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Career Comparison Guides

Deciding between careers? Read our comparison guides and learn the differences and similarities between some of the most popular careers.

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Public vs private accounting

Do you want your career to introduce you to lots of companies and processes or do you prefer the comfort of one company?

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Accounting vs auditing

Do you like tracking, reporting and analyzing, or would you rather examine records for compliance to law and principles?

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What is financial accounting

Learn the standards of this specialized branch of accounting to see if this part of the business is right for you.

About Discover Accounting

Discover Accounting is your home if you are thinking of starting a career in accounting or if you are already in the field and are looking at advancing your position. With our state-by-state guides on becoming a CPA, salaries, and educational requirements, you will find whatever you need to begin your career. If you are looking for more advanced topics within accounting, we have that too, with our comprehensive career guide and career comparisons. Welcome to the community and Discover Accounting with us!

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Exciting Accounting Careers

When you search for a job as an accountant, you’re likely to be most interested in the job duties. You earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting and you want to see if these positions list duties that match the knowledge and skills you have. These duties include preparing entries for liability, capital and asset accounts; analyzing the information in these accounts; and documenting recent financial transactions.

There are so many career paths in the field of accountancy. Here are just some of the potential jobs you may pursue:

Many careers require additional certification, including special certifications for Enrolled Agents, CPAs, government accountants and other specialties within the accounting profession.

Accounting Education Roadmap

There are lots of exciting careers within the field of accounting – too many to list. But they all start with an education in accounting, so you’ll gain the skills and background to be successful no matter which career you choose.

Accounting Degrees

You no longer have to earn a general business degree if you know you are going to specialize in accounting. Today, there are specific degree programs in accounting from the associate to the graduate level, with lots of certifications and continuing education opportunities so you can always continue learning and making your career varied and exciting, adding longevity and differentiation to your career.

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What’s New in Accounting

In 2018, accounting trends affect everything you do in your professional and personal life. Various countries are initiating moves to digital tax systems. The U.S. isn’t very far behind—Congress recently received recommendations from the Internal Revenue Service that make migrating accounting to online systems much easier. Begin helping your clients by staying current with new developments and legislation.

Artificial intelligence or AI is moving into accounting and tax preparation. Accounting software keeps track of everything number-related. While people may fear this new technology, as an accountant, you can make yourself even more valuable to your clients if you learn how to use AI.

Education Requirements

As you prepare to become an accountant, you should know what courses you’ll be required to take. You need to be familiar with tax codes, economic regulations and financial documentation. Your future job plans will dictate what classes you will take. At the very least, you will need an associate degree in accounting, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting is often required. In these degree programs, you’ll learn about accounting information systems and financial accounting, income taxes, auditing, managerial and cost accounting. Your educational program should ideally enable you to take part in an internship, so you’ll gain real-world experience that allows you to apply theory to practice. As you progress in your accounting career, expect to earn more advanced degrees such as a master’s or doctorate, and certain examinations may be required such as the Uniform CPA Exam or the Certified Government Auditing Professional exam.

Skills

Accountants should be able to demonstrate these skills: organizational, business acumen, communication, interpersonal, problem-solving, numeracy, high comfort level with technology and analytical.

An accountant should be able to organize the day’s work plan. It is important to know your deadlines and submit work by that time. You should be knowledgeable about business so you can apply your accounting practices to your employer. You also need to know how to communicate well, using oral and written language. You should be able to get along well with others, so everyone gets their work done with no interference. As an accountant, you solve money and finance problems every day. Today’s accountant spends much of their time online or working with accounting software. It’s worthwhile to become as knowledgeable as possible with these IT areas.