Accounting Careers Term Paper

Pages: 14 (3822 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 9  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Accounting

Public Accounting, Corporate Accounting and Governmental Accounting Careers

Career options that are available to entry-level accounting graduates include those of public accounting, corporate accounting and governmental accounting. Each of these vocational options are divided into more specialized areas of practice.

The purpose of this study is to examine and in-depth research study into the areas of accounting represented by the specialized areas of practice within the public, corporate and governmental accounting vocations.

Accounting seniors and recent graduates are in possession of theoretical knowledge of accounting theory, but often know little to nothing regarding the careers available to them upon graduation.

Objective of the Study

In order to make a competent decision about which career to pursue the available options should be scrutinized. That is the objective of this study which will conduct research into each area of professional practice in order to eliminate any confusion concerning the professional variation in accounting positions.

Research Question

This study seeks to answer the question of 'What are the professional differences in working in the fields of public accounting, corporate accounting and governmental accounting.

Proposed Methodology

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The proposed methodology for the research study stated herein this document is one of a qualitative nature and to be conducted through an extensive review of literature in this area of study. The literature sources will include but will not be limited to information located in libraries in books, journals, and other professional and academic peer-reviewed material but also information located and available online in the form of professional and academic peer-reviewed literature. In addition the research proposed herein this document intends to conduct interviews of accounting professionals in regards to how they began their career and the job functions in the accounting positions they have held.

Limitations and Delimitations

Term Paper on Accounting Careers Assignment

The length of time necessary to conduct the research and the time available is limited thereby making the deadline of the research study a limitation. A major delimitation relates to the scope of research being undertaken as the research will be limited to three major career fields in the field of accounting.

Data Collection and Analysis

Data will be collected from a variety of sources including personal interviews, web sites, books, and journal articles. The data collected will be analyzed qualitatively.

Literature Review

The vocational field of accounting is one that makes a requirement of at least a bachelor's degree in the field of accounting or in a related field. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics "opportunities will be best for jobseekers who have a master's degree, obtain certification or licensure or who are proficient in the use of accounting and auditing computer software." (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009) it is additionally reported that there will be "faster-than-average growth of accountant and auditor jobs" resulting from "an increase in the number of businesses, changing financial laws and regulations, and greater scrutiny of company finances." (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009)

It is stated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics that accountants and auditors " to ensure that the Nation's firms are run efficiently, its public records kept accurately, and its taxes paid properly and on time. They analyze and communicate financial information for various entities such as companies, individual clients, and government. Beyond carrying out the fundamental tasks of the occupation -- preparing, analyzing, and verifying financial documents in order to provide information to clients -- many accountants also offer budget analysis, financial and investment planning, information technology consulting, and limited legal services." (2009)

Stated as the specific job duties which vary widely in the four major fields of accounting and auditing are those as follows:

(1) Public management;

(2) Government accounting; and (3) Internal auditing. (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009)

Public accountants are stated to perform "a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services for their clients, which may be corporations, governments, nonprofit organizations or individuals." (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009)

Public accountants are stated to focus on tax matters including "advising companies about the tax advantages and disadvantages of certain business decisions and preparing individual income tax returns. Others offer advice in areas such as compensation or employee health care benefits, the design of accounting and data-processing systems, and the selection of controls to safeguard assets. Still others audit clients' financial statements and inform investors and authorities that the statements have been correctly prepared and reported. These accountants are also referred to as external auditors. Public accountants, many of whom are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), generally have their own businesses or work for public accounting firms." (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009)

It is stated that some public accountants "...specialize in forensic accounting -- investigating and interpreting white-collar crimes such as securities fraud and embezzlement, bankruptcies and contract disputes, and other complex and possibly criminal financial transactions, including money laundering by organized criminals. Forensic accountants combine their knowledge of accounting and finance with law and investigative techniques to determine whether an activity is illegal. Many forensic accountants work closely with law enforcement personnel and lawyers during investigations and often appear as expert witnesses during trials." (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009)

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Federal legislation has "in response to recent accounting scandals..." approved the restriction of nonauditing services that public accountants may provide to clients. "If an accounting firm audits a client's financial statements, that same firm cannot provide advice on human resources, technology, investment banking, or legal matters, although accountants may still advise on tax issues. Accountants may also advise other clients in these areas and may provide advice within their own firm." (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009)

It is additionally reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics that management accountants "...also called cost, managerial, industrial, corporate, or private accountants -- record and analyze the financial information of the companies for which they work. Among their other responsibilities are budgeting, performance evaluation, cost management, and asset management. Usually, management accountants are part of executive teams involved in strategic planning or the development of new products. They analyze and interpret the financial information that corporate executives need in order to make sound business decisions. They also prepare financial reports for other groups, including stockholders, creditors, regulatory agencies, and tax authorities. Within accounting departments, management accountants may work in various areas, including financial analysis, planning and budgeting, and cost accounting." (2009)

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics states that government accountants and auditors work in the public sector "...maintaining and examining the records of government agencies and auditing private businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government regulations or taxation. Accountants employed by Federal, State, and local governments ensure that revenues are received and expenditures are made in accordance with laws and regulations. Those employed by the Federal Government may work as Internal Revenue Service agents or in financial management, financial institution examination, or budget analysis and administration." (2009)

It reported as well by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics that 'internal auditors' "...verify the effectiveness of their organization's internal controls and check for mismanagement, waste, or fraud. They examine and evaluate their firms' financial and information systems, management procedures, and internal controls to ensure that records are accurate and controls are adequate. They also review company operations, evaluating their efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance with corporate policies and government regulations. Because computer systems commonly automate transactions and make information readily available, internal auditors may also help management evaluate the effectiveness of their controls based on real-time data, rather than personal observation. They may recommend and review controls for their organization's computer systems, to ensure their reliability and integrity of the data. Internal auditors may also have specialty titles, such as information technology auditors, environmental auditors, and compliance auditors." (2009)

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the rapid expanding technology is changing the very nature of the work performed by both accountants and auditors and it is stated that through the "...aid of special software packages, accountants summarize transactions in the standard formats of financial records and organize data in special formats employed in financial analysis. These accounting packages greatly reduce the tedious work associated with data management and recordkeeping. Computers enable accountants and auditors to be more mobile and to use their clients' computer systems to extract information from databases and the Internet. As a result, a growing number of accountants and auditors with extensive computer skills specialize in correcting problems with software or in developing software to meet unique data management and analytical needs. Accountants also are beginning to perform more technical duties, such as implementing, controlling, and auditing computer systems and networks and developing a business's technology plans." (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Accounting Careers" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Accounting Careers.  (2009, October 28).  Retrieved October 27, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Accounting Careers."  28 October 2009.  Web.  27 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Accounting Careers."  October 28, 2009.  Accessed October 27, 2020.