While accountants are often in demand, especially during tax season, one growing area of need may find aspiring accountants in the cannabis industry, according to Accounting Today. Finding an accounting job in this industry may pose challenges, since the legalization of marijuana is not federally approved. However, as more states legalize cannabis for medical or recreational use, the need for professionals managing revenue and taxes exists.
Managing the Business Books
One of the challenges accountants may face when working in the cannabis industry is dealing with the varying regulations stipulated by each state. As an accountant, you are tasked with navigating complicated tax burdens that are necessary when moving a business from illegal to legitimate, especially when faced with federal and state rules. The IRS, based on Section 280e of the Tax Code established in 1982, requires businesses with illegal substances as the primary product line to pay up to 70 percent in taxes. The complex code necessitates the need for an experienced accountant to rifle through the paperwork, receipts and tax laws.
Consulting With Businesses
The growing legalization of marijuana in the cannabis industry also begs the need for accounting professionals to serve as consultants. The grey areas of Section 280e of the Tax Code surrounds many aspects of the business. For instance, according to Eric Gomez, CEO of Canopy San Diego, companies making profits from the direct handling of marijuana are required to carefully track movement of the product when designated as Schedule I status. Individuals seeking out an accounting job in the cannabis industry must be well-versed in the legal implications and processes of the company to properly advise how to maximize profits and reduce tax penalties or deductions. In light of the complicated nature of the tax codes related to cannabis sales, accountants may also see themselves working closely with legal professionals, too.
Joining the Booming Market
As the cannabis industry is a new, growing market, aspiring accountants and software companies may find the opportunity a fruitful one. Vertical software packages catering to the industry feature ways to track inventory, monitor purchasing and evaluate core competencies. Software companies offering accounting integration solutions to businesses specializing in cannabis sales may find success in customizing features that simplify tax and payroll processing as well as expensing and invoicing. The need for competent individuals familiar with software geared toward this industry is likely to surge as more states legalize the sale of marijuana and if the federal ban is lifted.
The booming era of the cannabis industry has the potential to create a demand for accountants to navigate through tax codes and serve as consultants. Accountants seeking to offer innovative solutions and break into an industry that is likely to grow at a rapid rate may just have found the right opportunity.
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