Accounting and Finance professionals are experts in the field of business. They have a wide range of career opportunities and titles from which to choose depending on their own interest. For instance there is a larger number of different titles that they can choose to pursue: payroll clerk, accountant, financial manager, business controller, financial controller, auditor and many more. They can be employed in the small and medium-sized companies, accounting and finance functions of the multinational companies or even in the public sector. (Jormakka, Koivusalo, Lappalainen & Niskanen 2011)
If you have interest and courage for it, pursuing a career in Accounting and Finance in a school like Metropolia University of Applied Sciences today is in my opinion an excellent decision. In Finland and globally too, education in the field of Accounting and Finance offers a wide range of different interesting career opportunities. You won’t be educated to perform just one kind of work that binds you to do the same tasks year after year until you’re old enough to retire, but instead the education prepares you to face a variety of challenges in the business world.
I started to study Business Administration at the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in the fall of 2012. At first I wasn’t entirely sure that the school was right for me but later when I had to choose which subject I wanted to major in, there wasn’t even a doubt in my head that Accounting and Finance wasn’t the right decision. Level of education has been high throughout my studies and I couldn’t be more excited about my future in the business world. In fact I think that sometimes I might be a little too excited about the future’s career opportunities and that takes my focus off of the things that I should be paying attention right now, which are my studies.
But I have an excellent reason to be enthusiastic. The field of Accounting and Finance employ more and more people year after year and the growth of the Accounting companies doesn’t seem to stop. The 100 largest accounting firms in United States reported average revenue growth of 7,81% for 2013. This was the third year with similar levels of growth since the low points of great recession. (Accounting Today 2014)
In Finland the field offers great odds to get employed too. This is one of the main reasons for the fact that the Accounting and Finance –type of education is highly popular here. Some of the accounting professionals had interesting comments about the field in Tilisanomat –magazine, especially for Accounting students like me.
According to Mr. Jukka Rajala accounting professionals today have to master the basics in accounting, but career development also requires an ability to analyze. He also stated that ‘’the field is in the stage of continuing change. Rapid growth of digitality requires constant maintenance and development of skills’’. CEO of accounting firm Riitta Heikkilä Oy pointed out that the industry is lacking good employees. She states that the industry’s challenge is in particularly finding good employees, because the age distribution of the field is the same as in everywhere in Finland: employees are aging. She also pointed out that young people have also noticed that the actual work in Accounting isn’t really as boring as it sounds like. Seppo Vesterinen, an economist, reminded that the responsibility of financial management professionals is sure to be growing in the future. Because the systems are getting more digitalized in the future, the amount of cash that one employee has to deal with is getting bigger. (Tilisanomat 2012)
In my opinion all of this information creates a high expectations for the future specialists, which are the Accounting and Finance students today. Our responsibility in the working environment is likely to get bigger and the field is soon to be in desperate shortage of good employees. In addition to the facts that students in Accounting and Finance will most likely get employed and get interesting tasks after they’ve graduated, the wages aren’t that bad either. According to Poolia’s salary survey 2013, due to the current employment situation in the field the financial professionals receive their salary requests more often than not. This is especially true if they have a solid working experience and up-to-date computer skills. Higher education was one of the main reasons for higher salaries. (Poolia 2013)
Throughout their studies anyone who is majoring in Accounting and Finance will notice that they have gained several skills that will help them in their careers. These skills include such as:
– The ability to understand, manipulate and make use of numerical and statistical data
– Communication skills
– An insight to business procedures, functioning of organisations
– Analytical ability
– Methodical approach to work, logical thinking and attention to detail
These skills will for sure be an advantage in the working environment, but I think that they can be advantageous in some other aspects of life, too. Communication skills, attention to detail and ability to think and act logically are things that we all need sometime in our lives, some may even need these skills every day. (University of Kent 2011)
Accounting today 2014:
Accounting Today, Top 100 firms show continuing growth. 7.3.2014 http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/top-100-firms-show-continuing-growth-69898-1.html
Jormakka, Koivusalo, Lappalainen & Niskanen 2011:
Raija Jormakka, Kaija Koivusalo, Jaana Lappalainen, Mervi Niskanen. Laskentatoimi 2011. Hesinki: Edita Prima Oy. Pages 11-12.
Poolia palkkatutkimus 05/2013, https://www.poolia.fi/Global/web%20Slideshow%20full%20714x294px/Poolian%20Palkkatutkimus%202013.pdf
Taloushallinnon alalla on imua, 6.3.2012. http://www.tilisanomat.fi/content/taloushallinnon-alalla-imua
University of Kent 2011:
What can I do with my degree in…?. Accounting and Finance. 2011. https://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/accountancy.htm#WhatdoUK
All of the pictures are attached from ClipArt.