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Contact Us : 800.874.5346        International: +1 352.375.0772

7 Non-Traditional Accounting Career Paths

7 Non-traditional Accounting Career Paths

When you think of an accountant, what comes to mind? Most people probably imagine someone who works in a corporate setting, crunching numbers and preparing financial statements. However, there are many different paths an accountant can take.

In fact, getting certified in accounting can open up several surprising career opportunities. We’ll explore some of the non-traditional accounting career paths below.

Choosing your certification

There are several different types of accounting certifications, each with its own distinct benefits. Three of the most popular certifications are the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).

The CPA is the most well-known type of certification, and it’s also the most versatile. CPAs can work in any industry and in any type of organization. Whether you want to work for a small business or a large corporation, being a CPA will give you the opportunity to do so.

If you’re interested in working in management, then the CMA is a global certification that may be a good option for you. CMAs often work as financial analysts or controllers. They’re responsible for providing support to managers and helping them make informed decisions about the use of resources.

If you’re interested in auditing, consider the CIA certification. Certified Internal Auditors can practice globally and are responsible for ensuring that an organization’s financial statements are accurate and organized. They also assess risks and make recommendations for how to mitigate those risks.

No matter which certification you choose, Gleim has you covered. We offer comprehensive study materials and practice exams to help you prepare for your chosen exam.

Unique accounting careers

Once you’ve obtained your accounting certification, you can take many different career paths. Here are seven unique career options available to accountants:

1. Forensic accountant

A forensic accountant is almost like a specialized detective. They’re responsible for investigating financial crimes and often work with law enforcement to uncover cases of fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering. In this job, being an analytical thinker is nearly as important as being a good accountant, as some businesses might attempt to hide their financial misdeeds.

2. Academic accountant

If you’re interested in teaching and research, then becoming an academic accountant might be the right career path for you. Academic accountants typically work at colleges and universities, where they teach accounting courses and conduct research on various aspects of the field. You can immerse yourself in a world of research. An advanced degree is always useful in academia, but it’s not necessary to begin teaching, even at the post-secondary level.

3. Environmental accountant

A love of sustainability and a desire to help businesses become more environmentally friendly will be useful if you’re an environmental accountant. Environmental accountants work with businesses to help them measure and reduce their carbon footprints. They also advise businesses on how to invest in renewable energy and other sustainable initiatives.

4. Financial planner

A financial planner helps individuals and families manage their finances and save for their future. Financial planners typically work with clients to develop long-term financial plans. This can include everything from saving for retirement to paying for college tuition. You might enjoy this position if you’re good with numbers and enjoy helping people reach their financial goals.

5. Business analyst

A business analyst is responsible for analyzing an organization’s financial data and making recommendations for how the business can improve its operations. Business analysts often work in consulting, where they provide advice to clients on a variety of topics.

6. Healthcare finance

You don’t need to be a caregiver to have a fulfilling career in healthcare. Healthcare finance professionals are responsible for managing the finances of healthcare organizations like hospitals and clinics. Their work can include everything from developing budgets to negotiating contracts with insurance companies.

7. C-Suite Executive

If you want to be at the top of the corporate ladder, then becoming a C-Suite executive is a great option. C-Suite executives are the highest-ranking officers in a company. They’re responsible for making strategic decisions and overseeing the operations of an organization. This is the perfect career path for accountants who have a strong head for business and an effective communication style.

Preparing for a New Career

Before you can follow one of the non-traditional accounting career paths listed above, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate certification. Gleim can help you prepare for your chosen exam with our extensive preparation materials. We offer everything from study guides to practice exams and video lessons to help you succeed.

Here are a few steps you can take to get ready for your new career:

  • Step One: Determine which accounting certification is right for you.
  • Step Two: Study for the exam using Gleim's proven review system.
  • Step Three: Take and pass the exam.
  • Step Four: Narrow down a career path and search for positions.
  • Step Five: Start your new career!

Don’t let the traditional accounting path hold you back from pursuing your dream career. Get started today and take your career to new heights. With Gleim, you’ll be ready to tackle whatever goal you choose. Learn more.