If you ask any child what they want to be when they grow up, you’ll probably hear “firefighter,” “princess,” or “Spiderman.” A little bit older, and they might tell you they want to be a rock star or a video game tester. But if you think you see a future accounting services provider at the table this Thanksgiving, here’s what they need to know going forward.
1. Why Work In Accounting Services
There are a few reasons to work as a provider of accounting services. The salary is good, the demand is consistent, it’s highly transferable, and there exists a wide range of options for specialization in the field. For someone who likes working with numbers, it’s a great profession to get into. An accountant may not be Spiderman, but using your expertise to help others manage their finances feels great. Plus, having this expertise means that you’ll always be a valuable asset, wherever you work.
2. Decide If You’re Interested in Becoming an Accountant or a CPA
An accountant is anyone employed to work on someone else’s business or personal finances. A CPA (Certified Public Accountant), however, has passed a state certification exam and has necessarily completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. CPAs may have a greater range of options in employment as specialists and business consultants, but both non-certified and certified accountants will be able to find meaningful work with clients. Both accountants and CPAs are required to take an exam in order to work with tax returns.
3. How to Become an Accountant
There are a few different types of degree programs that will prepare you for a career in accounting services. The knowledge and expertise gained from your program is invaluable and which type of degree program you choose will offer a different perspective and set of skills. You can get an Accounting Degree, which can be pursued at the Associate, Bachelor, Masters and PhD levels. This degree will cover financial recording, non-profit management, business management, income tax and government regulations. There are also more specialized degree programs (generally at the graduate level) in accounting such as Auditing, Finance and Taxation.
4. How to Become a CPA
To become a CPA you will need, as a minimum, a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. In addition to this, graduate level work can be valuable as well, though it isn’t required to become a CPA. Depending on which state you live in you will have a certain number of instruction hours before you even sit for your certification test. Check to find out what the specific regulations are in your state, as you may be required to complete a number of instruction hours for accounting as well as for business. After that’s done, it’s time to study for your CPA exam, which will cover auditing and attestation, financial accounting and reporting, regulation, as well as business.
5) What’s the Most Important Thing in Accounting?
I always tell my kids that the most important thing in accounting is accuracy. Accuracy is of course crucial when you’re working with numbers, but it is not the only virtue for an accountant. The next most important thing, then, is passion. This is as true of accounting as it is of all jobs. So if you love working with numbers, are interested in how businesses work, and want a job providing a crucial and highly valued service to clients in need, accounting could be for you.
We would love to hear from you! Click below and we would be happy to provide you with more information on this topic.