Finance forms a very integral part of a company’s functioning, business, and growth. It is one of the four main functional pillars of an organization along with Marketing & Sales, Operations, and Human Resources. There are many sub-categories of the finance function of a business, and Corporate Accounting is one of them. Modern accounting has undergone a considerable amount of change and now encompasses subject areas from simpler bookkeeping to more complex tax filing, regulatory compliance, and chartered accounting.
With changes in the education policy and systems, education in India is gradually moving towards training students to become better professionals. Colleges and universities are now looking to provide (Online / Distance) courses with a more practical approach and also include experiential learning as part of the overall curriculum.
Corporate Accounting is among many such courses that are seeing essential changes and providing great career options. Corporate Accounting is a stream that falls under the larger functional umbrella of finance (MBA). It deals with the numbers behind the finance of a company or business and gives an overview of the financial health of a company.
Students and aspirants interested in the broader area of finance have a lot of options to choose from, and Corporate Accounting is one important stream that adds great value to a student’s resume and a professional’s work experience.
What is Corporate Accounting?
Corporate Accounting is defined as a special branch of accounting that deals with the accounting for companies, preparation of their final accounts and cash flow statements, analysis and interpretation of financial figures of companies, and accounting for specific events such as mergers and acquisitions (M&A), amalgamation, absorption, and preparation of consolidated balance sheets.
Why does Corporate Accounting make for a good career option?
Accounting(MBA-Finance) is one stream that opens doors for a lot of career options both in India and abroad. Accounting is very technical in the sense that it is based on certain financial fundamentals and standards. Accounting deals more with the back-end tasks of the finance functions of a company and is a very integral part of the business side of things.
Let’s see why Corporate Accounting is a good career option –
Varied Syllabus: One of the more unique advantages of taking up Corporate Accounting (Finance) is that it provides scope for learning a varied set of skills and knowledge. The curriculum gives the option to branch out into several areas such as Financial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Forensic Accounting, Fiduciary Accounting, Tax Accounting, and Auditing, to name a few. Having a grasp on the aforementioned areas allows for a wholesome career and growth. The varied curriculum allows students and professionals to move into different functions of accounting and finance.
Clear career path: Corporate Accounting is a very technical job that requires a set of skills. It is all about number crunching, costing, and analysis. There are a lot of career options for professionals with such skills and the options only get better as corporate accountants gain experience. As professionals begin their accounting career they are usually designated under the Accounting Executive role. Some of the more popular early-stage career options are Accounts Payable / Receivable, Junior Accountant, Staff Accountant, Finance Accountant, Audit Associate, etc.
Stable job opportunities: Accounting or Corporate Accounting is one of the few jobs that will not be going away anytime soon. As long as there is a business transaction, there is a need for accountants. Add to that the need for filing taxes and managing the company’s financial books – there is so much dependency on accountants. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that there will be a 10% growth in employment for accountants during the period 2016-2026. Technically speaking, every business entity needs professionals well versed in the area of Corporate Accounting.
Steady growth: With some experience, an accountant can move up the ladder to become the accounting manager handling a team of fellow accountants. The role of an accounting manager provides a wider range of opportunities for professionals as they even get well-versed in the area of people management and financial analysis. As the career progresses, there is scope (with additional qualification) for accounting professionals to reach the topmost position of a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) who heads the entire finance functionality of a company. It is very important to keep in mind that the journey towards heading any functional department (finance, in this case) is long and requires a good amount of hard work and planning.
Sector-agnostic career: Accounting is one area that is standardized across various industry sectors. Be it the software sector or retail, hospitality, govt. agency or manufacturing, accountants will continue to be in demand. Since the fundamentals of accounting remain the same, professional corporate accountants can move across any industry sector and into any company.
Entrepreneurial opportunities: Professionals from across industry sectors with varied skillsets and experience tend to have great growth opportunities; but not all of them will have an option to go entrepreneurial. Corporate Accounting is one of those few professional services which provide a lot of scope for entrepreneurship. Accountants have the option to go solo and build their accounting firm. The ease of doing business is also great when it comes to the accounting profession. Accounting is one area of business that is easier to start and steadily build up through known networks and collaboration.
Many accountants, collaborate with other accountants and professionals from tax and auditing to start their firms, making it easy to build business and profitability.
Career Options in Accounting
Corporate Accounting has a wide choice of career options for students and professionals looking to build on skill and experience. There are many job categories accountants can move into. Some of these career category options are:
Auditing: For all professionals who have an eye for detail and like understanding the entire working of the financials, auditing is a great career option. Auditors conduct the financial evaluation of a company and ensure that the financial data is represented in its truest form. Auditors do this by evaluating balance sheets, cash flow statements, and income statements to conclude the financial status and representation of the company. Auditing is one of the most demanding job profiles but is also highly respectable and rewarding.
Budget Analyst: This is an interesting career option for students of Corporate Accounting. Budget analysts do a lot of analysis on the budget a company allocates for various purposes. The main role of a budget analyst is to oversee budgets and help the top management to streamline their expenditures. Budget analysts help companies by pointing areas of unnecessary spending and save for better profitability. They analyze the various budget spends and their impact on business.
Tax Accountant: One of the most in-demand and popular jobs across various functionalities is that of a Tax Accountant. Every individual and business entity needs the service of a tax accountant to file taxes in a proper and timely manner. Tax accountants ensure that all the necessary information is duly provided and is accurate. They also help individuals and business entities obtain the tax refund that is due from the government. The job of a Tax Accountant can be a bit taxing but it is a steady flow of work and is a great way for accountants to start as freelancers or entrepreneurs.
CA & CS: Accounting will open doors for a higher level of professional services such as Chartered Accountant (CA) and Company Secretary (CS). These two professional services are very sought-after and are highly regarded job profiles. The CA is a highly reputed role and is considered to be one of the most technically sound job profiles. The CS profile is that of a ‘conscience seeker’ of the company and is entrusted with ensuring that the company is compliant with all things legal.
Corporate Accounting experience will provide the foundation-level knowledge and know-how required for professionals to study and pass through the CA & CS competitive tests.
Forensic Accounting: Forensic accounting is the art and science of unearthing both criminal and civil illegal activities around funds and investments. Forensic accountants help detect funds embezzlement, fraud, and theft of finances. The accountants here not only use accounting and auditing skills but also their investigative skills to determine the flow of events in the case of financial fraud.
Corporate Accounting is a technical subject that requires a certain set of skills and knowledge. Students pursuing a course in Corporate Accounting stand to benefit hugely under the right guidance. A career in Corporate Accounting is not only financially rewarding but also provides a huge amount of learning and opens doors for various professional and entrepreneurial opportunities.