What Accounting Careers Are Right for Me? Quiz

What Accounting Careers Are Right for Me? Quiz was originally published on Forage.

Accounting is a great career path for people interested in finance who want to help businesses or people with their financial accounts. Yet there are so many options for accounting careers depending on who you’re interested in working for, what accounting skills you want to use, and your career goals

Do you want to focus on processes or predictions? Do you like investigating or giving advice? Is your career goal to improve someone’s everyday life, or do you want to help grow a company? Questions like these can help you narrow down which accounting careers are right for you, which is why we’ve created a free, fun quiz to help you do just that.

Jump to Quiz

What Are Accounting Careers?

Accounting careers involve the use of accounting skills to help businesses or people with various financial situations. Different roles in these career paths vary based on what kind of client they work with (investment banks or individual families, for example) and what type of help they provide (like tax advice or financial planning). 

There are a few main types of accounting career paths you can take.

Careers in Financial Analysis

Careers in financial analysis require accounting skills to help businesses make economic decisions. For example, a financial analyst may analyze how a potential acquisition would affect a company’s financial performance. Then, the analyst would make recommendations to the business on how to proceed in the transaction.

Financial Analyst

Analyze a hypothetical company’s financials and present findings to bank executives.

Get started

Avg. Time:
2-3 hours

Skills you’ll build:
Financial analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving, Excel, communication

Get started

Careers in Financial Planning

Careers in financial planning also require accounting skills to help people plan and save for their future. These roles are focused on advising people on various elements of their finances, including investments and retirement plans, to help them achieve their financial goals.

J.P.Morgan bank corporation headquarters glass building concept. JP Morgan banking company symbol on front facade 3d illustration.

Asset Management

Gather information on a client’s investment objections, risk appetite, and restrictions, then perform analysis to recommend a suitable investment solution. 

Get started

Avg. Time:
6-7 hours

Skills you’ll build:
Asset management, objectives and operating structure, client communication

Get started

Careers in Auditing

Those working in auditing careers use accounting skills to review a company’s financial history, processes, transactions, and systems for accuracy and compliance. For example, an auditor might review a company’s financial information to ensure it’s correct and adheres to accounting standards. They’ll also note any errors or areas of potential risk.



Delve into a hypothetical company’s purchasing process, then examine those processes for inefficiencies and risks.

Get started

Avg. Time:
3-4 hours

Skills you’ll build:
Analysis, documentation, compliance analysis, issue identification

Get started

Careers in Tax Accounting

Careers in tax accounting involve applying accounting skills to help clients do their taxes. Tax accountants ensure that their clients report everything correctly and avoid any penalties. They also identify areas where their clients might qualify for tax breaks or benefits.

KPMG Logo, Internships

Career Catalyst: Tax

Make tax recommendations for a project and practice calculating key tax liabilities using Excel.

Get started

Avg. Time:
3-4 hours

Skills you’ll build:
Tax research, tax types, excel modeling, data modeling, critical thinking

Get started

What Accounting Careers Are Right for Me? Quiz

Ready to determine what accounting careers are right for you? Take this quiz to find out. It’s completely free — you just need to sign up to get your results!

