Top 20 Career Change Ideas for Accountants

So, you're an accountant. And you're thinking about making a career change. The accounting profession is a fantastic foundation, and you have the analytical skills and attention to detail that businesses need for sound financial decisions

Key Takeaways

So, you're an accountant. And you're thinking about making a career change. The accounting profession is a fantastic foundation, and you have the analytical skills and attention to detail that businesses need for sound financial decisions

But what if you don't want to work in an accounting firm forever? Don't worry; we've got plenty of ideas for you! In this blog post, we'll explore 20 different career change options for accountants. So let's start your successful career change by looking at your skill set!

Ponder the Possibilities

You've probably wondered what other jobs you could do well with your accounting degree. The career options for accountants are endless, and many don't require more education.

As a certified public accountant (CPA), you likely have many of the technical skills you need to transition laterally or into a different field altogether, including:

  • Analytical and strategic thinking
  • Organizational skills
  • Compiling and presenting data
  • Working with others to arrive at a consensus about work product
  • Considering best practices for your field
  • Working with clients
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The skills you possess make you an excellent candidate for various alternative careers for accountants. But first, let's see what's not working for you.

Download Checklist " 10 Simple Steps to Smooth Job Change"

What's Not Working For You In Your Accounting Career?

It makes sense to analyze what's wrong for you as an accountant and pinpoint the problem:

  • Does the organizational structure bother you? And do you have the answers to fix the issues? Consider offering your suggestions to management and working your way into becoming a CFO in the future. Or start your own business!
  • Does your boss micromanage you? Consider moving laterally into another accounting position at the same company or a similar role in your same field. Talk with human resources to transition laterally. Or meet with recruiters to find another company!
  • Do you feel unimportant and unheard? The culture where you work can affect you. If you're ignored, look for a company that values your insights.
  • Are you at a big accounting firm where there is constant pressure and stress? Consider working for a smaller firm that values a better work-life balance!
  • Is a job that excites and empowers you crucial? Do you feel bored crunching numbers?Maybe you need the excitement of challenging interactions with others!
  • Or, perhaps you feel bored with accounting duties and the predictability of numbers? Maybe you need to work in a more theoretical field as an economic writer or researcher. Or teach it to others as a professor or high school teacher!
  Photo by Kuncheek

Consider Your Transferable Skills

Consider your transferable skills before you change careers. Transferable skills are the knowledge and experience you have that will transition into your next job.

When writing your resume, don't forget to include soft skills such as:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity
  • Social Skills

Depending on the new career you choose, your transferable skills may also include technical skills and knowledge such as:

  • Computer software knowledge
  • In-depth spreadsheet and financial computation knowledge
  • Financial analyst skills
  • Financial planner skills
  • Public accounting skills
  • Economics knowledge
  • Writing skills
Man in Black Suit Jacket Analyzing Data Reports
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Career Change Ideas For Accountants

As you look through our alternative careers for accountants, consider who you are and what you enjoy. Your natural personality traits can help align your career with your best self!

Whatever your reasons for switching careers, we've got the goods for you! So, let's look at the 20 top moves for a career change from accounting!

1- Financial Technical Writer

Average Salary Range: $69,500 and $135,000

You can get work writing about almost anything from law to economics to whatever subjects you're interested in.

And according to the US Dept. of Labor, job growth employment trends for technical writers will grow by 10% over the next 8 years. 

"A financial writer creates content about the finance industry for print and web publications. You may work as a financial writer for a content agency or financial company, or you may freelance for a variety of publications and work from home or a coworking space.

Your job duties as a financial writer are to produce educational or marketing content, consult with clients to receive topics or outlines, and revise your work as needed to fit the style and tone of particular publications." (3)

You can start as a freelance writer as a second career while you build the skills you need for full-time!

Getting your first freelance writing gig may be as easy as getting a certificate from our community college partner! Our online, on-demand course helps you earn your Technical Writing Certificate in just 15 weeks!

2- Finance and Insurance Manager

Average Salary Range: $69,262 to $99,492

"An F&I Manager is responsible for the finance department of an automotive, power sports, or RV dealership. Approximately 85% of new vehicles purchased in the United States are financed. This makes the Finance and Insurance Manager one of the most important people in a dealership's operations." (4)

If you have experience working in the car industry or have extensive knowledge about how the industry works, you're a shoo-in for this position!

3- Project Manager

Average Salary Range: $60,241 and $76,611

We're all project managers in one way or another. However, project managers take their planning and organizational skills to another level!

Project managers work in almost every industry, and job growth statistics show a growing trend!

As a project manager, you may remain in the financial realm in accounting services or change career fields all together! Businesses need problem-solving skills to help others work together in teams.

If you enjoy working to help others reach their potential while directing the completion of a project, project management might be your new career field!

Let our Unmudl course, Remote Leadership Toolkit, prepare you to maintain peak performance and keep employees engaged when separated by miles, time zones, and culture!

