What qualifications are needed to become an accountant?
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Accounting degrees have continued to see a spike in demand over the course of time, owing to the popularity in the profession to be a potentially strong income generating source for individuals. Therefore, with every passing year, a higher number of individuals opt for the accounting degree and profession, as their career path.
In US alone, 72% of bachelor’s of accounting programs and 65% of master’s of accounting programs expect to have the same or higher enrollment in 2019. We directs towards basics of accounting degree, and the professional qualifications that are available. Moving on, we’re going to discuss further about the degree, and the career trajectory that is mainly high in demand in this regard.
Firstly, in order to become an accountant it is important to earn the right degree. This can be achieved from a variety of options, both online as well as offline. There are a variety of diplomas that can be used for the purpose.
Typical accounting degree programs include certificates in Diploma or Accounting, Associate Degree in Accounting, Bachelor Degree in Accounting, Master’s Degree in Accounting, MBA in Accounting Degree, or PHD or DBA in Accounting Degree. The options of degree selection can be either online or offline, or a professional degree, or a diploma. After choosing the respective degree type, it then becomes rudimentary to pick a specialty.
In the same manner, there are also a lot of online options for getting certifications online. However, with online certifications it should be made sure that the program is regionally or nationally accredited, so that it does not put employ-ability of the individual at stake.
In this regard, it is often a good idea to look for program specific accreditation. This can help individuals learn this skill, and enter the job market with properly recognized certifications.
The advantage of learning accounting online are numerous, and given the fact that a considerable amount of accounting programs are accepted globally, it is often a top choice for a lot of individuals who want to pursue accounting as a career.
Professional Accounting Qualifications
Speaking of professional degrees, they highly vary from region to region. Despite the fact that the accounting body that sets up rules and regulations is universally accepted across the world, yet the degree programs differ in what they have to offer for individuals in terms of the career choices that are available for them.
For people who are passionate about hard-core finance, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is probably the best-fit option that help them develop a skill set that can act as an aid for deeper problem solving skills.
On the other hand, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Accountant (CA) is another branch of accounting which involves hard core accounting and tax related issues, and this specialization opens up career paths in financial as well as managerial accounting. In addition to these certifications, individuals can also opt for professional degrees, like Bachelors, from different universities.
Getting an accounting degree is not hard, and comes with a lot of advantages. However, it requires some strategic planning and thought to be put into it. So that they are able to ensure that they get employed, and their career trajectory is promising, and high yielding.
Therefore, the overall profession selection in this regard is done based on market demands, and the desired career trajectory, which is mentioned in the following.
Accounting Career Path
As mentioned earlier, it can be seen that accounting continues to be a top choice for professionals across the world. This is primarily because of the fact that the career options are quite extensive , and the skill in itself is higher in demand, which ultimately makes it easier for professionals to land jobs they desire.
Broadly speaking, it can be seen that as an accounting career path can be classified into either public accounting practice, or corporate accounting. For both these subcategories, the scope is different in the sense that KPIs should be met in accordance with the organization the accountant is a part of. These sub-categorizations are further explained below.
Public Accounting Practice
As far as public accounting practice is concerned, it can be seen that it is associated with accounting for bigger corporations, like the government, and other revenue collecting authorities. This also includes auditors, and accounting firms which ensure that companies are able to comply with the internationally set and accredited rules by the governing body.
Corporate (or Commercial) Accounting
On the contrary, as far as private accountants are concerned, it can be seen that they are mainly hired by corporations and organizations for their internal accounting procedures. This includes managing accounts, accounting software, and preparation of the financial statements at the end of every financial year.
In the same manner, it is also important to note that the qualifications for both, public accountants and private accountants can be similar, in exception to a few additional courses, or diplomas that need to be covered in case of public accounting
Other Accounting Specializations
Additionally, there are also a few sub-specializations that exist in this aspect, primarily environmental accounting, internal auditing, managerial accounting, or taxes. The specialty aspect is also included in the choice of degree that is selected.
Great Career Choice
As a career choice, accounting can be described as one of the most popular and in-demand choices that people have. This is predominantly because of the fact that it pays well, has a promising career ladder, and it helps individuals to grow and progress as individuals.
The median annual wage for accountants and auditors was around $71,550 in the US. This means that in case of an individual having the right degree, he can progress within the organization with better pay rates and increases. The overall increase in job prospects is also predicted, as according to bls.gov, the job outlook is expected to grow at a rate of 6% from 2018 to 2028.
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