Accounting is a smart career path to take. It tends to bring on a low level of stress and a high level of compensation. If you study accounting in college, you are likely to find a career in accounting fairly quickly, compared to other industries which have much slower career placement. In fact, you can enter the field of accounting with education at every degree level. Being an accountant means working as the financial backbone of a business. Accountants help people identify goals, plan how they’ll achieve them and then take the necessary steps. Anyone who has a knack for working with money should think about a career in accounting.


While there are some general rules of thumb about what accountants do, there are a few different career paths people can take within accounting. Most accountants work in offices, but some work from home. Depending on the type of business their client or clients are involved in, accounts can specialize in particular disciplines within the field. A few common specialization are risk management and assurance services. Below are the four main types of accountants:


1 ) Public Accountant

A public accountant’s clientele will typically include corporations, individuals and governments. Public accountants fulfill a broad range of duties in the areas of accounting, auditing, consulting and taxes. In order to be a public accountant, you will need a bachelor’s degree.


2) Management Accountant

A management accountant can also be known as a cost, managerial, corporate or private accountant. These accountants record and analyze the financial information of their client. They then provide this information and their analysis of it to managers for internal use. Management accountants do not provide the information to the public. In order to be a management accountant, you will need a bachelor’s degree and a CPA, which is the certification that most employers request.


3) Government Accountant

A government accountant works with government agencies, maintaining and examining their records. As a government accountant, you would also be responsible for auditing private businesses and individuals whose activities may lead to government regulations or taxations. To become a government accountant, you only need a bachelor’s degree.


4) Internal Auditor

An internal auditor checks for risk management of the funds of a business or organization. The internal auditor will then find ways to improve the process. This involves finding and eliminating fraud and waste. To be an internal auditor, you need a bachelor’s degree and a CPA.


You’ll notice that some of these positions need a CPA. Because of how common it is to see “CPA” listed as a requirement for a top accounting job, a large number of accountants get licensed in order to increase their job prospects. If you want to become certified, you will need to go to your state’s board of accountancy to take a national exam and learn your state’s requirements. Make sure you know the requirements for the state in which you intend to work or study. CPAs are required in order for you to take continuing education to maintain your license in almost every state.


One uniquely great thing about accounting is that there is some degree of crossover potential between the four main types of accountants. Throughout your career as an accountant, you can transition from one type to another.


Accounting is a beneficial job with high pay, low stress and a lot of opportunities. If you’re thinking of being an accountant but don’t how exactly which path to take, hopefully this overview of the types of accountants has given you a clearer picture of the next steps in your career.