Accounting is an evolving field. Once focused solely on counting money, accounting is now branching out to count the various ways that companies, governments, and corporations are taking care of the communities that surround them. From reporting on the effectiveness of charitable efforts to measuring the effectiveness of service budgets, social accountants lift their eyes from the balance sheets and observe how their clients and employers affect the global community.
What Makes Social Accounting Different?
Traditional accounting looks at the financial profitability and liabilities of an organization. Social accounting determines the successes of an organization outside of its financial gains. As consumers become increasingly concerned with the global impact of their consumption, more and more people choose to give their business to companies with a proven record of positive social contribution. Businesses have been “giving back” to communities for ages, but only recently has it become necessary to have an official record of such activities and proof of positive changes for consumers and stakeholders to inspect.
Who Hires Social Accountants?
From the smallest town governments and agencies to multi-national corporations, every organization has a need to understand how they affect the world around them. City governments want to know how various efforts like police patrolling and community outreach programs benefit the community in tangible ways. Small businesses want to make sure they are contributing useful jobs and revenue to the neighborhoods in which they reside. Large corporations want to reduce their environmental impact while promoting fair employment standards around the world. There are also consulting groups of social accountants that work with many different types of organizations on an as-needed and ongoing basis.
Is Social Accounting Right for Me?
If you have a passion for social accountability on any scale, social accounting and auditing will give you the opportunity to make real changes in the community and around the world. Your work will directly affect how businesses interact with consumers, employees, the environment, and with the global community as a whole.
This career is right for you if you if you have an analytical mind and enjoy breaking down broad concepts into smaller, more detailed records. Much of your time will be spent gathering information and compiling reports, but the other side of the coin will have you presenting findings and recommendations to a variety of audiences that include board members, investors, consumers, and community activists. Excellent social skills are essential.
In return for your efforts, you will enjoy an increasing demand for your skills and experience as social responsibility accounting becomes one of the most important ways that businesses demonstrate their success. Salaries range widely with small-scale social accountants earning around $65k per year and experienced social accountants who report on global-scale impacts earning well into six figures.
How to Become a Social Accountant
The area of social accounting and auditing as a distinct profession is evolving continually as more companies become aware of the benefits of social audits. To become a social accountant, you’ll need a solid educational background in financial accounting as well as a well-rounded general education that includes humanities courses to help you understand human behavior and the needs of the community.
The Certificate in Accounting from CCE @ Assumption will give you the financial foundation you need to get started in this emerging field. You can stack the certificate with our Bachelor’s in Business-Accounting, choosing from a variety of Social Sciences courses to fill your electives.