Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates in Nigeria

About Accounting

Accounting according to Investopedia is the systematic and comprehensive recording of financial transactions pertaining to a business, and it also refers to the process of summarizing, analyzing and reporting these transactions to oversight agencies and tax collection entities. Accounting is one of the key functions for almost any business; it may be handled by a bookkeeper and accountant at small firms or by sizable finance departments with dozens of employees at large companies.

Wikipedia defines Accounting or accountancy as the measurement, processing and communication of financial information about economic entities such as businesses and corporations. The modern field was established by the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli in 1494. Practitioners of accounting are known as accountants. The terms "accounting" and "financial reporting" are often used as synonyms.

Accounting can be divided into several fields including financial accounting, management accounting, external auditing, tax accounting and cost accounting.

Scope of Accounting

Accounting is not limited to business alone it has got a very wide scope and area of application. It's use is spread over all the spheres of the society and in all professions. These say is any organization whether profit oriented or not, financial transactions must take place. So there arises the need for recording and summarizing these transactions when they occur and the necessity of finding out the net result of the same after the expiry of a certain fixed period. There is also the need for interpretation and communication of those information to the appropriate persons. Only accounting use can help overcome these problems.

In the modern world, accounting system is practiced no only in all the business institutions but also in many non-trading institutions like Schools, Colleges, Hospitals, Charitable Trust Clubs, Co-operative Society etc.and also Government and Local Self-Government in the form of Municipality, Panchayat.The professional persons like Medical practitioners, practicing Lawyers, Chartered Accountants etc. also adopt some suitable types of accounting methods. As a matter of fact, accounting methods are used by all who are involved in a series of financial transactions.

The scope of accounting as it was in earlier days has undergone lots of changes in recent times. As accounting is a dynamic subject, its scope and area of operation have been always increasing keeping pace with the changes in socio-economic changes. As a result of continuous research in this field the new areas of application of accounting principles and policies are emerged. National accounting, human resources accounting and social Accounting are examples of the new areas of application of accounting systems.


Skills and Competencies that You Need to Succeed in Accounting

Accountants are important people. They manage a lot of responsibility, which means that they generally stay pretty busy. To be a good accountant you need to have a system to keep track of those responsibilities.

Time management
Good time-management skills go hand-in-hand in with strong organizational capabilities. The ability to work within deadlines and to continually re-prioritize your to-do list will help your career.

As an accountant you should able to adapt quickly. Adaptable individuals are more likely to learn and grow in their careers and provide better services to their clients.

Ability to create or control a situation rather than just responding is a big plus.

Being able to communicate well in writing and in person will help you to get a job, work as a team with your colleagues, interact with clients and, with time, advance professionally.

Honesty / Integrity
Openness, Honesty and integrity are highly valued in the accounting world.

Being a good leader means knowing how to mentor and teach, and making yourself approachable and available to the people you’re responsible for. 
In accounting, leadership skills also include strategic thinking and long-term planning. Many accountants provide consulting services, which means that they offer advice and business solutions to help companies improve their operations, so the ability to look ahead is key.

Information Technology
Accounting jobs often require knowledge of a variety of computer programs and systems. For example, an accountant might need to use finance-related software systems (like SAGEONE, QuickBooks).

Detail Oriented
A lot of accounting is about paying attention to the little details. 

Accounting professionals must read, compare, and interpret figures and data.

Other Accounting Skills

  • Account Analysis
  • Account Reconciliation
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Accounting Software
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounting Processes
  • Accounting Principles
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Accuracy
  • ADP
  • Aging Reports
  • Analytical
  • Analysis
  • Annual Reports
  • Asset Management
  • Attention to Detail
  • Audits
  • Audit Schedules
  • Balance Sheets
  • Banking
  • Bank Deposits
  • Bank Reconciliations
  • Bill Payment
  • Bookkeeping
  • Budgets
  • Business Awareness
  • Cash Receipts
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Chart of Accounts
  • Check Runs
  • Collections
  • Commitment
  • Communication
  • Compliance
  • Computer
  • Corporate Reports
  • Corporate Tax
  • Cost Accounting
  • Credit Management
  • Credits
  • Crystal Reports
  • Debt Management
  • Depreciation
  • Detail Orientation
  • Federal Tax Law
  • Finance
  • Financial Analysis
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financial Software
  • Financial Statements
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Fixed Assets
  • Forecasts
  • Forecasting
  • Full Charge Bookkeeping
  • Full Cycle Month-End Close
  • Full Cycle Year-end Close
  • GAAP
  • General Ledger
  • Great Plains Accounting
  • Great Plains Dynamics
  • Income Tax
  • Interest Calculations
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Invoices
  • IT Knowledge
  • Job Cost Reports
  • Journal Entry Preparation/Posting
  • Mathematical
  • Microsoft Office
  • Monthly Closes
  • Motivation
  • Multitasking
  • MS Access
  • MS Excel
  • MS Word
  • Numerical Competence
  • Oracle
  • Organization
  • Paychex
  • Payroll
  • Payroll Liabilities
  • Payroll Taxes
  • Peachtree
  • Personal Tax
  • Petty Cash
  • Platinum
  • Prepaid Income/Expenses
  • Problem Solving
  • Profit and Loss
  • Professionalism
  • QuickBooks
  • Reconciliation
  • Regulatory Filings
  • Reporting
  • Revenue Projections
  • Revenue Recognition
  • Sales Receipts
  • SAP
  • Special Projects
  • State Tax Law
  • Tax Analysis
  • Tax Compliance
  • Tax Filing
  • Tax Law
  • Tax Liabilities
  • Tax Reporting
  • Tax Returns
  • Tax Software
  • Technology
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management
  • Training
  • Trial Balance
  • Vouchers
  • Writing
  • Written Communication
  • Year End Reporting


