The path of an accountant may seem like a straightforward one. Complete an accounting degree, and then get a job at an accounting firm. Maybe become a CPA if you’re interested. However, there is more to accounting than a boring desk job. Accounting is one of the only jobs that seems to always be in demand, all around the country. You can work at a small local office in the Midwest, or apply for accounting jobs in NYC at a major firm.
If you think a traditional accounting role isn’t for you, there are some surprising roles out there that can be filled by accountants, beyond the traditional firm. Here are a few unusual ways you can use that financial know-how!
Music Business Manager
Everyone knows that musicians have managers, but not everyone knows that there are actually several managers on the payroll of most big acts.
The business manager will keep track of all income and expenses for the musician. Due to the nature of the business, these calculations can get complicated, fast. Musicians have to pay for equipment, studio and recording fees, plus salaries to their support staff. On the income side, they may have album advances (that often have to be paid back), songwriting and performance royalties, album and ticket sales, streaming royalties, and more.
A good, reliable business manager is invaluable to a musician. They’ll chase after any missing money while helping musicians to make wise investments.
Music business managers are usually paid a monthly retainer or accept a percentage of the artist’s income.
Are you a puzzle solver? You may be interested in a career as a forensic accountant.
These number-based crime fighters help agencies like the CIA and FBI to investigate fraud. It was forensic accountants who were ultimately responsible for the arrest of Al Capone, and for Bernie Madoff’s downfall.
They can also be hired by private companies to help with litigation and testify as expert witnesses at trial. They can also investigate companies before providing investment advice to private investors and firms.
This well-paying career (an average of $83,000 per year) lets you follow the money right to justice!
It may surprise you to know that many startups have no business plan and no financial advisors. They’re focused on developing their product rather than the financial workings of their businesses. What’s more, most are on a shoestring budget, leaving them no money to hire a full-time accountant.
That could be great news for a financial consultant. By serving as a consultant to startups, you can help them get off on the right foot. Assist new businesses in securing the correct tax status and set up systems they can use to keep track of their finances. You could also consult with startups on financial projections and business plans.
Working in the fast-paced world of startups, you’ll never be bored!
Salaries for startup consultants vary widely, but on average they can make around $43 per hour, or nearly $90,000 per year.
Mergers & Acquisitions Accountant
If you like wheeling and dealing, you may enjoy being a Mergers & Acquisitions Accountant.
When one company wants to buy another or two companies plan to merge, the M&A accountants take a good hard look at the numbers. They want to verify each company’s assets and liabilities to make sure neither party is artificially inflating or deflating their value.
They’ll also need to assess the cost of the merger and try to assess what will happen to the acquiring company’s “earnings per share”. If it doesn’t look like EPS will go up, that’s a big problem!
Entry-level salaries in this field can be as high as $100,000 in some markets, so there is money to be made here!
There are plenty of options out there for accountants. Every single industry needs people who understand finances, so the possibilities are endless!