Understandably, there can be a question mark when it comes to working as an accountant in Nigeria. This is simply because every accountant you may have met may have grown grey hairs and is quite advanced in the accountancy field. However, far from your notion is the fact that accounting is needed in virtually almost every field. From corporate businesses to the tech world, accountants are needed more than ever before.
In the case where you become an accountant, the only thing that will limit your career will be your accreditation and degree. Since each accountant chooses which niche he/she is comfortable with, your decision would affect the kind of job you get. As a tip, you should decide to specialize in forensic accountancy, business accounting or financial accounting. You will notice that more industries will be interested in your cv than that of others.
Another added advantage is that accountants earn over 40% more than the average national salary even as an entry-level accountant. With an average salary between ₦125,000 to ₦500,000 per month, you're covered financially especially because of the amount of financial workload you'd have to be doing. To earn a lot more, you will need to gain more work experience as well as qualifications.
Before you get your payroll increased, you will need to train in different accounting courses over several years. Imagine it as a constant training, because as an accountant, your work requires that you never stop learning even after you bag all certifications. For most institutes, to begin your accounting career, you will be needing a university/polytechnic degree. Others just require your secondary school certificate.
In less than five years, you could become a certified management accountant or a chartered accountant and begin your accounting and business career. Below, we have listed some of the top places you can work as an accountant in Nigeria.
Working For the Nigerian Government
Your career path is good enough to get you employed at government agencies. Government organizations like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) amongst others are great places to work. What's more, is that almost all government agencies need an accountant. You're also going to make a lot more in salary working in the public sector than you will in private businesses.
One of the advantages of working for the Nigerian government is the fact that you get promoted to certain levels at specific periods. Additionally, you do not have to worry so much about getting sacked early on in your accounting career. Most government organizations tend to give enough room for growth. Usually, layoffs happen only in extreme cases. While working as an accountant here, build your portfolio and work your ladder up to the top. Just as in private sectors, there are incentives attached to being a most sought after accountant.
Get Employed Under One Of The Big Four Businesses
Believe it or not, these four companies are the biggest accounting firms in the world. So popular and successful, the world has nicknamed them as ''the big four.''
They are Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young and KPMG. All the first three were founded in the United Kingdom while the last was founded in the Netherlands. These companies have over the decades, grown all over the world; having offices at virtually almost everywhere in the world.
Rather than being a single firm or working competitively, these four companies are organized as a professional service network with each of them managed independently. They share a name, a brand and have the same quality standards. As a result of this connection with one another, the four organizations hold about two-third of the worldwide accountancy market.
Additionally, these companies have more than one million employees and produce over £140 billion in revenue each year. You can check all the accounting qualifications required for joining these big firms here.
True to their position in the accounting field, they offer a variety of accounting services: taxation, transaction advice, auditing, forensic accounting, and risk consulting. If you choose to become a professional accountant for one of these big firms, it can be an extremely rewarding experience. For instance, if you reach the status of a partner or a managerial position, you'll most likely be earning a six-figure salary.
Working for one of the big four is a big step for most accountants in Nigeria. Not only will you be getting a fat salary, but it also comes with its incentives and connections.
The Nigerian Entertainment Industry
While this may not be a seemingly popular professional accounting job in Nigeria, it is a very lucrative one. More than you can imagine, an Entertainment Production Accountant is one of the most sought after accounting professions. Usually, music celebrities, studio films, festivals amongst others have to handle multi-million naira projects. This is not the work of an amateur, Rather, the help of professional accountants is needed to make sure the money is properly handled.
As an Entertainment Production Accountant, your role is to monitor production expenses, gauge companies and the value of projects and prepare budgets for production. You're to ensure the production manager does not go over any budget allocated to a particular task as well. Most of the time, in the filming industry, accountants are always on set to ensure that finances do not go overboard. They also sort for alternative ways to reduce costs and work within the budget.
Additionally, you can serve as a Financial Advisor to celebrities. It means you will be involved with all of your client's spendings. Your job is also to make sure you save them from as much tax as possible without necessarily breaking the law. Usually, you can earn as much as 5% of your client's payroll every year.
Financial Institutions and Banks
Having a major in accounting will give you access to work for any bank in Nigeria. Your pieces of training in schools of business would have given you a firm understanding of accounting principles and financial awareness which are the two most sought after skills in the banking world.
As an accountant, your specialization is wide in the banking sector. You can work as a Bank Manager and oversee the daily activities in the banking hall. One of your roles is to ensure all activities go on well. You will also be in charge of managing safe, brokering loans and opening new accounts for your clients.
Your job as a manager also requires people's skills as you will be communicating with clients every day as well as managing your branch's employees.
Your accounting certificate can also land you the role of a Financial Analyst. This role requires that you advise your bank's customers on the right and best investments in the Nigerian market. Technically, you will need to know all the Nigerian government's regulations excessively. You should also be able to identify trends and prospective profitable investments by analyzing projections, audits, and financial reports.
Financial Analysts usually report to Financial Managers. Financial Managers are in charge of making sure the bank's financial data is in good order. Also, they prepare financial statements. With the use of business monitoring equipment, a financial manager will effectively use the bank's investment and help reduce losses and costs. They make sure that banks follow tax and corporate laws as well.
Your accounting profession can also get you to work as a Treasury Analyst where you optimize a company or bank's wallet. Your responsibility is to manage financial actives which include ensuring credit liability, handling cash flow and income and being in charge of all the financial assets your bank or institution owns.
Self Employed Accountants
If you would like to work alone, there are a couple of jobs in the field of accounting you can do. One of them is Auditing Accounting. It is one of the fastest-growing specializations amongst accounting professionals. Usually, you will be working more for limited companies, startups, and corporations. Technically, your role is to ensure that everything is fine so that in the case a government auditor shows up, your client is secure.
You can also work as a tax accountant, an external auditor and a consultant.
Accounting careers are one of the most sought after professions in the world. As long as there is a flow of cash, finances, taxes amongst others, someone has to be in place to help handle the excesses, manage the finances and protect organizations. The role of an accountant is never-ending. More than ever before, accounting skills are required in different fields across the country. So, if you have picked a career path in accounting, you need not worry about getting a job. One of the best things you can do for yourself is making yourself available at all times.
Think of yourself as a hero, saving your company and the country from financial backlash, increasing prospective finances and avoiding unnecessary taxes. Indeed, companies with effective accountants always emerge successfully.