Why Choose Accounting? Exploring Banking

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If you are looking for a career with longevity and stability, accounting can be the right choice. If you are pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, there are a number of varied opportunities in the industry that allow you to choose the post-graduation career path that best suits your interests. For instance, you may have the opportunity to break into the world of banking – especially if you enjoy organizing numbers, helping businesses succeed, and learning about the movement of money in a global economy.

A bank vault

Hedge Fund Accounting

The accountant is one of the most important members of a hedge fund team. He or she is primarily responsible for the valuation of assets within a hedge fund’s control, a role that is tasked with balancing economic concerns with current regulations and market trends.
Hedge fund accounting is just as much of an art as a science. The accountant is responsible for keeping up with all of the various investments that a fund holds, valuing them in accordance to their specific traits and industry markers, and assigning a total value to investment baskets.
If you are interested in working in hedge fund accounting, pursuing an online accounting program can set you on the right track. Your education can prepare you for the complicated world you are about to enter by honing your critical thinking and analytical skills. After all, hedge fund accounting is not all about hard numbers. It is also about applying those numbers to future investments. As an accountant, you will likely have a hand in deciding what the company moves forward with and what gets left behind. Because of the level of responsibility involved, hedge fund accountants are usually compensated fairly well. A starting salary in the range of $62,000 is average, with growth to around $81,000 when you take on a supervisory role, according to Robert Half.

Mutual Fund Accounting

Since the dual banking and housing crises of 2008, the mutual fund has become a preferred method of investing for those who are still wary of the securities market. The mutual fund accountant plays an important role in selecting large-scale investments for fund holders. You will likely learn the machinations of stocks, bonds, futures, and other investments that comprise the baskets in which mutual fund holders invest. You will also learn how to focus your attention on the industries that your particular mutual funds do business in.
When an investor trusts a mutual fund company, that investor is trusting the management team just as much as the basket of investments. The accountant is an essential part of that team, helping to assess the present and future value of individual securities and total packages. You may also be responsible for suggesting future paths to your colleagues, who may be relying on you for your expertise in numerical data and valuation.
Mutual fund accountants can expect to make slightly less than hedge fund accountants. Once you have 3 to 5 years of experience, you may be in a salary range of $55,000 to $71,000 according to Robert Half. The slight dip in compensation comes from the fact that mutual funds are not as risky as hedge funds.

Financial Analysis

After completing your online accounting program and earning your bachelor’s degree, you may be qualified to pursue a Financial Analyst position in the banking industry. After earning a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, your job could involve:
• Advising customers on their investment profitability
• Market trend evaluations
• Stocks and bonds performance monitoring
• Finding and cultivating new investment opportunities
Financial Analysts are often responsible for understanding both the local and macroeconomic markets so that they can best advise the bank and its clients. Analysts with accounting backgrounds are often hired because of their unique understanding of regulations and compliance requirements and ability to pay close attention to details. The position is also a first step toward higher-level financial management positions, but pays well at the start. According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for financial analysts averages around $63,000.

Financial Management

After gaining several years of experience, you may consider pursuing a position as a bank financial manager. Accountants are particularly well suited to this role, as they have learned industry best practices while working toward their bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Bank Financial Managers may review financial reports, manage the financial team, prepare financial statements, and monitor high-level economic trends. He or she is a part of the team that determines strategies for reducing financial losses and increasing revenues. Another important role of the Financial Manager is to oversee the regulatory changes regarding taxes and audits and ensuring his or her employer is in compliance.
In 2015, the median pay for Financial Managers was about $118,000. As it is a higher level position, candidates for this role may need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or other similar area, as well as at least five years of relevant experience to qualify.

To Pursue Banking, Start with a Bachelor of Science Degree

The banking industry offers a number of different roles for accountants, not limited to the ones described above. If you are interested in pursuing an accounting career in this industry, start with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.