Exploring The Accounting Career: Public Vs. Corporate 

The accounting industry offers a wide range of opportunities. There are always rewarding jobs available for every level. You can work as an Accounting Assistant, Cost Control Officer, Finance Director, Business Analyst, or Accounting Software Developer. The opportunities are almost endless, but if you’re one of those people who wish to become accountants yet still confused whether to take the private path or not, how do you know which career path is the perfect one for you? 


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Here are the differences between working as a Public Accountant and as a Corporate Accountant. Try to see which is more fitting for you. 


Working As A Public Accountant 

If you notice, fresh graduates usually settle for the public accounting route. It is because most top accounting firms start recruiting from reputable colleges even before graduation. Apart from that, the majority of these firms also rate their accountants on an annual basis depending on their performance. It means that when one performs well, one is sure to get a higher bonus. But what do public accountants do?  


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Public accountants prepare, review, and audit clients’ financial statements. The job also includes the preparation of income tax returns and accounting consultation among others. What makes public accountants distinct from others is that they travel more frequently and typically do more work during tax season. They generally coordinate with more people (public accountants work for companies that provide accounting services to others). 


Public accountants also serve many clients from different industries; this gives them a wide range of knowledge about accounting issues in various fields. 


Working As A Corporate Accountant 

To define, corporate accountants (or private accountants) focus on maintaining a business’s financial records to ensure that they comply with laws and policies. They are what companies refer to as “management accountants” because much of the work that they do also revolve around helping the top management make the best financial decisions for the organization.  


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Unlike public accountants, private or corporate accountants focus on honing their crafts in their specific companies. They usually have fixed work schedules and less work to do since they only have one company to focus on, but most are confident, dependable, and are great communicators. 


As for their other duties, these include ledger collection and preparation of financial statements for business executives. To add, they also have to ensure that they meet the set financial goals each year.  


Which Is Better? 

This question of which is better is relative. It all depends on your goals, your interests, or the things that give you a sense of accomplishment. If you’re the type who functions better when outside the four corners of your office, then maybe you should go for the public accountancy route.  


That should allow you to visit more places and deal with a higher number of people. Likewise, if you prefer to stay in the office and enhance your skills in one specialization, then taking the private or corporate accounting route might be for you.  


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The schedule is usually the standard 9-5, so that means you have extra time for your extracurricular activities as compared to the usual 40-hour workweek of public accountants (they have billable hours). Whatever you choose from the two, remember that you can always shift gears if ever you change your mind. A lot of accountants have worked in both sectors to gain a broad base of learning and experience.  


The only thing that matters is you make the most out of your stay in your field and always do your best. You never know who will refer you to higher positions or block you of excellent opportunities. Dedication is key.  





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