Accountancy & Financial Management

Choosing Your Role and Company in Accounting

Picking the right company and role in accounting as a graduate is crucial for your long-term success and satisfaction in the field. Here are some important factors to consider.
Jevitha Muthusamy
Editorial Writer
Choosing Your Role and Company in Accounting


Because of the wide range of employers and career pathways in accounting, choosing where to begin your graduate career can seem like a daunting task. Finding the right fit can take a bit of time, but you will have a much better chance of getting a job if you can show employers that you’ve done your research and have a good idea of what you want.

Here’s a quick guide on things to look out for as you research employers and roles in the accounting industry.

Potential Employers

Most graduate accountants usually end up employed by dedicated accounting and professional services firms. The most well-known employers in the sector are the Big Four: Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC; but there are also other well-known international accounting firms (e.g. BDO, Crowe, and RSM) and plenty of other smaller local firms to take into consideration. 

Different-sized firms can offer different benefits. For example, a small accounting firm might offer you a wider range of experience, since you may have to wear multiple hats on the job. Whereas a large global accounting firm might offer more structured training opportunities, or chances to be seconded overseas.

Aside from accounting firms, there are also graduate accounting positions throughout the private sector (e.g. trainee/graduate accountant positions in a company’s dedicated finance team). This type of employer might appeal to you if you’re looking for exposure to a particular industry. Don’t forget the public sector – the various federal- and state-level government regulatory bodies are always in need of accountants as well. 

Professional Development

Getting certified as a chartered accountant will likely play a key part in the first few years of your graduate accounting career. Thus, the amount of support available for training and development should be a factor in your choice of employer. It is important for you to consider what work-study arrangements you are willing or able to accept.

Larger accounting employers usually have attractive training packages, but may demand more from you in return. For instance, you may have to show continuous passes in your professional exams or get certified within a tighter timeframe in order to qualify for those benefits. 

Smaller employers usually offer less direct aid in terms of study benefits. However, they may make up for that by offering other perks such as flexible working arrangements or wider opportunities for work experience during your qualification period.

Choosing Accounting Roles

Most dedicated accounting firms will ask you to indicate an area of specialisation when you apply to their graduate and internship programmes. While your grades or choice of degree subject may affect your options, choosing your specialisation is really more a matter of figuring out what best suits your personality.

Here is a quick snapshot of the 11 broad accounting specialisations and what kinds of persons they will most likely appeal to. You can also click the links to read our detailed guides to each area of work and what they involve!

  • Assurance/External Auditing

Assurance could suit you if you have a strong academic record, great communication skills and self-confidence.

  • Commercial Finance

Commercial finance could suit you if you have good business awareness and strong analytical skills.

  • Corporate finance

Corporate finance could suit you if you have excellent communication skills, good numeracy skills, and the resilience to be able to work long hours under pressure.

  • Corporate recovery

Corporate recovery could suit you if you are interested in the way that companies work, have good negotiation skills, and an ability to deal with complex and sensitive financial information.

  • Corporate treasury

Corporate treasury could suit you if you have a good understanding of both business and economics, excellent analytical skills and an ability to work well under pressure.

  • Financial accounting

Financial accounting could suit you if you have an analytical mind, excellent communication skills, and a desire to challenge and improve the way an organisation works.

  • Forensic accounting

Forensic accounting could suit you if you have the inquisitiveness and good judgment of a detective, as well as the communication skills to effectively convey complex findings to people from a non-finance background.

  • Internal audit

Internal audit could suit you if you have an eye for detail while still being able to see the bigger picture, a good knowledge of how businesses are run, and the ability to communicate effectively even in awkward situations.

  • Management accounting

Management accounting suits those with good decision-making skills and a good level of business sense, as well as the ability to present complex financial information in an easy-to-understand manner.

  • Risk assessment

Risk assessment could suit you if you possess a questioning, logical mindset to identify problems, the creativity to come up with solutions, as well as strong interpersonal skills.

  • Tax

Tax could suit you if you have a talent for analysis and problem solving, the ability to build good working relationships based on trust, and can practice discretion.


You can find more detailed descriptions of each these specialisations later on in this guide. They will help you understand what each area of work involves, which will be key to making your decision!