To become an accountant requires a proficiency with numbers, attention to detail, and accuracy. An accountant’s job is to accurately keep public records, ensure taxes are paid on time, and perform a number of other duties to make sure a firm runs smoothly. An accountant’s job is vital to a corporation for keeping financial matters properly documented and under control.
If you would like to become an accountant, it is important to note that the job can be difficult at times. There is a lot of pressure on accountants to be extremely precise in their work, which can create a lot of stress. However, as an accountant, you are able to contribute a lot to the way an organization is run and are often able to enjoy the benefits of working with an established company including job security, health benefits, and reasonable compensation.
In order to become an accountant, the first step is to develop a proficiency in math. It is often recommended that prospective accountants take advanced math courses starting in high school in preparation for college. In order become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) you must first receive a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related business field. There are many private as well as public colleges and institutions which offer programs in accounting. Apply to a number of them so that you have a better chance of admittance.
The requirements for obtaining a CPA certificate vary from state to state. Be sure to check your state’s degree requirements to make sure you have met all the criteria. Recently, states have started to require accounting students to reach 150 credits toward an accounting degree to be eligible for CPA certification. It is expected that other states will soon adopt the same policy. For more information and a state-by-state breakdown of CPA certificate requirements, check with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (aicpa.org).
It is a good idea to start deciding what accounting field you would like to enter into while you are in still school. This way, you can direct your studies in such a way that reflects your field of interest. The primary accounting fields are public accounting, government accounting, management accounting, and internal auditing. Though there is some overlap in the type of work each professional performs, the nature of the work differs significantly across the fields.
Once you have decided what field you plan to get into, start to look for internships and entry-level jobs in your area. These positions will give you hands-on experience as well as connect you with professionals who can help you find work later on. Use this time to also learn to use a number of different accounting software. A proficiency in various programs will look good to employers and will allow you the flexibility to apply for more positions.
Overall, work hard and be determined. There is a lot of opportunity to find a job as an accountant, but these jobs are competitive and employers will only hire those who prove themselves to be competent and organized. Do your best work and you are sure to find a stable accounting position.
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