It is no secret that accounting professionals are in demand.
After earning a bachelor's degree in accounting, most people looking to enter the field go a common, traditional route. Some start off as staff accountants, while others may find themselves in more of a clerk or auditor role. And then there are those few that will sit for the number of exams required to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
But you do not have to be like most people. If you’re looking for a change of pace, consider these five unconventional accounting careers that offer a high-energy environment in the world of number crunching.
Sports accountants keep scores in a completely different way than their professional athlete counterparts. Spectator sports organizations rely on accountants to handle everything from managing payroll and cash flow to setting ticket prices. They may even assist their organizations with media and advertising deals and assure players remain within a league’s salary cap limits as well as other critical business-related matters. While a background and familiarity with sports management is a plus, it is not a requirement for the job. However, it is important to keep up to date on changing regulations and trends within your sports’ industry so you can plan, or adjust plans, when necessary.
Forensic accountants are relied upon for their keen problem solving abilities. While a background in accounting is a must, they are also trained in law and investigative tactics to solve financial crimes such as fraud and embezzlement. Most forensic accountants find employment with insurance companies, banks, police departments and government agencies.
Environmental accountants crunch the numbers in an effort to streamline an organization’s eco-friendly initiatives. They are an essential part of the planning process to help ensure companies make efficient use of their resources while remaining profitable and compliant with environmental regulations. Thinking outside the box will help you land an environmental accounting position as the need for new and innovative ways to ‘go green’ has increased in recent years. This may include finding alternative resources to cut costs or identifying potential revenue sources. Most environmental accountants are employed by private companies, federal agencies and industries that deal in the production and manufacturing of natural resources, like oil and mining.
Government agencies at all levels need skilled accountants to oversee their fiscal initiatives and budgets. These accountants are responsible for managing public funds and conducting financial audits to ensure that money is handled and disbursed appropriately. Like policymakers, government accountants also work for the constituencies of which they serve, and their knowledge of fiscal laws and regulations makes them an integral part of the legislative process.
Rather than prepare financial statements that impact managerial decisions within an organization, financial accountants report on their company’s fiscal performance to investors, clients, government agencies and creditors. They are responsible for preparing earnings statements, tax reporting and analyzing financial trends. Some work in large corporations while others may work independently as CPAs. Statistical abilities are a must in the job, and most employers look for candidates with advanced skills in auditing and profit management as well as a strong business knowledge.
Written by Thomas Edison State University