A career as an accountant can be a great way to make a living. Accounting allows you to serve a meaningful purpose in an organization and do something that few people have the skills to do.
You’ll have to do some accountant training to be qualified to hold the position, though. We’re going to take a look at what kind of education you need to become an accountant, as well as some of the roles that you’ll serve once you land a job.
Hopefully, the information below can help you plot out your career path and start thinking about accounting school. Let’s get started and look at how to become an accountant.
Fundamentals of Accountant Training
Before you choose a school, you should ask yourself what level of accountant you’d like to be. There are two distinct paths you can take when starting school.
First, there are several excellent jobs that are attainable when you have a two-year associate’s degree in Accounting. Clerks and bookkeepers are a couple that you’d be qualified for with a degree like that.
Two-year degrees offer a lot of the same classes and curriculum as other accounting degrees. That said, you don’t get the full breadth of classes that a full university degree might offer. That said, associates degrees are more affordable, and they take significantly less time.
You’ll get a solid grasp on how to record, analyze, interpret, and log data through the set of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). You’ll also get a wider understanding of business ethics and how numbers can be integral to the success and morals of a business.
Further, associates degrees offer more options in terms of learning styles and class options. You might be able to tailor a two-year degree into a schedule that works with your existing life so that you don’t have to put life on hold to go to school.
You might be able to find a program that’s entirely online, for example.
Bachelor’s degrees open you up to accounting jobs with higher salaries and more room for advancement. If you want to become a certified public accountant (CPA), for example, you would want a bachelor’s degree in accounting or higher.
You can look for CPA jobs through Taxfyle if you’re interested.
In this case, you go through the process of a four-year degree.
While the return on investment has a higher potential, these degrees do cost significantly more. Four-year degrees can be adjusted and worked into your existing schedule as well. You might be able to compose your degree with night classes, online classes, or other options that help you get to the final result.
Subject Matter and Courses
The core of your coursework will be in different types of accounting classes. By this, we mean that you’ll take courses on managerial accounting, financial accounting, accounting software, accounting systems, and more. Typically, there will be three or four courses that advance through those concepts.
For example, you might take managerial accounting 200 after you take managerial accounting 100.
You’ll also take some classes that approach accounting from a theoretical place. You’ll see the history of accounting, the philosophy that surrounds the practice, and more. That will no doubt include some philosophy and ethics classes.
Further, you’ll take a few classes on the functions of accounting that you might take part in while at your job. You can tailor these courses to your interests when you get further down the line in school. For example, you might look into auditing courses that use accounting principles to inform the practice of running an audit.
As you get into the later years of your degree, your coursework will become more advanced and personalized. Some upper-level courses will be difficult and demanding, while you might find that other accounting courses are more self-directed.
Your projects, capstones, and internships start to mark the end of the bookwork and ease toward what life will actually be like as an accountant.
Credentials and Resume-Builders
Beyond college, there are several other things that your business of choice might require to hire you.
First, many companies ask that you have a few years of professional experience. At a minimum, one year of professional experience through an internship or job should be on your resume. The more time you add to that number, the better.
Some advanced jobs require three years of professional experience, though, and that’s a difficult thing to manage while you’re still taking classes and supporting yourself in other ways.
You may also need to pass a certification exam for the particular accounting profession you’re looking for. For example, financial planners might need to pass the CPF (certified financial planner exam).
The same goes for management accountants and more. Make sure you look into the job requirements you’re interested in while you’re still in school so you have time to account for those tests and exams you might have to take.
If you’re looking to take things to the next level, you might even want to seek out higher forms of education. A bachelor’s degree is a good start, and it can take you to a lot of places, but more education opens more doors for you.
A master’s degree in accounting will open you up to higher-paying jobs. You might even be able to start at a high-paying position rather than working your way up through the ranks.
Interested in Learning More About Accountant School?
If you’re researching how to become an accountant and looking into how to get an accountant degree for yourself, there’s a lot more to learn. We’re here to help you out with more information on getting the right school for you, moving forward with your career, and finding success.
Explore our site for more ideas on how to get the right accountant training for yourself, tips on studying, lifestyle advice, and much more.