Before we start, we know what you’re thinking: yeah, it’s true!
The usual joke is that accounting careers are where the fun dies. What a sad and inaccurate view of the accounting world, because there is so much more to it than the boring cubicle life.
Let’s take a look at some fun careers (seriously!) to give you an idea of the opportunities available.
A career as an entertainment accountant has several different paths, including:
When most people think of Hollywood, they don’t think of accountants. But Hollywood is a billion dollar company, and like any other business, it needs accountants to keep it going.
Studios and production companies need good accountants and film production managers.
In these roles, you would manage things like creating a budget for film production, negotiating salaries, working with producers to estimate costs, and managing the budget while filming.
If you want more work behind the scenes, go for a corporate role at a production company.
If you want to be on set and work with all the major players, go for the production management role.
However, studios and production companies aren’t the only ones that need accountants.
Celebrities also need financial advisors to help them manage their finances. Many operate as a sole proprietorship, which means payroll, taxes and potential donations.
Plus, if celebrity gossip is your thing, you’ll hear it all running with the stars.
And don’t worry if movies aren’t your thing. You can also work in similar positions in the music, television, and theater industries.
Educational requirements for these careers vary depending on the path you choose. An accountant or film production manager may only need a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) will likely be required for more senior positions or to work with individuals.
Are you a soccer fan? Hockey or tennis? What about basketball or football? Well, we have fantastic news for you then. Sports organizations need accountants to manage payroll, cash flow and budgets.
You won’t be in front of cameras or associate with the 1% crowd unless you have a knack for making the club millions of dollars. But if you could make a franchise profitable, you would be an integral part of the organization.
As a bonus, you’ll know all the first-round picks before your friends because you designed and approved the budget. Talk about bragging rights.
If you’re the fashionista type and want to find a way to combine your love of numbers with your love of fashion, check out the fashion accountant career path.
The industry also hires purchasing managers to buy for department stores and luxury retailers. You can choose a niche path, like Louis Vuitton, or a specific retailer, like Macy’s or Nordstrom.
As a purchasing manager or buyer, you’ll learn all about the latest fashion trends and seasonal must-haves.
You, in turn, will create and maintain detailed purchasing records, estimate the cost of purchases, and negotiate contracts with suppliers, manufacturers, and vendors.
If you decided to work with a retailer, they would set a budget, but with your bookkeeping skills, you would be able to provide insight into how best to meet business needs while offering the latest trends.
Say you are a buyer in a different industry but bring years of experience to the table. In this case, you may be able to get a job without a degree.
However, any job in accounting generally requires a degree, and the more advanced your degree, the more competitive you become. Although you may not need a CPA, earning your graduate degree opens up more options.
For those with the attention to detail and detective skills to rival even Sherlock Holmes, perhaps you should consider a career as a forensic accountant.
As with the other options, a graduate degree makes you more competitive. This can be in accounting if you wish, but a degree in criminal justice would also be useful in this case. Ideally, you want a mix of financial and criminal justice experience and education to make the cut.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
For those who are already in accounting, you may be familiar with the CFO role and can even report on it. But landing the CFO job may be the ultimate role for some accountants.
CFOs track a company’s financial planning and cash flow and analyze the company’s financial strengths and weaknesses. A CFO looks to the future to ensure budgets are realistic and business growth is achievable. They also ensure that all financial reports are completed correctly and on time.
Now, maybe that sounds like a lot of work. Here’s the thing, though. If you hire good people and trust them to do their jobs, your job as a CFO can be relatively comfortable.
We joke. Most.
You will have to work your way up for this role though.
Most CFOs have advanced degrees, such as a graduate degree in finance or economics, and advanced certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or CPA credential.
People with a background in accounting, investment banking, or an analyst will excel in this role, as companies are looking for someone with a proven track record.
This career path is more of a long-term goal and probably won’t be your first stop right out of college, but it’s good to know what you need if you ever want to become a CFO.
The monotonous perception of accounting roles is far from the reality of the opportunities available to you. Besides these exciting career options, you could work in forecasting, analytics, accounting software development, or even become a teacher.
Sky is the limit!