This can be a disappointing situation to find yourself in, but we have good news! There are plenty of alternative career paths for accountants that will give you a taste of something new while still utilizing your education and certification. To get your wheels turning, we’ve compiled a list of seven non accounting jobs for accountants.
Accounting skills that are complementary to entrepreneurship include communication, organization, problem-solving, deductive reasoning, and critical thinking. So, being an accountant gives you a head start if you’d like to start your own business. To be an entrepreneur, you first need to have a business idea. Once you have that, you’ll want to research the market, make a business plan, and know how you’re going to fund it.
If being self-employed sounds intriguing but you’re not necessarily looking to take on the risk of entrepreneurship, you can become a freelance accountant and work for yourself. In this role, you’ll provide services, like bookkeeping, tax preparation, billing, and financial statement preparation to small businesses and other businesses.
Does this sound too similar to what you’re doing now? If so, you can always hire a team (or work with other freelancers) to perform the accounting services, so you just manage the backend of the business. To take this avenue, you’ll just have to ensure you can generate enough work to sustain the business.
If the strategic side of business is calling to you and you want to play a role in improving business processes, you can pursue a career in a related field as a business analyst. Business analysts use their problem-solving and analytical skills to identify inefficiencies, collect and present data on related processes, and recommend cost-effective solutions. They might also perform forecasting, variance analysis, and work closely with managerial staff. This is a good alternate career for accountants because an understanding of accounting and finance is a requirement.
You must also have a skill set that includes data analysis, so consider getting a certification in Microsoft Excel, Power BI, or another data analysis tool to make the transition easier.
Do you enjoy accounting but want to make a career change to feel like you’re making more of a difference in the world? Non-profit accounting might be a good fit for you. Not only can you work for a non-profit that champions a cause you believe in, but you’ll also likely be asked to weigh in on decisions affecting the business as a whole. All you need to do is research non-profits that align with your values and see if they are hiring accountants.
Note, some non-profits don’t have robust budgets like corporate businesses, so you might not maintain the same salary when you make the move.
If you did well on the Written Communication Tasks on the BEC CPA exam, you might want to consider being a writer that specializes in accounting. These job titles might also be listed as content creators. You’ll produce content like blogs, videos, and other marketing materials about accounting trends, best practices, services, etc., for media companies, news organizations, entertainment companies, or other private businesses.
You don’t need a new certification to be a writer or content creator, you’ll just need to build a portfolio of work to share with potential employers.
Technology plays a large role in the accounting industry, and that role is only growing. If you have an affinity for computer skills and problem-solving, you could transition your accounting career into a specialization in accounting information technology. Accounting expertise is crucial in both building software and information systems and implementing them, so your accounting degree and work experience will be helpful as you make this transition.
You can put your accounting background to good use and become a math teacher if that sounds appealing to you. While CPA certification isn’t always relevant to teaching, some states (like New York) have a career transition program, and CPA certification can help make the switch easier. Most State Boards require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree, but each state has different regulations, so double check with your State Board of Education to verify what those are. Regardless, you will still likely need to obtain a teacher’s certificate.