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What Can I Do With A Major In Accounting?

Accountants and auditors help to ensure that the nation’s firms are run efficiently, its public records kept accurately, and its taxes paid properly and on time. They analyze and communicate financial information for various entities such as companies, individual clients and government. Beyond carrying out the fundamental tasks of the occupation—preparing, analyzing and verifying financial documents in order to provide information to clients—many accountants also offer budget analysis, financial and investment planning, and limited legal services.

Possible Career Options

(Some may require further education/specialization)

Accountant, Public Practice
Accounts Payable Supervisor
Actuary
Appraiser
Audit Manager
Bank Officer
Budget Accountant
Business Credit/Loan Administrator
Claim Adjuster/Examiner
Compensation/Benefits Administrator
Commodities Trader
Consolidation Manager
Consumer Credit/Loan/Collection Manager
Contract Administrator
Controller
Credit Monitoring Analyst
Data Processing Auditor
Director of Financial Aid
Economist
EDP Auditor
Educator
External Auditor
Financial Analyst/Planner
Fiscal Services Accountant
Fund Raiser
Industrial/Institutional Buyer
Information Systems Auditor
Insurance Adjuster/Agent
Internal Auditor
Internal Trade Specialist
Inventory Control Specialist
Investment Banker
IRS Investigator
Manager of Administration
Merger and Acquisition Specialist
Payroll Manager
Pension Fund Manager
Plant Accountant
Project Accountant
Purchasing Agent
Sales Manager
SEC Accountant
Stock Broker
Tax Accountant/Supervisor/Auditor
Underwriter

Types of Employers

Private & Non-Profit Organizations

Banks
Brokerage Houses
Chemical Factories
Colleges/Universities
Construction Firms
Consulting Firms
Credit Unions
Engineering Firms
Finance Companies
Food Manufacturers
High Technology Firms
Hospitals
Insurance Companies
Pharmaceutical Companies
Private Accounting Firms
Public Accounting Firms
Transportation Companies
Wholesale/Retail Operations

Government Agencies

Army Finance and Accounting Center
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bureau of the Public Debt
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Export-Import Bank of the US
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
Federal Trade Commission
Financial Management Service
General Accounting Office
Health Care Financing Administration
Internal Revenue Service
International Trade Administration
National Credit Union Administration
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Office of the State Auditor
Securities and Exchange Commission
Small Business Administration

Transferrable Skills

General Skills
Compiles accurate financial data
Thinks analytically
Possesses integrity, honesty, alertness and thoroughness
Develops excellent numeric skills

Teamwork Skills
Belongs to cross-functional teams
Develops close relationships with other departments
Offers recommendations to improve overall business
strategy and goals

Technical Skills
General computer knowledge
Spreadsheet proficiency
Mathematics aptitude
Computerized accounting systems familiarity

Personal Attributes
Integrity
Responsibility
Precision

Communication Skills
Explains and relays financial data to other users
Leads, supervises and directs others
Possesses strong written and oral communication skills
Reports on financial results

Analytical Skills
Organizes, analyzes and interprets numeric data
Analyzes and uses financial information
Makes sound judgments to solve quantitative problems
Prepares and conducts performance tests of internal
control procedures

Miscellaneous Skills
Commits to professional standards
Works independently
Prepares tax returns
Improves existing accounting procedures

Experiential Education

Tracking financial investments for a local investment firm

Working in the auditing sector of a Big 4 firm

Analyzing accounts payable and receivable in a regional auditing office

Working in the state auditor’s office

Completing typical monthly closing procedures for a large multinational company

Handling state, local and international tax reporting

Professional Associations

American Accounting Association,
aaahq.org

American Institute of CPAs,
aicpa.org

American Payroll Association,
americanpayroll.org

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants,
accaglobal.com

Association of Government Accountants,
agacgfm.org

Institute of Management Accountants,
imanet.org

Enhancing Your Employability

Join relevant student organizations to develop leadership skills

Participate in internships and field experience placements

Become active in alumni and/or mentor networks

Develop advanced computer skills as well as mathematical and problem solving abilities

Take part in mock interviewopportunities

Source: University of Delaware, Ashland University, Rutgers