Monday, October 1, 2012

Careers in Accounting


Careers in Accounting
You do not have to have a degree in accountancy to become an accountant. Neither do you need a degree in business administration, math’s or any other specific subject – graduates in all subjects, from Anthropology to Zoology can and do become successful accountants.
Careers in accounting and finance are routinely listed among the best available, and for good reason. Increased financial regulations mean that there is more demand than ever for qualified candidates to fill positions like accountant, bookkeeper, revenue agent, financial analyst, and auditor. To qualify for one of these positions, or another in this growing career field, you will attend accounting schools or finance schools, so that you can obtain the best accounting degree or finance degree possible.
An accountant’s main role is to prepare business accounts, either to be reviewed externally, or for internal use by the client itself. Accountancy has an important function in all industries, covering both the public and private sectors. Accounts give an overview of an organization’s financial status, which is essential for forward planning. Accountancy also plays a fundamental role in ensuring that organizations of any size and nature are being run in a transparent way and identifies financial irregularities.



Accountancy is an extremely varied field and the needs of a client or employer can differ vastly. As a result, many accountants specialize in a particular area. Some work for accountancy firms, offering a range of services to clients, which could include external auditing (independent assessment of an organization’s finances and accounting system), corporate finance, corporate recovery (advising failing businesses), forensic accounting (fraud investigation), taxation and general financial advice. This is often known as ‘private practice’. Others work in-house for a company or public-sector organisation, dealing with the day-to-day financial needs of their employer, including payroll, book-keeping, preparing financial statements and management accounting functions such as budgeting and forward planning. Employers could include local government, solicitor’s practices, property or finance companies.
Accountants start off as trainees. It takes a minimum of three years to qualify. Some accountants begin their careers as accounting technicians or accounts assistants before qualifying. Once an accountant is qualified, his or her career can progress in many different ways. There are also opportunities to become self-employed, working for clients on a freelance basis, become a partner in an accountancy firm or start up a firm of one’s own.
A specialization in accounting is forensic accounting. Forensic accounting specializes in finding white- collar corporate crime including embezzlement, fraudulent record keeping and tax evasion. Forensic accountants obtain specialized training and must obtain the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.
Management accountants analyze financial reports for their corporations. Financial analysis helps determine budgeting and cost management strategies. As a management accountant, you may prepare financial presentations for corporate boards or investment teams
What you do need is a good academic record, particularly at A-level (two B’s and a C is the minimum standard for most firms); good communication and team working skills; determination and motivation. Numeracy is, of course, important but most employers require no more than a good in Math’s and a good standard in the numeracy tests which are likely to form part of their selection process. Accountancy is a career which offers a graduate environment, variety, people contact, a professional qualification, high salaries and opportunities to work internationally.
Chartered Accountant (Audit) (ACA)
Chartered Public & Finance Accountant (CIPFA)
Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA)
Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA)
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is the leading accountancy qualification in the United States of America, which has gained international recognition over the years. This prestigious qualification provides members with a strong accounting, auditing and business knowledge background that will prepare them for a dynamic career in Accounting and Finance.
Entry requirements
The eligibility requirements to qualify as a CPA includes:
• Holding a bachelors in accounting or other business concentration from an accredited college or university*
• Passing the Uniform CPA Exam
• Obtaining a specific amount of professional work experience in public accounting (the required amount and type of experience varies according to licensing jurisdiction)
Chartered Accountant – Institute of Chartered Accountants
Accountants must have good numerical ability and should enjoy working with numbers. An analytical mind to interpret data, a logical and methodical approach helps them present their findings accurately. They need to have good verbal and written expression. Their work involves discussing financial matters with people who do not have a financial background; hence they should be able to explain their subject clearly. The accountants' work can be extremely strenuous particularly when they are working to meet a deadline e.g. during financial year closing. .
The main tasks are managing operating accounts doing internal audits, dealing with wages and salaries, paying accounts and sending out invoices, and coping with tax. Trainee accountants can expect to spend time carrying out the full range of basic accounting tasks, and go on to, for instance, interpreting accounts; later to supervising, controlling and organizing expenditure and income, etc. It includes compiling daily, monthly and yearly management accounts for directors.
With the rapid growth of the corporate sector the opportunities for Chartered Accountants has also grown. Many Chartered Accountants (CA's) occupy key posts in business firms. They deal with the management of money, prepare and analyses accounts and provide financial advice.
Chartered Accountants maintain the records of financial transactions which every organization is required by law to keep. These accountants keep records of the income and expenditure of the company. Auditing form the basis of the annual accounts which every company is obliged to submit by law every year. An important part of the work of most chartered accountants prepares books of accounts, and then verifying and certifying it that they true to the best of knowledge. Only qualified chartered accountants are legally allowed to audit a company's books.  Accountants give detailed breakdowns of an internal auditor examine and evaluate their firms' company's income and expenditure, as well as help financial and information systems. They keep track formulate company policy in financial dealings of management procedures, and internal controls to
