As an accounting student, you probably have some idea of what you want to do after graduation, but you might want to know more about the jobs available in non-profit accounting. For-profit companies and organizations are those groups that make money every year. Non-profit organizations use any money received throughout the year to cover the salaries of employees and any overhead or operating costs. Animal shelters, churches and charities all need people trained in accounting software and programs to assist them throughout the year.
Tax Preparation Specialists
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants make more than $63,000 a year, and tax specialists have the chance to make even more. Paying taxes is part of the American way of life, but some non-profit organizations are exempt from paying taxes. Other organizations make more money that carries over to the following year and meet other restrictions that require the groups pay taxes. With your accounting degree, you can work as a tax preparation specialist. These specialists determine how much money the organization has coming in, how much money goes out and how the organization needs to file its taxes. Many organizations look for specialists capable of helping the group find ways to write off more items and save money on the amount they pay to the government.
One of the jobs available in non-profit accounting is a grant writer. As an accounting student, you learn more about cash flow, budgeting and financial analysis, and you can use your experience to apply for grants on behalf of charities and organizations. These groups primarily rely on donations that come in from the government, local residents and fundraising efforts, but those groups also need the larger sums of money that come from grants. You often need to write an essay that explains why the organization needs cash, but you’ll also need to include detailed financial records. Grants can range in price from a few hundred dollars to more than one million dollars.
Do you like the idea of helping a local group make more cash to support the local community? As an investment specialist, you help those charities and organizations decide how to invest the money that comes in from various sources. You might help an animal shelter invest in a new marketing campaign that will increase donations and adoptions, or you might work with a religious organization to invest some of its funds into a CD or another account that will earn the group interest every year.
Not all jobs available in non-profit accounting focus on accounting. The financial skills and experience that you gain can help you work as a financial planner. Many organizations around the world hire planners to help them understand where their money goes and what changes they need to make. You’ll often look closely at the financial records, analyze those documents into easy to understand files and offer suggestions that will help the group make more money that it can use in its efforts. Financial planners not only make suggestions about investment opportunities, but they also help organizations budget their funds for the coming years and increase their cash flow.
Related Resource: Asset Manager
Accounting degree programs offer a number of specialties that will help you focus on an area of financial planning or accounting that interests you. The specialty that you choose can help you find jobs available in non-profit accounting, including positions as tax preparation specialists and financial planners.