Accounting in the 21st century is a combination of analysis, problem solving, client focus and much more; to do the job right you must be able to communicate effectively and deal with people, not just numbers. As such, the field of accounting is highly diverse.

Accountants play important roles within key segments of the economy including: public accounting, industry, government, and the not-for-profit sector.

The following is a breakdown of the potential career paths/positions for accountants in the four main accounting sectors:


Accountants in public practice provide their clients with services that include:

  • Audit and Assurance
  • Tax Services and Planning
  • Financial Advisory
  • Transaction Advisory Services
  • Strategy & Risk
  • Consulting


Accountants working in industry provide financial analysis in order to identify new opportunities, ensure corporate ethical accountability, manage risk for the entity, adhere to IFRS and GAAP, all while helping the company to maintain a long-term strategic advantage.

Roles include:

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • President
  • Chief Financial Officier (CFO)
  • Treasurer
  • Controller
  • Consultant
  • Financial Analyst
  • Internal Auditor
  • Accounts Payable Clerk
  • Accounts Receivable Clerk
  • Budget Analyst
  • Payroll Clerk


Government accountants are employed at all levels of government to guide financial planning, conduct financial analysis and maintain fiscal control.

Roles include:

  • Tax Auditor
  • Internal Auditor
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Policy Planner
  • Budget Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Fiscal Planner
  • Executive Director
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Deputy Minister


Accountants are employed as treasurer`s for not-for-profit organizations, in order to oversee the all of the accounting of the funds of the organization, its budget and expenditures. Accountants are responsible for ensuring the organization abides by GAAP and IFRS. In addition, accountants help the organizations with effective strategic development, adhering to the tax code and in the preparation of financial statements and the delivery of an annual report.