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What Types of Specialization are Available in Accounting Programs?

Accounting career opportunities may be divided into four broad areas or scope of practice. 1. Public Accounting. Accountants in public practice are working in accounting firms or individually to provide audit and attestation, tax planning and preparation, and advisory services to their clients.

Provides input related to managing the overall budget. Reporting to the Bureau Chief, the Financial Operations Supervisor manages, coaches, and mentors a team of five professional staff within the Financial Management Bureau.

Makes assignments, schedules work flow, reviews completed work, and provides technical assistance to the staff in the areas of HUD and other agencies accounting procedures and generally accepted accounting principles, internal controls, accounting/auditing, data processing, accounts receivable, and statistical activities.
in an accounting related field and/or 1 to 3 years of related experience. Most accountants and auditors work full time. About 1 in 5 work more than 40 hours per week. The exam covers areas such as financial statement analysis, working-capital policy, capital structure, valuation issues, and .
With that said, however, many students aren’t sure which areas of specialization exist, what these various specialties do within the context of the accounting industry, and how their choice might affect their coursework requirements as they work toward completion of the program.
in an accounting related field and/or 1 to 3 years of related experience. Most accountants and auditors work full time. About 1 in 5 work more than 40 hours per week. The exam covers areas such as financial statement analysis, working-capital policy, capital structure, valuation issues, and .
Accounting career opportunities may be divided into four broad areas or scope of practice. 1. Public Accounting. Accountants in public practice are working in accounting firms or individually to provide audit and attestation, tax planning and preparation, and advisory services to their clients.
12 Areas and Specialized Fields of Accounting

Managerial accounting is the area of accounting associated with gathering and preparing financial information for those inside business organizations such as managers and staff. It can be compared to financial accounting which is concerned with information for external individuals.

While, in a smaller company, the Controller might be equivalent to a CFO, in most larger companies the Controller is the expert manager making sure that the work in billing, budgeting, tax preparation, and more gets done. Controllers have a lot of responsibility, and can expect to be paid in kind. The modern accounting field is defined by its seemingly endless specializations; as business becomes more complex, it takes more specialized professionals to keep track of it all.

Cost accounting is one of these specializations, focused very narrowly on analyzing the costs of producing a product, and the price it needs to be set to make a profit. Cost Accountant Managers need strong analytical abilities, as well as a wide-ranging understanding of all of the economic forces that determine cost and value.

While the education brings the expertise, the experience really brings the judgment and problem-solving skills needed to make crucial decisions. Senior financial analysts can be found in just about every industry there is. As long as a company is large enough to need a financial team, a senior financial analyst can usually be found there.

Their primary duties are to review the finances of a company and make recommendations for how a company can lower costs and improve its financial situation. A senior financial analyst is the leader of a group of financial analysts who work with the money the company they work for is spending and making in all areas of the business.

They must be very diligent, detail-oriented, and accurate. Compliance Officers must also make sure the company is acting ethically as well as legally in all its dealings. Government regulations are complex, and the job of a Compliance Officer requires that they not only know managerial skills, but be able to keep up with political and cultural shifts.

Accounting in the 21st century is heavily technology-based; almost every aspect of the profession has moved from the paper forms and blue pencils of yesteryear to online. To keep up with changes in the field, software developers are creating new tools daily to handle tasks both big and small. An Accounting Software Developer needs to have a significant level of expertise in both areas to design and create programs that meet the needs of modern accounting, finance, banking, and business.

Developers also need leadership experience and skills, as they will be leading the development team of programmers and designers on any large, complex projects. Just as with Accounting Software Developers, Information Technology Accountants are key to keeping a modern accounting firm, corporation, or financial organization working efficiently. IT Accounting combines accounting, business, and management with knowledge of computer science, programming, and systems technology.

For many organizations, having a designated accounting IT professional on staff is critical for. Obviously, with the level of managerial and technical responsibility involved, an Accounting IT Manager needs a significant level of experience and education. In a major corporation, financial institution, or government agency that requires a whole accounting department, someone has to lead.

Most often, the manager of an accounting department has been an accountant themselves, so an effective manager will know and understand everything the accountants are doing, from bookkeeping to audits to quarterly and annual reports. Ideally, the manager will also have a knack for leadership and teamwork, because accounting is a team sport these days.

An accelerated program may help working accountants get there faster. The Compliance Manager works closely with the Compliance Officer; in a large enough organization, the manager will work directly with the members of the compliance team, reporting to the Compliance Officer on the progress of the team toward implementing compliance policies. That means both managerial experience leading teams, as well as knowledge of regulations and procedures.

A good manager should be able to do it all, and work to connect upper management to the teams doing the grunt work. Accounting Professors , of course. The professors in an accounting department will generally have real-world experience in addition to their education, as many business and accounting professors come to teaching after working in the field.

But Professor is a profession all its own, and to reach that status, most colleges and universities will require a doctorate. Forensic accounting is one of the fastest-growing specialties in the field. Forensic Accountants specialize in areas like fraud, auditing, and white-collar crime, and as the government cracks down on financial wrongdoing, forensic accountants are in more high demand than ever.

Forensic accounting combines knowledge of accounting, law, investigative techniques, data collection and analysis, and accounting technology.

Forensic accountants may work for corporations, nonprofits, or government agencies such as the FBI. With the high level of expertise, and the wide range of multi-disciplinary knowledge required, Forensic Accountants need a high level of education.

The FBI plays a major role in investigating white-collar crime, which means that the agency hires quite a few accountants. Accountants assigned as special agents generally start at the GS level, step one, while they undergo training at Quantico, Va.

Every financial institution is governed by the Bank Secrecy Act of , which set standards for how banks record transactions; it also requires banks to report any signs of money laundering to the government. The level of expertise and experience involved in the position means an Anti-Money Laundering Officer is going to need a strong foundation of research, knowledge, and skill.

For one, the wealthy are getting wealthier, but on the other hand, there are far more self-employed professionals and entrepreneurs who have given up the security of a traditional job for their independence.

However, that also means giving up an HR department that can handle retirement, insurance, college fund investments, and all of the other services a Personal Financial Advisor provides. The Treasury analyst is the person holding the purse-strings; whether at a bank, government agency, corporation, or nonprofit, the Treasury Analyst oversees financial activity — things like cash flow, income, credit liability, and all of the assets real, financial, and physical that the organization owns.

They keep all of the financial wings bookkeeping, accounts receivable, etc working in coordination to make sure the money is managed effectively. As analysts, treasury managers will need to see patterns and make predictions to plan for the future.

For a global or multi-national corporation, a specialization in international business would be a valuable credential on your resume.

Compliance Analysts are the professionals who comb the policies and procedures of their employer to make sure the company is in full compliance with federal, state, and local regulations, as well as basic ethical norms and best practices. In a small company, the same person may be compliance analyst, manager, and officer, but in a large and complex corporation, the Compliance Analyst will work in the compliance department, usually under a manager or officer, depending on how many branches there are on the corporate hierarchy tree.

Once April 15 has come and gone, you forget all about taxes, but tax season is all year long for a Tax Accountant. Whether working in a corporate accounting office, for a public accounting firm, or as an independent CPA, a tax accountant has to always be on top of changing regulations, quarterly payments and reports, payroll and other employment taxes, and more — not to mention puzzling out ways to limit tax liability for clients.

In a big corporation, that can mean working with a team, but many tax accountants find it profitable to make their own way. Major studio films and albums are multimillion-dollar projects, and so are major concert tours and festivals, requiring a lot of investors, and they need more than a few sets of eyes monitoring the budget.

You may begin by working at the corporate headquarters, but if you show your value to the company, you may find yourself doing a lot of traveling. For example, on high-dollar productions, a production accountant may be on set for the entirety of a shoot, making sure whatever last-minute additions the director wants can be made within budget.

