Becoming an Accountant

A career as a an accountant can pay well, but not everybody is able to survive in the job for long, therefore those who aspire for a career as an accountant should first make sure that they have a clear idea of the kind of work they would be doing. But this is not all, if you want to become an accountant you would have to make sure that you possess good mathematical skills, can work meticulously and systematically, are comfortable working on computers throughout the day, possess good analytical skills and can communicate well orally, as well as in writing. Preparation for a career in accounting can begin right from high school and the earlier one starts the better. Ideally, those who plan to become an accountant should strive to get high scores in mathematics. A strong foundation in high school level mathematics would help the candidate throughout life. Apart from working at improving mathematical skills the candidate should also opt for electives like accounting, advanced mathematics and economics. Joining relevant clubs like math/economic/business and active participation in their activities would similarly provide added experience. There are schools that provide their students with opportunities to work as interns in local companies, if you are fortunate enough to study in such a place you should definitely make use of any such opportunities, it would equip you with valuable experience. Moving beyond school level, you should opt for a college that is reputed for its accounting programs. In college you have the choice of deciding whether you would like to work as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in future, or an uncertified one. For the former, you have to take a four year degree program but for the latter a two year degree would suffice. If you elect to work as a CPA then you would also have to ensure that the course chosen by you satisfies the licensing requirements of the state in which you plan to work. Although opting for an accounting degree seems to be the obvious choice when your aim is to work as an accountant, you can also opt for a business degree and include as many accounting courses in it as possible. This will also help broaden the scope of your knowledge and work. Since we live in the age of specialization your next next step would involve deciding the specific area of accountancy in which you wish to specialize. Some of the choices available include – ·Public Accountant ·Management Accountant ·Public Sector Accountant The above is not an exhaustive list but only the most popular specializations in the field. A public accountant provides accountancy services for companies and individuals. Management accountants are employed by corporations where they are responsible for maintaining and analyzing financial records, managing the organization’s assets and liabilities and also preparing the budget. Public sector accountants, as the title implies work for the government; they audit government agencies and those who work in association with such agencies and are subject to the similar regulations. The CPA licensure exam requires work experience as a pre-condition for appearing in the exam. However the period of work experience required differs across different states. You would need to check the specific requirements of the state in which you wish to practice and fulfill them. After you have passed the CPA and have started working you will need to take Continuing Professional Education (CPE) programs periodically to stay updated with the latest developments in the field. Published at: