There is no authentic history that who invented “accounting”. However, from the past records, chronicles of accounting or accountancy is more than 7000 years old, and it can be traced back to ancient civilizations like the Egyptians, Persians, Romans and Greeks. Early developments in accountancy were acquired in late medieval age, however, as the age progressed, the transition into as recognize profession as a ‘ Chartered Accountant’ was in the late nineteen century in Scotland.
Industrial revolution and early economic development molded accountants as an important profession with lots of legal or constructive obligations. In modern times, accountants work for companies, individual clients and government authorities to ensure that entities are run efficiently, reliably, accurately and records that are kept gives a true and fair view and all taxes which are obliged to be paid.
Comprehensively in recent times, there are four major distinctive career paths in accounting;
1- Public Accountants
Public accountants are those accountants who practice accountancy in accordance with professional accounting standards (IAS or IFRS). They offer services such as consulting services, preparation of tax returns, auditing services and individual financial planning service for corporations, small to medium size business organization, nonprofit associations, and sole proprietorship. Therefore, there are accountants who serve the public.
2- Government Accountants
These accountants are employed by the current regime, state, or federal government. They manage and analyze state treasury funds, investigate while collar crimes, provide external audit of the financial statements of government authorities and conduct research on emerging accounting issues. In most of the countries they’re in compliance with a separate government accounting body, which provides certified education, development of professional skepticism and the accountability of government accountants.
3- Management Accountants
Similarly, like Public Accountants, management accountants also work corporations, small to medium size business organization, nonprofit associations, and sole proprietorship. However, there work is solely to aid the company operations unlike public accountants. They perform internal reviews, formulate budgets, analyse and manage risk, arrange the funding and financing and monitoring of operations. They are also represented in the senior management board to assist in its operational decision making.
Internal auditors examine, monitor and analyse the company’s internal activities such as company internal control systems, business structure and employee social system. Internal auditors carry audit, which is designed to review what company is doing, what are the potential threats to it, and what are suggestions to mitigate those risks in order to minimize the cost.
Similarly, like doctors, accounting profession also provides unique career paths, such as Forensic accounting, Environmental accounting, Financial Analyst, Showbiz Accounting, Trustee in bankruptcy and many more. It solely depends upon individual interest if he wants to peruse any particular sector or industry
In conclusion, being an accountant is a very diverse career and with prospects of immense growth. There are unlimited options towards this profession which has tendency yield high salaries. However, should be very careful and diligent worker and should have a propensity of being a perfectionist.