Do accountants travel?


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I'm currently a sophomore at Iowa, and am strongly considering switching majors to Accounting. I'm just wondering if accountants get to travel a lot, because this is something I think I would enjoy, especially at the start of my career.

A friend of mine's father, who is in business says that my best bet would be to get a master's in business, and says that as an accountant I'm destined to a desk job. He says, "Yeah you'll get to travel, to and from the office!"

If anyone can offer insight, from what I've heard, an accounting degree is better than a business degree, and offers more opportunity especially if I get my CPA designation.
 
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Accounting is a ridiculously broad career, so you can't really pigeon-hole it. Obviously a lot of the work will be conducted in an office, however something like audit often requires a lot of travel to your different clients. Some of it pretty dull, some of it not. I come from London, and spent a couple of months in Sri Lanka on an audit in my first couple of years in audit. If you join a Big 4 accountancy firm, then they also run secondments, which give you great opportunities to go overseas.

Check out a couple of examples of people that have done this on our site:
big4gossip - Staying at the Big 4

I would say though, that a lot of people that become accountants are of the view that you didn't really need to do an accountancy degree to get there, because you have to study and take exams for an accountancy qualification regardless of whether you've got an accountancy degree or not. Studying for accountancy can make these exams easier initially, but that's about it. Therefore, a lot of people (myself included) would suggest you take business just to get the diversity. You should still be able to take some accountancy modules/credits if you do the business degree anyway, but it keeps more options open.

Plus, if you do an accountancy degree and decide you don't want to be an accountant, it can feel like a bit of a waste of time. Whereas if you do a business degree, some part of it is likely to be useful in the future regardless of what you do.

Hope this helps,

Accountant1 - Big4gossi
 

bklynboy

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Depends on what sort of accounting firm you work for. Most companies have large international operations and require travel. Myself, I have traveled to Hong Kong, Thailand, India, Korea, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Philippines, Canada, England, Mexico, Argentina and various parts of the US in just the last 5 years. My advice is if you want to travel as part of your duties then make sure you interview with companies that have overseas operations.

If working for a Big 4 there is also a bit of travel as most audits cover the foreign operations of large firms and will allow you to travel overseas to fulfil the audit.
 
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There are certainly opportunities for travel when you are an accountant. This doesn't come by easily though when you are at the staff level. You will see increasing chances once you move up the corporate ladder or you've gain specialized skill sets.

I personally experienced this in my career. Now, I travel a lot actually and have to beg off sometimes to make way for my backlogs and family.
 

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