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Accounting utilizes various skills, offering a wide range of different specializations for future accountants. Whether you decide to go into government, private, or corporate work, it’s essential to be aware of some different career paths for accounting professionals. Know where your skills will take you and the qualifications you’ll need to land a job in the field you’re most comfortable with.

Tax Attorney

Working as a tax attorney will require specialized education in both accounting and law, as professionals in job deal with tax liability, estate transfers, and intellectual property acquisitions. Tax attorneys also offer consultation for private individuals and businesses, as they can bridge the gap between tax code and federal law.

Because of the knowledge requirements, tax attorneys need to major in both accounting and law, making their degree a difficult one to obtain.

Enrolled Agent

If you choose to specialize in becoming an enrolled agent, you will need to become an expert in tax code, a subject that is constantly changing. Businesses hire enrolled agents to represent them to the IRS when they need to file their tax returns, appeal a fine, or deal with collections. As an enrolled agent, it’s your job to protect the financial interests of the company that hires you, acting as their mediator to the IRS.

Enrolled agents will need to go through government certification, taking a series of tests to assess their competency with tax code. There are enrolled agent continuing education programs to assist with study preparation, as these exams can be difficult to complete.

Financial Analyst

Going down the path of a financial analyst will have you advising upper-level business management on investment decisions. You will analyze different investment options, assess how the market is doing, and provide reports to management about your findings and guidance. Following industry trends is a huge part of making these investment reports, and it requires a lot of in-depth research into the business’s industry and competitors.

These types of positions require accountants to have a bachelor’s degree at a minimum, usually majoring in business, accounting, finance, or economics. Advanced education is often a necessity for greater opportunity, such as a master’s degree in science of finance or a similar area of study.

Find a Path That’s Comfortable for You

These are only three of the more popular career paths for accounting professionals; there are many more to choose from. Always know your strengths and weaknesses as an accountant and the level of education you’re willing to undergo. You don’t want to spend years obtaining a degree only to find out that you don’t enjoy the work. Take time to think about your future and make an informed decision.

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