The primary source of accounting’s invincibility in the face of recessions s the fact that accounting services are more a necessity than a luxury. Individuals will still have to file tax returns and companies will still have to manage their books regardless of the condition of the overall economy. Accounting needs tend to not only be unavoidable, but they are also perennial. Taking care of payroll at a company during one quarter in no way diminishes the need to carry out the same process to handle payroll for the next quarter. Thus, companies and individuals must continuously rely on the services of their accountant.
It should, however, be noted that certain areas of accounting will be more recession-proof than others. High profile positions that involve facilitating mergers, acquisitions, or corporate finance may suffer during times of recession. However, less glamorous, more ‘behind-the-scenes’ accounting tasks such as internal auditing, tax accounting, and financial reporting are more necessary than ever when the economy is faltering. Accounting is regularly listed as one of the most recession-proof careers out there and offers a fairly high level of job security for those going into the field.
Aspiring accounting students should not assume that all areas of accounting are the same. There are many options within the field of accounting itself that allow one to further pinpoint one’s interests in pursuing an accounting career. Four basic classifications of accountants are management accountants, government auditors/accountants, public accountants, and internal auditors. An accounting student can decide to go into one of these particular types of accounting depending on his or her unique interests and professional goals. Accounting jobs can necessitate study in a variety of disciplines other than pure accounting, such as economics, law, mathematics, management, finance, statistics, and more.
Typically, one begins pursuing a career in accounting by studying towards a Bachelor’s degree. While there are certificate & diploma programs to become an accounting technician, a Bachelor’s degree is necessary to sit for the C.P.A. exam, which is important in establishing a professional career as an accountant. Some states do have official certification below the C.P.A. level, such as a “public accountant” or “licensed public accountant” designation. However, those seriously intent on a high level position as an accountant should work towards the C.P.A. designation for the best possible professional prospects.
Mark O’Shea is an accounting student and avid blogger from Dublin, Ireland. He loves numbers, Gaelic Football and spagetti hoops!