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Latest posts by Dr. Priyanka Tandon (see all)
“The word ‘accounting’ comes from the word accountability. If you are going to be rich, you need to be accountable for your money.”
Robert Kiyoski

Starting a career in accounting is a wise decision as industry growth is expected to be strong – which means demand for qualified accounting professionals should remain high – and the median compensation in the field is good.

However, you might find that the profession is much more diversified than you imagined, providing opportunities to use your abilities in many more areas than you expected. So while all accounting-related occupations require a technical accounting foundation, you can branch out on a variety of paths based on your interests, as you can choose from a number of accounting specialisations.

IN THIS ARTICLE:

  • What is accounting science?
  • What is expected of you in accounting science jobs
  • What should I study to become an accountant?
  • Best-paid accounting jobs
  • An honest assessment to put you on the right path

What is accounting science?

Just what accounting science is is the subject of a long-running debate. “Accounting” refers to the keeping and analysis of financial records for any entity. While some say it’s simply the application of a set of rules according to specific methodology, it’s regarded as a science in that its practitioners systematically record, evaluate and report on events that affect the health and stability of entities. But it’s also an art in that practitioners can choose how to apply the rules to achieve particular outcomes.

What is expected of you in accounting science jobs

Accounting science jobs cover the financial aspects of organisations. Accounting professionals keep and evaluate financial records; manage bookkeeping; create financial reports, including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and tax reports; audit books; gather and maintain other financial data necessary for business operations; and publish regular summaries of the entity’s financial situation. They may also be expected to calculate salaries, process payments and receipts, and compute taxes.

They may carry out these duties for individuals and for organisations.

What should I study  to become an accountant?

A Bachelor of Accounting Science degree will school you in the fundamental principles of accounting as well as the moral and legal standards accountants must uphold. 

Good accounting science programmes will have financial accounting, management accounting, auditing, and taxation as their core subjects, and include macroeconomics, microeconomics,  business management principles, corporate governance, application of local and international auditing standards, ethics, business law, and data analysis in their curricula to give you a well-rounded perspective of the environment organisations operate in.

The salary offered to accounting professionals after completing this degree averages R25,000 per month (Talent.com, 2023). 

To attain professional certification you may also need to write professional bodies’ exams once you have qualified.

Best-paid accounting jobs

1. Financial controller

Job description: The controller of a corporation serves as its chief accounting officer and is in charge of its accounting division, responsible for its general ledger, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, and tax compliance. 

Annual salary range according to Payscale (2023): R72k to R620k 

2. Certified management accountant

  • Job description: To create reports for the management team regarding company compliance and internal rules and procedures, the certified management accountant is responsible for evaluating both accounting and administrative controls. He or she attains the designation of certified management accountant after completing a bachelor’s degree, two years in the field, and passing a professional certification exam.
  • Annual salary range according to Jobted (2023): R72k to R620k 

3. Chartered accountant 

  • Job description: Chartered accountants are strategic financial experts with broad business insight, and may work in corporate finance, auditing, taxation, and financial reporting. Many go on to become chief financial officers, CEOs and company directors. To use the chartered accountant designation they must, like certified management accountants, serve a period in the field and pass a professional certification exam. 
  • Annual salary range according to Payscale (2023): R367k to R726k

1. Bank branch manager

  • Job description: A branch manager is in charge of all operations of a branch office, including hiring staff, approving credit applications and loans, and marketing the business. To draw business and help consumers with account issues, they establish rapport with their neighbourhood. 
  • Annual salary range according to Payscale (2023): R273k to R624k  

2. Certified general accountant

  • Job description: A certified general accountant examines an organisation’s financial reporting procedures, policies, and processes to make sure they follow company policies, legal requirements, and industry standards.
  • Annual salary range according to Payscale (2023): R186k to R1m 

3. Senior accountant

  • Job description: Accounting and related clerks compute, create, and process bills, invoices, accounts payable and receivable, budgets, and other financial documents in accordance with defined protocols. 
  • Annual salary range according to Indeed (2023): R186k to R1m

4. Financial analyst

  • Job description: Financial analysts guide and advise organisations and individuals on investment decisions. Their advice is based on their evaluation of the performance of bonds, equities, and other investment instruments.
  • Annual salary range according to Payscale (2023):   R191k to R759k

5. Credit supervisor

  • Job description: Credit managers and supervisors are in charge of their companies’ credit and collection operations. They might also carry out duties similar to those of an accounting or customer service clerk in the area of credit and collection. 
  • Annual salary range according to Talent (2023): R186k to R1m

6. Staff accountant and book-keeper

  • Job description: A controller, director, or certified public accountant is in charge of staff accounting. Staff accountants keep track of financial records, ledgers, and reports. In addition to general bookkeeping, they draft and analyse budgets. Bookkeepers preserve comprehensive sets of books, record financial transactions, check the methods used to record them, and offer personal accounting services.
  • Annual salary range according to Talent (2023):  R186k to R1m 

An honest assessment to put you on the right path

I’m confident that an honest assessment of these factors will help you settle on a suitable path for bright career in accounting. 

Always engage in ongoing learning and growth, as that is what will ultimately lead to career growth financially and mentally.

Wishing you a great career and lots of success!

Happy learning. 

References

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Dr. Priyanka Tandon

PhD, Financial Inclusion (Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India); MBA, Finance (APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Lucknow, India); MCom (Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Prayagra, India); BCom (University of Allahabad, India). Prior to joining Regenesys Business School, Dr Priyanka served as assistant professor of finance at Jaypee Institute of Information Technology in Noida, India. This followed a stint as a research associate and finance lecturer at the National Institute of Financial Management, which is closely linked to India’s Ministry of Finance. She is actively involved in research, with 15 publications to her credit, and is among peer-review website Publons’ top-ranked academic reviewers.

Author Dr. Priyanka Tandon

PhD, Financial Inclusion (Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India); MBA, Finance (APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Lucknow, India); MCom (Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Prayagra, India); BCom (University of Allahabad, India). Prior to joining Regenesys Business School, Dr Priyanka served as assistant professor of finance at Jaypee Institute of Information Technology in Noida, India. This followed a stint as a research associate and finance lecturer at the National Institute of Financial Management, which is closely linked to India’s Ministry of Finance. She is actively involved in research, with 15 publications to her credit, and is among peer-review website Publons’ top-ranked academic reviewers.

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