Exciting career options as a CPA include:
• Forensic Accountant/FBI Agent
• Corporate Entertainment Accountant
• Sports Accountant
• Environmental Accountant
• IT Auditor
• Accounting Consultant
• International Accountant
• Accounting Professor
CPA Career Paths: Public vs. Private
Something else you’ll need to consider when looking at career paths as a CPA is whether you want to work in public or private accounting. The answer will depend on several factors including your career goals and preferred work environment. According to Robert Half
, “Private, or corporate, accountants are employed by individual companies. Public accountants work for companies that provide accounting services to others. While public accountants gain experience working with a variety of businesses, corporate accountants become accounting experts in their specific companies and industries.”
There are many benefits of public accounting to consider when deciding between public and private
. Things like compensation, structured feedback, autonomy and incredible career opportunities are all part of working in public accounting. Public accountants typically travel more often than private accountants and go through periods where they work more hours, i.e., busy season. And, public accountants are trusted to provide public value through the protection of public interest – they’re considered trusted advisors from day one.
The AICPA states
that those who go into public accounting, “…can specialize in different practice areas, including tax, assurance, financial planning, and forensic and valuation services, just to name a few. Other options are available to further specialize in different industries: providing business valuations for health care companies, for instance, or offering financial planning services to high-net-worth individuals. Location can also play a role in specialization; some accountants may concentrate on helping clients in a specific region, state, or country.”
Private accountants…deal with the financial information of a single company they’re employed by, usually preparing or analyzing reports for an internal manager. Often the work of private accounting professionals is reviewed and audited by public accounting firms—this provides a sort of independent stamp of approval verifying that their private internal accounting practices meet reporting standards.
CPAs working in private accounting play a pivotal role in assisting their companies to act ethically and are usually in leadership in and management roles.
The Expanding Role of CPAs
CPAs play key roles in both public and private accounting. They help sustain value and growth in their organizations. The CPA credential allows accountants to become the leaders and managers in their chosen fields. Whether you choose to work in the public or private sector, with a CPA license, you’ll be almost guaranteed to experience a promising career.