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Careers

Articles on Accounting Careers, Job Growth, Occupational Profiles, and Salary Trends in Accounting:

Accounting Careers for Dummies has had the great fortune of being able to interview some of the most knowledgeable people in the accounting world. Below is a list of companies, schools, colleges, accounting associations, and agencies that have conducted interviews to date.

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Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation

The Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation (ACAT), acatcredentials.org, is the regulatory and certification board for the Accredited Business Accountant (ABA) Credential and provides specialized information, training and support for prospective and current ABA credential holders.

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 Public Accounting Firms

Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firms may be classified as small local firms, medium sized regional firms, or large firms, depending on factors such as the number of employees, number of offices, and total revenue.

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Taxation

Whether an accounting firm is one of the Big Four, a mid-sized firm, or a small, local practice, tax-related work usually represents a significant portion of billings for most public accounting firms. Tax work involves the preparation of both federal and state tax returns for individuals, partnerships, and corporations. Accountants who specialize in taxation are typically Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Given the constantly changing tax laws and the increasing complexity of accounting and finance regulations in the business world, the demand for knowledgeable tax professionals remains high. Accountants who specialize in taxation are professionals with expert knowledge of current tax laws and regulations. They’re experts at preparing tax returns that adhere to all federal and state tax laws while leveraging all available tax benefits for their clients. Tax professionals must constantly refresh their skills and training in order to stay on top of current tax rules and regulations. Tax Accountants are indispensible resources for businesses and individuals alike.

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Management Consultants

Management consulting is an area of specialty within the field of accounting. Management consultants typically provide advice to organizations about how to improve their overall business operations and procedures by using a combination of modern management techniques and information technology concepts. This assistance may also include providing clients with financial planning advice and developing recommendations to improve internal computer information systems through quantitative analysis of both financial and electronic data. A management consultant or Management Consulting Services (MCS) professional, as they are also known, may also develop or manage a company’s employee pension, benefit, and compensation plans. They sometimes assist a company’s management team in recruiting executives, conducting research and planning, designing, and controlling various industrial projects. Management consultants are typically employed at mid-sized to very large accounting firms due to their specialty in providing services to larger volume clients.

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Forensic Accounting

Forensic Accounting is a specialty within the field of accounting. Forensic accountants have the unique skill combination of the knowledge of accounting and financial matters along with state and local laws and keen investigative skills. Forensic accountants are specialists within accounting who work to confirm the accuracy of stated financial information as provided by an individual or a company. They may be employed by a large, mid-sized, or small local accounting firm. Much of their work involves the investigation of often illegal financial matters known as white-collar crimes, but they may be called in to confirm the truthfulness and integrity of any stated financial information. Common types of illegal activities investigated by forensic accountants include the following:

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Entrepreneurial Services

Entrepreneurial services is a specialty service area offered by some Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firms. Entrepreneurial services is a fast-growing and dynamic practice area that’s typically only offered by larger CPA firms. This specialty service area, within the field of public accounting, typically combines audit, tax, and management consulting services, and its primary goal is to help startups and fast-growing companies to manage rapid growth. Some fast-growth businesses may lack the in-house resources to handle financial and management matters and turn to entrepreneurial services professionals for help. Entrepreneurial services professionals may assist in projects such as long-range strategic planning, increasing revenue or growth in new markets, taking a company public, employee compensation issues, or selecting a computer information system for an organization. 

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Accounting and Auditing

Many certified public accounting firms choose to specialize in providing auditing services to clients. Audit services typically generate a lot of income for very large firms, mid-sized firms, and small organizations. Auditors, as you may already know, are a type of accountant that examines clients’ financial statements to determine whether the statements are accurate. Ensuring that a company’s financial statements are true and accurate is a critical, central role of the auditor.

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Big Four Accounting Logos

The Big Four accounting firms remain highly visible presences when it comes to on-campus recruiting. This is because, unlike small firms, these employers have the resources for well-established programs for recruiting recent graduates. Also, the accounting departments at many schools often push their students toward bigger firms, because placements at prestigious companies make the department look good to prospective students.

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