Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Careers for Accounting Majors: They're a Lot More Diverse than You Think Pt. 1

If you're looking for a fascinating career that is also in-demand, consider accounting.

According to the United States Department of Labor, accounting professionals—including budget analysts, forensic accountants, senior accountants, auditors, and controllers—are projected to be increasingly in demand well into the next decade. Accountants and auditors in particular may grow approximately 11 % faster than all other occupations on average. It is estimated that the increasing complexity of tax laws, the robust health of the economy, and enhanced regulations within the financial sector are all contributing factors to this accounting boom.

So, what's so diverse about different levels of accounting? If you've never considered a career in accounting, you might be somewhat confused as to what makes, for example, an auditor different from a controller. Don't they all deal with numbers?

They do, in a macro sense. However, there are a great many variations across industries and sectors. In this series of posts, I'll be discussing different accounting professions, what sort of personalities might find them appealing, and what kinds of specific projects the professionals can expect. First, I'll start with…

Budget Analyst

Also called a financial analyst, a budget analyst monitors and organizes the finances for his or her organization. This includes working across departments to determine budgetary needs, drafting proposals for funding, making financial projections, and drawing up budgets for any special projects. This can be either in the public or private sector, as well as in nearly any industry (health care, tech, arts and entertainment, travel, food and beverage, etc.) 

People who enjoy and excel at cross-functional collaboration would thrive as budget analysts.
In the public sector, budget analysts require a comprehensive understanding of legislative measures and regional demographics in order to effectively map out budgetary requirements and projections. People who are passionate about social issues and who would like to have a positive affect on the community are exceptionally suited to careers as public sector budget analysts. 

Salaries for local government budget analysts (with Master's degrees) begin at approximately $44,000. The average salary for federal government budget analysts is $71,220.

In the private sector, the possibilities are limitless. For example, a budget analyst working for a major network or film studio would not only perform organizational budget proposals, funding requests, and financial analysis, but also work closely with production teams for various projects. 

The average salary for budget analysts in the arts and entertainment industry is $92,370.

In my next post, I'll discuss environmental accountants!

Author Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant, and currently consulting with financial services and technology companies.

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