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Accountant

Career Overview

accountant as a career

Accounting is a profession that will always have a place of prominence not only in the business world but rather be used by everyone in a variety of situations. For example, when trying to get a bank loan or applying for a credit card the applicant needs to provide the company with their personal accounting information to get approved. Perhaps you interact with accountants regularly, or only once during the tax season. That is when they are most visible, however accountants work behind the scene year round to ensure financial records are kept accurately, filed and made available appropriately.

Accounting is a process of recording, summarizing, reporting and analyzing financial transactions. It is a universal language used in all business practices. If you want to become an accountant, you will need to be great at working with numbers, reconciling conflicting reports and paying close attention to detail. To redefine this profession with a brighter point of view it wouldn't be inappropriate to say that, "if you have a knack for money matters, a career in accounting would make perfect cents!" Accounting as a career choice is both challenging and lucrative, offering its practitioners a wide range of career paths whether opting for a corporate and government life, an established firm or self employment. This career offers both tangible and intangible benefits.

The four main categories of Accountant or the general areas of practice are as below:

  • Public accountants, who work with corporations, governments and individuals
  • Management accountants also called cost or private accountants working for internal use by managers
  • Government accountants maintain and examine records of government agencies
  • Internal auditors check for risk management of an organization or business funds and improve the process for eliminating fraud.
The above four types of accountants enjoy a degree of cross over and can transition from one type to another throughout the career. Advancement in any of the field can take many forms. For example, a Public accountant may excel with years and grow to become managers or partners in private firms. Whereas management accountants can advance themselves to become Controllers, Treasurers, Financial vice presidents or CFOs in large corporate organizations. Among the most interesting specialties is Forensic accounting that has grown in response to global corporate scandals where accountants take on the role of detective to unearth fraud and deceptive financial practices.

Salaries and Job Outlook*

Median Annual Pay INR 3.5 lacs per annum - 6.5 lacs per annum
Number of Jobs
Projected Growth Rate

Every business big or small seeks the services of a professional accountant to manage their tax returns and help them plan better business ventures. Although the options and avenues are simply endless, it is greatly beneficial to specialize in one of the areas that will help getting better positions and jobs. A qualified Chartered accountant in the country usually draw a salary three times that of a fresh graduate. The average annual salary of an accountant ranges in between INR 3.5 lacs per annum to 6.5 lacs per annum.

Education and Training

Degrees Required:
Bachelor degree (accounts) MBA with specialization in accounting CPA

In a cut throat competitive world it is advisable to start early as a student to plan and prepare right after 10+2. Opting for a mathematics subject is a good idea and choosing the commerce stream would be a good start to move in the right direction for a career as an accountant.

A minimum of a bachelor's degree to pursue a Chartered Accountancy followed with a mandatory three year articleship under a practicing CA. A CPA credential can help you stand out when applying for a competitive position as well as help you get promoted into a management position. CPA also gives you the license and authority to handle individual taxes.

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Valued Traits & Abilities

Quantitative Abilities
Detail Oriented
Time Management Skills

Career Opportunities

Careers in finance and accounts have gained tremendous popularity with the rapid growth in the economy and one of the most prestigious career option is that of a Chartered Accountant. Employment opportunities are varied, exciting as well as rewarding. Careers in accounting can range from entry level positions to executive level. Chose the accounting career you are most interested in; learn what it entails and what education you may need and the salary you can potentially earn. Some of the top career options for a Chartered Accountant are-

Taxation and Financial advisory

The position of tax accountants involves collection of tax related information, reporting to taxation authorities and advising management on the tax impact of various corporate strategies. They advise management regarding the impact of tax and new laws on tax liabilities.

Government Agencies

Accountants are hired by government agencies who use their accounting skills to investigate into potential thefts and fraud. They also perform similar duties like public accountants in private corporations

Corporate Accounting

Accountants work like business advisors to corporate, maintain financial records, ensure compliancy with laws and regulations in sync with the organization's policies. They help executives make financial decisions on behalf of the organization.

Accounting research

Research plays a vital role in creating new knowledge. Accounting researchers help implementing new accounting standards, understanding the impact of new tax laws on clients by the use of their scientific accounting skills.

Top Companies

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Ernst & Young
  • Deloitte
  • Grant Thornton
  • KPMG

Interview: Chartered Accountant

“Such is the allure of this course & career! If you are ready to take up and complete the tough and challenging course of Chartered Accountancy from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), then the sky is the limit for you. Nayan is now a successful practicing CA with 13 years of work experience”
Nayan Miranda