Becoming an accountant can be extremely rewarding. A career in accounting offers the opportunity for career advancement, job stability, and a decent paycheck. With the help of an online accounting degree, you can start working towards your goal of becoming an accountant.
Some of the skills required to become a competent accountant include strong basic math skills, the ability to be detail orientated, computer skills, and excellent written and verbal communication skills.
1- Earn An Accounting Degree
To become an accountant, you must earn a degree in accounting. This can be earned through either an undergraduate or graduate program, though most students decide on earning their bachelor’s before moving onto the master’s level. Master of Accounting programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for students who wish to become accounting CPAs.
Next, you will want to take courses in business ethics, economics, math, and accounting. The Accounting department at your college or university should be able to provide you with a list of required classes that link up with the degree programs they offer. At least one internship is also part of the process of becoming an accountant. A bachelor’s degree takes approximately four years to earn. Your major may determine what type of job opportunities are available in this field when searching for work after graduation.
An associate’s degree is another option if you want to become certified as a bookkeeper or an accounting technician (which doesn’t require any education beyond high school). With this degree, you can find employment at a local firm dealing with bookkeeping, payroll, and taxes. Working as a bookkeeper or an accounting technician is also a stepping stone if you plan on pursuing further education in this field.
Undergraduate degree programs are available for students who wish to become professional accountants (also known as CPAs). These include the Bachelor of Accountancy and Bachelor of Business Administration (with a major in accounting). A Bachelors’ program takes about four years to complete.
After earning a bachelor’s degree, you can pursue your master’s by taking additional classes and passing the CPA exam. This is the standard requirement for working as a Public Accountant or Certified Public Accountant (CPA). These are highly sought-after positions that offer great career prospects and excellent pay.
As part of the application process for becoming a CPA, you will have to meet work experience requirements, take an ethics course and pass one final exam before being certified.
2- Becoming An Accountant: Work Experience Opportunities
Work experience is an important step toward becoming an accountant because it provides the necessary skills for employers to fill open positions. If you have previous work experience, this will be attractive to potential employers. However, if you do not have the required skills or experience, it is possible to gain them through internships and mentoring opportunities.
3- Obtain Your State Licensure As Required
After earning your CPA license, you will need to obtain your state CPA certificate, which requires that you pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. To pass this examination, you must complete 150 hours of CPEs every year and maintain all other state requirements for licensure.
4- Obtain Employment
Many people are confused about when they should seek employment as an accountant. The answer is that you can choose to pursue either temporary or permanent work once you have completed your education and passed the CPA exam. In most cases, it will make more sense financially to begin with temp work while searching for permanent positions to meet the 150 CPE requirement every year, though this is up to each student and their personal career goals.