Colleagues Looking at Survey Sheet
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4- Chief Financial Officer

Average Salary Range: $220,000 to $610,000

As a chief financial officer, you are responsible for overseeing the financial activities of an entire corporation.

In addition, you:

  • Prepare financial reports to inform other company officers, the board, and shareholders
  • Forecast how the business can grow by analyzing the past and considering future economic conditions
  • Consider tax planning by looking at the company's financial transactions

To transition into this career, you'll need extensive business knowledge. Many job descriptions for CFO positions require a CPA which you already possess.

Excellent interpersonal skills are crucial to finding success in this role. You will need to communicate with other members of the executive team, as well as with clients and investors.

If you'd rather start a business yourself, consider our next option!

5- Business Entrepreneur

Average Salary Range: $21,875 to $580,179

To start a career as a business entrepreneur, you need strong management skills. You'll need to direct and oversee the work of others in your business venture. You also need an idea of what type of business to start and an idea of your legal business structure.

But most importantly, you need to have excellent interpersonal skills. This is because you will need to be able to communicate with clients, vendors, and other members of your team.

To increase your interpersonal communication and social skills, consider our online and on-demand Unmudl community college course "Business and Professional Communication." Learn how to network, develop credibility, and present ideas effectively

6- Business Analyst

Average Salary Range: $65,000 to $99,000

Business analysts develop a company's "continued growth and success. With their commitment to innovation, these analysts seek, develop, and help implement strategic initiatives for improved efficiency and productivity."

To succeed as a business analyst, you'll need to be a "detailed planner, expert communicator, and top-notch analyst." You'll also need to be "wholly committed to the discovery and development of innovative solutions in an ever-changing digital landscape." (6)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), business analysts can expect unprecedented job growth of up to 25% by 2030! So if you have the drive to help businesses succeed, consider becoming a business analyst.

7- Financial Analyst

Average Salary Range: $47,000 to $97,000

As far as a career change from accounting, a financial analyst is not far off. A career change from accounting to financial analyst uses many of your transferable skills. And your accounting degree lets you aim for the higher end of the salary range!

Continue using the accounting principles you know while transitioning into financial analysis for clients. You'll prepare and examine financial records for accuracy and may also be involved in tax planning using the company's financial transactions as a starting point.

A financial analyst may also prepare financial reports to inform other company officers, the board, and shareholders. They also may work for public or private companies.

However, if you need a more involved position with a leadership role, consider becoming a Corporate FP&A!

8- Financial Forecaster: Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis

Average Salary Range: $80,938 and $107,037

A relatively new career that needs your financial skills is a corporate FP&A professional. This is the type of position for a forward-thinking individual who considers the financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting process and makes recommendations to the executive team and board of directors.

These employees collect, prepare and analyze financial data from across the organization to create reports that provide data-driven answers to business questions. (9)

In this field you help business clients manage seeing the forest instead of just the trees!

Download Checklist " 10 Simple Steps to Smooth Job Change"

9- Financial Records Keeper

Average Salary Range: $19,080 to $54,730

If you're looking for less stress and hours, you can work as a keeping the records for almost any business. Your accounting knowledge is handy when working with your client's financial data. You may prepare documents for data entry, verify accuracy, and maintain updated records of invoices and debits.

This is a good second career if you're trying to break into another field and need to complete your education or if you need fewer hours so you can spend time with family. It's an excellent career change for those who want to continue using their accounting skills but don't want the stress of long hours or perhaps want to work from home.

10- Forensic Accountant

Average Salary Range: $65,035 and $83,471

"Forensic accountants analyze financial data to look for evidence of crimes. They often work for insurance companies, financial institutions, and law enforcement agencies. These professionals may testify in court cases as expert witnesses." (9)

A forensic accountant looks at an organization's cash flow and financial statements to find financial crimes. Using the latest tax laws, you may find evidence of wrongdoing and financial crimes for the FBI or other law enforcement organizations.

11- Financial Controller

Average Salary Range: $198,600 and $283,300

A Finance Controller prepares a company's financial reports, including balance sheets and income statements. They also help perform compliance audits and develop internal controls to safeguard the company's assets.

You may find work as a financial controller for a large corporation or a smaller organization. Many controllers start their careers as accountants and move up into management positions. You may start doing a company's reports as a second career and then move into full time as your business grows!

12- Financial Advisor or Planner

Average Salary Range: $62,000 to $93,000

Financial consultants "advise clients on a range of financial services and decisions, including budgeting, saving for big purchases, retirement planning, investing, and trust and estate planning." (10)

You'll likely provide financial forecasts to clients along with helping create personalized financial plans. Your financial analysis and planning helps them build wealth. Often, you may make recommendations for retirement, insurance, taxes, estate planning, and other financial decisions based on their life changes.

Financial consultants are a type of entrepreneur or small business owner, so you'll need people skills and the ability to work long hours at the times clients need you.

You'll also need to market your business. To help your business compete in our digital world, consider our Unmudl community college network's course, "Marketing Management."

