When you think about a career in finance, thoughts might turn to the 9-to-5 desk job in the cold, corporate, gray-flannel world. However, the scope of finances is much wider than those limited first impressions. Here are five job paths in finances that are bit more than just crunching numbers.
Use your good skills for organizations that are doing good things in your community as a nonprofit accountant by helping nonprofits plan, record and report their activities. “The job of a nonprofit accountant is to help manage finances on behalf of a nonprofit organization or program,” according to ZipRecuiter. “Many of their duties are similar to other accountants — completing tax documents, managing accounts receivable and accounts payable, and overseeing employee payroll. In addition to these responsibilities, one of the primary functions of a nonprofit accountant is logging each donation and ensuring funds are used properly. Many aspects of this job vary based on the needs of the organization.”
Looking for a financial position that offers a truly sustainable career? Make your colleagues green with envy by going into environmental accounting. You can help companies build smarter and become more energy-efficient in their practices and programs — all while helping to make the world a better place. According to Environmental Science, the most obvious application of environmental accounting might be calculating a company’s cost of environmental compliance, but they “can also help save on costs to the environment itself. Many times, environmental accountants can save on both environmental and financial costs by making calculations for the use of alternate chemicals, processes or product designs.”
Think you can play ball by combining accounting and sports into a single career? It’s a winning strategy for sports accountants. You don’t have to have athletic ability as long as you can flex that muscle between your ears. In addition to handling payroll for anyone involved in a sports franchise, other responsibilities can include handling “image rights and public appearances,” according to Jobs in Sports. “Assessment and tracking of sponsorships and advertising deals of the team is another responsibility of a sports accountant. Finally, much of the overarching duty of accounting jobs in sports is to ensure that everything is properly compliant with the tax code.” It’s a fair bet that great seats are also an added perk of the job.
FBI Forensic Accountant
Accountants have been among the ranks of G-men since the FBI was created in 1908, when bank examiners were part of the team of initial investigators. These days, roughly 15% of the FBI’s force are special agent accountants, but you don’t need to be a cloak-and-dagger specialist to work with the bureau. The FBI has been using non-agent accountants since the 1970s to help catch the baddies. “At the FBI, our forensic accountants conduct the financial investigative portion of complex cases across a wide variety of bureau programs — investigating terrorists, spies and criminals of all kinds who are involved in financial wrongdoing,” according to the bureau website. Book ’em, Danno.
Military Finance Officer
You can serve your country in more ways than one as a military finance officer. Every branch of the armed forces has financial units to ensure military operations in the nation are running like a well-oiled machine. Duties include disbursing money to manage payroll, purchase supplies and support military services. “On a typical day, military finance officers may perform audits, review budgeting proposals, analyze financial reports, allocate funds, approve payments, give travel allowances and establish financial systems,” according to Master of Finance. “Most will report directly to the commander to provide data on the management of funds. Military finance officers also play a managerial role in supervising a group of finance clerks and accountants.”