Accounting & Finance Resumes
Accounts Payable Clerk
Bank Teller, Head / CSR
Bank Branch Supervisor
Credit & Collections Analyst
Data Analyst (Senior)
Most jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.
Overall job opportunities should be favorable; jobseekers who obtain
professional recognition through certification or licensure, a master’s degree,
proficiency in accounting and auditing computer software, or specialized
expertise will have the best opportunities.
An increase in the number of businesses, changing financial laws and
regulations, and greater scrutiny of company finances will drive
faster-than-average growth of accountants and auditors.
Most accountants and auditors work in a typical office setting. Self-employed
accountants may be able to do part of their work at home. Accountants and
auditors employed by public accounting firms and government agencies may travel
frequently to perform audits at branches of their firm, clients’ places of
business, or government facilities.
Most accountants and auditors generally work a standard 40-hour week, but many
work longer hours, particularly if they are self-employed and have numerous
clients. Tax specialists often work long hours during the tax season.
Most accountant and auditor positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in
accounting or a related field. Beginning accounting and auditing positions in
the Federal Government, for example, usually require 4 years of college
(including 24 semester hours in accounting or auditing) or an equivalent
combination of education and experience. Some employers prefer applicants with a
master’s degree in accounting, or with a master’s degree in business
administration with a concentration in accounting.
Previous experience in accounting or auditing can help an applicant get a job.
Many colleges offer students an opportunity to gain experience through summer or
part-time internship programs conducted by public accounting or business firms.
In addition, practical knowledge of computers and their applications in
accounting and internal auditing is a great asset for jobseekers in the
Professional recognition through certification or licensure provides a distinct
advantage in the job market. CPAs are licensed by a State Board of Accountancy.
The vast majority of States require CPA candidates to be college graduates, but
a few States substitute a number of years of public accounting experience for a
Persons planning a career in accounting should have an aptitude for mathematics
and be able to analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures quickly. They
must be able to clearly communicate the results of their work to clients and
managers both verbally and in writing. Accountants and auditors must be good at
working with people, as well as with business systems and computers. At a
minimum, accountants should be familiar with basic accounting software packages.
Because financial decisions are made on the basis of their statements and
services, accountants and auditors should have high standards of integrity.
Capable accountants and auditors may advance rapidly; those having inadequate
academic preparation may be assigned routine jobs and find promotion difficult.
Many graduates of junior colleges or business or correspondence schools, as well
as bookkeepers and accounting clerks who meet the education and experience
requirements set by their employers, can obtain junior accounting positions and
advance to positions with more responsibilities by demonstrating their
accounting skills on the job.
Beginning public accountants usually start by assisting with work for several
clients. They may advance to positions with more responsibility in 1 or 2 years
and to senior positions within another few years. Those who excel may become
supervisors, managers, or partners; open their own public accounting firm; or
transfer to executive positions in management accounting or internal auditing in
Management accountants often start as cost accountants, junior internal
auditors, or trainees for other accounting positions. As they rise through the
organization, they may advance to accounting manager, chief cost accountant,
budget director, or manager of internal auditing. Some become controllers,
treasurers, financial vice presidents, chief financial officers, or corporation
presidents. Many senior corporation executives have a background in accounting,
internal auditing, or finance.
In general, public accountants, management accountants, and internal auditors
have much occupational mobility. Practitioners often shift into management
accounting or internal auditing from public accounting, or between internal
auditing and management accounting. It is less common for accountants and
auditors to move from either management accounting or internal auditing into
Accountants also are assuming the role of a personal financial advisor. They not
only provide clients with accounting and tax help, but also help them develop
personal budgets, manage assets and investments, plan for retirement, and
recognize and reduce their exposure to risks. This role is a response to
clients’ demands for a single trustworthy individual or firm to meet all of
their financial needs. However, accountants are restricted from providing these
services to clients whose financial statements they also prepare.
Accounting & Finance Cover Letters
Accountant With SEC Reporting
Controller - Manufacturing
Entry Level Staff Accountant
Office Manager With General Accounting
Senior Staff Accountant
Public accountants perform a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and
consulting activities for their clients, which may be corporations, governments,
nonprofit organizations, or individuals. For example, some public accountants
concentrate on tax matters, such as 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. Public accountants, many of whom are
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), generally have their own businesses or work
for public accounting firms.
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
transactions, including money laundering by organized criminals. Forensic
accountants combine their knowledge of accounting and finance with law and
investigative techniques in order 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
In response to recent accounting scandals, new Federal legislation restricts the
nonauditing services that public accountants can 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, such as
establishing a tax shelter. Accountants may still advise other clients in these
areas or may provide advice within their own firm.
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.
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 guarantee 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.
Internal auditors verify the accuracy of their organization’s internal records
and check for mismanagement, waste, or fraud. Internal auditing is an
increasingly important area of accounting and auditing. Internal auditors
examine and evaluate their firms’ financial and information systems, management
procedures, and internal controls to ensure that records are accurate and
controls are adequate to protect against fraud and waste. They also review
company operations, evaluating their efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance
with corporate policies and procedures, laws, and government regulations.
are many types of highly specialized auditors, such as electronic
data-processing, environmental, engineering, legal, insurance premium, bank, and
health care auditors. As computer systems make information timelier, internal
auditors help managers to base their decisions on actual data, rather than
personal observation. Internal auditors also may recommend controls for their
organization’s computer system, to ensure the reliability of the system and the
integrity of the data.
Computers are rapidly changing the nature of the work of most accountants and
auditors. With the aid of special software packages, accountants summarize
transactions in standard formats used by financial records and organize data in
special formats employed in financial analysis. These accounting packages
greatly reduce the amount of tedious manual 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 are specializing 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 systems and networks, developing
technology plans, and analyzing and devising budgets.
See financial analysts and personal financial advisors at Courtesy Occupational Outlook Handbook