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Don’t underestimate the power of an accounting and finance degree in getting you to the very top of the career ladder

An accountant is a thousand-year-old career whose roots can be traced back to old civilisations. It is one of the professions that has stayed relevant over several centuries. A degree in accountancy is a great way to establish a fruitful career. A degree in accounting and finance can open doors to multiple career opportunities. It can not only give you excellent salaries, but it can also take you up the ladder in your career.

If you like numbers and business analytical skill, an accounting degree may just be meant for you, and furthermore, an accounting and finance degree gives you wide-range of career options. While we commonly refer to an accounting professional like an accountant, we don’t usually understand the exact width of the specialisation. While you can be an accountant, there are options to specialise in specific areas. Here is a look at some options:

Anti-money Laundering Analyst

Almost all governments across the world are fighting against money laundering, while the act keeps impacting their economy. Thus, anti-money laundering analyst is an important job profile that helps financial organisations stay clear of the dubious act. With a bachelor degree in Accounting and Finance, you can be an anti-money laundering executive. You will be responsible for setting up procedures related to how to control money laundering, you will be adhering to regulations, find out discrepancies and solve them. You will be actively contributing to public policy and work closely with government agencies. You can get a certification and be an anti-money laundering specialist. The average salary of an anti-money laundering analyst as per PayScale is around USD 51,000.

Financial Analyst

If you have a strong fondness for the stock market, you can consider being a financial analyst. You will be determining risks and benefits of investment activities, examine financial gain and losses with regards to mutual funds, stocks, estates and investment types. You will be an expert on the stock market. You will be preparing reports for clients or for organisations and help people make wise investment decisions. You might have to take relevant regulatory licenses to perform your job.

Financial Analysts are required in almost every country in the world. Hence you will not be limited to a specific geography to set up your career. Financial analysts are paid well. According to PayScale, the mean salaries of financial analysts is around USD 65,000.

Actuary

An actuary is a profession which is high in demand. Originally, actuaries were only employed by insurance companies for calculating the potential risks of a policy. Now, actuaries are employed by all kinds of industries – from finance to public health for their knowledge of mathematics and statistics and analyse data to find probable outcomes. There is a vast demand-supply gap with regards to actuaries in the sense that there are not enough actuaries for the required demand in the market.

Becoming an actuary is not easy. Apart from an in-depth knowledge of mathematics and statistics, you need to get a number of certifications from relevant authorities. The job pays quite well and the  PayScale reports the average salary of an actuary as USD 86,000.

Environmental Accountant

Have a passion for the environment and love numbers? You can be an environmental accountant and can actually make a difference. From analysing impacts of company decisions on the environment to producing reports to affect government and company decisions, you will be doing things that actually matter. You will be doing a host of jobs like making recommendations for determining the fiscal impacts of new regulations or perform a cost-benefit analysis.

To be an environmental accountant, you will need a strong knowledge of accounting, environmental science, government and public policy. This is a rare profession and definitely is in demand. And as the world become environmentally aware, this profession will become more and more relevant.

Forensic Accountant

This is one specialisation which is becoming more and more relevant as the world goes online. As more and more financial transactions happen online, the instances of fraud, embezzlement and identity theft are increasing. Forensic Accountants are the ones who help organisations prevent such frauds. They audit companies, government and non-profit organisations and check their records for fraud, valuation and liability. As a forensic accountant, you will be digging out frauds, make calculations for companies, and provide evidence for court cases and save organisations from losing millions.

This is a profile which is extremely in-demand. An additional CPA license will help you become a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Auditor

One of the most popular career choices after an Accounting degree is Auditing. Auditors are specialists who review accounts of various entities and ensure the legality of the financial record. They ensure that the financial health of an organisation is maintained. They play vital roles in the sense that they help organisations identify and avoid probable risks and frauds. As an auditor, you can be employed with an organisation or a tax consultant or you can start your own enterprise. The possibilities are unlimited. The rewards are unlimited too. PayScale reports the annual salary of an auditor to be around USD 84,000.

Tax Advisor/Consultant

Become a tax consultant and be an expert on taxes – an accounting degree will equip you to be one. Understand taxation is not easy and people who do are in demand. You will have an in-depth understanding of tax legislation, you will know the various modes to pay taxes and an efficient way to save taxes. You can be a corporate tax advisor or you can be a personal tax advisor.

Business Advisory

Your accounting degree will give you a detailed understanding of the various facets of the business. You will not only be an accountant but have knowledge of how to run a business. And this will qualify you to be a business advisor. You will need strong communication and articulation skills to communicate your ideas with the clients. Business advisors are valuable people because they are the experts. The remuneration is commensurate with the expertise gained too. According to PayScale, the average annual income of a business advisor is USD 109,000.

A range of promising opportunities awaits you with a degree in accounting. Enrol yourself now, the world needs good accountants.

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