Reasons to Study Accounting

Job Prospects:

Students of accounting stand a decent chance of being professionally employed within 6 months of leaving university.

Graduate schemes
Many graduates are employed by financial services firms like KPMG, Deloitte, and PwC, numbering just a few. These firms are always on the lookout for outstanding Accounting students to fill the places on their graduate schemes.

The world needs Accountants
As long as money makes it go round, the world will need its accountants.

You could work in any industry
Accountants record, classify, summarise, interpret and communicate the financial information about a business. You can apply this to any company, in any field, industry, sector.


Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates

A career in accounting means you will have the opportunity to work within almost any industry imaginable. Compensation varies according to level of education, certification and specializations, but in general, accountants are well paid. With the field experiencing rapid growth, now is an excellent time to beginning planning for your career in accounting.

Accounting Officer
It is an accounts officer’s responsibility to take care of a particular firm or company’s finances.

An auditor is an official whose job it is to carefully check the accuracy of business records.

Procurement Officer / Manager
They perform market research to identify supplier best practice and capabilities, develop evaluation plans and look after complex contracts. 

Chief Financial Officer
Responsible for keeping an organisation financially healthy. This means analysing data, presenting reports and creating strategies for success

Forensic Accountant 
The detectives of the finance world. They track and analyse data to find missing funds, trace illegal business activites and identify fraud. 

Counter-Terrorism Financial Investigator
Works with the police on financial matters relating to persons of interest in ongoing investigations.

Enviromental Accountant
Takes a ‘green’ approach to making money and finds ways to ensure a company is environmentally responsible and profitable. 

International accounting specialist
Part of a network of professionals helping manage cross-border transactions, global trade agreements and overseas investments. 

Accounting risk analyst
Risk analysts identify any strategic and operational risks.

Accounting Clerk
An accounting clerk produces and maintains financial records for a company. 

A controller (sometimes called a “comptroller”) is responsible for accounting activities for a particular company. He or she might prepare financial statements and budgets, process data, and prepare taxes. 

Financial Analyst
A financial analyst evaluates businesses and projects to see if an entity is a good candidate to invest in.

Other Accounting Job Titles

  • Accounting Clerk
  • Accounting Clerk Leader
  • Accounting Director
  • Accounting Manager
  • Accounting Supervisor
  • Accounting Vice President
  • Accounts Supervisor
  • Assistant Director of Finance
  • Assistant Director of Financial Operations
  • Audit Supervisor
  • Auditor
  • Bookkeeper
  • Budget Analyst
  • Budget Manager
  • Bursar
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Chief Accounting Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Compliance Auditor
  • Comptroller
  • Contracts and Financial Compliance Manager
  • Controller
  • Corporate Accountant
  • Cost Accountant
  • Credit Analyst
  • Director of Financial Operations
  • Environmental Auditor
  • External Auditor
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Assurance Manager
  • Financial Assurance Specialist
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Gift Administration Specialist
  • Gift Assurance Officer
  • Government Accountant
  • Government Auditor
  • Grants and Contracts Assistant
  • Grants and Contracts Specialist
  • Industrial Accountant
  • Information Technology Audit Manager
  • Information Technology Auditor
  • Internal Auditor
  • Management Accountant
  • Managerial Accountant
  • Payroll Manager
  • Payroll Services Analyst
  • Private Accountant
  • Public Accountant
  • Revenue Cycle Administrator
  • Revenue Cycle Manager
  • Revenue Cycle Supervisor
  • Senior Auditor
  • Senior Budget Analyst
  • Senior Cash Management Analyst
  • Senior Financial Analyst
  • Senior General Audit Manager
  • Senior Gift Assurance Officer
  • Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist
  • Senior Strategic Planner
  • Staff Accountant
  • Staff Auditor
  • Strategic Planner
  • Strategic Planning and Institutional Analysis Manager
  • Strategic Program Planning Advisor
  • Tax Accountant
  • Tax Specialist


Admission Requirements for Studying Accounting in Nigeria

For most high institutions in Nigeria, to study accounting as a course, you need to meet specific academic requirements. Candidates seeking admission through the Jamb are required to have five credit level passes in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (S.S.C.E.) or its equivalent. These should include English Language, Literature in English and an approved science subject. A pass in Mathematics is also required for some schools while it's not for some.

For Jamb UTME, English Language, Mathematics, Economics and any other Social Science subject are required. Please check Jamb brochure for requirements for each school.


Institutions where you can study Accounting

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