Accounting is a system by which financial information is identified, recorded, analysed, summarized, and reported for the use of decision makers. Put simply, accounting is the language of business. An accounting system tracks down all the financial activities of an organization (whether it’s the great Fortune 500 company, a small independent book publisher, a non-profit theatre, or a government agency), which shows them when and where all the money has flown out of the organisation and commitments which have been made. This helps in the decision making process by allowing managers to evaluate organizational performance, by indicating the financial risks and benefits of choosing one strategy over another, and by spotlighting current weaknesses and opportunities. Accountants are responsible for four core functions:
- Accounting: which helps in overseeing and managing the financial records and operations of an organization to make sure they follow all the regulations of an organization, industry.
- Auditing: helps in providing assurance where the internal controls are in place which are adequate to mitigate their organization’s financial risks, that governance processes are effective and efficient, and that organizational goals and objectives are met, as well as determining if an organization’s financial activities are reported accurately in its financial statements to regulators and investors.
- Assurance: which is defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as “independent professional services that improve the quality of information, or its context for business or individual decision-makers.”
- Tax: Preparing tax returns which helps the corporations, other organizations, as well as other individuals; Tax also helps in developing strategies to reduce the amount of taxes paid; and examining the tax implications of various business practices.
Despite the variety and dynamic nature of the field, accounting has always had a branding issue. The name Accounting itself gets stuck in public opinion as a boring, burdened career loaded with math geeks who love crunching and playing with numbers. In fact, accounting is often ranked as one of the most desirable professions available—including being ranked as one of the top 25 jobs in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report. In 2016, CareerCast.com ranked the career of “accountant” in the top 50 best jobs in terms of work environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands, and low level of stress. Salaries are also strong for accountants. In 2015, accountants and auditors earned a median salary of $67,190, according to the U.S. Department of Labour, earnings that are much higher than the national average ($48,320) for all careers. Opportunities in the accounting industry exist at every career level, although accountants and auditors are the prime movers in this field.
In addition to this industry, accounting also has a variety of other core specialisations in their course, that continues to grow as government regulations increase, business opportunities expand etc. They include:
- advisory/consulting services
- business process outsourcing
- enterprise risk management
- expert witness
- health care
- information technology
- litigation accounting
- management consulting
- mergers and acquisitions
- personal financial planning
- strategic planning
The Indian Institute of Chartered Accountant (ICAI) – is the national professional accounting body of India. It was established on 1 July 1949 as a statutory body under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 enacted by the Parliament to regulate the profession of Chartered Accountancy in India. ICAI is the second largest professional Accounting & Finance body in the world. Alongside, the rapid growth of ACCA dropped down the scope for ICAI becoming the third largest in terms of membership. Accountancy provides various job opportunities, career development to new and upcoming talent and graduates with wide range of qualifications.