If you’re naturally good with numbers and enjoy being able to organize and manage other people’s money, then being an accountant is probably the perfect job for you. However, you might be wondering what you need to do to become an accountant.
Luckily, it’s not the sort of profession that requires a Master’s degree or two. Although, there are certain requirements that must be met, and you will still need to devote some time and money to the endeavor. If you’re considering turning this into a profession, then the following brief guide is for you.
Choose Your Focus
There are different types of accounting, and you need to choose a focus if you’d like to know how to proceed next. If you want to help people with their taxes, then you need to become a CPA-certified accountant. Or, if you’re trying to approach this in the most time-efficient manner and you’re worried about devoting a ton of time to a bachelor’s degree as opposed to an associate’s degree, then start with the latter and choose a specialty.
There’s forensic accounting and business accounting, which are both highly specialized fields you may be interested in exploring. Schedule an appointment with an academic advisor, and with their guidance, you can decide how to approach your studies.
Once you know what kind of accounting you’d like to practice, and have chosen the right educational program, you’ll need to get out there and practice. Part of how to be an accountant is trying to gain as much experience as possible with potential clients. There are internships you could pursue before you even graduate, which will help fortify your skills and build your network.
Even if the particular program you signed up for doesn’t require it, it’s generally a good idea to pursue an internship if possible. Alternatively, you can wait till you graduate and find work in an accounts payable office, or in tax preparation as you try to build your resume. These will definitely look great on your CV and will allow you to find more stable opportunities along the way.
Simply holding a bachelor’s degree alone won’t necessarily cut it for most accounting work. You’ll want to get started on your job search eventually, and in order for that to be successful, you will need to take the certification exams relevant to your field. CPA accountants in particular need to complete a certain amount of coursework and take a few exams in order to be certified in their field of work. Also, you may need to take certain exams in order to be certified in the state in which you plan to work, so be sure to explore the options required of you beforehand. You may need to hit the books for a few more months and budget properly for the exam fees first.
Hopefully, this is enough information for you to be able to assess whether or not accounting is the profession for you. The need for accountants is tremendous, and it’s definitely a fruitful career path to choose if you think it’s right for you. While you may need to put some work into becoming an accountant, it’ll definitely be worth the effort.