Accounting or accountancy
Accounting or accountancy is one of the most important fields of finance and is considered as the pedestal of all other fields in the finance sector. Accounting is the branch of commerce which deals with aspects such as summarizing, reporting and analyzing financial transactions to keep financial records. It is the study of how businesses track their income and assets over a period of time. Accountancy is related to dealing and maintaining records of all daily financial transactions happening in business to estimate the success or failure of a business. Growing economic and commercial activities, has made accounting an integral part of our everyday lives. Any business requires an accountant who would be responsible for maintaining books of accounts. Hence, accounting career opportunities exist almost everywhere, and accountants are in high demand whether it is a new business, big or small, home-based business, corporations and government organisations. The services of accountants are required by all organisations as they must maintain systematic records of all transactions for the purpose of planning activities, managing and furnishing tax returns. Without this department, recording financial transactions, proper maintenance of staff salary and books of account, balance sheets preparation, calculation of various taxes etc is not possible in a firm. Most decisions related to present and future projects are based on the financial records of a concern. Accounting is an important field not only in business but also in every day life of common man. People use accounting skills while making decisions related to finance and investment options. With IT boom, computer has occupied almost every field and in this scenario even accounting is not possible without computers. This has increased the importance of computerised accounting. Specially designed accounting software like Tally is used by firms to ensure speedy and accurate accounting. Accountants assess the present and future economic activities of individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations and governmental bodies. Accountants manage many tasks besides preparing financial statements and recording business transactions. Key areas of accountants work are audit, budget analysis, taxation, management accounting, financial accounting etc. Auditing, an important feature of each and every business, involves checking of books of accounts. Budget analysis is developing and managing the financial plans of an organisation. Taxation involves preparing tax statements for particular individual as well as business concern. Management accounting involves preparing an analysis of the assets. Financial accounting means analyzing and recording the transactions and financial statements. Within the field of accounting, there is another option called Forensic accounting. Forensic accounting is the practice of utilizing accounting, auditing and investigative skills to assist in legal matters. Forensic accounting involves Investigative accounting i.e legal investigation and analysis of financial documents of any firm or client, who is involved in a legal dispute of a criminal nature such as insurance fraud, employee theft etc. and Litigation support which deals with the calculation of economic damages or loss resulting from a breach of contract. Career areas like Chartered Accountancy, Company Secretary, Banking, Actuary, Cost and Works Accountants are related to accountancy. These are advanced fields in accounting which require specific qualifications. However to enter a career in accountancy which is an important field of finance, the basic qualification needed is only a bachelors degree in commerce.
The basic educational qualification for pursuing a career in Accounting is taking 10+2 with Commerce as the main subject, followed by a bachelor degree in Commerce. For Post graduate courses such as M.Com one needs to have B.Com at graduate level. Along with subject specialisation computer literacy is also essential. One must take a course in computer accounting software's such as Tally or some other related diplomas. One can further take up more advanced positions by doing ICWA, CA, Company Secretary ship or an MBA in Finance. After bachelors degree in accounting, one can also go for diploma or certificate course in Forensic accounting. Some institutes offer Forensic Accounting as part of the Law degree.