Where will your CPA Credential take you?

What do CPAs do?

Sometimes it seems simpler to answer the opposite question: “What don’t CPAs do?”

That’s because the roles and careers paths of CPAs have expanded so broadly that regardless of where you go in the world of business, you’re almost always sure to find a CPA. Our Career Tool shows you the diversity of industries in which you can work and real people that already work in those industries.

What makes CPAs so special?

CPAs are all accountants. And much more.
  • CPAs are licensed to practice according to state-specific requirements for education and experience and by passing the Uniform CPA Exam.
  • CPAs must adhere to high standards of continuing education, ethics, and professionalism to maintain licensure.
  • CPAs fill unique functions, for example, only a CPA can audit a company’s books or officially validate its financial information and reports.

Stringent CPA requirements. Higher professional standards. Greater responsibility. No wonder CPAs are always in demand and generally earn 10 percent more than non-credentialed accountants.

Enroll Now

Prepare to Pass


Value of CPA Infographic

Forensic Accounting

Fight Crime

Sleuthing out white-collar crime — like fraud, bribery, and money laundering—often requires the expert knowledge and organizational skills of a CPA. Demand for this emerging specialty has magnified with the recent and seemingly endless spate of corporate crimes and scandals. The work ranges from preventing, detecting, and investigating financial frauds such as embezzlement to securities fraud, tax evasion, and money-laundering schemes.

Jobs in Forensic Accounting

Help ensure that crime doesn’t pay--put your accounting and investigative skills to important use as a Forensic Accountant. These specialists help attorneys follow the money in litigation matters ranging from economic crimes to contract disputes, and then often help see the case through as an expert witness in court.

Like the sound of “Special Agent” in front of your name? Getting your foot in the door at the FBI isn’t easy, but accountants have a leg up. FBI Forensic Accountants work for the government on sophisticated investigations involving bank fraud, counterterrorism, foreign counterintelligence, and other matters of national interest and security.

Sectors

Corporations - Virtually every company of any size requires the talents and services that CPAs offer. In smaller companies, CPAs wear many hats, working across the full range of traditional accounting roles. In large, complex organizations, CPAs usually fill more specialized roles in discreet areas including, for example:

  • General accounting—gathering, analyzing, and reporting the company’s financial information
  • Tax planning—helping to control expenses and maximize investments using effective tax planning practices.
  • Internal audit—assessing the effectiveness of the corporation’s control structure, especially important in an era of heightened regulatory scrutiny
  • Information technology—integrating new software systems and bridging the gap between organizational goals and IT capabilities
  • Business development and acquisition—planning and budgeting for new initiatives as well as valuing assets and potential investments
  • Strategy—providing analytical and advisory expertise on corporate strategy and financial direction

Government - The possibilities for location, compensation, and career advancement are practically unlimited. CPAs in the private sector often discover incredibly exciting non-traditional career paths or applying their knowledge and expertise.

Big government often takes a bad rap. But big or small—federal, state, or local—government agencies have a critical and constant need for highly skilled CPAs. Government offers a diverse choice of career paths including all the traditional forms of accounting, audit, and assurance work. Government also has some specialized roles for CPAs to fill as well. Take auditing for example. In addition to financial auditing, governments often require performance audits to determine if taxpayer dollars are being spent properly, compliance audits to make sure government agencies are operating by the rules, and investigative audit to detect and prevent fraud.

Working for the government offers some important advantages that may not be immediately apparent, not the least of which is the opportunity to be of service to your community, state, or country. There’s also much to be said for the excellent compensation and benefits, job security, and career growth that government employment offers.

Consulting - Being a consultant requires decisiveness, the ability to work under pressure, and a high tolerance for challenge and change. As part of a multi-functional consulting team, CPAs often help determine the financial impact of a critical decision or strategic initiative, but they are expected to do much more than crunch the numbers. You’ll also need a broader understanding of business models, finance, strategy, and operations.

Everyone knows the names of the major global consulting firms—and they are always looking for new CPA talent at various levels of experience—but consulting firms come in all sizes, often specializing in specific industries or business disciplines. Working for a consulting firm is almost like earning an advanced business degree and could lead to more career opportunities in other sectors, including corporate, government, and non-profit.

