Learn How To Become An Accountant

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Learn How To Become An Accountant

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become an accountantTo be successful as an accountant or in finance positions, individuals must have an exceptional talent working with numbers and have an innate gift for being organized and detailed.  Accountants need to be savvy with computers, accounting information systems, and information technology.  They are required to have the ability to communicate accurately and concisely with both written and verbal methods.  Education is key for a successful accounting career. Here are some tips and tricks on “how to become an accountant” that will help you make the right choices early on.

 

Things You Will Need

  • CPA Applications for Examinations
  • College Catalogs and Applications
  • Pencils and Pens
  • Good Quality Stationery
  • Correct Postage Stamps
  • Computer(s)
  • Software for Accounting
  • Career Searching Online

 

What you need to know

  • A prerequisite is that your math skills are superior.  You must have a command of the language and be able to communicate well with your co-workers.  Your well-rounded knowledge is predicated on a well thought out education, determining what classes to take.   Math and the accounting practices are some of the essential musts for earning your degree. You will need to determine what classes you need to take for obtaining your accounting degree.

 


Preperation

  • Discuss with your guidance counselor which classes to take in preparation for college and your degree.  Get a list of colleges offering accounting programs with degrees and contact them for applications and catalogs before your senior year at your high school.

 

Qualifications

  • You will need a bachelor’s degree (BA) in accounting or related field offering courses in accounting.  Subsequently, you will need a certification from a state to proceed at being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). You can find out how to become a CPA and what the required CPA exam scores are.

 

Requirements

  • For an accounting degree, specific states require semester units to be 150.  You will need to research the requirements for the state from where you want your accounting degree.  Be cognizant of the colleges you are applying to for satisfying all of the current requirements for the state where you are applying.

 

Areas of Accounting

  • The major fields in accounting are government, public, management accounting, and internal auditing and there are numerous subfields within the primary field.  Within the four typical career paths, each provide a distinctive amount of specializations and options for your consideration.  You can work in the primary function as accountants or in business and finance that could lead you to a management position.  You could also serve directly to an employer as an auditor.  You might also choose to be a tax accountant or grantor.  You can make your choice at a later stage of your studies.

 

Internship

  • You might also want to think about being an intern during your time in college on a part-time basis gaining experience in your field of choice.  Many firms hiring entry-level accountants require this work for being considered for hire after you graduate.

 

Examination

  • You might want to consider taking a CPA examination offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) that occurs over two days, and is in four parts.  Before you apply, you will first need your bachelor’s degree and have some experience in accounting.  Of the CPA applicants applying, only 25 percent are credited with passing all four parts.  Some states may give credit if you pass at least two parts.

 

You could possibly qualify for a financial aid package enabling you to return to school. Scholarships and Grants can help pay your education as well.  To learn more visit http://www2.ed.gov/finaid/landing.jhtml at the U.S. Department of Education website.

 

Other Accounting websites of Interest

 

The salary of an entry-level accounting position is dependent on where you are hired.  You will earn a higher salary if you work with a larger firm. Of course you might not necessarily do this during your entry-level period.  As an entry-level accountant, you might expect to earn at least $55,000 annually.  It is possible for many accounting beginners to the profession to earn up annually up to $70,000.

 

Some Guidelines for your Consideration

  • Take into account your job rewards by considering a master’s degree in accounting.  You might want it to be business administration stressing accounting.
  • For networking purposes, attend seminars and join professional associations.
  • Anticipate working extremely long hours during tax season if you specialize in this area.
  • You will need to continue your educational classes to renew your CPA license.
  • A government accountant can work with the federal government, state, and local agencies, to record and prepare financial reports with government accounting principles and professional standards.  As a specialist in accounting you will support federal authorities in evaluating budgetary data, evaluating tax revenue and levels of expense items.  Controls might be reviewed regarding reporting processes ensuring the controls prevent risk and loss.
  • To work for the government as an accountant, you will need a four-year degree in accounting, finance, audit, or tax.  You could have a post-graduate degree or major in a related field of business.  You could join training sessions learning about the standards of accounting, practices within the industry, or the latest in regulatory functions.

 

Government accounting clerks made $32,510 in 2008.  The top 10 percent exceeded $49,260.  The bottom 10 percent earned under $20,950.  These salary levels grow with experience, education, and professional certifications.  The average salaries of government accountants were $59,430 in 2008.  The bottom 10 percent earned under $36,720, while the top 10 percent earned upwards of $102,380.

 

After five years, a government accountant could be promoted to senior positions.  An accountant can additionally increase the chances of promotion by joining training programs.  Taking graduate courses at a university, or a community college will afford promotion opportunities as well.  Opportunities are possible working as a finance director for a national political party.  There could be opportunities with the U.S. Senate Banking Commission as the chief of accounting.

 

Locations

  • Many government accountants work in and around metro areas such as Washington, D.C.  Other occupations with local governments are centered around each state’s metro center.
  • Federal government offers wonderful benefits, the hours are flexible and some agencies offer working from home.

You could possibly qualify for a financial aid package enabling you to return to school. Scholarships and Grants can help pay your education as well.  To learn more visit http://www2.ed.gov/finaid/landing.jhtml at the U.S. Department of Education website.