Postgraduate study in accountancy allows you to diversify or specialise, so you are qualified to work in a wider scope of careers and sectors. As an accountant some of the general tasks you will be responsible for range from the preparation and maintenance of financial records and documents through to taxation advice, forecasting and preparation. Other tasks may include: legal compliance and tax audits, reporting systems and financial statements, training and installation of bookkeeping software, as well as financial advice for business set-up and management. Because all businesses require accounting services, this is a good career choice to specialise in.
If you're considering postgraduate study in accounting you must enjoy working with numbers, because numbers and mathematical equations are a crucial part of both general and more specialised accounting roles. It's also important to have advanced analytical and critical thinking skills if you're thinking of furthering your career in accountancy.
Other skills that are necessary in accounting roles include: good communication, sense of innovation and team work, superior problem solving abilities, excellent organisation and planning, and a strong understanding of technology.
After completing postgraduate studies in accounting, some of the sectors you may be employed by include government and private, not-for-profit, healthcare, finance, retail, education and legal.
There are many opportunities available for students wanting to advance their careers in accountancy or related fields. The study pathway after undergraduate studies, such as a Bachelor degree, diploma or certificate, start from a graduate certificate or diploma through to a masters or doctorate. Choice of postgraduate studies depends on the roles accounting students are interested in acquiring. A graduate certificate or diploma has the lightest workload and time allocated to study, making it a good choice for those wanting to further advance their career and skill-set across all facets of accountancy, while a masters or doctorate is essential for more specialist accounting and finance roles.
After undertaking postgraduate studies in accounting there are numerous roles students can diversify or specialise in, depending on the study option they have completed, such as chief financial officer, financial analyst, payroll manager, taxation specialist, auditor or accounting manager. Sectors requiring accountancy or financial specialists range from government and education through to medical, legal, financial and not-for-profit.
After completing studies in accountancy there are many areas students can specialise in within this field or a related discipline. Some of the main specialisations are manager, financial researcher or educator. Under these main specialisations are a broad scope of roles.
To specialise in an accounting management role it's necessary to undertake further study, such as a graduate certificate or masters, as well as have extensive experience working in accounting or a related discipline. Some of the higher level roles that you can be employed in within accounting management are chief financial officer, chartered management accountant, project manager or payroll manager.
If you're considering specialising as a financial researcher you will need to complete either a masters or doctorate in accounting or a related discipline, along with gaining intensive field experience. After completing postgraduate study and becoming qualified, specialist roles that you can apply for range from forensic accountant and taxation expert to economist and data analyst.
For students wanting to become educators in accounting or a related discipline, further postgraduate studies such as a masters or doctorate is required. Once students are fully qualified, some of the educator job opportunities that will be available to them are accounting or finance lecturer, assessor or administrator.
A more detailed list of accounting specialisations includes: