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Alternative accounting pathways

Have you found alternative or unique positions (not traditional) for being an accountant? After investigating, were they financially worthwhile?

Answers

Jaime Campbell
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Tier One Services, LLC
(Chief Financial Officer, Tier One Services, LLC) |

I know that being a fractional CFO is not terribly alternative, but coming from 10 years of traditional A&A/tax it feels like living life without the lid.

In recent years I've transitioned from looking back at the past to partnering with companies to create the future.

It's exhilarating, creative, and quite financially viable.

One thing I like about it is the ability to combine my teaching credentials, programming geekiness, drive to master technology like a musical instrument, coaching training, and financial acumen. All of this to help alleviate pain at the deepest levels and create new opportunities to help clients achieve their dreams.

Bliss.

Pamela Wise
Title: Director/General Accounting
Company: The E.W. Scripps Company
(Director/General Accounting, The E.W. Scripps Company) |

A few months ago I made the transition to Program Manager from head of Accounting. I needed the work/life balance and our EPMO department needed someone with financial background so it was a win/win. This change may not work for everyone, but I have been at my company over two decades. You need to look at your interests and what is important to you in making a change.

Anonymous
(Consultant) |

Many years ago, tired of the month-end close and year end audit ruts I transitioned from corporate accounting to F,P&A. After only 3 years I was bored with the endless forecast/budget cycles. With assistance from a career coach I discovered that what I most enjoyed and was challenged by was the intersection of finance and IT which led me to a career as a consultant working for a company that develops, sells and implements financial software systems.

My work life is anything but routine; the products are constantly evolving due to changes in technology and the client environments vary significantly. Also, the work is project, not process-oriented, there is always a beginning and an end to each implementation.

At the end of every year it is very gratifying to me to review all the client companies and people I've worked with and to know that I actually created something tangible and of value to the employees as well as the organization.
And yes, it has been financially viable.

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Since becoming involved in Proformative discussions and reading the helpful advice of people on here, I've looked from time to time at operational and business manager positions, but haven't found anything that seems to fit, or employers who are interested in my resume. Part of the problem is the "posted position game" that has been referred to several times in the past.

I have thought often about trying my hand at software consulting such as Anonymous above. I don't have the "required" software experience to break into this field, at least as of yet.

An option I've explored apart from the business world is a position in ministry. I will spare the forum any "Christianese" and just say the opportunity hasn't presented itself.

Anders Liu-Lindberg
Title: Regional Finance Business Partner
Company: Maersk Line Northern Europe
LinkedIn Profile
(Regional Finance Business Partner, Maersk Line Northern Europe) |

I think venturing into advanced analytics could be an interesting option for some accountants who really like to just dig into the details of huge data sets. With Big Data and BI being the "next" big thing for many companies this would certainly be a lucrative area.

Also, I agree the IT consulting related accounting software should be very lucrative.

@Chris, you got to go alternative if you want to land a position materially different from what you're doing now. You can't just play the posted position game in the traditional way. However, you can use it to identify positions you want to target. Find the hiring manager and send a pain letter. That should get you started.

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