A career in accounting


Many people regard accounting as this dull boring job where you just stare at figures on your computer all day. Accountants are generally seen as “robot-like employees” that input, add and subtract figures all day. Whilst this may have been true at some point in history, times have changed. Most of that routine work is now being done by computers thus leaving time for accountants to do the more strategic and analytic bits.

The truth is accounting is now a very wide field with a number of subdivisions. The simplest division that you can have for accounts is managerial and financial accounting.

  • Managerial Accountants: Provide services to executives within the organisation.
  • Financial accountants: Provides information required by those outside an organisation who may wish to know the financial position of the company.

Careers in the field of accounting include:

  • Auditors: these may be internal auditors or external auditors. Internal auditors work within the company. Their job is to unearth errors and fraud in the company’s financial records and transactions. External Auditors work for firms that specialise in auditing. In Zimbabwe these auditing firms are usually run by Chartered Accountants
  • Forensic Accountants: Focus their auditing and accounting skills towards assisting courts and other legal bodies.
  • Public accountants: Provide consultancy services in areas such as tax advisory, customs duty and auditing.
  • Government Accountants: These are accountants employed by government; ZIMRA for example employs accountants for tax and customs business areas.

Examples of specific accounting positions include:

  • Accountant
  • Accounting Clerk
  • Auditor
  • Bookkeeper
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Finance Director
  • Financial Controller
  • Finance or Accounting Manager
  • Cost Accounting Manager
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Public Accountant
  • Payroll Administrator/Manager/Supervisor/Clerk
  • Tax Accountant

While some roles may be optional or even expendable within organisations, accountants are vital to the well-being of an organisation. Accountants are entrusted with handling key information that allows the business to run from day to day. No wonder almost every local tertiary institution has an offering in this area!

There are various study options available locally in Zimbabwe, which include:

  • Bachelor of Accounting Degrees: Almost every local University offers an accounting degree
  • ACCA
  • CIS ( Offered by ICSAZ)
  • ICAZ( Chartered Accountancy)
  • LCCI
  • Polytechnic Colleges also offer  diplomas in Accounting
  • Various diplomas from private colleges
  • SAAA

*Careerzim will be doing interviews and follow up articles on these and other options, so watch this space.