Are you an accountant who’s contemplating alternate careers? Many mid-career accountants within the industry choose to switch to a more meaningful career. Because they have accumulated valuable skills and technical knowledge, a career change for accountants is more feasible than you may realize.
Switching careers can be the best move to improve your career satisfaction and annual income. However, you might have a hard time figuring out how to switch to an entirely different field and leave your comfort zone. This is a guide to help you make a good career switch that will put you on a path to success, making you confident that it’s not too late to change careers!
Career Change for Accountants: Overview
To move to a different career, you must introspectively examine your reasons and motivations behind the switch. Let these reasons guide you towards a new career choice. If you are seeking a more fulfilling career, weigh your options to find a career that inspires you and ignites your passion for the job.
To make a successful career switch, self-assess and make an inventory of your skills. If you don’t have the qualifications to land your new job position, work on acquiring new credentials. There is a wide range of jobs that you can do with an accounting degree. A strong foundation in accounting and public accounting experience will boost your portfolio and aid your job search.
What Can You Do with a Degree in Accounting Besides Being an Accountant?
A degree in accounting equips you with the financial knowledge and technical skills needed to land successful careers in business and finance. With more than ten years of experience, you can land roles like financial consultant, financial executive, project manager, or senior corporate banker. You can pursue an advanced degree or certifications to gain more credentials.
Common Second Careers for Accountants
There are multiple opportunities for accountants to find a second career. Common second careers for accountants include tax examiner, financial advisor, credit analyst, accounting professor, financial manager, and forensic accountant.
The Best Alternative Careers for Accountants in 2022
Are you an accountant overwhelmed during the tax season, and considering a change of career to suit your career goals and passions? With formal knowledge and some on-the-job training, you can pursue the following career choices.
High-Paying Jobs for Former Accountants
|Transferable Accountant Skills
|Financial reporting, project management, and problem-solving.
|Problem-solving, attention to detail, and mathematical proficiency.
|Personal Financial Advisor
|Problem-solving, interpersonal skills, and client relationship skills.
|Analytical skills, technology skills, and attention to detail.
|Attention to detail, data analytics, and technical skills.
|Budgeting, analytical thinking, and technical skills.
|Leadership skills, business acumen, and relationship management skills.
|Analytical skills, critical thinking, and mathematical skills.
|Quantitative analysis, computer skills, and critical thinking.
|Time management, integrity, and organizational skills.
Financial managers work with financial executives and senior management to plan long-term financial goals and make financial forecasts. They are responsible for developing strategies, interpreting financial reports, and undertaking direct financial activities. They perform financial analysis to provide advisory services to achieve an organization’s financial goals.
Tax managers help clients manage their taxation, including filing tax documents and reporting. They are good researchers and have detailed knowledge of tax compliance. Tax managers are responsible for the tax strategy within organizations and keep a close eye on all tax-related matters and financial auditing.
Personal Financial Advisor
Personal financial advisors use their knowledge and skills to make personalized financial plans for their clients. They work closely with their clients and must develop good interpersonal communication skills. In addition to financial know-how, you must also have good analytical skills to become a financial advisor.
Financial analysts analyze financial data and documents to help business organizations and clients make better choices in financial investments and stocks. They gather, study, analyze, and prepare reports to discuss trends, budgets, and forecasts. If you have a strong understanding of insurance, accounting, and finance from your current role, consider this career change.
Financial examiners are adept at examining the financial transactions and documents of companies for compliance with relevant laws. They investigate, monitor, and report on the condition and performance of the firm by reviewing the company’s accounts, meetings, and processes. You can get a professional certification to set yourself apart from other candidates for this role.
Budget analysts work with senior management, project managers, and finance managers to develop financial plans and budgeting for an organization. They play a critical role in the budgeting of a business and monitor the budget development process.
Accounting project managers overlook the accounting and financial aspects of all projects in an organization. They also consider the laws and policies of finance for these projects. Project managers are knowledgeable about accounting software, scheduling, and budgeting, and they work closely with the finance teams.
Credit analysts analyze loan applications and recommend whether applicants should be granted loans. They work with financial documents to collect data for analysis and make interpretations. They might receive additional training on the job, specific to the company they are working in.
Forensic accountants examine financial documents, budgets, account histories, and financial reports in public and private companies. They gather and share financial information to give evidence of fraudulent activities, testify in court, and assist police in the fight against financial crimes. They have knowledge in accounting principles, auditing, and financial analysis.
Private bankers respond to the financial and accounting needs of their own clientele and provide financial services. They manage the financial transactions and accounts of their clients. Private bankers have an accounting background and work full-time.
How to Make a Career Change from Accounting
Switching careers partway through your professional life can be stressful and confusing. Whichever field you are moving into from accountancy, you can follow the step-by-step guide below to find your way through a successful career change.
1. Assess your current position
Before you make a decision or plan, you must first assess your current role. You want to be sure that you need a career change and not just a different employer. If you are less motivated at work and find that your accounting role is not serving your long-term professional goals, it is time to change careers.
2. Take stock of your skills
Make an assessment of your skills to know where you are standing. It can be frustrating to start all over, so you want to know your strengths and take advantage of acquired skills before you develop new ones. Make an impressive portfolio of skills to let employers know you are financially savvy.
3. Gain skills, certifications, and licenses
Consider the education requirements of the career you are switching to. You can get an Associate Degree in Financial Analysis to become an entry-level analyst, or a Master’s Degree in Accounting to apply for a managerial role. You want to gain the top skills within an industry to be distinguished from candidates with more relevant experience.
4. Do Research
It is a good idea to do extensive research before transitioning out of a career. Take your time to learn about your own skillset and look into the job market conditions. Know if advanced education is required in addition to a background in accounting. There is a lot of information available online. Communicate with contacts that are in the field you want to switch to.
5. Consult a Career Coach
To switch careers in the right way, you can utilize the services of a career coach. Career coaches help you to discover your goals and pursue jobs that motivate you. They guide you to identify current skills, know which new skills to learn, and adapt to a new career successfully. With a career coach, you might do assessments, planning, and goal-setting exercises.
6. Jumpstart Your Career
Apply to entry-level positions or jobs with matching skills. You can also look for different roles in certified public accountancy (CPA) firms during your job search. Your career change may take time and considerable effort, but it’s worth it to feel job satisfaction.
Is It Time to Make an Accountant Career Change?
It is time for you to make a career change from being an accountant if the role no longer excites you. Accountants gain transferable skills that they can use in a wide array of finance roles. It might be a nerve-wracking experience, but it’ll be worth it when you’re happily in a new career in business, finance, IT, or education.
Accounting Career Change FAQ
Yes, a career in accounting is sometimes stressful. Accountants have a full-time job engrossed in financial documents and numbers which requires persistent attention to detail. Most accountants find the closing periods to be stressful.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Yes, accounting is worth it in 2022, thanks to a steadily growing job outlook. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for accountants is projected to grow by 7% in the coming decade, with 1,488,200 job openings for accountants by 2030. There are many job opportunities for accounting professionals in tax management, credit management services, and consulting services.
If you are a licensed certified public accountant (CPA), your expertise is credible and recognized by the government. CPAs must pass an examination and have in-demand accounting skills. All accountants are not CPAs, but all CPAs do accounting.
Career changers must do extensive research, assess their strengths and skills, and follow their passion to find a satisfying career choice. To switch to a new career at age 30, you might have to acquire new skills and experience.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.