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Accountant

What does an Accountant do?

To be an accountant, you require a love of numbers, a fondness for reading reports, and an eye for details. While some accountants work on their own, the majority are part of a team. Working well with other people is equally important.

The role of an accountant

People who choose accounting as a career should possess the skill set for the following tasks:

  • Monitor the income and expenses of an organization.
  • Prepare profit and loss statements and reports to a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or clients to establish profitability.
  • Analyze and correct reports for discrepancies.
  • Supervise the accounting department.
  • Explain billing procedures or other basic bookkeeping procedures to other staff, if needed.
  • Provide statements and reports to the internal or external auditing team.
  • Comply with federal, state and local tax guidelines.

Accounting education

Initial training can be gained by taking a two-year course in bookkeeping or accounting, but to practise as an accountant, a Bachelor’s degree is required. This degree can be in arts or science or any other discipline. If you’ve set your sights higher than a mere entry level job, earning a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and auditing is recommended.

Other than training in financial management and tax laws, an accounting degree teaches research skills, problem solving, knowledge of accounting technology and software, and project management.

If you’re looking to get a high paying job, you will have to earn a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. In 45 States, 150 semester hours are required after earning a Bachelor’s degree in order to apply for certification. With this certification you’ll have a distinct advantage in securing management jobs.

Job prospects

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an increase of 22 percent in accounting and auditor positions. The best paying markets are identified as:

  • Tax preparation
  • Payroll services
  • Government (state and local)

Contrary to popular belief, not all accountants are geeks or nerds. Intelligence balanced with social skills allows many accountants to become partners in firms or executives such as a CFO or Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

business administrator

What does a Business Administrator do?

The Role of a Business Administrator

Business administration is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of business management careers. Whether a company conducts business on an international level or is a local, independently owned start-up, it needs business administrators to ensure its long-term success.

business administrator

A business administrator is trained to handle the day-to-day issues that arise in a business. They may oversee a variety of responsibilities, including:

  • Establishing and executing goals, procedures and policies
  • Providing direction and oversight for financial and budgetary issues
  • Overseeing the processes that are involved in providing the company’s goods or services
  • Helping their workplace improve by implementing new procedures
  • Analyzing performance indicators
  • Identifying areas that can be eliminated to reduce costs and promote efficiency

Business administrators play an essential role in a number of different industries, including retail sales, hospitality and operations management. Business administrators fill a variety of roles and are an essential part in ensuring the productivity and success of an organization.

What Career Paths Are Available?

There are a large number of career paths available for business administrators. Many business administrators work in retail sales or direct sales. In addition to this, they may also work as project assistants, managers in an office environment, or as support specialists in technology industries. Business administrators play a role in federal, private and non-profit companies. Successful entrepreneurs often have a background in business administration, as their experience in developing organization and management skills are essential in starting a small business.

How Can I Become A Business Administrator?

Obtaining a college degree is the first step you will take in your pursuit of a career in business administration. An associate’s degree in business will equip you for an entry level position. A bachelor’s degree will help you advance your knowledge in management skills and techniques, organizational leadership, and strategic planning. With a bachelor’s degree in business, you will immediately be qualified for a variety of careers pertaining to business administration. Some professionals continue in their education and obtain a Master in Business Administration (MBA). This highly respected degree typically takes one to two years of additional coursework to obtain.

What does a Compliance Officer do?

For better or worse, we live in an age of litigation. There is very little that happens in the world today, that doesn’t fall under the regulatory control of some organization at some level. From the obvious, such as the highly regulated fields of banking and investments, to simple farming, there is a constant flow of ever changing rules and regulations that must be kept up with and adhered to. That is the realm of the compliance officer.

compliance officer

Basically a compliance officer keeps track of all the rules, regulations and contractual obligations that impact the business that they work for. Beyond that, compliance officers work closely with management teams, not only making sure that their organization doesn’t violate the rules, but that it is also taking advantage of any regulatory changes that might be a benefit.

A compliance officer will also assist in developing processes and procedures that will help protect the organization should issues arise. As an example, if a compliance officer worked for a construction company, part of their time would of course be spent in an advisory role, but they may also be called upon to do spot inspections of work sites as part of an internal audit team or develop checklists to be filled out by employees before beginning work. All designed to show that the company practices due diligence.

There is no one set path to becoming a compliance officer, as the requirements will vary very widely from one industry to another. The background required for working as a compliance officer for a bank would be greatly different than those needed by the compliance officer of a fertilizer company. However, it can be generally said that you will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or professional certification in a field closely related to the industry you are interested in working in.

That is to say if you want to work as a bank compliance officer you would need a degree in finance or accounting. If you are interested in working in construction you would need the applicable OHSA certifications.

With the steady growth of government involvement in business, compliance is a field that shows great growth potential and it is one of the more lucrative fields that can be entered without an advanced degree.