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What are some aspects of accounting that aren't always mentioned in discussions of the profession?

I'm interested in becoming an accountant and I was curious about what happens on the job.

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Tafadzwa’s Answer

With accounting you can venture into quite a lot of things in the finance world. Accounting gives you the base which you can build on to venture in different roles and functions. Thus your normal day as an accountant depending on what you choose can be spent either recording transactions, summarising the financial results into financial statements, analysing those financial statements or auditing the financial results.
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Sundar’s Answer

Accounting is a qualification that can lead to various kinds of roles and business options. While the area is often described as dull or boring, it helps the individual to better understand how to run and financially manage a business, and hence is very useful. Accountants can end up in senior management positions such as CFO or CEO, and there is a wide range of companies and industries that require accountants.

Sundar recommends the following next steps:

Suggest speaking with people in your network that have qualified as accountants, to understand their feedback
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Gianna’s Answer

Hi Elizabeth - from my experience hiring in the field you'll want to stay on top of asking about the growth path for accounting roles. Depending on the company size the accounting team/dept may be seated separately from FP&A which can dictate what career pathing is like within the organization. You may want to target or avoid a certain organizational structure based on your own longer term career goals. Additionally, the day to day in accounting can be very routine or can entail a high number of ad hoc projects and reporting based on the communication within the organization and how they delegate operations.

I understand this doesn't quite answer your question, but hopefully it helps you to formulate good questions for future interviews and other mentors!
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Marcos’s Answer

Some of the aspects that are not always mentioned include the following:
1. Accounting is very diverse and is not just tax vs. audit. There is a number of things you can do, I specifically help clients claim R&D tax credits in order to bring down taxable income. I did not learn this is college but once I joined PwC, this job really interested me and could not be happier.
2. You will have a learning phase and will rely on the information you learned at school as a foundation but you will mostly learn on the job.
3. Accounting at big Four is tough but very rewarding. I always face different challenges but his is the reason I love my job, we help clients with issues/questions they have and we in turn provide them with an answer that will help them in the long run.
4. You can move up really quick in companies if you understand the business well and especially if you are able to 1. create nexus between problems and critically think how one issue can affect another, 2. if you are able to communicate very well with clients and your peers.

Overall, I really think that accounting experiences will vary depending on the company, clients, etc but overall, try to create a relationship with your stakeholders/clients in order to network and grow as a professional.
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Joshua’s Answer

My college had an excellent accounting program, including a 30 credit masters degree. It was designed to graduate young adults who can immediately pass the CPA exams and get licensed. From there, MANY go into either tax or audit roles. A great place to start searching for accounting roles is with the major accounting firms, as they are in most major cities - KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and PWC. There are even very large, regional firms who also recruit directly from colleges. If you get in here with either a tax or audit career track, you will learn a lot and have plenty of opportunities to go work for other non-accounting organizations at any point in your career.

I actually took a different path. I specialized in managerial accounting and information systems. This allowed me to jump into consulting for larger organizations that need help with their large technology / database systems - think about technology that tracks how a business operates or pays its bills and employees, etc.

Having a background in accounting is really a great foundation for choosing any career path that may interest you at any point in your life. The values are incredibly impactful and it'd be hard to not be successful if you make this choice.
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