Anyone who wants to become an information technology accountant will need a highly specialized degree and work experience with both accountancy and information technology. Below introduces a specialized degree and two IT accounting related entry-level careers.
Specialized Accounting Degree
Some students may pursue a major and minor in accountancy and information technology. Others may pursue an actual degree in information systems or technology accountancy. These degree programs teach students about financial accounting, which introduces students to accounting theories, strategic frameworks, financial statements and the generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP). Classes on auditing will examine the Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS), attestation standards and alternative audit models. Students will learn how to use computer-assisted auditing CAAT) techniques and other technology solutions for obtaining evidence, according to Investopedia.
When it comes to risk management, students learn how to evaluate internal controls, potential risks, business processes and regulatory environments. These degrees include classes on accounting information systems and other analytical tools used to design, implement and maintain accounting systems. Students will analyze how to evaluate users’ accounting needs against enterprises’ business process and information system needs. Students may learn about traditional flow charts, data-flow diagrams, computer network theories and relational database management systems. Students may also study the life cycles of the information system and their integration, development, operation and maintenance.
An entry-level job that will prepare accountants for a career in information technology accountancy is a financial analyst. These accounting professionals prepare annual and monthly financial budgets, process incoming invoices, reconcile billing discrepancies and track overhead expenditures. They may analyze current and past financial data and performance and forecast needs based on industry trends and upcoming projects. Part of their financial duties may involve reviewing data to identify inefficient and redundant areas and driving process improvements and policy development initiatives.
Financial analysts may assist in the development and distribution of accounting reports and financial models. They may be involved in various IT projects. This could be a systems analysis and design project that requires them to study current practices, techniques and requirements. They may help with software application selection, project management processes and the creation of new information system applications. Financial analysts usually have a four-year degree in finance, accounting or business. They will need experience working with enterprise financial systems, such as SAP and Oracle.
Enterprise System Designer
Some IT accountants start out their careers in the IT department as programmers, software engineers and enterprise system designers. The latter will design and implement computer-based business solutions for accounting departments and financial functions. They may work in close collaboration with team members and end users to meet company’s goals and create new solutions. Their primary focus will be the coordination and execution of projects to solve finance and accounting problems, such as improving control, planning and operating results.
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They may lead complex process and system design projects. They may help software architects create enterprise-scale solutions that meet new business needs and requirements. This means they must design, configure and test the technical and functional performance of developed applications and reporting projects. They may work directly with accounting and other business teams to define and develop new solutions. They may also participate in third-party support and application enhancements.