Career

Jobs for accountants who don’t want to be accountants

6 min read
Jobs for accountants who don't want to be accountants

You’ve put in at least four years of hard work, dedication, and resources into becoming an accountant. But if you’re living the life and it’s not what you imagined, you may question your investment. Now that you're looking for jobs for accountants who don't want to be accountants, you likely feel frustrated and at a crossroads. 

Don’t worry! You’re not alone—and you haven’t wasted anything. 

There are many alternative careers for accountants. You've built a skillset that is indispensable across industries and occupations and can be applied in creative ways outside the traditional role of accountant. 

Discover the top jobs for accountants who don’t want to be accountants and start your journey towards career satisfaction. 

Skillsets supporting alternative careers for accountants 

As an accountant, you’ve gained a particular set of skills, including:

Organizational skillsAbility to prepare financial statements
Time managementData analysis
Critical thinkingProblem solving skills
Communication skillsAttention to detail
Excel skillsCustomer service and people skills
Math skillsPayroll management
Business management knowledgeEthics and integrity

These skills are versatile and, while vital for accounting jobs, can also be applied to other areas. 

For example, your math, communication, ethics, and critical thinking skills are all top-value abilities for a career as a math or accounting professor. Likewise, business knowledge, Excel prowess, and customer service are three of the most important skills needed to work in sales management.

7 jobs for accountants who don’t want to be accountants 

 

  1. Non-profit accountant 

We know this is accounting, and you're looking for jobs for accountants who don't want to be accountants, but it's quite a bit different than working for a for-profit organization. If you’re passionate about a certain topic or particular cause, honing your skills to make a difference in that area may breathe life back into your work. All organizations can deeply benefit from better financial management—especially in the non-profit sector, where dollars are made to stretch farther in hopes of making a bigger impact. Benefit from the fulfillment of seeing your work in action and enjoy a professional environment that’s far from the corporate world. 

  • Average annual salary: $65, 8121 

 

  1. Financial or business writer 

Perhaps you enjoy preparing written reports or excelled on the CPA Exams’ TBS questions that required freeform writing. If you’re a wordsmith at heart who happens to have an affair with numbers, you could explore a career as a writer—technical or creative—in financial, business, or accounting content creation. Subject matter experts are incredibly valuable to these positions and provide insights that help spread knowledge and advance the industry. 

  • Average annual salary: $72, 6702 

 

  1. Entrepreneur 

If you’ve dreamed of being your own boss, now’s your chance. As an accountant, you’ve already gained business skills and likely even specific industry knowledge. You could start your own accounting firm, work as a contractor or consultant, or even venture into owning a business in a different industry. Your organizational, financial reporting, budget management, communication, problem solving, and people skills will be indispensable on your journey in entrepreneurship. 

  • Average annual salary: Up to $150,000, but can be more (Varies greatly by business and success!)3 

 

  1. Corporate banker

Your knowledge around financial reports and customer service skills can be applied to a very successful career in corporate banking. Perhaps you’re not ready to completely leave the financial world, but you’re looking for a shift that helps you interact more with people, travel more for your job, and handle big-picture strategy to solve problems and help fund business ventures. If this sounds exciting, corporate banking may be the path for you. 

  • Average annual salary: $80,2704 

 

  1. FBI Agent 

We know this is a surprising entry to the list of jobs for accountants who don't want to be accountants. While you may not see yourself leaping out of cars or tumbling over rooftops, agents in auditing and financial investigation are extremely valuable to the FBI. Especially in our modern age, digging through financial reports to follow complex money trails is vital to solving crimes including money laundering, fraud, and even finding motive for other crimes. If you’re looking for a high-intrigue, high-stakes job, consider honing your skills in auditing, fraud investigation, and forensic accounting for the FBI. 

  • Average annual salary: $85,1775 

 

  1. Financial advisor 

Everyone works hard to earn their money; not everyone knows how to optimize their savings and spendings. A financial advisor could work in any industry, or as a private consultant with his/her own practice, helping corporations, individuals, governments, etc. to make the most of their hard-earned capital. Accountants already know how to crunch the numbers and create financial reports that draw together the data needed for financial advisory. You could further hone your forecasting, budgeting, investment, and financial management skills to advance a career as a financial advisor. 

  • Average annual salary: $102,1346 

 

  1. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) 

If you love managing teams, making decisions, and guiding the big-picture strategy of financial management, you could aim to become Chief Financial Officer of an organization. Accountants have all the basics to work their way into a CFO position, but need to gain real industry experience, hone their leadership skills, and be strong problem-solvers and decision-makers. While you’ll likely get away from typical accounting duties as CFO, you’ll have to put in the time now to work your way up to this position, as you need very advanced technical, strategic, and risk management skillsets. 

  • Average annual salary: $441,1057 

 

CPE to advance alternative careers for accountants 

Once you’ve figured out where your interests and passions lie, you can start refining your skills to help lead you there. 

You can use your CPE requirements as a chance to build the skillsets needed for your dream (non)accounting job. For example, if you’re ready to start an entrepreneurial adventure, take CPE courses in business management. Or, if you would enjoy working as a financial advisor, you could prepare with an advanced Excel and Data Analytics Certificate

Becker makes it easy, with our CPE catalog that lets you filter by field of study to browse areas of interest. Start exploring to rejuvenate your excitement around what you’ve learned, how you can contribute, and where you’re going in the future. 

Get a free CPE course today

If you'd like to explore how CPE courses can build your skills in other areas and how Becker can support your goals, get a free CPE course today to get started. We offer a variety of options from using AI ethically to creating a better work-life balance! 

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