Anyone who wants an IT career in accounting must have strong financial and technology skills. The most common entry-level job is a help-desk support staff who troubleshoots and resolves hardware, software, connection and printer for finance personnel. These technology professionals will replace defective equipment, use asset management applications and respond to virus and spyware problems. A help-desk support staff assigned to an accountancy department will perform daily system monitoring of server resources, key processes, application logs and scheduled jobs. There are many more job opportunities, such as the three careers illustrated below.
An information specialist may answer directly to the Chief Information Officer (CIO). They may be tasked with organizing and supporting finance and accountancy functions by providing business analysis of departmental data. They will help office management and departmental administration with reports, data tracking and email updates. On a normal day, they will draft reports created from software and database programs, then finalize the document by coordinating between teams and departmental programs. An information specialist may be asked to lead small projects, coordinate contracts with vendors and recommend security improvements. Information specialists need strong interpersonal, customer service and communication skills. They must have the financial competency to develop things like feasibility reports, business case studies and risk management estimates. They also need the technical training to develop system synopses, extrapolate data and implement information technology solutions.
Resource: Top 10 Online Accounting Degree Programs
Financial Systems Engineer
A financial systems engineer or architect will provide leadership, direction and coaching to staff regarding accountancy systems and infrastructure. They support senior information technology leaders in acquiring and sustaining enterprise solutions for finance needs. They must have the ability to effectively work and integrate with various departmental heads in order to ensure there is a consistent understanding of key financial requirements. A financial systems engineer or architect uses their ability to design and develop enterprise-wide solutions to offer value-added benefits and innovative business solutions. They must maintain an active knowledge of enterprise infrastructure and application technologies used by competitors and other industries. They may oversee large-scale projects involving data acquisition processes and solutions. They may supervise cross-functional programs that focus on accuracy, efficiency and data integrity.
Internal auditors conducting in-depth inspections of financial information management systems. When working with commercial clients, they plan audit engagements in accordance with industry expectations and professional standards. They meet with business executives before the audit to answer questions and explain the process. They then conduct internal control assessments by comparing information technology policies and standards against past work and behaviors. They document and explain their findings through recommendations and non-conformance concerns. When working with federal contractors, they apply government auditing standards when evaluating business applications and compliance with regulations. These regulations may include the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), the Federal Information System Controls Audit Manual (FISCAM) or the Office of Management and Budget’s Circular A-130, which is titled the Management of Federal Information Resources (MFIR).
There are many other IT career choices for job hunters with an accounting degree. These include support technician, operations specialist, compliance manager and database administrator. Investopedia offers a helpful introduction to accountancy information systems jobs here.