International Accounting

See The World

Demand has gone global for CPAs who’ve mastered international trade regulations and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Such expertise and skills are essential to international business transactions, foreign trade agreements, and other global financial and economic issue. All the better if you’re fluent in more than one language or have a deep understanding of the laws, tax structures, and business practices of specific geographies.

Jobs in International Accounting

Love to travel? Interested in financial workings beyond your own borders? International Accounting Managers oversee financial operations for non-U.S. subsidiaries, working with international accounting contractors and personnel to coordinate financial forecasts, coordinate audits, and establish key performance indicators.

There are tax accountants. And then there are International Tax Accountants. Opportunities and travel abound for CPAs interested in preparing tax returns and U.S. Information Returns of Foreign Entities. The job demands a high-level of independent thinking as well as a comprehensive knowledge of international and federal tax regulations.

Sectors

Public Accounting - Public accounting firms come in all shapes and sizes—from single practitioners serving a local clientele to global firms employing thousands of professionals in far-flung offices around the world. Most public accounting firms offer their clients core capabilities such as accounting, audit, assurance, and tax services. Others have more specialized offerings like forensic or green accounting and, in larger firms, consulting services ranging from strategic, financial, and operations planning to risk management and IT. Some firms specialize in accounting for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and real estate to name just a few.

Public accounting firms come in all shapes and sizes—from single practitioners serving a local clientele to global firms employing thousands of professionals in far-flung offices around the world. Most public accounting firms offer their clients core capabilities such as accounting, audit, assurance, and tax services. Others have more specialized offerings like forensic or green accounting and, in larger firms, consulting services ranging from strategic, financial, and operations planning to risk management and IT. Some firms specialize in accounting for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and real estate to name just a few.

Corporations - Virtually every company of any size requires the talents and services that CPAs offer. In smaller companies, CPAs wear many hats, working across the full range of traditional accounting roles. In large, complex organizations, CPAs usually fill more specialized roles in discreet areas including, for example:

  • General accounting—gathering, analyzing, and reporting the company’s financial information
  • Tax planning—helping to control expenses and maximize investments using effective tax planning practices.
  • Internal audit—assessing the effectiveness of the corporation’s control structure, especially important in an era of heightened regulatory scrutiny
  • Information technology—integrating new software systems and bridging the gap between organizational goals and IT capabilities
  • Business development and acquisition—planning and budgeting for new initiatives as well as valuing assets and potential investments
  • Strategy—providing analytical and advisory expertise on corporate strategy and financial direction

Consulting - Being a consultant requires decisiveness, the ability to work under pressure, and a high tolerance for challenge and change. As part of a multi-functional consulting team, CPAs often help determine the financial impact of a critical decision or strategic initiative, but they are expected to do much more than crunch the numbers. You’ll also need a broader understanding of business models, finance, strategy, and operations.

Everyone knows the names of the major global consulting firms—and they are always looking for new CPA talent at various levels of experience—but consulting firms come in all sizes, often specializing in specific industries or business disciplines. Working for a consulting firm is almost like earning an advanced business degree and could lead to more career opportunities in other sectors, including corporate, government, and non-profit.

Environmental Accounting

Go Green

Environmental responsibility ranks as a top corporate priority these days with many companies seeking expert advice on how to be environmentally sustainable while staying profitable. As a specialist in environmental or green accounting, you can engage in projects as wide ranging as environmental compliance audits to managing and preventing environmental claims and disputes.

Jobs in Environmental Accounting

Passionate about both industry and the environment? There’s a career for that. Environmental Auditors are employed by a growing number of industries. They help ensure compliance with environmental laws through audits aimed at minimizing liability and identifying opportunities for more sustainable operating practices.

If you can see yourself in the dual role of green steward and regulation guru, a job as an Eco Consultant may be just your thing. Eco Consultants often specialize in environmental law, providing auditing services for other businesses or working internally for environmentally-focused companies.

Sectors

Corporations - Virtually every company of any size requires the talents and services that CPAs offer. In smaller companies, CPAs wear many hats, working across the full range of traditional accounting roles. In large, complex organizations, CPAs usually fill more specialized roles in discreet areas including, for example:

  • General accounting—gathering, analyzing, and reporting the company’s financial information
  • Tax planning—helping to control expenses and maximize investments using effective tax planning practices.
  • Internal audit—assessing the effectiveness of the corporation’s control structure, especially important in an era of heightened regulatory scrutiny
  • Information technology—integrating new software systems and bridging the gap between organizational goals and IT capabilities
  • Business development and acquisition—planning and budgeting for new initiatives as well as valuing assets and potential investments
  • Strategy—providing analytical and advisory expertise on corporate strategy and financial direction

Non-Profit - The possibilities for location, compensation, and career advancement are practically unlimited. CPAs in the private sector often discover incredibly exciting non-traditional career paths or applying their knowledge and expertise.

