Accounting is closely related to finance and there is significant overlap in skillsets. Strong technical knowledge is required around financial statements and how different line items interact with each other, as well as financial ratios and key financial metrics. In addition, thorough knowledge of accounting rules, frameworks, and internal controls are essential to excelling in the field of accounting.
Careers in accounting can be very diverse. These careers include: Auditing, management accounting, public accounting, information and technology (IT) accounting, senior financial analysts, forensic accounting, controller, and CFO.
Accounting is also often considered a strong foundational skillset that can be a launchpad into other sectors of finance. For example, it is common for professionals in the accounting sector to move into investment banking and corporate finance roles.
Financial modeling knowledge is particularly useful for senior financial analysts who help businesses make investment decisions. It is critical to have the ability and expertise to gather financial data, build financial models, communicate with investors and management, maintain spreadsheets, construct investment theses, and develop forecasts.
Financial statement and technical knowledge is also critical for managerial accounting, controller, and CFO roles. In these roles, it is necessary to have a close pulse on the financial health of a business and to be familiar with business strategies, revenue growth initiatives, financial risks and opportunities, and risk management. In many senses, these are cross-functional roles that interface with many other groups in the business in order to optimize value creation and decision making.
Generally speaking, a CPA or CA is required to progress into mid-level or senior roles in accounting. These accounting designations give you a comprehensive overview of accounting rules and regulations as well as the financial expertise to succeed and progress in the accounting and financial world.
As an accountant, you will be building the financial data that will drive critical internal and external decisions for management, investors, lenders, regulators, employees, and other key stakeholders. Professionals with strong financial technical knowledge and modeling skills can use their skillset to land leadership roles in either accounting or finance.