Having a qualification in accounting can set you up for a variety of job roles, from bookkeeping to financial consultancy. If you are on the lookout for qualifications to help you land a job, then accounting should be top of the list.
Reports show that Ireland needs more accountants, meaning that there are several vacancies for people who have qualifications in accountancy. If you are thinking of studying accountancy or currently have an accountancy qualification and want to find the job roles to progress your professional development, explore the accounting careers pathways below to find the right job for you.
Bookkeeping involves gathering the financial books of a company, overseeing their finances and tax returns and gathering accurate financial records. Bookkeepers are needed in all types of businesses to help organise a company’s accounts, and budget and work out costs, outgoings and profits.
Having a qualification in Accounting can set you up very well for a career as a bookkeeper, as you will develop the mathematical and financial skills needed to succeed in this career. In fact, chartered accountants are able to describe themselves as bookkeepers due to the knowledge they have, which carries over into bookkeeping. However, bookkeepers without accounting experience are not able to become accountants without additional qualifications.
Professional qualifications in Bookkeeping, Business and Payroll can also secure you a career as a bookkeeper as well as help you advance in your current career. Although additional Accounting qualifications will be needed if you want to become a qualified accountant, courses in bookkeeping and payroll can get you into the finance sector and help you build your confidence and work experience. Bookkeeping roles can also be easier to come by and might be more suited to you depending on the type of finance role you are looking for.
Financial consultants take on more of an active accounting role, influencing the financial decisions of a company based on their current and predicted financial records. These finance professionals work closely with clients, advising them on how to manage their assets and finances and helping them to achieve their financial goals.
The day-to-day roles and responsibilities of a financial consultant include the following:
Accounting is a fantastic qualification to have if you are looking into financial consultancy job opportunities, as accountancy explores many of the same areas. When studying for an Accounting qualification, you will have modules covering the management of finances, how the wider economy impacts finances, how to make financial decisions and how to discuss finances with clients.
If you want even more of a leg up on the competition when searching for financial accounting jobs, you can also study a Business qualification which can further add to the development of a skill set relevant to the role of a financial consultant.
Stockbrokers deal with stocks and shares, managing a client’s investments and advising them on when to buy and sell or buying and selling stocks on their client’s behalf. This can be in corporate finance or with private clients, and professional accountancy qualifications are highly sought after in stock brokerage. Stockbrokers have to have an excellent knowledge of the stock market and need to be confident in their ability to make key stock market decisions at pivotal times.
A qualification in Accounting demonstrates a high level of understanding of handling financial data, knowledge of the stock market and the competency to be responsible for another person’s finances. This will serve you very well in searching for jobs as a stockbroker, and often an accounting qualification or accounting degree is highly desired by employers and clients looking for expert stockbrokers.
As well as Accounting skills, qualifications in similar areas such as business are also going to be useful in this role as several aspects of business cross over into this field. Business administration would be particularly useful, but any experience and knowledge in business and accounting or finance will help you pursue a career path as a stock broker.
Investment managers manage the financial portfolio of their clients, including investments and financial planning. Their main role is to help clients to maximise their profits or increase the value of their assets by offering educated advice on investments and financial decisions. Sometimes they will make recommendations to the client, and other times they might oversee the entire financial portfolio of a client and manage it on their behalf.
With your Accounting qualification, you can explore management accountant roles as an investment manager and use your knowledge to help clients make the most of their money. Through your knowledge and education in Accounting, you will develop the skills to professionally manage a client’s finances and be aware of how to make decisions regarding investments. Accounting qualifications also cover key management skills such as communication skills, risk management and interpersonal skills.
Qualifications in both Accounting and Business are highly advised for this role, and they will help progress your career as an investment manager as you will be able to demonstrate your skills to potential clients as well as employers.
If you would rather explore the darker side of finance, then you could explore a career as a forensic accountant and work within the legal system. As a forensic consultant, you will be analysing cases of fraud and financial misrepresentation, helping lawyers and other legal professionals to gather evidence to present in court. These can be a range of cases from tax fraud to insurance company claims, and forensic accounting can be a very interesting and diverse role to explore.
An Accounting qualification is key in this role, as you will be taking on the accounting duties within a legal setting. This means you will need a thorough understanding of finance, bookkeeping, tax and more that you will learn in an Accounting course.
Qualifications in Business can also be useful in this role, as you can gain an understanding of business finance and tax, which are likely to come up frequently if you work as a forensic accountant. Business and accountancy qualifications will therefore prepare you well for this role.
Whether you want to work in investments, financial management or forensic accountancy, you can thrive in a variety of career options with accounting qualifications. Chartered certified accountants have a range of career opportunities due to the key knowledge obtained during their studies. Alongside an accounting qualification, business and bookkeeping are also highly valued skills within these industries and can help to progress your financial career even further.
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