Accounting and Finance Career Paths

For a new graduate, attempting to determine which career paths are feasible, and which ones are the best for you can be overwhelming. This article will look at potential accounting and finance career paths for a new graduate, as well as look at careers that can combine both of these. The certifications mentioned are typically the baseline required for higher-up careers in accounting and finance, which require schooling beyond a bachelor’s degree. As for entry-level careers, directly after your undergraduate degree, those will also be referenced. 

Accounting Career Paths

The main functions of an accountant include identifying, recording, and communicating the fiscal standings of a company. This is done through taking a general overview of the company’s current financial position. Duties include tracking and reporting capital transactions, implementing financial and cost analysis techniques, and reporting and communicating financial information. 

The types of international certifications for accounting include ACCA (Chartered Certified Accountant – UK), ACA/CA (Chartered Accountant – UK and Commonwealth), and CPA (Certified Public Accountant – US). The typical skills that would need to be acquired through courses for these certifications would include quantitative analysis, risk management, macro/microeconomics, management accounting, auditing, budget analysis, financial reporting, forensic accounting, business strategy, financial accounting, tax accounting, information systems, international accounting, and professional standards and ethics. 

In terms of employers, accountants are typically employed by businesses, individuals, public accounting firms, or in-house corporations. Examples of jobs for accountants include auditor, bookkeeper, accounts payable clerk, treasurer, and tax accountant. The average pay for accounting jobs in Singapore is $49,118 (Accounting and Finance Career Paths | Everything You Have to Know | LSBF SG, n.d.).

For recent grads with an accounting degree, there are several job options. These include becoming an accountant, a financial controller, an internal control analyst, a financial analyst, a mortgage underwriter, a financial planning/budget coordinator, a credit/risk analyst, a sales analyst, a junior consultant, a business analyst/associate, and a payroll administrator. Other fields that also use the skills of an accounting grad include manufacturing, utilities, health care and social assistance, finance and insurance, professional services, educational services, public administration, management of companies, and arts, entertainment and recreation.

In addition to this, there are also several graduate studies that a grad with a degree in accounting may wish to pursue. These include a Master and PhD in Accounting, a Master’s in Strategic Management, a Master’s in International Business, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), and a Master of Public Administration (MPA). These additional diplomas will allow for higher-up roles that require more education in order to be considered for these jobs.

Finance Career Paths 

The main functions of a finance job include evaluating, controlling and governing a company’s investments, assets, and resources, and keeping an eye on enhanced profitability. These careers deal with processes involving leveraging capital generated by either a company or an individual, and by implementing money managing techniques. These can include borrowing, lending, forecasting, budgeting, and investing. There are a wide range of jobs under the finance career path, which include anything from consulting and analysis to investment banking and entrepreneurship. 

The types of international certifications for finance include CQF (Certificate in Quantitative Finance), CTP (Certified Treasury Professional), CF (Corporate Finance Qualification), CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), CPRM (Certified Professional Risk Manager), and CVA (Certified Valuation Analyst). To achieve these certifications, courses are typically required in financial accounting, financial reporting, risk management, venture capital, financial planning, financial engineering, international finance, private equity, financial management, financial markets, behavioural finance, corporate finance, economics econometrics, financial mathematics, advanced derivatives, asset markets. 

In terms of employers, these can be corporations, the government, and individuals. Examples of jobs in finance include financial planner or manager, financial broker, financial advisor, investment banker, and financial analyst. The average pay for finance jobs in Singapore is 48,000 (Accounting and Finance Career Paths | Everything You Have to Know | LSBF SG, n.d.).

For recent grads from a bachelor’s degree in finance, there are several different types of typical entry-level jobs. These include financial analyst, business analyst, junior consultant, account representative/manager, investment banking analyst, project coordinator/manager, financial auditor, budget officer, financial planner, portfolio manager, profit/risk analyst, underwriter, and research associate. Other fields which work with the skills obtained by a finance grad include finance and insurance, public administration, health care and social assistance, mining, oil, and gas extraction, manufacturing, management of companies and enterprises, construction, utilities, and professional, scientific and technical services. 

There are also several graduate studies that someone with a bachelor’s degree in finance may wish to pursue. These include a Master of Finance, a Master of Science in Finance, a Master of Financial Economics, and a Master of Business Administration.

Next Steps

The next steps required for building your career in the finance or accounting world include doing research into the field of your choice, exploring career options and getting experience, and building your network. Research can include doing volunteer work for organisations that operate in your field of interest, reaching out to individuals with careers you think you’d like to pursue, and attending information sessions that may be offered through your alma mater. In terms of gaining experience, this can look like taking on entry-level jobs that are related to your career of interest, job shadowing, or getting internships. And finally, building your network can help you gain important connections that could lead to job opportunities. This can be done by attending networking events, reaching out to individuals with similar job experience, or building your social media presence. 

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