As the economy of the country grows, so does the demand for skilled accountants. India’s economy is growing faster than any other developing-country economies and could record an annual growth rate of 7.9 percent by 2018, according to Global Economic Perspectives report by the World Bank.
And Indian accountants have more reasons to feel optimistic! Convergence of Indian accounting standards with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is likely to widen global opportunities for qualified accountants.
Accounting is definitely a rewarding career option, but you need a lot of planning and preparation to maximize the rewards. If you are planning a career in accounting, here are some important things to know about the specific of this profession.
Career Options and Job DescriptionAspirants in the field of accounting have many different career routes to choose from. Depending on your qualification, experience and individual preferences, you can choose to become an accounting clerk, an accounting executive, a management accountant or a chartered accountant. Specialization is possible in a number of domains, including corporate treasury, tax, corporate finance, internal audit and forensic accounting. Your roles and responsibilities as an accountant may vary widely depending on your job position and area of specialization. For instance, accounting clerks are mainly responsible for bookkeeping, while tax accountants are good at preparing income tax statements and chartered accountants take part in financial decision making. In general, an account’s roles and responsibilities may include;
Documenting financial transactions on a daily basisMaintaining records of investments, loan repayments, etcPreparing and/or analyzing financial statements and accounting recordsPreparing and/or analyzing income statements, tax statements and balance sheetsHandling expenses, employee salaries and wagesProviding auditing services to businesses and individualsEnsuring complianceReviewing potential financial risks and making strategies for risk preventionGiving advice on tax matters and budgets
Educational QualificationA bachelor's degree in commerce or accounting is a common requirement for almost every accounting job. However, entry with a degree in any discipline is also possible. Depending on the position you are applying for, you may require a master’s degree in commerce, or a degree in any related field. For instance, you can become an accounting executive or a tax accountant with a bachelor's degree in business administration, journalism, advertising or marketing. On the other hand, finance graduates can choose to build a career in management accounting, while chartered accountants should at least have a bachelor's degree in accounting, plus a certificate in chartered accountancy. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) conducts the Chartered Accountancy course in India.
Skills RequiredAn accountant may need to work independently or as part of a team with a variety of financial statements and complex figures. As such, they should have a range of skills and qualities, including math skills, computer skills and a good eye for detail. To excel in this profession, you should be disciplined, organized, proactive and a fast learner. Some other skills required for this job include;
Excellent analytical skills – You may need to review and analyze financial statements of a company and provide suggestions on how to cut costs or how to maximize profit.Good time management skills – You may often need to work within strict deadlines.Excellent communication skills– You’ll often need to interact with your team members, clients and managers.High ethical standards –Remember that you’ll have access to confidential data of your client. They will want you to be honest, transparent and reliable.
Job Outlook and SalaryBeing a country with growing economic and trading activities, India holds a lot of promises for aspiring accounting professionals. Researchers at Harvard University predict that India will retain its position as the world’s fastest-growing economy through 2024. With the growth in economy, more and more accounting professionals will be required for bookkeeping, managing accounts, preparing financial statements, tax returns and income statements. Adoption of IFRS by India will further improve job prospects in the country. Accounting jobs are available across almost all industries, including manufacturing, education, finance and healthcare. Depending on your qualification, experience, and job position, your annual salary as an accountant could be anywhere between Rs. 4 lakh and Rs. 20 lakh.
If you have an eye for detail and an aptitude for numbers, you are perhaps a good candidate for accounting jobs.