They may be called nonprofits, but that doesn’t mean these organizations don’t need the knowledge and expertise of a CPA to help achieve their vital community, social, and environmental goals. The accounting principles and tax codes for nonprofits are as stringent as for any profit-driven organization. If you lean toward a career with social impact or if you are passionate about a specific cause, the world of non-profit accounting may be for you.

Another point to consider: nonprofit doesn’t mean you’re doing charity work. Salaries and compensation packages for nonprofits are competitive, and the sector does offer personal rewards that are immeasurable on a financial scale. And don’t discount working as a volunteer for local club or charity that can’t afford a full-time CPA. Your services will be more valued than ever.

Consulting - Being a consultant requires decisiveness, the ability to work under pressure, and a high tolerance for challenge and change. As part of a multi-functional consulting team, CPAs often help determine the financial impact of a critical decision or strategic initiative, but they are expected to do much more than crunch the numbers. You’ll also need a broader understanding of business models, finance, strategy, and operations.

Everyone knows the names of the major global consulting firms—and they are always looking for new CPA talent at various levels of experience—but consulting firms come in all sizes, often specializing in specific industries or business disciplines. Working for a consulting firm is almost like earning an advanced business degree and could lead to more career opportunities in other sectors, including corporate, government, and non-profit.

Academics and Research

Wise Up

Teaching has always come with its own rewards. Now those rewards are becoming more tangible and plentiful as a huge number of accounting professors approach retirement age. Many universities are experiencing a shortage of professors to educate the future accountants. Demand for qualified teachers and professionals at all levels, especially those with real-world experience, is high. Top-tier business schools compete for research faculty members committed to thought leadership as well as teaching.

Jobs in Academics and Research Accounting

Ready to make your chosen career even more meaningful? Professors have the unique opportunity to share their knowledge with others on a daily basis while devoting much of their time to research. This is an excellent path for self-starters and those who are passionate about accounting.

If you simply relish the academic setting, consider a career as a Research Accounting and Compliance Specialist. Roles may include assisting with daily operations in a university’s research office, helping with grant and contract management, overseeing federal and administrative regulation compliance, and serving as liaison with university staff.

Sectors

Government - The possibilities for location, compensation, and career advancement are practically unlimited. CPAs in the private sector often discover incredibly exciting non-traditional career paths or applying their knowledge and expertise.

Big government often takes a bad rap. But big or small—federal, state, or local—government agencies have a critical and constant need for highly skilled CPAs. Government offers a diverse choice of career paths including all the traditional forms of accounting, audit, and assurance work. Government also has some specialized roles for CPAs to fill as well. Take auditing for example. In addition to financial auditing, governments often require performance audits to determine if taxpayer dollars are being spent properly, compliance audits to make sure government agencies are operating by the rules, and investigative audit to detect and prevent fraud.

Working for the government offers some important advantages that may not be immediately apparent, not the least of which is the opportunity to be of service to your community, state, or country. There’s also much to be said for the excellent compensation and benefits, job security, and career growth that government employment offers.

Teaching - Arguably, CPAs must meet the most stringent academic requirements of all the business professions. That means advanced education is a must. In recent years, the demand for qualified teaching CPAs at colleges and universities nationwide has increased significantly for a number of reasons, including an increase in enrollment in accounting programs; new accounting disciplines that require specialized expertise and coursework; and a large number of current accounting professors now nearing retirement age.

Academic accountants take any number of pathways to their careers. Many start out in active practice and move into academics later. A career in academic accounting can have many dimensions beyond the classroom, including research, consulting, and serving as an expert witness. Some professors even split their time between active practice and teaching responsibilities.

An academic appointment in most instances requires an advanced degree, usually a PhD. In 2008, The AICPA Foundation launched the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program aimed a reversing the shortage of PhD accounting faculty in US colleges and universities. The program, which has support from more than 70 accounting firms and most state CPA societies, provides four-year funding for 30 candidates each year to pursue doctoral degree in audit and tax. The AICPA website (www.aicpa.org) provides complete information.

Information Technology

Get Technical

If you have a knack for computers and a love of electronic gadgets, you can combine your CPA skills with your geek streak—designing, integrating, and implementing hardware and software systems for the financial and other industries. This is one area of specialization that crosses all industries and is sure to remain in high demand as technology continues to advance.

Jobs in Information Technology Accounting

Why not combine your love of all things coded and quantified into one very lucrative career? Certified Information Systems Auditors (CISAs) are wooed by organizations world-wide seeking expertise in IT governance, IS auditing, and protection of information assets.

Fluent in both finance and IT speak? A Software Revenue Manager serves the important role of liaison between finance and IT in an organization, designing financial reports and creating process improvements using system tools.

IT is more fraught with risk than many imagine. As an IT Auditor, you may be the only thing standing between your company and IT disaster as you deal with issues like security, governance, infrastructure and support, system development, and business processes.

Sectors

Public Accounting - Public accounting firms come in all shapes and sizes—from single practitioners serving a local clientele to global firms employing thousands of professionals in far-flung offices around the world. Most public accounting firms offer their clients core capabilities such as accounting, audit, assurance, and tax services. Others have more specialized offerings like forensic or green accounting and, in larger firms, consulting services ranging from strategic, financial, and operations planning to risk management and IT. Some firms specialize in accounting for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and real estate to name just a few.

Public accounting firms come in all shapes and sizes—from single practitioners serving a local clientele to global firms employing thousands of professionals in far-flung offices around the world. Most public accounting firms offer their clients core capabilities such as accounting, audit, assurance, and tax services. Others have more specialized offerings like forensic or green accounting and, in larger firms, consulting services ranging from strategic, financial, and operations planning to risk management and IT. Some firms specialize in accounting for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and real estate to name just a few.

Corporations - Virtually every company of any size requires the talents and services that CPAs offer. In smaller companies, CPAs wear many hats, working across the full range of traditional accounting roles. In large, complex organizations, CPAs usually fill more specialized roles in discreet areas including, for example:

  • General accounting—gathering, analyzing, and reporting the company’s financial information
  • Tax planning—helping to control expenses and maximize investments using effective tax planning practices.
  • Internal audit—assessing the effectiveness of the corporation’s control structure, especially important in an era of heightened regulatory scrutiny
  • Information technology—integrating new software systems and bridging the gap between organizational goals and IT capabilities
  • Business development and acquisition—planning and budgeting for new initiatives as well as valuing assets and potential investments
  • Strategy—providing analytical and advisory expertise on corporate strategy and financial direction

Government - The possibilities for location, compensation, and career advancement are practically unlimited. CPAs in the private sector often discover incredibly exciting non-traditional career paths or applying their knowledge and expertise.

Big government often takes a bad rap. But big or small—federal, state, or local—government agencies have a critical and constant need for highly skilled CPAs. Government offers a diverse choice of career paths including all the traditional forms of accounting, audit, and assurance work. Government also has some specialized roles for CPAs to fill as well. Take auditing for example. In addition to financial auditing, governments often require performance audits to determine if taxpayer dollars are being spent properly, compliance audits to make sure government agencies are operating by the rules, and investigative audit to detect and prevent fraud.

Working for the government offers some important advantages that may not be immediately apparent, not the least of which is the opportunity to be of service to your community, state, or country. There’s also much to be said for the excellent compensation and benefits, job security, and career growth that government employment offers.

Consulting - Being a consultant requires decisiveness, the ability to work under pressure, and a high tolerance for challenge and change. As part of a multi-functional consulting team, CPAs often help determine the financial impact of a critical decision or strategic initiative, but they are expected to do much more than crunch the numbers. You’ll also need a broader understanding of business models, finance, strategy, and operations.

Everyone knows the names of the major global consulting firms—and they are always looking for new CPA talent at various levels of experience—but consulting firms come in all sizes, often specializing in specific industries or business disciplines. Working for a consulting firm is almost like earning an advanced business degree and could lead to more career opportunities in other sectors, including corporate, government, and non-profit.

General Accounting

Do The Math

As essential as they are traditional, CPAs who provide general accounting services make up the largest segment of the profession. They’re an indispensible component of the engine that keeps a business moving forward. By recording the company’s financial transactions, preparing its financial statements, and taking responsibility for all the other accounting essentials, they create the information foundation for assessing performance, valuing stock, and making critical decisions across virtually every business discipline.

