Becoming an accountant is the dream and aspiration of many young people. Most of these young folks are attracted to the profession for different reasons. Some want to become a professional accountant because of how lucrative the profession is, while a few others are impressed by the high wage/salary earned. Indeed, accounting is a high-paying profession.
Whatever your reason for wanting to become an accountant, there is a price to pay. You would need to develop some personal qualities needed to thrive on the job. You don’t just become an accountant overnight. It involves a series of career building stages. Obviously, one would have to be well schooled and obtain formal education to be able to pursue this dream. So, what other things need to be done to become a professional accountant?
Obtain a degree: This is the key. It sets you on the way and programs your mind. Most of the college lecturers teach you stuff that will mold you in character and learning. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an accounting degree; it could be a related course like finance or economics. However, if you must reach the top of the game like becoming a CPA, a university or college degree is the minimum educational qualification you must meet. The course work in colleges and universities is comprehensive and detailed. One could also obtain a degree via distance learning. To stand out, you must consider earning a master’s degree. It is important to remember that only degree from an accredited college/university is recognizable. If you want to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you have to enroll for and pass all stages of the CPA exam.
Choose an area of specialization: Accounting is very broad. Hence, you must pick an area of specialty based on your interest, qualities and accounting degree. Typically, accounting has two broad divisions which are public accounting and business accounting. Under these divisions, there are several subdivisions ranging from tax and internal audit to payroll management and managerial accounting.
Look out for an internship opportunity or an entry level job: On the job experience will stand you in good stead. It will help you in understanding classroom teachings better. Accounting is all about application of knowledge. Hence, it is better to have practical understanding early enough. You could apply to serve as an intern even as an undergraduate. This will give your CV a facelift and you’d be considered as someone with a wee bit of experience. By the time you are applying for entry level job postings, you are already a tad above other applicants.
Strive to continually improve yourself: They say you don’t stop learning until you die. Don’t relax or sit back after landing your first gig. There is room for improvement and continuous education is crucial. Obtain certifications that will help your career growth and help you climb up the ladder quickly. There are lots of exams to write before you can make it to the top.