If you are thinking of becoming an accountant or pursuing a career in the accounting industry, it is important to verify the correct education, experience, and basic skills before entering the field. Here is an outline of some of the key requirements for an accountant, including what to expect from accounting work and how to get a position.
The skills that you need to be able to excel in an accounting career
To excel in any accounting job, you need to have a certain skill that you need to have to be successful, including:
- Understanding basic and complex math
- Ability to solve problems and be able to adopt a methodical approach to problems
- Moral integrity
- Ability to predict the consequences of financial decisions
- Interest in finance and business
- Ability to work individually and in a team
- Communication skills
- Management and organizational skills
- Natural attention to detail
Specialize in a specific subject
You must have noticed, accounting is a very diverse field. Once you have earned a degree (or perhaps during school and will be able to choose the goal of your course work), you will need to find your professional accountant blank. The two most popular areas of specialization are corporate accounting and public accounting. Others include managerial accounting, tax accounting, environmental accounting, auditing, to name but a few from this vast area of human niches. Your studies can definitely guide you on the path to your focus.
Look for a relevant internship
Students who have completed accounting internships in their junior or senior years will have a significant advantage in getting a graduate job. The campus often runs recruitment drives for winter and spring job openings. If you are still in college and considering a career as an accountant, ask your career office in your spring year to discuss an internship search strategy.
Choose between a CPA or becoming an accountant
Accountants, also known as public accountants, have more limited certifications and potential job responsibilities. They can do most accounting tasks, such as preparing tax returns, but they can't verify financial statements or perform audits. Certified Chartered Accountants (CPAs) require a university degree, must pass a special exam, and work for a preset number of hours under the supervision of a licensed CPA. Once you become a certified public accountant, you can perform all the typical accounting tasks, but you can also use accounting activities that included audits, represent clients before the IRS, and check statements.
The path to becoming more focused requires more commitment, training, and certification, although it promises a more profitable career. It also requires a higher level of responsibility with personal or business finances, as well as a knack for math and finance.
How can you become your recruiter's top preference?
Most employers wishing to hire an entry-level accountant monitor applicants' overall academic performance and their specific performance in the accounting course. In general, large accounting firms choose to interview candidates with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, but there are other factors that can persuade a potential employer to interview a candidate with a lower GPA. These factors can be related to a specific GPA accounting course, which results in various extracurricular activities, or students who have worked full-time to obtain degrees.
What more can you do?
Find out what your strengths are. The interviewer will likely ask you what your main strengths are. Prepare a list of some of your core qualities, along with specific examples of situations in which you have demonstrated them.
Make sure you know why you chose to focus on accounting. You will likely be asked why you chose a particular accounting page. The best way to prepare for such a question is to discuss it with established accountants and ask them what they specifically like about this field.
Look and behave with respect. In addition to being very accurate, accountants also need to inspire respect and trust. When interviewing for a job as an accountant, you need to make sure you are well-rested and well-dressed because the recruiter is likely looking for candidates with such qualities.
I arrive early. While this tip is generally applicable to all types of interviews, accuracy is especially important to aspiring accountants because it must demonstrate accuracy and attention to detail.
Examine the organization and ask questions. The interview is also an opportunity to find out if working for the organization is a positive career step.
Conduct informative interviews with as many graduates as possible. If you do it right with alum, ask if you can shade it during the school holidays to strengthen your connection. Talk to faculty, family, friends, neighbors, and former superiors. Ask for advice from accountants they know and informative consultations. These informative interviews can often lead to recommendations for internships or jobs if you make a positive impression. Although many accounting graduates get jobs through on-campus recruiting, networking is still an important landing strategy. Begin your networking efforts during your second year of college.
Ask your career development office for a list of accounting graduates to contact for information and advice.