If you are looking to grow in the world of finance, then it is ideal for you to get a good grasp of the domain and all that it calls for early on in your career. Globally recognized certifications such as ACCA, CMA, CPA, CS or even our CA could be one of the best decisions you could ever take.
With such certifications on your resume, you will be sought after by big organizations such as the Big 4 and other multination companies from across the world. You will also be able to see an exponential rise in your pay once you have attained such credentials.
Accounting is at the heart of any business – be it a small or medium enterprise, a start-up or an established business house. So it is going to be easy to land a job once you have attained the qualifications and you will always be in demand.
Let us look at some of the skills a student must possess if they wish to pursue a career in finance and would like to clear the exams on the first attempt.
Knowledge: It refers to the ability of the candidate to recall the material that was previously learned.
- Application - Able to demonstrate the day-to-day application of the material in a situation
- Knowledge - It speaks about the ability to recall a material that was talked about earlier
- Comprehension - The ability for one to interpret and explain a subject matter in an accurate manner.
- Analysis - When the subject matter is broken down into smaller chunks or when you are able to recognize the relationship between various components and are able to identify critical elements
- Evaluation: The ability for one to criticize, justify and derive conclusions from the material.
- Management skills: This is a very vital skill to have as it determines your ability to manage team members which will help you to easily move higher up the ranks
- Leadership skills: Leadership skills work side by side with management skills, if a candidate has leadership skills along with soft skills then he can definitely grow his career to the next level
- Synthesis: It speaks about the skill to form hypotheses to create brand new operations.
- Business and strategic decision-making - Both accounting, as well as finance professionals, are valued largely based on their commercial and business-related insights. While keeping an eye out for jobs in this field, it will be great to have some basic knowledge of business administration and strong decision-making skills which will be important when it comes to business and profit-generating strategy.
- Commercial Acuity - In order to work in the field of accounting and finance, one of the basic skills that a successful professional should have is a keen sense to comprehend various commercial market trends and fiscal behaviour. Organizations are on the look out for candidates who have a good understanding of the market and will be able to provide valuable insight into the current market trends and can suggest changes to make a profit and earn more revenue.
- Ability to innovate - Another key skill that candidates should possess if they wish to stand out from the crowd while applying for a job is going to be the ability to think outside the box. Most companies will be keeping an eye out for innovative minds that can come up with creative solutions to their problems and can make certain processes easier and more cost efficient. If you can come up with some unique and efficient ideas which will make processes easier and most cost effective. If you are a person who can come up with unique and creative suggestions which will help your company's bottom line then you will thrive in your role.
- Knowledge of industry specific regulations - While we are speaking of various skills which should be developed early on in your accounting career, it is vital to keep in mind the core technical requirements needed to be a financial professional. In order to clear interviews successfully and get placed in the top accounting firms and MNCs, it is essential to have up to date knowledge about the various industry regulations as well as the market trends. It is also always a good idea to be well- informed about various accounting standards within your industry and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). You should also be able to derive valuable insights from your observations of trends and should communicate them concisely and effectively.
Let us now look at some job opportunities that are available based on the various professional courses.
Some of the job roles available after doing a CA
Chartered Accountants can go into practice privately or can collaborate with the following
- Company secretary in practice
- Other Chartered Accountants
- Cost Accountant in practice
- Architect in professional
- Advocates as defined by the Bar Council of India
- Actuary professional
Before setting up your own firm, it is always better to start off with a company as starting a new firm can be quite challenging. Once you get a job you can slowly grow in rank to various job roles within the organization. A Chartered Accountant can work in the following firms.
Internal Auditing, Tax auditing, Forensic Auditing, Taxation Advisory, Statutory Audit under applicable statutes.
Some of the job roles after completing CMA USA are:
- Financial Analyst - Financial analysts would guide and advise when to buy and sell investments to their clients. Senior positions such as investment partner, financial consultant or portfolio manager are considered as suitable options for better growth in this career path.
- Financial Planner - Financial planners are considered are great advisors who will provide their clients with tips on how to manage their money. They work for insurance and finance organisations to make investments, future financial plans, etc.
- Cost Accountant - Cost Accountants focus on reducing financial waste and increasing profit from production costs. Senior roles such as Senior Cost Accountant and Financial controller would require to be CMA USA certified.
- Corporate Controller - Corporate controllers would generally be reporting directly to the CFO and would also be responsible for converting data into information which may include financial reports and income statements.
Next, let us look at some job roles for those who have completed CPA
- Personal Financial Advisor - A personal financial advisor would give their clients with financial advice such as managing finances and making financial plans curated and customized for that particular client
- Finance Director - A finance director would oversee the various financial statements of a business and set up its plans on a long term basis. They would also be responsible to come up with various strategies that would help the business to earn profits
- Corporate Controller - The corporate controller would have the major responsibility for overseeing all the accounting and financial activities, which would include budgeting, accounts that have been cleared, account receivable, billing etc. This job role would also include assistance and overseeing financial reporting along with taking care of important duties to payroll.
Some of the job roles for those who have completed ACCA would include
- Auditing - An Auditor is a professional who would be in charge of going through various financial records of a business and will make sure that they comply with various tax laws and regional accounting principles of their country of operation. They will also be protecting the organisation from various discrepancies and fraud by highlighting the flaws in their accounting methods. After completing ACCA, the candidate would be eligible to work as an in-house auditor for a company as well as an audit firm.
- Financial Reporting Analyst - A Financial Reporting Analyst is someone who is authorized to gather financial data and take care of a company's financial landscape. They would also be responsible for creating budgets as well as financial reports which will document their observations and will come up with forecasts and insights based on the observations. Such professionals would also follow the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as they create such financial statements and therefore should have a strong understanding of such principles. ACCA qualified professionals will be able to take up a profession as Finance Reporting Analysts.
- Management Consulting - A Management Consultant is a professional who would provide solutions and expert advice to businesses which would help improve their performance. Once you complete ACCA, the professional can start your profession as a Management Consultant for any business in the accounting and finance industry. It is also possible to work in a firm that exclusively operates as a consulting firm. You would also be able to work in Big 4 companies like PwC and Deloitte or it could be companies like McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company.
- Credit Control Manager - A Credit Control Manager also known as a credit manager is a professional who would take care of the credit collection team of a business and manages the incoming capital of a business. Such collection would be from other businesses which is also knows as commercial collection, it can be from individual consumers which could be referred to as consumer collection.