13- Financial Systems Developer

Average Salary Range: $107,500 to $180,000

A financial software developer "develops, modifies, and updates software programs for the finance and banking industry. They work with various businesses to develop anything from financial education software to debit/credit card software." (11)

You'll need to have existing knowledge about the financial industry and technological ability to find success as a systems developer. Financial systems software development also requires that an in-depth experience with accounting software programs and coding knowledge to create better systems.

In this role, it will be helpful if you have some knowledge of the financial industry as a whole. Plus, most software development jobs will require extensive coding knowledge.

Learn how to write modern software with Unmudl's online and on-demand community college course, "Front End Web Development Bootcamp" where you'll learn how to design software applications! Find work at banks, credit card companies, investment firms, or SaaS companies!

14- Enterprise Resource Planning Analyst

Average Salary Range: $64,266 and $84,796

Financial ERP systems run the gamut from Oracle to SAP to Workday. Financial companies need your expertise if you're experienced with the different systems out there.

"An ERP Analyst helps run a company's ERP program. The ERP Analyst customizes and configures the software package based on company requirements, then tests and maintains these changes. These skilled technicians monitor the system to ensure it meets the evolving needs of the company." (12)

You'll also need tech skills because an ERP analyst customizes and configures ERPs based on company requirements. They then test and maintain the changes for the company's best outcome.

15- Accounting Professor

Average Salary Range: $99,686 to $213,121

If you love talking about what you do more than doing it, consider a career where you teach accounting! Aspiring accountants need your passion for explaining difficult concepts. And the salary is not bad either!

Teaching at the college level could be a good fit if you enjoy young people and miss the constant interaction with academia from your college years.

If you feel unsure about teaching, consider our online on-demand course, "Instructional Design for Educators." And if you don't want to teach college students, consider a high school.

16- Math or Business Principles Teacher

Average Salary Range: $43,703 and $68,787

If you're looking for your summers off and the chance to make a difference in young people's education, teaching advanced math or business concepts can help change lives!

Job satisfaction in this career comes from having a passion for helping young people reach their potential. You can also get involved as a sports coach or advisor. This career might work well if you have kids in school and you need the same schedule or if you know that teaching is in your blood!

17- Day Trader

Average Salary Range: $12,265 to $328,665

If stock market instability never scares you because you understand the principles behind it all, consider a career as a day trader. However, don't quit your day job yet! This risky career option is best for high-energy risk takers who don't mind taking a chance to win.

"Day traders actively engage with the market, employing intraday strategies to profit off quick price changes in a given security. To become a day trader, you must be well-enough capitalized and have access to an affordable and functional trading platform.

Day trading can be a lucrative undertaking, but it also comes with a high degree of risk and uncertainty. A thorough understanding of markets, financial securities, and behavioral finance—along with personal discipline and focus—is necessary for success." (13)

If you think you know the market but don't want to risk your livelihood as a day trader, assess risk from another perspective as an actuary.

18- Actuary

Average Salary Range: $74,000 to $170,000

An actuary is a business professional who deals with financial risk management and uncertainty. They use their technical knowledge of mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the probability of events and the financial effects of risk.

You'll also find actuaries in the insurance and healthcare industries. The valuable skills you learned in accounting can help you estimate the likelihood and potential financial impact of risks. Based on their financial information, you help businesses to make informed decisions about whether or not to take on a particular risk.

Actuaries also help insurance companies set premiums for their products to reflect the actual risks that policyholders face.

Actuaries must have a solid mathematical background and a deep understanding of how businesses operate. Job security is "projected to grow 21 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations." (14)

19- Banker

Average Salary Range: $59,000 to $180,000

Accounting professionals may easily transition into the banking world. For an accounting career change, this is not a grand leap!

Bankers typically work for commercial banks, credit unions, and investment banks. They offer financial products and services to customers and help them manage their money.

Like actuaries, bankers must have strong mathematical skills and be able to communicate clearly. They must also be able to build relationships with customers and provide excellent customer service.

Download Checklist " 10 Simple Steps to Smooth Job Change"

20- Financial Bank Consultant

Average Salary Range: $22,140 to $594,567

Not a far cry from the accounting field, a financial bank consultant provides analysis and advice to banks and other financial institutions. They help these organizations make sound investment decisions, develop new products, and enter new markets. Financial consultants typically have a bachelor's degree in business, economics, or accounting.

A career as a financial consultant may be a good fit if you're interested in providing analysis and advice to banks but don't want to work in a traditional accounting role. Financial consultants typically work for banks, investment firms, and consulting firms.

Job growth is booming for financial consultants, according to LinkedIn, so no worries about job security taking this route out of the accounting field!

We Can Help

We hope you found a job description that piqued your interest! Get started moving into a new career by letting your professional network know what you're looking for or hire a career coach.

Also, before you take the next step to change careers, consider whether you may need a class or a certificate for your next step. At Unmudl, our community college and business network helps you find online and on-demand courses to earn certificates, continuing education credits, or work toward a degree.

And check out our business network hiring directly from specific courses! Find the business you'd like to work for and see what classes they hire from!

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Last updated on:
March 5, 2024

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