If you are looking to start your accounting career, one of the main decisions you’ll need to make early on is if you’d like to work in a private or public accounting setting. While similar in some regards, the two areas differ in a number of aspects. Read on to learn the difference between the two, and see which one suits your personality best!
Private (Corporate) Accounting
Private accountants (also referred to as corporate accountants) are employed by an individual company and look after accounting needs for that company only. Private accountants will generally need to have some background knowledge about the industry they are looking to work in (as well as knowing industry standards).
Benefits of Corporate Accounting
- Specialization – having only one client allows corporate accountants to really get a deep understanding of the inner workings of that particular company.
- Consistency – many people like the idea of knowing exactly what they are going to be doing each day, and corporate accounting allows for this! With one client, things are going to remain more or less the same day to day, year to year.
Public (Personal) Accounting
Public accountants (also referred to as personal accountants) work for a company that provides accounting services to a multitude of clients. Public accountants need to be able to analyze accounting systems to determine whether a business is running efficiently.
Benefits of Personal Accounting
- Diversity of knowledge – working at a public accounting firm opens you up to a wide range of experiences with a wide range of clients. Public accountants will gain experience working on both personal and corporate accounts and will learn about many different industries.
- Diversity of tasks – because public accountants work with many clients, their day to day tasks regularly differ as each client has unique needs.
The area of accounting you pursue should be based of your interest and personality. If you are a CA or an accounting technician with three to five years experience, we’d love to hear from you!