What are the different types of Accountants?

Post by Open Colleges on July 23rd, 2021

The financial services industry is one of Australia’s largest. As an Accountant, you’ll be joining a growing workforce of 800,000 professionals.

Have you been thinking about studying to become an Accountant? If you’re considering a career in this industry, you may be surprised to learn about the many and varied career paths that could become available to you.

When most people think ‘Accountant’, they think of taxes. But Accountants do much more than taxes, and there are many different roles out there – Tax Accountant being just one of many.

That’s one of the great things about working in financial services. If you have a true passion for numbers and can use your skills to help businesses with their finances, there is a host of different specialisations out there for you.

If you’ve ever thought about pursuing a career in the finance industry, then read on to discover what kinds of careers are available out there for Accountants.

What are the different accountancy specialisations out there?

If you’re considering a career in accounting, it pays to know what kind of career path you could follow. There are many different types of accounting specialisations, which gives you the opportunity to find your niche.

Many people start their accounting career as Bookkeepers, Accounts Receivable/Payable Officers or in positions related to payroll; while other people may be able to use a qualification to move into an Accountant position straight away.

Whichever way you want to approach your career is completely up to you. Here are some of the different types of accounting jobs out there you could pursue to give you some inspiration when it comes to your career trajectory.

5 different types of jobs for Accountants

1. Tax Accountant

Tax Accountants analyse financial matters to prepare, submit and manage tax statements and returns for individuals and businesses.

Taxes can sometimes get a little complicated for both individuals and corporate businesses. There might be new laws that are applicable or changes to existing laws that people or businesses need to adhere to. That’s why it’s important for Tax Accountants to keep up to date with the latest news and changes to tax law, as people rely on them as the experts in all financial matters relating to tax.

2. Insolvency Accountant

A business goes into insolvency when it can no longer pay its debts any longer. When a business enters into financial difficulty, the services of an Insolvency Accountant may be required.

An Insolvency Accountant usually helps a struggling business by identifying assets that can be sold, renegotiating existing finances, and explaining legislation where needed. Sometimes, with the help of an Insolvency Accountant, struggling businesses may be able to bounce back. 

As an Insolvency Accountant, you’ll be working with businesses and people who are often going through an incredibly difficult time. This means that as well as financial skills, you’ll also need exceptional communication skills and emotional intelligence.

3. Forensic Accountant

Combining the skills of an Accountant and a Detective, Forensic Accountants work to uncover white-collar crimes. Forensic Accountants specialise in detecting crimes like fraud and embezzlement by searching for financial irregularities.

They can work in public accounting and consulting firms, law firms, law enforcement agencies, and insurance companies. As Forensic Accountants work very closely with law enforcement, their work needs to be of an exceptionally high standard as it can be used as evidence in a court of law.

This is a highly specialised role that would appeal to anyone who has a keen eye for detail and strong analytical thinking skills.

4. Investment Accountant

Investment Accountants must have a strong working knowledge of accounting as well as investment opportunities.

Investment Accountants work across a diverse array of funds such as hedge funds, superannuation funds, authorised unit trusts and mutual funds. Usually, they work for an investment brokerage or an asset management firm.

Often, a portfolio that contains millions of dollars’ worth of stocks, bonds and currencies will be managed by an Asset Manager or a Broker. The Investment Accountant will work closely with these professionals to process the investments while also keeping track of any third-party activity. They may also provide financial consulting and advice.

5. Auditor

Auditors perform inspections of financial accounts in organisations, both in the public and private sectors. These inspections are known as audits.

Investigating a company’s financial statements includes reviewing payroll, expense reports, accounts payable and receivable, inventory and tax payments. 

As well as examining financial records and preparing reports, Auditors need to be able to clearly and succinctly explain their findings – whether a company’s financial statements are above board or not. 

6. Management Accountant

Management Accountants analyse the financial position of an organisation and how it could be improved. Their duties and responsibilities involve overseeing accounting staff, budgeting, external financial reporting, risk management, and performing profitability analyses.

Because Management Accountants often oversee other employees, and because their job entails relaying important financial information to members of the executive team, they have to have great communication skills.

What is the highest paying job you can get as an Accountant?

Do you want to climb the accounting ladder all the way to the top?

If you’re hard-working, ambitious and have the right kind of managerial skills, you could work your way to the level of Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

As a CFO, you’ll be overseeing every aspect of the business’s finances. You’ll have many different people relying on you, so it’s essential that you have strong communication skills and exemplary leadership skills.

CFO is one of the highest paying roles you could pursue in the finance sector. Indeed rates the average yearly salary of a CFO in Australia as $156,258.

Are you thinking of studying accounting?

Open Colleges offers the FNS40217 Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping, which has been developed in consultation with industry experts to make sure you’re learning the skills employers are looking for today. 

You’ll learn all about the fundamentals of accounting and bookkeeping, how to prepare financial reports and manage operational budgets, manage business activity statements and much more. 

What are you waiting for? Discover just where a career in accounting could take you and enrol with OC today.

Popular topic Tips & resources Upskill
Open Colleges
By Open Colleges