Career Opportunities in Not-for-Profit Accounting

One of the fastest growing sectors of the economy has been that of "service institutions," including such groups as hospitals and health care organizations, museums, universities, libraries, symphony orchestras, industry or trade organizations, religious organizations, civic and public-interest groups. The number of service institutions has grown and become so important that they are being referred to as the "third sector of society" and are of equal importance to the private business sector and the public or governmental sector. In accounting, the "third sector," along with the governmental sector, is often referred to as "non-profit" or "not-for-profit" accounting.

Until recently, little attention has been paid to the "third sector" and governmental sectors. However, with these groups commanding an increasing share of the total resource of the economy, greater attention is being given to these non-profit sectors. Consequently, the public has shown greater concern for the "accountability" of these resources and organizations. In the past, there was relatively little concern with the economic, management, performance, and impact of the non-profit sectors. The concern for greater accountability has in turn created new demands for individuals trained in accounting and management to staff positions in the not-for-profit accounting sectors.

In the government sector, professional positions for accounting graduates exist in such agencies as the General Accounting Office (GAO), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Defense Audit Contract Agency, State Auditor, and many other federal, state, and local government agencies.