Professionals with extensive training in accounting create and review financial records. Depending on your preferences, you might find a career in accounting to be appealing. To become an accountant, though, you must fulfill a number of school requirements and, depending on the type of accounting you wish to practice, obtain specific qualifications. You may become an accountant and advance swiftly in your career with the appropriate training and qualifications.
How to Get Into Accounting
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Fulfilling the Educational Requirements
- Getting Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
- Finish an internship with a business
- Become a certified management accountant
- Become knowledgeable about several accounting disciplines
1: Fulfilling the accounting Educational Requirements
Earn an accounting bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or a closely related subject, like business management or administration, is typically required for accountant roles. Depending on the laws in your state, You might not require a degree in accounting, but you’ll probably need to finish a particular number of credits in business, ethics, and accounting.
Before beginning a degree program, see an academic advisor because each state has its unique criteria. To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you must finish 150 hours of college-level curriculum in most states. This requires 30 more hours than the majority of bachelor’s degrees. Some universities allow you to enroll in a 5-year program and get both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree upon completion.
You can take additional classes through your college or university if you are not enrolled in a 5-year program. There might be a program at your school that can help you obtain those extra 30 hours.
Your employer might pay for you to complete the extra 30 hours of education in order to help you qualify to sit for the CPA exam.
Finish an internship with a business. You should take part in an internship program to acquire real-world experience. This will provide you the opportunity to work in an accounting business, frequently for college credit, and gain a better understanding of the industry.
Internships might be full-time over the summer or part-time during the academic year.
Complete a master’s program. You may decide to start an accounting graduate program after earning your bachelor’s degree. Many businesses like hiring a candidate has an accounting master’s degree. Follow the guidelines for applying to the graduate program if you meet the prerequisites. You should finish earning your degree in two years from the time you are accepted.
You should think about whether you desire a Master’s in Accounting or a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) (MAcc). A MAcc is mostly intended for those who want to become CPAs or CMAs. The link between business and accounting is better understood thanks to the MBA.
2: Getting accounting Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Find out what your state requires.
Once you have graduated from college or are about to do so, you should start researching the various state and federal licenses and certifications.
You must fulfill particular requirements for each license, including those related to education, work experience, testing, and fees. An accountant can perform a variety of jobs, and each one requires a particular accreditation.
Frequently, employers will cover an employee’s certification fees.
3: Obtain Certified Public Accountant status (CPA).
By law, you must be a CPA if you submit any reports to the Security and Exchange Commission. If you want to progress in your company or attract more clients, being a CPA is especially appealing. You must pass a national exam and satisfy additional state requirements to become a CPA. Before you start the procedure, confirm your state’s regulations. to become a CPA. The majority of states demand that candidates for CPA positions complete at least 150 semester hours of college-level work.
You must pass the Uniform CPA Examination in every state. The majority of states demand that you pass all four tests within 18 months of passing the first one.
4: Become a certified management accountant.
It’s possible that when overseeing the finances of a sizable multinational company, you’ll start to show an interest in becoming a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). In order to become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), you must possess a bachelor’s degree, pass a two-part exam, accept the IMA’s code of conduct, and have at least two years of experience.
Exam topics include a variety of many topics, such as risk management, capital structure, valuation difficulties, working capital policies, and financial statement analysis.
Obtain certification as an internal auditor. Consider training to become a Certified Internal Auditor if you enjoy analyzing a company’s financial operations and looking for methods to streamline them (CIA). You need to pass a four-part exam, possess a college degree, and have two years of internal auditing experience in order to become a CIA.
There are further specialist certifications available depending on the type of internal auditing you want to conduct. These include the Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP), and Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA).
Become certified to analyze information systems. Being a Certified Information Systems Auditor could help you advance your career if you find yourself managing and auditing information systems (CISA). You must pass an ISACA exam and have five years of experience auditing information systems in order to become a CISA. In some circumstances, education can also be used in place of experience.
You can also decide to boost your credentials by earning a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), a Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT), or a Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control, depending on your area of specialization (CRISC).
Developing Your Profession
Take a junior-level job. Since it can move up in a company or business, many accountants will initially find themselves working in a low level position for a few years before they are given greater responsibility. Take some time to gain the necessary experience to obtain certifications and move up in a firm or business. As soon as you have the required training and experience, you will probably start moving up to more senior roles. These positions may be managerial in nature and ultimately result in partnerships.
You won’t suddenly become an executive, which is really unlikely. Moving up the accounting firm’s ladder can take decades.
Open your own business. You can also think about opening your own accounting firm if you have the required expertise and financial means.
Following college graduation, you’ll need the knowledge, skills, and resources. Before deciding to go it alone, you might need to work in a company for some time.
Make sure you have enough money saved up to get you through this initial phase because the majority of new firms do not turn a profit in their first few years.
Keep going in the classroom. Almost all certifications call for you to keep up your professional development. This frequently entails finishing a predetermined number of instructional hours, whether through seminars or classes. In order to stay up to date on the most recent advancements in the industry, it may also require attending conferences and completing college courses.
To ensure that you are meeting the requirements of the certification bodies, check with them. prerequisites for lifelong learning. For your benefit, these organizations also host conferences and seminars on the most recent accounting trends.
- Businesses are frequently ready to cover the costs associated with employees’ continued education.
- Seminars on topics related to your field are frequently held by consulting firms and other groups.
Become knowledgeable about several accounting disciplines.
You might discover that, in order to advance in your career, you need to become more knowledgeable about a new branch of accounting. For instance, you might need to brush up on information systems if you are a management accountant, or vice versa. This will not only help you advance in your career but may also help you get a better job in the future.
It’s possible that your employer will pay for you to acquire this additional knowledge.
Best of luck in your accounting journey