How Do I Get Out of an Accounting Career?

March 14, 2023
Posted in Questions
March 14, 2023 Terkel

How Do I Get Out of an Accounting Career?

From financial controller to financial analyst, here are seven answers to the question, “What are good ideas for changing careers from being an accountant?”

  • Look For HR Roles
  • Become a Business Analyst
  • Consider Being a Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Try Financial Journalism
  • Think About Financial Technical Writing
  • Be a Financial Analyst
  • Transition to Data Analytics

Look For HR Roles

Accountants possess a solid group of transferable skills—project management, financial, analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills—that are a great fit for human resource specialist roles, where they could deal with payroll and benefits management, recruitment, or human resource planning.

The HR industry can provide accountants with a wide variety of career paths and areas of action and excellent job opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of human resource specialist jobs will grow at a higher percentage than the average for other careers, making HR an excellent field that accountants might want to look into.

Andrei KurtuyAndrei Kurtuy
Co-Founder and CCO, Novoresume

Become a Business Analyst

A good career change idea for an accountant is to become a business analyst. As a business analyst, you’ll use your skills in data analysis and financial management to help companies identify inefficiencies, recommend process improvements, and make strategic decisions. This role typically requires a strong analytical mindset, an understanding of business operations, and the ability to communicate insights and recommendations effectively.

With your background in accounting, you likely already have some skills needed to excel as a business analyst, such as financial analysis, budgeting, and process improvement. You may also want to consider pursuing additional training or business analysis certifications to help you transition into this new role. You need to understand that the key is to find a career path that aligns with your interests and strengths and to learn and adapt as you take on new challenges.

Will GillWill Gill
Event Entertainer, DJ Will Gill

Consider Being a Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

You may have pondered what other positions your accounting degree would be useful for. There are countless employment opportunities for accountants, and many of them don’t call for more education. Changing careers to become a Chief Financial Officer is a wise move for an accountant. You are to direct all the business’s financial operations as a Chief Financial Officer.

To inform the board, shareholders, and other corporate officers, you must also prepare financial reports. By examining the history and considering the future economic climate, project how the business can grow.

Examine the financial transactions of the organization and think about tax preparation. You’ll need substantial business expertise to transition into this line of work. You already have a CPA, which is required by many job descriptions for CFO roles. Success in this profession requires having excellent interpersonal skills. For this position, the typical income ranges from $220,000 to $610,000.

Joe LiJoe Li
Managing Director, CheckYa

Try Financial Journalism

Accountants possess several skills and attributes that make them great candidates for financial journalists. This job covers analyzing information or trends concerning newsworthy events in the world of finance and commerce. This involves digging up key documents and data, fact-checking, and interviewing experts. Overall, a financial journalist’s ultimate responsibility is to provide accurate, actionable advice and financial news stories.

With a background in finance, accountants have a deep understanding of financial processes and procedures, which is invaluable in explaining complex concepts to a wider audience. They also possess analytical and research skills transferable to financial journalism, where writers must analyze and research market trends and financial news to produce accurate and engaging content. Accuracy and attention to detail, which are crucial in accounting, can also benefit financial journalism. These make accountants strong candidates for this role.

Nina PaczkaNina Paczka
Community Manager, Resume Now

Think About Financial Technical Writing

Salaries for a financial, technical writer role are usually between $70,000 and $140,000 USD, depending on a few factors, like your location, level of experience, and industry. The great thing is, regardless of what industry you worked in as an accountant, you will find work in this field—the demand is quite high, and the list of subjects that need support is equally robust.

The US Department of Labor is also projecting the demand to continue to grow by 10% over the next 8 years. Your duties will mostly revolve around creating educational or marketing content on financial topics in various fields, and you can do this by working for a company or as a freelancer.

Kate KandeferKate Kandefer
CEO, SEOwind

Be a Financial Analyst

If you’re an accountant looking for a change, consider becoming a financial analyst. This role allows you to use your accounting skills in a more strategic and forward-looking way. You’ll analyze financial data, create financial models, and recommend helping businesses improve their financial performance. This role requires strong analytical skills and the ability to communicate complex financial information clearly and concisely.

To become a financial analyst, you may need to gain additional skills and certifications, such as a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation or a certification in financial modeling. However, with the right training and experience, this career change can be a rewarding opportunity to take your accounting skills to the next level and help businesses achieve their financial goals.

Piotrek SosnowskiPiotrek Sosnowski
Chief People and Culture Officer, Natu.Care

Transition to Data Analytics

As more and more companies rely on data to make strategic decisions, the demand for skilled data analysts is growing. Accountants can leverage their financial expertise to excel in this field.

In a data analytics role, an accountant can apply their knowledge of financial data analysis to work with large data sets, analyze trends, and develop insights that can help drive business decisions. They may use software such as Excel, SQL, and Python to clean, process, and manipulate data, and build reports and dashboards that communicate insights in a clear and actionable way.

To make this career transition, an accountant may need to learn new technical skills and get certifications in data analytics, such as the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) or the IBM Data Science Professional Certification.

Nick CotterNick Cotter
Founder, newfoundr

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