In order to become an accountant; a degree and experience are mandatory. With a degree in a finance related field such as accounting, you will be able to choose a career path from working at big blue chip companies to private individuals or companies. Most accountants and auditors are required to pass difficult exams and certifications as a part of the training in order to understand accounting skills, laws and the ethics needed to practice. Find out what main criteria you need to look at in order to start a career as a financial professional.
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree
It is mandatory to obtain a bachelor’s degree in the relevant field, mainly management accounting or finance if you wish to pursue work in a certified management accountant role. Regardless, the basics of the degree will help you become an effective good bookkeeper as this is the ABC of the accounting field. If you wish to become an auditor, then opt for auditing modules as electives so that you will have knowledge on auditing practices.
Enroll in internships
Work experience as an early start will undoubtedly be of valuable experience. Most organizations require candidates to have some basic level experience and training even for entry-level jobs. Consider roles that require xero bookkeeping as this will give you practical knowledge and experience on how certain software is used in the field of finance.
Take the professional certification exams
You can take the professional certificate exam from the appropriate national body in order to move forward in your chosen career path. Of course the type of certification will differ from what path you wish to pursue. For example, there are CPA exams for Certified Public Accountants while auditors take the Certified Internal Auditor exam. There are several additional credentials and certifications that you can take depending on the area of expertise you have chosen. There are some companies who ask for specific qualifications and certifications as well, these however can generally be done while working for the company. Furthermore, you would have to contact the state licensing authority for an accounting license in order to practice in more complex and challenging work environments.
Applying for jobs
In order to obtain licensing to practice you will usually be required to have a solid year or so of full time work at an accounting firm. This work experience will have to be submitted as proof of experience to the department to obtain your professional license. Along with this, a supporting letter of recommendation from a licensed accountant or auditor is also mandatory.