Jobs in General Accounting

As Accounting Managers and Controllers, CPAs are the gatekeepers for the financial integrity and financial accuracy of many organizations. They maintain an astute awareness of an organization’s cash position, vet and create forecasts, and keep abreast of controls and any borrowing from credit entities. The responsibility-averse need not apply.

Great benefits and competitive salaries are just two reasons to consider a career as a Staff Accountant. Duties run the gamut, including monthly close, bank reconciliations, financial statement preparations, invoice reviews, and account analysis. The more ambitious can set their future sights on senior staff accountant, manager, and even partner.

Sectors

Public Accounting - Public accounting firms come in all shapes and sizes—from single practitioners serving a local clientele to global firms employing thousands of professionals in far-flung offices around the world. Most public accounting firms offer their clients core capabilities such as accounting, audit, assurance, and tax services. Others have more specialized offerings like forensic or green accounting and, in larger firms, consulting services ranging from strategic, financial, and operations planning to risk management and IT. Some firms specialize in accounting for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and real estate to name just a few.

Public accounting firms come in all shapes and sizes—from single practitioners serving a local clientele to global firms employing thousands of professionals in far-flung offices around the world. Most public accounting firms offer their clients core capabilities such as accounting, audit, assurance, and tax services. Others have more specialized offerings like forensic or green accounting and, in larger firms, consulting services ranging from strategic, financial, and operations planning to risk management and IT. Some firms specialize in accounting for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and real estate to name just a few.

Corporations - Virtually every company of any size requires the talents and services that CPAs offer. In smaller companies, CPAs wear many hats, working across the full range of traditional accounting roles. In large, complex organizations, CPAs usually fill more specialized roles in discreet areas including, for example:

  • General accounting—gathering, analyzing, and reporting the company’s financial information
  • Tax planning—helping to control expenses and maximize investments using effective tax planning practices.
  • Internal audit—assessing the effectiveness of the corporation’s control structure, especially important in an era of heightened regulatory scrutiny
  • Information technology—integrating new software systems and bridging the gap between organizational goals and IT capabilities
  • Business development and acquisition—planning and budgeting for new initiatives as well as valuing assets and potential investments
  • Strategy—providing analytical and advisory expertise on corporate strategy and financial direction

Government - The possibilities for location, compensation, and career advancement are practically unlimited. CPAs in the private sector often discover incredibly exciting non-traditional career paths or applying their knowledge and expertise.

Big government often takes a bad rap. But big or small—federal, state, or local—government agencies have a critical and constant need for highly skilled CPAs. Government offers a diverse choice of career paths including all the traditional forms of accounting, audit, and assurance work. Government also has some specialized roles for CPAs to fill as well. Take auditing for example. In addition to financial auditing, governments often require performance audits to determine if taxpayer dollars are being spent properly, compliance audits to make sure government agencies are operating by the rules, and investigative audit to detect and prevent fraud.

Working for the government offers some important advantages that may not be immediately apparent, not the least of which is the opportunity to be of service to your community, state, or country. There’s also much to be said for the excellent compensation and benefits, job security, and career growth that government employment offers.

Non-Profit - The possibilities for location, compensation, and career advancement are practically unlimited. CPAs in the private sector often discover incredibly exciting non-traditional career paths or applying their knowledge and expertise.

They may be called nonprofits, but that doesn’t mean these organizations don’t need the knowledge and expertise of a CPA to help achieve their vital community, social, and environmental goals. The accounting principles and tax codes for nonprofits are as stringent as for any profit-driven organization. If you lean toward a career with social impact or if you are passionate about a specific cause, the world of non-profit accounting may be for you.

Another point to consider: nonprofit doesn’t mean you’re doing charity work. Salaries and compensation packages for nonprofits are competitive, and the sector does offer personal rewards that are immeasurable on a financial scale. And don’t discount working as a volunteer for local club or charity that can’t afford a full-time CPA. Your services will be more valued than ever.

Teaching - Arguably, CPAs must meet the most stringent academic requirements of all the business professions. That means advanced education is a must. In recent years, the demand for qualified teaching CPAs at colleges and universities nationwide has increased significantly for a number of reasons, including an increase in enrollment in accounting programs; new accounting disciplines that require specialized expertise and coursework; and a large number of current accounting professors now nearing retirement age.

