The use and application of financial trends, net worth and firm integrity are necessary for companies that are interested in growth, good reputation and Tax bonuses from the government.
This is why there is a need to have a functional accounting department that can oversee how transactions are recorded daily. Information from these transactions may be used during internal audits especially when preparing monthly, quarterly or yearly reports for either internal or external use.
What is Accounting?
Accounting involves recording financial transactions carried out by businesses and financial institutions comprehensively and transparently.
Working as an accountant is a very delicate position as you are required to analyze and report transactions carried out on a daily or monthly basis depending on your position within the organisation. You may also be required to prepare a detailed spreadsheet showing financial transactions for management meetings.
Accounting has found numerous applications across every sector whether profit or non-profit because people need to take a record of transactions carried out daily. Recently there are also new areas in accounting which have emerged due to research and continuous development on existing ideas on accounting systems by experts in this field. They include; National accounting, human resources accounting and social Accounting.
People who work as accountants usually have a finance degree either in economics or accounting and relevant certifications with the appropriate professional bodies in the country you would love to work in.
What is Auditing?
Auditing requires that you have a knowledge of accounting, can analyze and interpret financial statements. This is because auditors are responsible for evaluating a company’s financial statements in compliance with tax and other financial regulations required by the government.
An auditor’s work isn’t only in just evaluation, they must also communicate effectively to clients their findings, errors, and recommendations. Primary duties include evaluating existing financial records, information management systems and procedures. This type of review results in recommendations for improved practices, efficient financial operations and compliance with regulations.
Most auditors work within an office environment, although there are occasions where they might have to meet with clients at their preferred locations or work remotely with little supervision from the office. Asides your knowledge of accounting and auditing, excellent communication and interpersonal skills are very important especially when presenting findings and recommendations to clients.
Career Opportunities In Accounting
Some of the positions you can occupy with a degree in accounting or related disciplines include;
- Accountant; Working as an accountant either in banks, multinationals or medium scale businesses involves preparing financial statements for companies that they work with. This financial information can be in the form of charts, graphs and other visual aids when presenting to clients.
- Credit Analyst; they evaluate the creditworthiness of people seeking loans with their firms and make recommendations on whether or not applicants are eligible for loans based on their investigation. Excellent Communications skills are important, especially when dealing with prospective clients.
- Finance Teacher; Many people who look to improve their financial knowledge pay finance teachers for adequate guidance towards financial freedom. They may also be involved in grooming students early on in their education by introducing them to the basics of accounting and investments.
- Investment Banker; They provide knowledge about different investment vehicles to prospective clients and companies looking to expand their portfolio. They also make use of analytical and software tools in planning and interpreting financial statement used in decision making.
- Financial Analyst; as a financial analyst, you would be involved in researching stocks, bonds, companies and offer adequate advice during stocks/bond offerings, merger and acquisition processes. They also help with building financial models which are used in generating financial plans and reports for use by members of the finance team.
. Career Opportunities In Auditing
As an auditor, your area of specialization depends on the particular organization that you work for. Some auditors might prefer to work in assurance services or risk management while others work within specific industries such as manufacturing, Oil and Gas e.t.c
Regardless of where you decide to work as an auditor, the positions you would work in includes;
- Internal Audit: they check for companies financial statements and try to identify any misappropriation of funds that might have occurred before auditing. They also give recommendations on how frauds can be detected early on within the organization.
- External Auditors; external auditors work independently and they offer consulting services to companies, government and investors who need a detailed unbiased audit report.
- Information Technology Auditors; Are internal auditors who review controls for their organization’s computer systems, to ensure that the financial data comes from a reliable source.
- Public Auditors; They are consultants for corporations and firms who would like audit reports on financial documents which they are required by law to disclose. They help to enlighten their clients about the benefits of making certain decisions e.g Tax benefits.
- Forensic auditors; they work with the government and law enforcement agencies to identify and investigate illegal activities that may be carried out by an individual or a corporation.
Accounting Vs. Auditing Which is Better?
Accountants and Auditors have one thing in common, they have adequate knowledge of accounting processes but the major difference between both occupations is;
- Accountants work for an organization to evaluate the financial activities of the company daily while auditors make use of financial statements gotten from the accounting departments during quarterly or monthly audits.
- Most times accountants are direct employees of the organization that they work with, while auditors may either be internal or external depending on what information the company requires.