Chartered accountants are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Only members of this Institute can call themselves Chartered Accountants.
Cost Accounting
Cost accounting deals with the complex business of working out what particular operations, jobs, and products really cost to produce, taking into account all the expenditure incurred. Financial accounting deals with keeping financial but all the 'overheads' and less obvious costs too. It extends to budgeting and budgetary control, forecasting further needs and costs (for instance, looking ahead to rising or falling energy prices), monitoring expenditure to see that costs are not over-shooting, and providing reports, etc., for management accounting. It involves analyzing and comparing costs, translating information from non-financial managers into financial terms, and explaining financial information for them.
Tax Management
Tax managers specialize in optimizing the firm's financial structure, to ensure the company pays as little as is legal in terms of taxes, increasingly they have to cope with taxation on an international scale, and with the very different tax laws of different countries. They look at the tax implications of new plans, changes in company structures, in fact any major decision. They advise on the tax effect of performance goals, which includes pricing policies.
•Consultancy
Chartered Accountants provide financial services and advice to businesses to help them improve their efficiency and profitability and offers human resource and business strategy advice. They help individuals manage their money more effectively. This could include giving tax advice.
Management Accounting
Management Accounting is a task senior chartered accountants perform. They collect, organize, collate and analyze information from all parts of the organization, including the financial departments. This data helps them to make regular critical analysis of past and present financial performance with projections for the future.
Studying Cost Accountancy – ICWA – Institute of Cost and works Accountants
< Eligibility - Admission to the foundation Course examination is open to students who have passed the Senior Secondary School exam. Under 10+2scheme or the national Diploma in Commerce examination of the All India Council of Technical education or any State Board of Technical education under the authority of All India Council or Diploma in Rural Service examination conducted by the National Council of Higher Education. The completion of the foundation course entitles the student to register himself for the ICWA program.
With the growth of the industrial units into multiproduct ventures it becomes essential for operating managers to know the exact cost of each product, for pricing of products and also for monitoring, planning, controlling group performances of man machine combinations. This was needed to ensure that the expenditure per unit of products or services were the best minimum. A new system of accounting called the cost accounting evolved which could provide the services desired. While financial accounting aimed at 'accounting for' the money, cost accounting provides a system for effective utilization of money. The cost accounting system provides the management with an effective system of appraisal and evaluation of investments and alternatives in monetary terms. This is also called management accounting.
A Management Accountant collects, organizes, collates and analyses information from all parts of the organization, including all the financial departments. In large organizations, this information may be based on computer based systems designed to maintain detailed and up-to-date records. This makes regular critical analyses of past and present financial performance, with projections for the future possible.
ASSOCIATESHIP OF THE INSTITUTE OF COST AND WORK ACCOUNTANTS
Students completing the Intermediate and Final exams of the Institute can apply for the associate-ship after they have 3 years of practical experience. This experience must cover different branches of costing or industrial accounting. The practical training can be done after the final exams or along with the study. Address of the Institute and its Regional Chapters
Company Secretary
Industrialization has resulted in phenomenal growth and expansion of the corporate sector. The growing specialization in most spheres of modern corporate functioning requires the services of a professional to co-ordinate with the various departmental functionaries of the organization and advice the board of directors and other functionaries about statutory requirements and compliance of company legislation.
A company secretary is a functionary who is solely responsible to carry out finance, accounts, legal, administrative and personnel functions in addition to his secretarial duties.
As responsibilities and needs of the job have grown, the role has been established a more professional basis. Many company secretaries in private companies have legal qualifications and are members of the Institute of Company Secretaries.
It is essentially an office-based job, combining a vast amount of documentation with a good deal of discussion in committees and meetings. The responsibilities of a company secretary in a large or medium firm include incorporation, public issues including listing of shares and debentures, processing of application.
The role of a company secretary is one that places him inter-corporate investments and loans, conduct of in a unique position vis-a-vis the board of directors. Board and general meeting and maintenance of
The company secretary is the officer who is the records, filing returns under companies act and act as company's chief administrator. However, a corporate law, preparation of project financing, acting company secretary's actual function varies from internal legal advisor and representative when Company needed.
Company Secretaries, in both public and private Small firms usually employ company secretaries on companies; deal with aspects of management which retainer-ship basis, which perform all the tasks which relate to the company as a legal entity. They keep the require professional advice and support e.g. licenses, company records; complete the company's tax re- registrations, loans, taxes, partnership deeds etc. turns; advise the Board of directors of their legal
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India,
ICSI House, 22, Institutional Area, Lodhi road, New Delhi 110003
Hitherto before admission in Company Secretary-ship Course of the Institute did open only to candidates possess minimum graduate level degree. The Institute now has introduced Foundation Course for Senior Secondary (10+2 or equivalent) pass students desiring to join Company Secretary-ship Course.
ENTRY FOR GRADUATES
The course is of 18months duration but offers partial exemptions to some categories of applicants. The course completes after a preliminary, intermediate and final examination.