Four Common Types of Accounting

A career in accounting is not necessarily predictable. There are different types of accounting, and depending on your skills and your interests, you may find the most career growth in any one of them. You might be a CPA giving tax advice to hundreds of clients, or you might be an internal auditor combing your company's records for mistakes.

The US Department of Labor defines four major types of accounting:

1. Public Accounting
Many public accountants are CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) and work with clients to issue educated tax advice. Other public accountants work with larger companies, advising on business decisions and transactions. Some handle other corporate issues like insurance and benefits. Public accounting encompasses a wide range of accounting roles.

2. Management Accounting
Management accountants work for corporations and perform cost accounting, maintain their financial records, and perform financial analysis. They are also called "corporate accountants." Budgeting can also play a large part of management accountants' role within a corporation.

3. Government Accounting
Government accountants maintain the financial records of government agencies, audit businesses and organizations that are bound by federal regulation, and some work for the Internal Revenue Service. Government budgeting and cost analysis play a large part of government accounting.

4. Internal Auditing
Given the array of financial scandals during the last decade, this particular type of accounting is experiencing increased scrutiny, growth, and federal regulation. As companies are bound by stricter financial laws, internal auditors become even more essential in the effort to maintain financial integrity within an organization. Internal auditors perform audits on their company's financial records, ensuring their quality and legality.

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