Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) can pair their accounting and finance background with a special interest, calling, or passion if they pursue an accounting specialization. By going after a specialization, CPAs can offer their services to a more specific market. Here are just a few of the many specializations that an accountant can go for:
Personal Financial Planning
CPAs who specialize in personal financial planning can use their knowledge to help clients plan their estates, save for college and retirement, and make charitable and family gifts. They recommend the right blend of investment in bonds, stocks, and other financial assets to their clients.
Forensic accountants often work as financial investigators. Typically, they focus on financial crimes such as embezzlement, money laundering, all kinds of fraud, or bankruptcy. They comb through important documents, follow paper trails, trace the money, and locate assets that a creditor can contact to satisfy judgments.
Often, financial accountants prepare reports and testify in court, which means that they need experience in rules of evidence, criminal law, and court procedures.
Good financial accounting is vital to good ministry. Accountants from church accounting practices in Southlake, TX and elsewhere help manage the accounting businesses of a church and are responsible for a variety of duties, from budget and financial statement preparation to bookkeeping. Church accounting is very different from business accounting, though the tasks involved in performing and maintaining bookkeeping work are the same.
A church accountant job involves preparing statements that display monthly contributions from church members, as well as handling and recording details of special church events. Church accountants also allocate and enter details of funds for various expenses and create special funds for the long run, such as a building fund, a general fund, and a charity fund, among others.
With their heightened awareness of their environmental footprints, more businesses are hiring environmental accountants. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, gas and oil firms employed 8,520 accountants in May 2018, making it the industry with the second highest concentration of employment, next only to Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services. Aside from businesses, though, environmental accountants can also be employed by chemical firms, automakers, and government agencies like the United Nations and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Environmental accountants look at the costs of business decisions from an environmental perspective. They evaluate the lost revenue from boycotts, the costs of cleaning spills and waste disposal, and the benefits and costs of green devices and processes.
Sports accountants specialize in the financial side of many spectator sports, from football to hockey. Their financial analysis drives the business decisions of their teams and event organizers. The work of a sports accountant also determines ticket prices, broadcast rights, sponsorship deals, and salaries. These accountants must also consider salary caps and minimum salary requirements and the other terms of collective bargaining agreements, though this depends on the league.
There are other specializations aside from the five listed here, such as tax accounting and auditing information technology. All of these specializations allow accountants to pursue an interest while affording specialized skills and expertise to meet the particular demands of the individuals, businesses, and governments that they work for.