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I want to help you with your Personal Statement of Purpose in Accountancy
All accounting professionals are responsible for acting in the public interest, and for promoting professional ethics and technical standards in the business world. However, when managing the financial affairs of a company or individual, the needs of business can conflict with the public interest.
This is where professional ethics become very important. The accountant must apply fundamental ethical principles to ensure that:
- The client is in the best position
- The public interest is not compromised
- All parties are treated fairly.
It is important to convey to the admissions committee the way in which you are highly committed to professional ethical standards in accounting, transparency, and fairness, since this is especially critical to excellence in this area.
The Humanitarian Side of Accountancy
Accountancy and human welfare might not be two terms you see together very often, but if you’re interested in combining humanitarian work and becoming a certified or chartered accountant, your job prospects could get better and even more interesting; and lead to fulfilling work that inspires you and improves our world.
So is accountancy humanitarian in itself? Well it’s impossible not to help people when you manage the financial side of an organization. Accountants deal with paying staff and clients; providing financial advice based on revenues, business operations, trends, financial commitments and obligations; report to management and alongside them; ensure compliance with tax and other requirements – all things that involve people in some way. An effective accountant can truly benefit the people he or she works with on a daily basis.
Furthermore, the purpose of almost every organization is to help people in some form, whether they’re a B2C or a B2B. An accountant plays a key role in moving a business forward with their mission and visions, making sure their accounts are sound. However, we certainly know that many companies are driven by profit; some exploit their staff to some degree, especially in the developing world. Humanitarian practices and goals may not be part of their mission. Luckily, there are many ways of making your work as an accountant more humanitarian. Let’s look at a few examples.
One of the simplest ways of preparing yourself for humanitarian work from the beginning of your career is learning how to work with international standards, so you can work almost anywhere in the world. David McCann of CFO.com points to the benefits of learning international accounting standards (IFRSs) early on in your career. Learning these standards not only boosts your opportunities and puts you in demand - it could present you with the option of being part of a growing number of accountants that promote offering fair value and enhanced financial reporting internationally.
Using these international standards could significantly widen the scope of the humanitarian impact you make in your work as an accountant. At the time of writing, IFRSs are currently being used in 174 jurisdictions, including Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Denmark – the list goes on (IAS Plus, 2015). IFRS adoption is also being considered by the USA, Japan, India, Russia, Malaysia and Colombia (IAS Plus, 2015).
If you aren’t in a position to work abroad just yet, look to the type of organization you work for, and the department you are part of within larger companies. Could moving from a corporation into a public accounting firm or working independently help you focus on companies or organizations with human welfare in their agendas?
In “Working in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance: A Career Guide” (2014), author Maia Gedde discusses the differences between working for NGOs abroad and working within for-profits. This work can differ quite significantly from the work you are expected to do at for-profit and private companies. There may be limitations on which items donors are willing to fund, and how suppliers should be selected, for example. However, volunteer opportunities, once you are qualified, of course, can help you get some experience in this field and prepare you well for a paid position in a non-profit practically anywhere in the world.
Travel isn’t necessary if your goal is to take better care of human welfare in your region, however. With hiring at public accounting firms at an all-time high (Journal of Accountancy, 2015), you now have more choice when it comes to the sort of clients you choose to work with. It’s easier to choose clients that run ventures with human welfare in their vision and mission statements – clients that are helping the poor, people with disabilities, victims of violence, supporting immigrants or fighting global poverty.
The opportunities in humanitarian accountancy are huge. If this is your aim, why not include this in your accountancy finance application personal statement of purpose? Do you need help with your admission to graduate school? That’s what we do here at statementsofpurpose.com. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.