Academic accountants take any number of pathways to their careers. Many start out in active practice and move into academics later. A career in academic accounting can have many dimensions beyond the classroom, including research, consulting, and serving as an expert witness. Some professors even split their time between active practice and teaching responsibilities.

An academic appointment in most instances requires an advanced degree, usually a PhD. In 2008, The AICPA Foundation launched the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program aimed a reversing the shortage of PhD accounting faculty in US colleges and universities. The program, which has support from more than 70 accounting firms and most state CPA societies, provides four-year funding for 30 candidates each year to pursue doctoral degree in audit and tax. The AICPA website (www.aicpa.org) provides complete information.

Consulting - Being a consultant requires decisiveness, the ability to work under pressure, and a high tolerance for challenge and change. As part of a multi-functional consulting team, CPAs often help determine the financial impact of a critical decision or strategic initiative, but they are expected to do much more than crunch the numbers. You’ll also need a broader understanding of business models, finance, strategy, and operations.

Everyone knows the names of the major global consulting firms—and they are always looking for new CPA talent at various levels of experience—but consulting firms come in all sizes, often specializing in specific industries or business disciplines. Working for a consulting firm is almost like earning an advanced business degree and could lead to more career opportunities in other sectors, including corporate, government, and non-profit.

Tax Accounting

Stay up to form

Individuals and corporations have always turned to CPAs for preparing tax returns. Globalization and economic and tax code complexity have all spurred an expansion in the number and range of tax services that CPAs provide and boosted demand for this core accounting function. Beyond the traditional functions, specialists in this area also advise on corporate decisions involving tax incentives and return on investments in assets and other capital allocations.

Jobs in Tax Accounting

Looking for your special accounting niche? Itching to crunch some corporate numbers? Sales Tax Specialists help organizations prepare city and state tax returns and exemption certificates, work with the tax department to ensure adherence to sales tax regulations and even aid decision making through ad hoc research of sales tax code.

Looking for a more global niche? International Tax Managers are experts at foreign tax law, understanding the implications, and knowing what it takes for compliance. They may also be tasked with analyzing the economics of business and operational proposals and developing more competitive pricing models.

Sectors

Public Accounting - Public accounting firms come in all shapes and sizes—from single practitioners serving a local clientele to global firms employing thousands of professionals in far-flung offices around the world. Most public accounting firms offer their clients core capabilities such as accounting, audit, assurance, and tax services. Others have more specialized offerings like forensic or green accounting and, in larger firms, consulting services ranging from strategic, financial, and operations planning to risk management and IT. Some firms specialize in accounting for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and real estate to name just a few.

Public accounting firms come in all shapes and sizes—from single practitioners serving a local clientele to global firms employing thousands of professionals in far-flung offices around the world. Most public accounting firms offer their clients core capabilities such as accounting, audit, assurance, and tax services. Others have more specialized offerings like forensic or green accounting and, in larger firms, consulting services ranging from strategic, financial, and operations planning to risk management and IT. Some firms specialize in accounting for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and real estate to name just a few.

Corporations - Virtually every company of any size requires the talents and services that CPAs offer. In smaller companies, CPAs wear many hats, working across the full range of traditional accounting roles. In large, complex organizations, CPAs usually fill more specialized roles in discreet areas including, for example:

  • General accounting—gathering, analyzing, and reporting the company’s financial information
  • Tax planning—helping to control expenses and maximize investments using effective tax planning practices.
  • Internal audit—assessing the effectiveness of the corporation’s control structure, especially important in an era of heightened regulatory scrutiny
  • Information technology—integrating new software systems and bridging the gap between organizational goals and IT capabilities
  • Business development and acquisition—planning and budgeting for new initiatives as well as valuing assets and potential investments
  • Strategy—providing analytical and advisory expertise on corporate strategy and financial direction

Non-Profit - The possibilities for location, compensation, and career advancement are practically unlimited. CPAs in the private sector often discover incredibly exciting non-traditional career paths or applying their knowledge and expertise.

They may be called nonprofits, but that doesn’t mean these organizations don’t need the knowledge and expertise of a CPA to help achieve their vital community, social, and environmental goals. The accounting principles and tax codes for nonprofits are as stringent as for any profit-driven organization. If you lean toward a career with social impact or if you are passionate about a specific cause, the world of non-profit accounting may be for you.