1. You’re planning a dream vacation. What kind of trip would you be most excited about?

a. an adventure to multiple new cities

b. a getaway with your family and friends

c. a historical walking tour through ancient ruins

d. a relaxing beach retreat with a good book

2. You have a free weekend day. What’s your go-to activity?

a. calling your long-distance friend to catch up

b. organizing your closet to get ready for the next season

c. getting your friends together for a board game competition

d. doing logic puzzles or finishing the crossword

3. What career tradeoff would you choose?

a. stable but uncreative

b. ethical but lonely

c. impactful but socially draining

d. fast-paced but risky

4. Pick a breakfast order.

a. perfectly portioned oatmeal

b. customized and delicious smoothie

c. power breakfast of eggs, pancakes, fruit, and toast

d. classic breakfast sandwich

5. Your friends would describe you as…

a. curious

b. dependable

c. dedicated

d. supportive

6. Your ideal office environment would be a…

a. comfortable setting where you meet with people one-on-one

b. professional office where you can do independent, focused work

c. efficient and organized workplace where you can consult with your peers

d. fast-paced, dynamic office where you’re always collaborating with others

7. You find fulfillment in…

a. following the rules

b. being moral and fair

c. achieving goals

d. helping others

8. You win the lottery. What’s the first thing you’d do with the money?

a. invest a large sum

b. pay off any debt

c. donating to your favorite cause

d. put it all into savings

9. If you had any superpower, it’d be…

a. x-ray vision

b. force fields

c. seeing the future

d. healing

10. You’re faced with a challenging problem. What’s your first step for solving it?

a. consider all the concrete facts of the situation

b. look at what’s been done in the past to find patterns and trends

c. talk with trusted friends and experts to get their advice

d. brainstorm all of the possible solutions

11. Pick a genre of book you’d most like to read.

a. biography

b. mystery

c. science fiction

d. self-help

12. Pick a high-impact project you’d like to work on

a. developing a program to combat food waste

b. creating a universal system for measuring happiness

c. uncovering the accuracy of historical artifacts

d. building better public transit in a major city

13. As a kid, you wanted to grow up to be a…

a. meteorologist

b. detective

c. teacher

d. librarian


This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


How to Land Accounting Careers

Now that you know which accounting careers are right for you, how do you land the best role?

Get a Related Degree

Most accounting careers require at least a bachelor’s degree. Not only do degrees in accounting (or related majors like finance, economics, or business) tend to teach you the skills you need to land an accounting role, but many states require a bachelor’s degree to take the certified public accountant exam (more on that below).

Build the Necessary Hard Skills…

Accountants need hard skills to do the financial calculations required for their roles. The vital hard skills that are transferable skills for all accounting careers are:

  • Account balancing: Calculating the flow of money in and out of a business or a person’s individual accounts is crucial for understanding financial health, identifying trends, and spotting errors.
  • Financial reporting: Accountants need to know how to read financial statements, compile data to make new statements, and present the data in a clear, understandable way.
  • Data modeling: When advising businesses or companies, it’s essential to be able to project future financial performance and make recommendations based on that expected performance.
  • Accounting software: Accountants use a range of software to do their jobs, including Excel to create spreadsheets and model data and general accounting software like Sage, FreshBooks, or QuickBooks, depending on the size of the company.

Angie Jackson, CPA and business assurance senior associate at Moore Colson CPAs and Advisors, says the one “constant software across accounting firms” is Excel. “If you want to stand out or be a step ahead, having strong Excel skills will help you thrive. Public accounting can be a fast-paced environment, and starting out with these skills will help you to start out more efficient and more confident!”

You’ll also need some career-specific hard skills, depending on what type of accounting career you want to pursue. For example, if you want to go into tax accounting, it’s crucial to understand tax documentation, including tax codes and how to fill out tax forms.

…Including the Right Formulas

Accountants use different calculations and formulas to carry out their everyday work. These formulas include:

  • The accounting equation: looking at how a company’s assets, liabilities, and equity are related to understand how a change in one affects another
  • Current ratio formula: comparing a company’s assets and liabilities to understand its financial health
  • Quick ratio formula: comparing a company’s short-term assets (quick assets, cash, and liquid assets) to short-term liabilities (current debts)
  • Profit margin: understanding if a company is making enough money to survive
  • Debt ratio: comparing a company’s debt to assets 
  • EBITDA: earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization to understand the company’s profitability

But Don’t Forget the Soft Skills!

Of course, you still need soft skills, or skills concerning how you work and work with others, to be a successful accountant. Some critical soft skills for accounting careers include:

  • Attention to detail: Accounting careers require meticulous focus. One wrong number could lead to many consequences, which means you need a strong eagle eye to find any errors. 
  • Organization: Like attention to detail, this skill is crucial for an accountant to ensure that nothing gets slipped under the rug — no financial statements or documents get lost, for example. 
  • Problem-solving skills: Many accounting careers don’t just focus on reporting the numbers — they do something with them! Problem-solving skills can help accountants determine how to budget, give a company recommendations, or offer solutions for a client in need.
  • Communication: Accountants need to be able to communicate their technical know-how and findings to people who aren’t as close to the numbers.

Get a Certification

Many accounting careers require certification. The most common is a certified public accountant (CPA). While requirements vary by state, you’ll likely need:

  • At least 120 college credit hours
  • A bachelor’s degree
  • A passing score on four different CPA exams (which cover topics like accounting, auditing, and taxation)
  • One to two years of work experience 
  • Continuing education courses to keep your license

Do Your Research

Once you’ve built your skills, gotten your degree, and obtained certification, it’s time to figure out where you want to work — which means getting detailed in your research.

“There are so many opportunities for accountants that it’s important to find somewhere that has the client industries you’re interested in, culture you align with, and opportunities for growth that you are looking for,” Jackson says. “It’s important to truly appreciate and foster connections you build with your peers, professors, and recruiters, as the accounting industry is very connected. Keep an open mind as you start to research firms, and I promise you will find the right fit!”

Get an inside look at different accounting companies and roles with Forage accounting job simulations.

Image credit: Canva

The post What Accounting Careers Are Right for Me? Quiz appeared first on Forage.