Many universities offer specializations in the entertainment business; an internship can prove your enthusiasm to employers. One of the fastest-growing specializations in accounting is Auditor , for good reason — auditors keep things together.

You can be one of two types of auditors: The professionals who are being managed by the Cost Accounting Manager 6 above are the Cost Accountants, who do the analytical and research work of figuring out the costs of production. Cost accountants measure the cost of producing products or providing services by determining the fixed and variable expenses necessary for production. These costs include research and development, equipment, marketing and human resources.

The information gathered by a cost accountant is beneficial for budgeting and product pricing, which both affect the future profits of the business. Cost accountants often collaborate with an executive team to create a financial plan for the company. The job requires a lot of information and data processing, so advanced computer skills will be essential. Budget Analysts are responsible for efficiently distributing funds and making sure that each department and irresponsible executive is spending no more than their budget.

Budget analysts also help plan for future budgets, making sure each department gets what they need. Do they just make it up? Well, maybe sometimes, but those contractors tend to get sued a lot. The good ones employ Cost Estimators, who use their specialized knowledge of accounting, business, engineering, and mathematics to make plausible estimates of all the costs of a major undertaking.

However, Cost Estimators need a wide-ranging set of skills, and a graduate degree or graduate certificate in engineering, construction management, or a similar field will drastically improve your professional options.

The federal government — and even local and state governments — is a big entity, and massive, almost unimaginable amounts of money flow through the government.

So, obviously, the government needs accountants for much more than just the IRS or Treasury departments; every agency needs accountants to keep track of budgets and spending.

Many university accounting programs include specializations in government accounting today, since the procedures and skills used by government accountants are increasingly specialized. A specialization in an area like forensic accounting or nonprofit accounting may also be useful.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of , there were more than accountants employed in the professional athletics industry, out of more than 1 million accountants the BLS surveyed. If you love sports, it may be worth the effort: One of the younger specializations in accounting is the Environmental Accountant.

Environmental Accountants combine expertise in accounting and finance with expertise of environmental science, public policy, and regulation.

Environmental Accountants work to calculate environmental costs, including costs of compliance with environmental regulations; costs of environmental impacts on business operations or projects; and even unintended costs of commercial activity. Specialized program in environmental accounting are becoming more widespread as demand increases. In smaller companies, the Auditor 24 above may do all of the work of analyzing documents and checking that financial records are on the up-and-up.

But in large organizations, there may be an entire internal auditing department, and the Auditing Clerk does the nitty-gritty office work of auditing. An Auditing Clerk reports to the Auditor, who then reports to upper management. Positions in private practice include entry-level jobs such as bookkeeper, accounting clerk, financial analyst, internal auditor, and others. Government agencies also need accountants. These agencies need accounting information to help them plan, budget, forecast, and allocate government funds.

State auditors are also employed by the government to ensure the proper use and allocation of the said funds. Accountants can pursue a career as a faculty member in a school, an author of an accounting book, a researcher, a trainer, or a reviewer. Note that it is not unusual to work in more than one area.

In fact, many accounting professionals engage in more than one scope of practice. One may be providing public accounting services while having a part-time job in teaching. Another may be employed by a multi-national company or by a government agency while also working as a bookkeeping consultant to the public.

The Basics Introduction to Accounting. Accounting career opportunities may be divided into four broad areas or scope of practice. Public Accounting Accountants in public practice are working in accounting firms or individually to provide audit and attestation, tax planning and preparation, and advisory services to their clients.

The first step to a successful career is knowing where you want to go and what you want to do. So often traditional academia does not properly explain what the different areas of accounting and finance are like in the real world. Financial accounting. This area is concerned with keeping records of monetary transactions. Tasks include the setting up and supervision of a firm’s internal audit, preparing the accounts and reports for directors, protecting the firm’s assets and investments, and preparing share prospectuses in order to raise new capital. Managerial accounting is the area of accounting associated with gathering and preparing financial information for those inside business organizations such as managers and staff. It can be compared to financial accounting which is concerned with information for external individuals.