Beyond Counting Beans: The Role of Accounting in Business Organizations

If you’re an Ohio student weighing your career options and exploring business major programs, consider this: Among the many available career paths in business, accounting is arguably the most important to the successful operation of an organization.

While some may derisively refer to accountants as “bean counters,” alluding to the idea that accounting professionals are only concerned with money flowing into and out of an organization, the reality is that accounting professionals serve several important financial functions. They also play a vital role in preserving the financial health and viability of the organizations for whom they work.

Among the various accounting functions:

  • Ensuring the collection of money owed to the organization.
  • Ensuring the organization pays its bills.
  • Storing and collecting financial data.
  • Generating financial statements, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
  • Conducting regular financial analyses to determine how the organization is performing.
  • Making sure the organization pays its taxes and complies with government laws and standards. 
  • Preparing and managing budgets.
  • Monitoring the flow of the organization’s money to prevent fraud.

Accounting professionals who earn the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification also can conduct audits and provide consulting and training to others in the profession.

While you may first think of for-profit businesses and their need for accounting professionals, non-profit organizations and government entities—indeed, most any organization that takes in or distributes money—also need accounting professionals. 

Accounting Career Options

Just as there are multiple important functions that fall under accounting, there are numerous career options within the field, ranging from entry level roles to the executive suite. Among them:

  • Auditor
  • Tax manager
  • Cost accountant manager
  • Financial analyst
  • Accounting manager
  • Comptroller
  • Chief financial officer

Also, while accounting professionals hold important roles within organizations, they also can opt to work independently and start their own businesses. These can include accounting firms, financial advising and planning companies, and tax preparation services. 

What It Takes to Be an Accountant

While many accounting tasks are increasingly digitized, requiring accounting professionals to learn and use various financial software and systems, accounting professionals still need to be strong in math, detail-oriented, and have a love for numbers and working with financial information. Also, consider that accountants earn more than professionals in many other fields, as the median income for accountants and auditors is more than $77,000. 

If this sounds appealing to you, you may find that pursuing a career in accounting is a rewarding choice.

Your Future in Accounting

Launch your career as an accountant with a bachelor of science degree in accountancy from John Carroll University’s Boler School of Business. Boler accounting students gain the broad knowledge and specific skills needed to flourish in this changing profession. The knowledge base you build will help you to balance customer/stakeholder/sustainability priorities, advocate for long-term and ethical leadership and strategy, anticipate and adapt to changing market conditions, and communicate with clarity.

JCU is a private Jesuit university located in University Heights, Ohio, near Cleveland.