Another point to consider: nonprofit doesn’t mean you’re doing charity work. Salaries and compensation packages for nonprofits are competitive, and the sector does offer personal rewards that are immeasurable on a financial scale. And don’t discount working as a volunteer for local club or charity that can’t afford a full-time CPA. Your services will be more valued than ever.

Consulting - Being a consultant requires decisiveness, the ability to work under pressure, and a high tolerance for challenge and change. As part of a multi-functional consulting team, CPAs often help determine the financial impact of a critical decision or strategic initiative, but they are expected to do much more than crunch the numbers. You’ll also need a broader understanding of business models, finance, strategy, and operations.

Everyone knows the names of the major global consulting firms—and they are always looking for new CPA talent at various levels of experience—but consulting firms come in all sizes, often specializing in specific industries or business disciplines. Working for a consulting firm is almost like earning an advanced business degree and could lead to more career opportunities in other sectors, including corporate, government, and non-profit.

Audit and Assurance

Take A Closer Look

Auditors aren’t just inspectors. Internal auditors advise companies on improving systems and methods for improving risk management, control, and corporate governance. Independent auditors examine financial statements to make sure they accurately reflect the actual financial activities of the company. CPAs who provide assurance services work to help companies improve functions such as forecasting, risk assessments, performance measurement, systems reliability, and much more.

Jobs in Audit and Assurance Accounting

There must be a touch of superhero in every auditor. Auditing is an essential part of enforcing ethics and establishing trust in capital markets. Audit Associates and Audit Managers are passionate about this principle, and act as a liaison to partners and managers for all things related to accounting and auditing matters.

If you’re looking for more of an inside job, Internal Auditors are dedicated to assessing a company's self-managed controls. They can serve as full-time staff or private contractors working to improve processes, uncover fraud and provide periodic assessment reports to management and the board of directors.

Sectors

Public Accounting - Public accounting firms come in all shapes and sizes—from single practitioners serving a local clientele to global firms employing thousands of professionals in far-flung offices around the world. Most public accounting firms offer their clients core capabilities such as accounting, audit, assurance, and tax services. Others have more specialized offerings like forensic or green accounting and, in larger firms, consulting services ranging from strategic, financial, and operations planning to risk management and IT. Some firms specialize in accounting for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and real estate to name just a few.

Public accounting firms come in all shapes and sizes—from single practitioners serving a local clientele to global firms employing thousands of professionals in far-flung offices around the world. Most public accounting firms offer their clients core capabilities such as accounting, audit, assurance, and tax services. Others have more specialized offerings like forensic or green accounting and, in larger firms, consulting services ranging from strategic, financial, and operations planning to risk management and IT. Some firms specialize in accounting for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and real estate to name just a few.

Corporations - Virtually every company of any size requires the talents and services that CPAs offer. In smaller companies, CPAs wear many hats, working across the full range of traditional accounting roles. In large, complex organizations, CPAs usually fill more specialized roles in discreet areas including, for example:

  • General accounting—gathering, analyzing, and reporting the company’s financial information
  • Tax planning—helping to control expenses and maximize investments using effective tax planning practices.
  • Internal audit—assessing the effectiveness of the corporation’s control structure, especially important in an era of heightened regulatory scrutiny
  • Information technology—integrating new software systems and bridging the gap between organizational goals and IT capabilities
  • Business development and acquisition—planning and budgeting for new initiatives as well as valuing assets and potential investments
  • Strategy—providing analytical and advisory expertise on corporate strategy and financial direction

Non-Profit - The possibilities for location, compensation, and career advancement are practically unlimited. CPAs in the private sector often discover incredibly exciting non-traditional career paths or applying their knowledge and expertise.

They may be called nonprofits, but that doesn’t mean these organizations don’t need the knowledge and expertise of a CPA to help achieve their vital community, social, and environmental goals. The accounting principles and tax codes for nonprofits are as stringent as for any profit-driven organization. If you lean toward a career with social impact or if you are passionate about a specific cause, the world of non-profit accounting may be for you.

Another point to consider: nonprofit doesn’t mean you’re doing charity work. Salaries and compensation packages for nonprofits are competitive, and the sector does offer personal rewards that are immeasurable on a financial scale. And don’t discount working as a volunteer for local club or charity that can’t afford a full-time CPA. Your services will be more valued than ever.

