisions can be tough and stressful while trying to meet the requirements to keep the business afloat.
Time to Qualify
You may take a number of years to complete all the examinations required for your certification. Thereafter, you need to spend time within an organisation to get hands on practical accounting experience before you can use your designation. This process may take a number of years to complete.
Lack of Flexibility
Being an accounting may not give you the freedom and flexibility as other roles. You job is restricted to sitting at a computer for long hours and looking at data. You do not have the freedom to move from place to place.
Difficulties in getting buy in
At times, the CEO within a business may not have an accounting background. Additionally members of the management team who you may interact with may not be accountants.
Therefore, you may have difficulties getting their buy in on different projects. Accounting is a specialised skill and many persons do not understand it.
You therefore may need to spend lots of time educating others which could make buy in difficult when making a decision.
Every profession has its pros and cons. Accounting is no exception. I have also written an article on the pros and cons of a career in sales. Feel free to click the previous link to read if you are contemplating a career in this field.
Trust this article provides useful and practical information if you are considering a career in accounting. For access to our free resource library with career templates, guides and checklists, click HERE to fill in the form. Feel free to share it and leave a comment if you have gained value.Thank you for your support as I grow this blog.