Becoming an Accountant: Education and Career

Professional accountants can work in general and private divisions offering consultations, audits, and analyzing services. Employee obligations include the overview and support of monetary records for organizations, and the arranging and submitting of records.

A bachelor’s degree is a typical requirement to become an accountant. Some accountants pursue extra certification and education as a way to demonstrate professionalism and expertise to future employers.  It is necessary to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) if you file with SEC (Securities and Exchange Commissions).


Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement to enter into the field. Programs are available by that title. Accounting specialization choices may be available in broader programs, as well. Both programs include similar courses, but some involve additional coursework in things like management, marketing, and finance. Maryville University offers a variety of accounting related courses and programs.

  • Finding an internship with an accounting firm or department provides adequate work experience for those who want to take the CPA exam. Interns may assist with preparing financial documents, auditing, and communicating with various clients. An intern may also learn about accounting software programs that may be used.


Step 2: Work Experience

Valid work experience will help you to advance in accounting. Some states require you to have it in order to take the CPA exam. By gaining work experience through an internship, or entry-level position in a firm or similar employer, prospective accountants have the opportunity to learn what duties and responsibilities they will have to take care of on a daily basis.


Step 3: Consider a Master’s Degree

A master’s degree isn’t required, but can be beneficial. Master’s programs in the field include management courses that cover advanced lessons in auditing, finance, and taxation. A Master’s is a commonly used way for Bachelor’s degree students to meet the 150 credit hours required to take the CPA exam. The 150 credit hours is almost always mandatory, but it isn’t mandatory to have a master’s degree to get a CPA licensing.


Step 4: Licensing

You aren’t required to be licensed to be an accountant, but employers tend to hire credited accountants before unlicensed accountants. The CPA license is intended to be acquired by individuals who file with an SEC or who want to increase prospective job opportunities. State depending, 120 to 150 credit hours are required to take the CPA exam. Some states might also want a minimum number of accounting or business college credits, as well as years of valid and professional work experience before anyone is allowed to sit and write the exam.


Step 5: Gain Certification

Extra certifications have been known to help accountants stand out from the crowd of potential accountants. Some of the optional certifications include Certified Management Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, and Certified Information Systems Auditor. They are offered through various organizations and require you to take an exam. A licensed CPA can and should take advantage of the American Institute of CPAs that allows them to become certified as a Personal Finance Specialist.



Becoming an Accountant: Education and Career

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