By definition, an accountant is “A person whose job it is to keep or inspect financial accounts.” Many think of accountants as quiet individuals that while away the hours crunching numbers. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Yes, for many, accountants do keep and inspect financial accounts, but the array of services for accountants is growing fast. They are no longer relegated to the back corner office! PrideStaff Financial has put together a list of some of the fastest-growing career paths in the field.
You must be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to consider this area of expertise. However, the CPA is a key player on the estate planning team, along with a lawyer, a bank trust officer, an insurance agent and an investment advisor. CPAs have knowledge of tax implications of decisions made while structuring an estate. CPAs help assure that estate planning goals are met while minimizing the taxes and maximizing the portion of the estate that passes to heirs. Because of high inflation rates and taxation, it has become more difficult to accumulate, preserve and dispose of wealth; making the need for sound financial and estate planning CPAs more of a necessity than in previous years.
If you’re interested in the strategy, structure, management and operations of a business, then a career in management consultancy might be for you. Management consultants’ help businesses improve performance and grow; solving problems and finding new and better ways of doing things. Many companies both in the private and public sector work with management consultants to help them reduce costs and increase savings. Consulting firms offer services across all areas of business – from HR and marketing to IT and finance. Because of the vast array of projects and areas of focus, it makes it an attractive career for accounting candidates interested in a variety of projects, challenges and opportunities.
Investment advisors are individuals that provide guidance and knowledge about securities to clients. They receive compensation for providing advice on various products including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.Investment advisors must be registered with the SEC or a state securities regulator, and usually have worked within the areas of financial planning, asset managing and portfolio managing.
Forensic Accountants combine accounting knowledge with investigative skills in various litigation support and accounting settings. Forensic accountants are employed by forensic accounting divisions of public accounting firms, or by consulting firms specializing in risk consulting and forensic accounting services. They can also work with lawyers, law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, government organizations or financial institutions. Due to the increased awareness and intolerance of fraudulent activity, demand for forensic accountants is increasing quickly. Candidates in this field must have one to three years of accounting experience. Many forensic accountants perform forensic research, conduct analysis of financial data, prepare reports for financial findings, and prepare data for litigation.