On the hunt for a fast-paced and lucrative career path? Would you like to spend your days working closely with a variety of clients and fellow professionals to solve challenging, yet exciting problems?
These general job descriptions can be found within a variety of industries. Chances are, however, you've never thought of adjectives such as fast-paced or exciting as applying to accounting. It's time to change that perception, as accounting is far more interesting and versatile than you could possibly imagine.
Over the years, the field of accounting has been unfairly maligned as a complex, narrow, and even boring career path. It's difficult to determine the origins of this problematic perception, but it may result from the sheer competence of today's accountants. These professionals are so efficient at tackling new challenges, most people never realize all that goes into their day-to-day efforts.
It's time to give accounting the attention and respect it deserves. We're here to bring light to the best of the profession as we clear up unfair misconceptions about accounting. Keep reading to learn why the following fallacies are untrue:
Accountants Exclusively Deal With Taxes
When most people picture accountants, they think of tax season—and the knowledgeable individuals who help them get through the stressful ordeal of filing returns every year. But while taxes remain a significant area of opportunity for accountants, they by no means represent all—or even the majority—of jobs in this field.
In addition to helping individuals and businesses with tax-related concerns, accountants may take on the following job duties:
- Preparing financial statements
- Maintaining payroll records
- Completing account reconciliations
- Drafting and collecting invoices
- Examining expenses while conducting profitability analyses
- Ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations
- Developing financial strategies for investment firms
- Supervising clerical workers
Intriguing niches abound throughout the field of accounting. From health care to IT and everything in between, this diverse profession makes it possible to play an important role in almost every industry imaginable.
Of course, if you still want to assist clients with tax preparation, that is certainly an option—but it's just one of many you'll enjoy once you've earned your accounting degree.
Accountants Are Natural Math Whizzes
Contrary to popular belief, accounting and math are not one and the same. While math proficiency can definitely prove helpful in accountancy, it is by no means required to succeed in this field. In fact, some of the most inspiring accountants struggled with math as high school or college students.
A Bachelor of Science in Accounting doesn't involve endless math classes, but rather, applied courses that help aspiring accountants gain the specific skills they'll need when they enter the labor market. As Professor David Cartwright puts it, the level of math required in accounting is shockingly simple: "Add, subtract, multiply, and divide."
Accounting Is Boring
The above misconception about math often plays into the widespread assumption that accounting—and accountants—are boring. In reality, the field is chock full of interesting analytics that drive impactful decision-making. What's more, modern accountants often incorporate cutting-edge technology into their work. Artificial intelligence and blockchain, for example, play a crucial role in many of today's most influential accounting positions. These tools and solutions make an already intriguing profession that much more enticing to tech-oriented individuals.
If the increased role of technology is any indication, the field of accountancy is always changing. This evolution presents numerous challenges, but it also keeps professionals on their toes. Many thrive on the field's rapid pace of change, which ensures that no two days on the job look exactly alike. Further excitement can be found within increasingly common consulting roles, which allow accountants to serve a variety of companies while delving into niche areas of interest.
Only Introverts Enjoy Accounting
The field of accounting can be a haven for introverts, many of whom prefer to avoid the small talk and meetings that pervade other professions. That being said, there is a definite place for extroverts in accounting. After all, data gathered and analyzed through accounting processes must eventually be conveyed to others.
Accountants enjoy numerous opportunities for meaningful interactions with clients, fellow professionals, or even IRS representatives. Those involved in tax preparation, for example, converse extensively with clients to get a better sense of their income, assets, and other essentials. At the corporate level, accountants provide feedback for organizations looking to maintain full compliance while keeping tax liabilities to a minimum.
Opportunities For Advancement Are Rare
While many people correctly assume that accounting jobs pay well, they also believe that professionals stick to a single position without ever moving up the career ladder. While it's possible to do exactly that and still see significant income boosts, leadership opportunities also abound. This is especially true among accountants working for large corporations. Those employed by investment firms, for example, often rise through the ranks to take on highly-paid supervisory roles.
The Takeaway: Accounting Is an Amazing Career Track
The field of accounting deserves far more praise than it typically receives. Thankfully, public opinion about this profession is beginning to change, especially as blockchain and other exciting concepts begin to play a greater role. Hence, accounting's esteemed position at the seventh spot of the U.S. News and World Report list of Best Business Jobs.
Now that you've discovered the secrets behind one of today's most opportunity-filled fields, you can move forward with the training needed to make your mark in the profession of accounting. An online accounting degree could be all that stands between you and your dream career.
If you’re interested in pursuing the field of accounting, earn your BS - Accounting online from JWU Online. For more information on our online accounting degree, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].
Watch the video below to learn more about common misconceptions of accounting: