Trying out internships at different types of firms can also help you to figure out what type of accounting you might want to work in later on. Corporate accountants work in the accounting function of companies that produce goods and services, as opposed to selling accounting services. An accounting degree leads to many unique specializations like tax and auditing, as well as to different types of accounting careers. Please check with your enrollment advisor for your state’s specific requirements.

Because of this, they typically work more than the customary 40 hours per week. Public accountants also work with a wide variety of clients handling many different tasks. The fact that public accountants can work with many different clients means they can spend more time commuting and travelling. Private accounting has to do with accountants and accounting departments at specific companies or businesses. Public accountants are responsible for ensuring that their clients’ financial documents are accurate and complete before being released to the public. Their daily job duties usually center on testing and analyzing the financial information their clients have prepared to make certain they’re error-free, according to Butts.

Know the Difference: Public vs. Private Accounting

Private accounting jobs work well for individuals who desire a “home base” and who can communicate well with coworkers. Private accountants must also have the desire to specialize in a particular industry. Looking for a career field that offers growth, stability, and above-average earning potential?

What is the difference between public accounting and industry accounting?

Industry accounting is a type of private accounting where one works in the accounting department for a specific company. Public accounting, on the other hand, is when you work for a firm that performs services for a client. These services may be audit, tax or advisory.

They might review them during an external audit, but they are not directly involved in the company’s day-to-day functioning. TrendingAccounting is a top small business blog that shares information about accounting, bookkeeping, tax, finance, and auditing. They can expect to work fairly regular hours in the comfort of the office their boss assigns to them. Everywhere you turn, people are making leaps into incredible, satisfying careers. Your friends are announcing new jobs on social media and your favorite blogs are constantly featuring stories of people who landed the job of their dreams. These change every year or so, so it’s worth keeping up with labor value to ensure you’re being paid what you’re worth.

Online MBA vs Traditional MBA: Advantages & Disadvantages of Each

Individual accounting courses — If you need individual courses to pursue your career goals in accounting or to complete a degree program UOPX offers 23 accounting courses that can be earned completely online. Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual.

Public accountants usually select a specialty, such as tax accounting, auditing, forensic accounting, or consulting, which has its own set of responsibilities. These individuals may begin their careers as entry-level accountants and progress through the ranks of senior accountants to finally take senior management roles in the business, such as audit partner. Most accountants develop areas of expertise outside of accounting as well, learning certain industry standards and how businesses function. Due to the nature of their work and diverse client base, public accountants gain experience in various industries. Private accountants, on the other hand, usually become experts in a single sector correlating with the organization they work for. While the essential duties are similar in both sectors, some key factors make each a unique career path in accounting.

Careers Related to Accounting

Job satisfaction tends to be higher in private accounting because professionals create business transactions and report effectiveness. As mentioned above, the list provides potential clients with just some examples out there amongst so many alternatives available, making it easier for them to find one that best suits their needs. At the same time, they embark upon the process of hiring an accountant/accounting firm suitable for them. Some examples of prominent forensic accounting firms include AlixPartners LP, Duff & Phelps Corporation, and Navigant Consulting Inc, among many others specializing in this domain area of practice.

Public Accounting vs Private Accounting

Public accountants are trained to analyze accounting systems, collect evidence, and test whether a business is running effectively. A public accounting professional also must have a keen understanding of accounting standards for financial statements. Another disadvantage of private accounting is the limited access to data and records that are available when compared to public accounting firms.

What Is Public Accounting?

Private accountants typically have more freedom to choose their hours and workload and decide which clients they wish to serve. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key differences between public and private accounting and the pros and cons of each. Whether you’re a student just beginning your accounting career or a seasoned professional looking to make a switch, this post will help you better understand the key differences between public and private accounting. Your specific job duties as a public accountant will vary depending on factors like your experience level and the specific needs of each client that you are working with. This is especially true if you operate your own firm or business, and an MBA program can equip you with the skills to operate more successfully. The downside to public accounting can be the long hours sometimes required to do the work, especially during tax season.

  • Billable hours are the focus for public accountants, and 40-plus-hour workweeks are often the result.
  • A private accountant does not require certification, though several certifications are available for private accounting, such as the certified management accountant, certified internal auditor, and certified fraud examiner.
  • Some companies will pay higher salaries to private accountants with a CPA license since it shows they have a high level of knowledge and dedication to the field.
  • If public accounting seems intriguing, it’s only one side of the accounting industry.

Private accounting tends to be more satisfying, which can lead to longer-term employment. This exciting field merges elements of accounting with investigative work and financial crime prevention. According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for forensic accountants is over $90,900 per year Learn more about what a forensic accountant does and how to become one. Here are a few points to keep in mind when weighing the pros and cons of a career in public vs. private accounting. There are also certifications available that might open up private accounting job opportunities, such as Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Bachelor of Science in Business with a Financial Planning Certificate — If you want to help people make wise money-management choices, this program is for you.

Deeper dive into private accounting:

As a private accountant, you’ll be responsible for managing the company’s financial records, preparing financial statements, budgeting, and ensuring compliance with tax laws and regulations. Public accountants may serve a different client each week or even travel to different client sites in the same day; corporate accountants will work for the same employer all year. If you are looking for a job where you have a desk or office and want to interact with the same people each day, public accounting is not for you, and corporate accounting may be better suited for your personality. However, if you are interested in seeing how different businesses operate and do not mind bouncing among clients, public accounting vs. industry might be a better fit.

  • Private accounting is entirely different, since it involves setting up systems and recording business transactions that are aggregated into financial statements.
  • After passing the CPA exams, you need to complete additional 30 units to have a total of 150 credits plus a year of working under a CPA to become licensed as a CPA.
  • I had to cancel plans with friends all the time when work issues came up at the last minute.
  • It won’t be wrong to say that no business can survive without maintaining the accounts.
  • These aspects of public accounting can also be drawbacks for some professionals.
  • Whether you plan to launch your own company, become an entrepreneur or grow in your current career, private accountants have various options for their career paths.

A notable difference between public and private accounting is the work environment. They may be required to work long and irregular hours to meet deadlines and their clients’ needs. Private Accountants can specialize in specific accounting areas and provide more personalized and intimate services. On the other hand, Public Accounting is generally recommended for larger companies with more complex systems as it offers additional services that Private Accountants may not.