Accounting career paths

Written by virginia vickery
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Accounting career paths
(Photo by Darren Shaw)

A career in accounting can be very lucrative. While some people may consider accounting boring, nothing can be further from the truth. There are many different accounting career paths that can be taken. Yes, some of them overlap, but each has its own speciality and focus.

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A book-keeper is considered to be an entry level position in the accounting field. Book-keepers keep track of and record invoices, payments and other revenue coming in and out of the company.

General Accountant

A general accountant is similar to a book-keeper. They generally make accruals and adjustments in the accounting records. Accountants in larger companies usually specialise in a certain department like payroll.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

A CPA is licensed by the state to audit financial information for public companies for accuracy. CPAs can also work for themselves completing taxes or accounting for individuals.


A controller is a figure in charge of an accounting department. Controllers typically work in public or private companies and are in charge of cash flow for the company. This is a position that an accountant has to work towards through experience.

Forensic Accountant

Forensic Accountants work with law enforcement officials to investigate financial crimes such as embezzling, money laundering and contract disputes. Some knowledge of law is required in addition to accounting knowledge for this accounting career path.

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