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Accounting, Business, By Profession, Management, UNISA Online Short Courses

The Changing Role Of Accountants And Why An Accounting Degree Is Worthwhile

The accounting profession has a wide range of opportunities and UNISA covers all aspects of the financial sector. The College of Economic Management and Sciences has a good range of short learning programs that are covered here. Below is an overview of the ever changing sector of accounting and what can be achieved and the various roles you can obtain as an accountant.

The view of accountants as money spinning, drab suited, and basement bound boffins is no longer valid in today’s business world. Accountants are integral to all manner of institutions and bodies such as colossal FTSE 100 corporations, national and regional governmental bodies the world over and small local companies. The role of an accountant has evolved due to innovations in terms of the technological tools used to manage, allocate and budget financial resources. Given the vast amounts of capital thrown about the stock exchange and through worldwide sales, accountants are a valuable resource to any business wishing to stay on top of its finances. As globalization cements itself as the main feature of the world economy, the tasks expected of a certified accountant are increasingly complex and demanding. As a consequence, employers are no longer simply searching for candidates with above average skills in math and numeracy, but for individuals with strong adaptive and communicative skills.

As a degree choice, accounting opens many doors especially if obtained at a top ranking university. There is a growing trend whereby companies are head hunting accounting students before they even graduate; those targeted often have varied experience through internships and placements as well as a predicted first class degree. Below is a list of potential career paths for a budding accountant:

Traditional Roles:

• Accountants; day to day monitoring of financial activity for a given company.
• Consultancies; this is a freelance career path whereby one provides guidance to variety of clients on their financial affairs (technical solutions and profit-driven advice).
• Treasury Positions; these can range from governmental level jobs assisting with the financial burden of yearly budgets, taxes, investment and so on, to monetary officer positions at small institutions such as museums, schools, and non-profit organizations.

Alternative Paths;

• Top-level financial officers and executives; depending on your experience, outlook and skills, you may be suited for a top of the pyramid role in a multinational cooperation or medium sized business.
• Managerial Positions; these range from financial director to company CEO in some cases, though such a position requires a certain amount of time devoted to a specific company, a proven track record and ambition.
Regardless of what path you choose to embark upon, employers are seeking pro-active candidates with a knack for problem resolution and an out of the ordinary ability to analyze financial indicators and judge political factors to maximize investment opportunities.


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