A successful career in finance and accounting places an individual where it counts the most in the business realm, i.e., the bottom line. According to recent research, the global financial services market will likely reach a staggering $28,529.29 billion by 2025. What this implies for ambitious professionals is an extremely bright future in one of the dynamic fields in the business world.
A plethora of career pathways come within the sphere of finance and accounting. However, individuals seeking a career in one of these domains might feel overwhelmed with the numerous choices. One best approach to narrow things down is by considering the most sought-after jobs. That’s because irrespective of how drawn an individual might be to a career, it’s of no value if they can’t even get employed.
With that said, here are some prominent careers in the field of accounting and finance with promising job outlooks:
Forensic accountants are sought-after professionals that bring value to organizations, government institutions, law agencies, NGOs, and estates. These professionals work beyond the numbers and contend with the harsh business realities. Primarily, they detect criminal activities and investigate fraudulent activities and financial discrepancies.
The following are some job responsibilities individuals may encounter as forensic accountants:
- Facilitate litigation process by testifying in court and presenting evidence
- Probe incidents of embezzlement, fraud, and money laundering
- Hold interviews with responsible personnel to dig up and conduct audits to ensure legal compliance
Individuals interested in joining this field might have a question – how much does a forensic accountant make, and what is their career outlook? As reported by the BLS, the 2021 average salary of accountants, including forensic accountants, and auditors, was $77,250 annually. And the field is likely to witness a growth rate of 7%, translating to plenty of job opportunities. Nonetheless, this figure may vary contingent upon education credentials, location, and experience.
This study area will best suit individuals who possess strong detective, thorough attention to detail skills in tandem with exceptional numeracy skills.
Personal Financial Advisor
The primary role of personal financial advisors is to bridge the gap between where the client currently stands and where they wish to be in their financial journey. These professionals assist clientele in managing their finances and help build investment portfolios.
The typical job duties of a personal financial advisor include:
- Assess expenses, tax status, insurance coverage, and financial goals to come up with a solid plan
- Identify potential risks associated with the client’s investment decisions and create investment performance reports
- Educate clientele about various forms of insurance, estate planning, and budgeting tips
According to the data provided by BLS, these professionals earned a median salary of $94,170 as of 2021. Also, the field will likely grow by 5% by 2030, translating to 21,500 job openings yearly.
Controllers are senior executives that monitor the financial strategies of an organization. Also referred to as company historians, these professionals oversee the accounting function and are mainly responsible for generating factual records and books. These professionals have in-depth knowledge about business operations and understand the elemental relationships between inputs and outputs.
On a given day, the job responsibilities of financial controllers are:
- Oversee and handle cost accounting, revenue recognition, and inventory accounting operations
- Come up with an appropriate financial plan that encompasses opportunity forecasting and risk management strategies
- Gauge the organization’s performance against internal and external benchmarks and keep tabs on taxation functions
- Guarantee quality control over financial reporting and devise accounting policies to reinforce internal controls
- Work in collaboration with stakeholders and senior management to share forecasts and findings
As revealed by PayScale, the average base salary of these professionals is $87,403 per year. However, individuals must possess administrative, data analysis, communication, and leadership skills to qualify for this position.
As the title implies, these professionals assist organizations, no matter big or small, to stay on the right financial course by following a balanced budget. Essentially, these expert number-crunchers help organizations properly manage and dispense their resources by crafting realistic budgets.
The role of budget analysts isn’t just limited to spreadsheets and calculators. These professionals perform a diverse range of responsibilities that enables them to serve the organizations through collaboration.
Let’s shed light on a few of them:
- Draw up external regulatory reports, monthly metric reports, and internal management reports
- Work closely with project managers to formulate budgets and conduct cost-benefit analyses
- Appraise budget and funding proposals and keep track of departmental expenditures to ensure it remains within the defined budget
- Oversee the disbursement process and ensure the budget conforms to the legal provisions
Budget analysts work in a plethora of work environments. Some may include non-profit organizations, government offices, and educational institutions. Also, the median pay of budget analysts as of 2021 was $79,940, as stated by the BLS.
Out of the many coveted careers in finance, one of the leading ones is that of a financial analyst. These individuals peruse a large amount of data to tap into opportunities and assess the results of investment decisions. In simpler terms, financial analysts play an instrumental role in furnishing the data to decision-makers to help them make well-informed decisions about revenue and allocation of assets.
The following are some of the job duties of a financial analyst:
- Examine pertinent information about investment opportunities and prospective deals
- Assess profit plans, capital expenditures, financial statements, and operating records
- Review microeconomic and macroeconomic situations and collaborate with other professionals for forecasts
- Assess and consolidate data to form reports on financial standings and risks
According to the data provided by BLS, the average salary of financial analysts was $81,410 in 2021. And employment is likely to grow by 6% by the year 2030. However, to be a part of this occupation, individuals should be adept at financial modeling, data gathering, and the development of investment theses.
Students who wish to pursue jobs with the best prospects of success should conduct thorough research to explore their options. Unearthing relevant and lucrative opportunities can save time that otherwise individuals would spend working in a position that doesn’t fit their personality.
More often than not, jobs in the field of accounting and finance require a distinct set of skills and offer challenging work environments. So, picking the one that aligns well with competencies and long-term goals is imperative. An individual with strong interpersonal skills, for instance, might perform better as a financial manager. In contrast, someone with a way with numbers might better be poised for a budget analyst position.
And while novices venturing into the field of accounting and finance need to pour in hard work to distinguish themselves among the pool of candidates. Nevertheless, most careers offer extremely flourishing and immensely dynamic professional opportunities.