Are you a very organized person? Do you enjoy learning about laws and how they apply to your finances?
If that’s the case, you might be interested in becoming an accountant.
Accountants specialize in many different fields and earn on average $70,000 yearly, making this a very lucrative job opportunity for you.
So how do you get started?
Keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to become an accountant:
1. Find the Right Degree Program
When beginning the process of becoming an accountant the first thing you need to do is get into the right degree program.
There are many different fields for accountants but they all start by getting the basic Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree. This program will teach you about tax law and you will also take many math classes.
You will also be expected to take some business-related courses such as management, financial recordkeeping, auditing, and ethics. A course in online leadership and management qualification will also help you advance in your career.
During your schooling, you should also consider the type of specialty that you will be interested in when pursuing your career.
There are certain courses you can add to your curriculum that will help pursue the field you are choosing.
Many colleges now offer on-campus classes or online programs. Consider what type of learning environment works best for you before scheduling your classes.
2. Decide on Your Career Path
There are many different career paths you can choose when you are becoming an accountant.
You can decide if you want to be in a specialized field, such as financial accounting or managerial accounting.
Or, if you don’t want to be in a specific niche, you can become qualified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or continue on and get a Master’s degree.
In general, accountants work as part of a team in a corporation or in a private office. Their daily tasks might include bookkeeping, processing tax returns, auditing financial records, or offering guidance.
Some accountants work for government agencies at the local, state, or federal level.
Or you could work as an auditor and travel throughout the year auditing companies across the country.
If you love to travel, this is a great option for you, you get to help your clients improve their companies while also getting to see the country.
3. Gain Experience
While you are in school learning all the industry requirements, business scenarios, and best practices you should find an internship that will also give you some on-the-job training.
This is a great way to see how the skills you are learning in school can be incorporated into the actual job.
Some programs may require you to have some time in an internship as part of their graduation requirements.
Some may not, however, it is valuable for you to have some experience in the real world. It also looks great on your resume and will impress potential employers.
Another great reason to seek out an internship is it will help boost you above any entry-level positions when you graduate.
Since you will have some experience already, you can apply for a higher placed position. The money you earn will also help you pay your way through school.
4. Finish Your Degree and Certifications
Next, you will need to work on finishing up your degree and any additional courseware you need for the field you have focused on.
If you plan on seeking an advanced degree, strive to do well in all your classes as you might need a specific GPA to be allowed into the next program.
If you plan on becoming a Certified Public Accountant then now is the time to start preparing for the CPA exam.
You will have to have at least 1800 hours working with someone who is a licensed CPA. This is where having an internship during your degree program will come in handy.
The CPA exam has four parts that you must pass. The Audit and Attestation, Regulation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and finally Business Environment and Concepts.
The exam is generally held over the course of a few days and you may choose to take the parts in any order you like.
Due to the level of difficulty for this exam, you might want to consider taking some additional preparation courses to get you ready for the big day.
5. Finding a Job
Once you are reaching graduation, or have already graduated, it is time to land yourself a job. This is where your internship experience can help you out.
Most junior level positions will require at least two to three years of experience. This will be tough if you haven’t started while you are still going to school.
When looking for a position that is perfect for you, searching online is one of the best ways to see everything that is available.
LinkedIn is a great site to put your resume or information to help potential employers find you. They also have a great job board where you can see what is open.
Your school will also have a job listing that you can check, networking within your relationships can also open up opportunities for you. If you have been at a company already working as an intern, you might find a full-time opportunity there.
Many internships lead to full-time positions because the employer has already had an opportunity to get to know you and your work ethics.
Learn More About How to Become an Accountant Today!
If you are wondering how to become an accountant there are a few main key points to know.
First, you will have to research the right program where you want to get your degree.
Then plan on getting an internship while you are going to school to gain experience and impress future employers.
Next, continue working towards your goal of graduation and taking any necessary certification exams.
Once you have completed your schooling it is time to step out into the world and find the right job for you!