Accountants make reports and recommendations on everything to do with the finances of a business, whether that’s running costs, future profits, risk or tax. With so many different reports flying around, accountants specialize in these documents to suit the needs of their audience.
Reporting to the tax man
Tax accountants are probably the type of accountant most people are familiar with. This specialisation works with their clients – whether businesses of individuals – to complete and lodge tax forms and make recommendations to minimize tax bills.
To be a tax accountant, you’ll need to keep up to date with the ever-changing tax laws in order to get the best returns for your clients.
Reporting to management
Often working in-house, management accountants create financial reports for the use of internal management. They might report on costs, cash flow or treasury in order to help management make decisions.
Accountants in these roles must have a good grasp of the workings of their industry and business, and a role in management accounting puts you in good stead for climbing the corporate ladder.
Reporting to investors
Financial accountants have a similar role as management accountants, except the financial reports they create are for external stakeholders. Financial accountants’ reports are used by investors and regulatory bodies, and their reports are highly standardized, so shareholders can compare apples with apples.
Reporting on the work of others
These accountants review financial documents to make sure all the calculations and information are correct and valid. As an accountant working in assurance services, you might be called in to review the details of a contract, loan or even the details on a financial website.
To be successful in this role, you’ll need great attention to detail and an enquiring mind.
Taking the stand in court
Forensic accounting is a niche specialization which tracks down evidence of fraud or misconduct in the finances of individuals or organisations. These accountants report their findings to the police, lawyers or in court!
Interested in becoming an accountant?
There is a range of reputable Registered Training Organisations in Australia which offer courses in accounting. See what's available in your area.