How to Advance Your Career as an Accountant

Although many are attracted to an accounting career by the potential for high earnings and the freedom to work independently, another great advantage of accountancy is that there are many possibilities of advancing to more complex and prestigious roles if you feel inclined too. These are some key positions you could seek out as a good accountant with a passion for his work and enough drive to climb the corporate ladder.


Finance Vice President

The Finance Vice President is the person who coordinates all financial planning in a company and is responsible for direct capital-related issues like debt financing and budgeting. To reach this role, your degree in accounting is the first step, after which you will have to move to the management level to cultivate additional skills outside your first profession. While a master’s degree is not mandatory, you need sound expertise in accountancy and finance proven by an excellent job track record.

As a Vice President, you will prepare financial reports, assess financial performance by conducting analysis on contracts and investments and make sure that the long-term plans of the company match its financial potential. For a capable accountant, this position is more than suitable once you gain enough experience in the corporate world.


Corporate Treasurer

A university degree in accountancy can get you a position in corporate treasury for major national and multinational companies in a whole range of industries. As a corporate treasurer, your job will be to ensure the financial integrity and security of the company and communicate with banks, grant-issuing entities, and other external partners.

You will assess and review financial risks, handle the cash flow, run refinancing programs, write reports on loans and contracts, manage money issues like late payments, and make all kinds of financial decisions for the company. If you’re interested in this career path, you can read more about the steps you need to take to get there. An additional specialized degree is your best bet.


Chief Financial Officer

The Chief Financial Officer or CFO is one of the most powerful people in a company, but this is not a role outside the reach of a great accountant. You will need many years of work experience to demonstrate the high-level of expertise required by the position. However, this is a job where personal qualities matter just as much. With integrity, a strategic mindset, a goal-oriented approach and excellent communication skills, you can become a CFO.

As a CFO, your daily responsibilities will include setting long-term financial goals and budgets for the company, oversee the accounting department, manage financial reporting and act as a link between other executives and the board of directors in matters related to finances. With such big challenges on their shoulders, the CFOs are expected to be highly educated. Master degrees and doctorates are common among candidates for this role.

Accountancy is a respectable career with great benefits, but if you’re the ambitious type you will probably not be satisfied staying in a small firm or practising independently for various clients. The corporate world offers the quickest and surest path to more influential positions with more remarkable salaries.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.