Explore career paths in accounting
Becoming an accountant gives you many potential options: types of accounting positions and small and large corporations where you can work.
When you begin learning about the many choices you have, it can seen overwheling to keep the many different types of accounting in mind. There's forensic accounting, public accounting as a certified public accountant (CPA), auditing, management accounting, financial analysis, financial reporting, accounts payable clerk or accounts receivable clerk positions, tax preparation, you can use information technology to work on an accounting system, cost accounting, corporate accounting, personal financial planning; you could analyze budgets, be a certified management accountant or staff accountant, work teaching accounting as an accounting professor, be a controller, certified fraud examiner looking for financial crimes, or even a chief financial officer in larger corporations.
And the choices accounting professionals have for places of employment are just as varied. You could work in the private or public sector, part-time in tax preparation firms, in an accounting firm offering general accounting services to many clients, as a staff accountant on an accounting team within a corporation, in state or federal government performing the yearly internal audit or tasked to review other financial info, in various management positions that must understand financial records, and more.
Each type of accounting carries similar responsibilities, but your employer’s goals may be very different. But, no matter where you are, there are accounting jobs, or jobs in a related field for those who understand good accounting practices, available near you.
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Accounting—What it Is
To work as an accountant means that you’ll help your employer maintain the business’ financial accounts. No matter the specific type of accounting you were hired for, you will be expected to have a high level of information about your employer’s financial operations. To obtain this knowledge, you’ll have to keep track of financial transactions in balance sheets, profit and loss statements and a general ledger. Your analytical skills help you figure out where accounting discrepancies have begun.
Your employer may also want you to make recommendations on various financial actions they may want to take. Expect to justify your recommendations to your employer.
Degrees You Need for Accounting
Prepare to enter a university or college accounting program, because you’ll need to start with a an Associate's In Accounting (AA) or an accounting bachelor’s degree (BAcc), at the least, to work as an accountant. If you are looking to become a CPA, you are also going to want to pursue a master's degree in accounting.
Interpersonal Skills That Help in Your Profession
In your profession, you should possess communication skills, the ability to think critically and good analytical skills that enable you to take apart financial questions.
Job Responsibilities of an Accountant
Prepare yourself for an accounting career by polishing your organizational skills, communication and interpersonal skills, ability to solve problems, expanding your business knowledge, polishing your numeracy and being very comfortable with the IT side of your profession.
Salaries and Job Growth
In general, from one state to the next, accountants’ salaries range from $65,000 to about $150,000. The accounting profession is growing rapidly because it’s one that companies and individuals rely on heavily as they gain an understanding of their financial position. Learn more about the average accountant salaries by State.
Guide to Becoming an Accountant
Deal with your education by earning credits in every required accounting class. Next, pass your state’s certification examination and obtain your license to practice accounting.
Where Can You Work?
Accounting is a profession where you can work in a public or private setting, for a large organization or a small business. Accounting is everywhere!
Your options may include certified public accounting, government accounting, forensic accounting and investment accounting.
Accounting is an old profession with a wide variety of career options, so you will never be bored or run out of ways to use your accounting certifications.
As you grow in your career, you can teach and mentor others, become a member of one of the many accounting organizations, and even volunteer your time to many nonprofits or fundraisers who are always looking for people with accounting skills to help out.
As you can see, there are many areas within the field of accounting that you can be a part of. Starting with the right education, you can add certification and licensure, continuing education and on-the-job experience to enter your desired career and make a difference while working as an accountant.