Consulting - Being a consultant requires decisiveness, the ability to work under pressure, and a high tolerance for challenge and change. As part of a multi-functional consulting team, CPAs often help determine the financial impact of a critical decision or strategic initiative, but they are expected to do much more than crunch the numbers. You’ll also need a broader understanding of business models, finance, strategy, and operations.

Everyone knows the names of the major global consulting firms—and they are always looking for new CPA talent at various levels of experience—but consulting firms come in all sizes, often specializing in specific industries or business disciplines. Working for a consulting firm is almost like earning an advanced business degree and could lead to more career opportunities in other sectors, including corporate, government, and non-profit.

Financial Analysis and Planning

Analyze This

In many companies, CPAs play the pivotal role of financial analyst for strategic planning and decision making. Their expertise in evaluating complex business data, identifying trends, valuing transactions, and assessing opportunities often means they are working closely with the highest levels of executive management. Financial analysis and planning capabilities are also highly sought by consulting and financial services firms serving a wide variety of companies.

Jobs in Financial Analysis and Planning Accounting

If you have a scholarly bend and a love for research, Financial Analyst may be your calling. Analysts monitor documents, compile data, and analyze information with the goal of identifying trends and reconciling and forecasting internal business accounts. Powers of persuasion are also needed for escalating findings to management.

Sectors

Public Accounting - Public accounting firms come in all shapes and sizes—from single practitioners serving a local clientele to global firms employing thousands of professionals in far-flung offices around the world. Most public accounting firms offer their clients core capabilities such as accounting, audit, assurance, and tax services. Others have more specialized offerings like forensic or green accounting and, in larger firms, consulting services ranging from strategic, financial, and operations planning to risk management and IT. Some firms specialize in accounting for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and real estate to name just a few.

Public accounting firms come in all shapes and sizes—from single practitioners serving a local clientele to global firms employing thousands of professionals in far-flung offices around the world. Most public accounting firms offer their clients core capabilities such as accounting, audit, assurance, and tax services. Others have more specialized offerings like forensic or green accounting and, in larger firms, consulting services ranging from strategic, financial, and operations planning to risk management and IT. Some firms specialize in accounting for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and real estate to name just a few.

Corporations - Virtually every company of any size requires the talents and services that CPAs offer. In smaller companies, CPAs wear many hats, working across the full range of traditional accounting roles. In large, complex organizations, CPAs usually fill more specialized roles in discreet areas including, for example:

  • General accounting—gathering, analyzing, and reporting the company’s financial information
  • Tax planning—helping to control expenses and maximize investments using effective tax planning practices.
  • Internal audit—assessing the effectiveness of the corporation’s control structure, especially important in an era of heightened regulatory scrutiny
  • Information technology—integrating new software systems and bridging the gap between organizational goals and IT capabilities
  • Business development and acquisition—planning and budgeting for new initiatives as well as valuing assets and potential investments
  • Strategy—providing analytical and advisory expertise on corporate strategy and financial direction

Non-Profit - The possibilities for location, compensation, and career advancement are practically unlimited. CPAs in the private sector often discover incredibly exciting non-traditional career paths or applying their knowledge and expertise.

They may be called nonprofits, but that doesn’t mean these organizations don’t need the knowledge and expertise of a CPA to help achieve their vital community, social, and environmental goals. The accounting principles and tax codes for nonprofits are as stringent as for any profit-driven organization. If you lean toward a career with social impact or if you are passionate about a specific cause, the world of non-profit accounting may be for you.

Another point to consider: nonprofit doesn’t mean you’re doing charity work. Salaries and compensation packages for nonprofits are competitive, and the sector does offer personal rewards that are immeasurable on a financial scale. And don’t discount working as a volunteer for local club or charity that can’t afford a full-time CPA. Your services will be more valued than ever.

Consulting - Being a consultant requires decisiveness, the ability to work under pressure, and a high tolerance for challenge and change. As part of a multi-functional consulting team, CPAs often help determine the financial impact of a critical decision or strategic initiative, but they are expected to do much more than crunch the numbers. You’ll also need a broader understanding of business models, finance, strategy, and operations.

Everyone knows the names of the major global consulting firms—and they are always looking for new CPA talent at various levels of experience—but consulting firms come in all sizes, often specializing in specific industries or business disciplines. Working for a consulting firm is almost like earning an advanced business degree and could lead to more career opportunities in other sectors, including corporate, government, and non-profit.