How to Become an Accountant

Accountants perform a vital role in any organization and you’re in the right place if you want to learn how to become an accountant. Accountants are skilled in keeping the company’s financial records accurate and correct and ensuring that the organization has an efficient accounting system in place to achieve this goal. They also help calculate the taxes that the company owes to the government before the deadline comes.

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In simple terms, an accountant acts as a bookkeeper and tax expert. His major responsibilities are to ensure that the organization manages its finances well and pays its dues promptly. This professional is in demand all year round and as such, they enjoy high wages particularly when they have more clients.

If you like working with numbers, calculating, solving problems, keeping track of financial records and filling out forms, you have a potential to become a good accountant. As many company executives don’t have the skills and the time to manage their finances, you can be a big help to these people. With your assistance and guidance, business owners can focus more on running their company without having to be burdened by keeping track of their financial transactions.

During your senior year in high school, you should already have gathered initial information from a guidance or career counselor about the accounting degree program. You can even ask the counselor for a list of schools in your location that offer this program.

The first step towards achieving your goal is to obtain the right college degree. Make sure you choose an accredited school that provides quality education and that can help you meet state requirements. You can only do this if you do some research first by personally visiting the school or by checking them on the internet.

A basic requirement to become an accountant is a bachelor’s degree in accounting from an accredited institution. This usually takes four years to complete after which you can decide to work immediately after graduation or take the certification exam to get a license.

The associate degree program is another option but since this is only a two-year program, you will have to later enroll in a bachelor’s degree program. This will enable you to qualify for the certified public accountant (CPA) certification exam.

Those passionate about their work can also upgrade their knowledge and skills after a few years of experience in the field. Pursuing a master’s degree in accounting is the way to do that.

It is important, however, to decide first which accounting field you would like to specialize in. The major fields are public accounting, government accounting, management accounting and internal auditing.

Courses covered in an accounting degree program today are broader than in the past. Apart from the main accounting and taxation subjects, students are also trained in the use of computer and software applications as well as in their oral and written communication skills.

An internship is another major requirement for graduation. This provides practical experience for students before they start working in the real world. It would also help if you start working part time during college as this is often considered by the human resources staff as additional work experience when they select and hire job applicants.

Now that you know how to become an accountant, your next step is to determine if becoming an accountant would be a right career move for you.

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