When thinking of a future career in accounting many terms come to mind -- the Big Four, auditing, busy season, management accounting, financial analysis, and cash management. Many find themselves solely thinking of a path to success via a firm or large business. The thing is, these positions are needed in organizations of all kinds. The path to "success" is much wider than many realize.
Take for instance the non-profit sector. Many think of these jobs to be low-paying, internship-based, and dead-end jobs. This is completely false as many of the largest non-profits operate just like a business. They need to recruit and retain top talent when it comes to managing and growing their financial endeavors. The CEO's and CFO's of non-profits often come from more traditional backgrounds as do all their financially minded cohorts who make the non-profit world spin. You may very well be able to take your skills from auditing and apply them to the daily practices at an organization like The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, or even smaller local non-profits bringing in enough money to need someone to manage it responsibly.
These type of jobs open up a door to a large need where our passions and skills can come together to meet the needs of a charity organization in our money-centric society. The day to day will run very similar to a for-profit company, but you will need to keep track of tax changes affecting non-profits, applying for loans, tax breaks, and other non-profit specific nuances.
Another option could be to work for the national government in a program like the National Parks. Many of these jobs are located in Washington, D.C. or at a National Parks Service locations, but you may be able to find a job inside or nearer to a National Park as well. The Department of the Interior issued a statement saying that the National Park System generated $26.7 billion dollars in 2013. This is a giant revenue and job generator for the U.S. The government needs people to manage and create growth to preserve our lands. So, if it's more your style, you may just get to trade in the asphalt and high rises for trails and trees.
Working for your favorite sports team may feel similar to working for one of the Big Four, but it comes with the benefit of being part of an exciting environment. Sure, it's still an office job, but the atmospheres of such workplaces are buzzing with pride and excitement. These jobs are ideal for someone who likes stability but tires of routine. You're always going to have a job but the ebbing and flowing up how a team performs you will face new challenges from one season to another. You'll have to manage times where revenues are low and high. You'll have different problems during the season when your team loses over half their games vs. when they make a playoff run causing profits go through the roof. Who knows, you could even learn the analyze the trends of spending and winning percentage to such a great degree that you become the next Billy Beane.
Accounting is one of the most diverse careers in the world. Many professionals feel trapped when they realize after a couple of years auditing has become too repetitive. The good news for CPA's is that there is so much available out there for them. The demand for people with the skillset and credentials of a CPA is high. Those looking for a job more accustomed to their interests only need to take the initiative to search. Those who seek it out will eventually find their dream job.