When people think about accountants, it's not seen as the most glamorous of professions. It's fair to say that it suits a certain kind of person who has a knack for figures and working through a numbers problem. However, not every accounting job is the same. There are specializations and interesting aspects to an accounting role which go unnoticed by people in other professionals.
Let's consider three roles that might be of interest to you.
1. Financial Investigation and Forensic Accounting
A forensic accountant looks at the books to see if there have been any financial improprieties. They work as investigators and when informed of possible problems hiding inside the company's books, they must go in, delve into the financial accounts and figure out if there's trouble in paradise or not. For people who both enjoy working with numbers and love a mystery, it's an interesting accounting job to do compared to other types.The average pay for this job is $55,000 with those at the top of their field earning almost $90,000 per year.
2. Project Accountants
The project accountant works on specific ventures that staff are putting together. They're not usually producing the accounts for the whole company, but instead they're helping to complete a financial picture about the plan for a new product or division, or how it's progressing up until now. For example, their financial statements may clarify how a new book launch is doing vs. the initial projection.
Every project is different, so it makes the challenge to complete an accurate project financial picture more challenging. This alone keeps the job more interesting than producing the same accounts for the company every year where very little fundamentally changes year to year.
3. Financial Advisers
A qualified accountant can also be a financial advisor. Their knowledge of accounting, financial planning and investments is combined together in a potent combination. When investing in individual business ventures, the accounting knowledge comes in handy to verify that the books look fine before putting capital in. Other times, having a good financial grasp of business fundamentals makes each potential investment easier to understand. Usually, this is because the accountant has dealt with that type of firm many times before and understands the quirks of that industry well.
When you need some background knowledge in accounting before branching out into a specialty, you might consider the Online Accounting Master's degree at Maryville University which provides a solid grounding in the basics before covering the more sophisticated aspects of accounting. The Masters of Accounting courses are studied completely online without the need to attend a college campus on a weekly basis which makes it very convenient for people who already have a full-time job.
As you can tell, there isn't just one type of accountant. Just like with other professions such as medicine, there are specialists that are experts in one particular aspect of the profession rather than being generalists.