Accounting provides a wide variety of exciting career paths, with a multitude of different accounting certifications that correspond to these different paths. Accounting certificates are available for those seeking introductory accounting education as well as those who want to advance their skills. If you are interested in doing a specific kind of accounting job, you must know which certification corresponds to which career. By understanding how certification and jobs match up, you'll be able to bring that knowledge to an interview and, perhaps, you will be one step closer to the accounting career you are hoping for.
Is an Accounting Certificate Worth It?
An accounting certificate can be worthwhile depending on what your career goals are. There are two types of accounting certificates available: undergraduate and graduate. While they may provide similar education, each one has its own benefits.
An undergraduate certificate can:
- Provide foundational education without the commitment to a full degree program
- Qualify individuals for entry-level accounting jobs
- Prepare individuals for certification in their field
- Transfer credits to a degree program
A graduate certificate can:
- Provide accounting knowledge to those who hold a non-accounting related degree
- Advance an individual's accounting knowledge and skills
- Prepare individuals for certification in their field
- Improve job prospects/qualify individuals for promotion
What Jobs Can You Get with a Certificate in Accounting?
Accounting certificate jobs vary with the type of certificate received. Below is more detailed information on a few accountings certificate jobs.
- Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks can benefit from an undergraduate accounting certificate. They don't need a college degree, but some college education and on-the-job training are required. These clerks oversee maintaining a company's financial records, from transactions to loans and statements.
Accounting clerks can specialize in accounts payable or accounts receivable. Bookkeepers can gain the Certified Bookkeeper Designation; an accounting certificate can give them the necessary bookkeeping courses to pass the certification exam.
- Accountants and Auditors
Accountants and auditors typically need a bachelor's degree in accounting or another related field, but an individual with a graduate accounting certificate can also qualify, even if their degree isn't finance-related. Accountants and auditors keep track of and evaluate financial processes, including the mismanagement of any finances, and suggest ways to improve a company's bottom line and reduce unnecessary spending.
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
The most well-known accounting certification is the CPA designation. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) serve in private industry, as public accountants, and as tax professionals. In the private industry, most accountants are not CPAs. However, the CPA designation may be required as an accountant moves up the organizational structure. Many controllers and CFOs, some of the higher-ranking accounting employees, do have their CPA licenses. In public accounting, CPAs are frequently employed as auditors, who are engaged to present an opinion on whether a client's financial statements are presented fairly; and tax preparers, who prepare corporate and individual state, local, and federal tax returns.
- Certified Management Accountants (CMA)
The CMA designation is a professional accounting designation that is most closely associated with working in private companies. Certified Management Accountants, or CMAs, frequently serve as controllers and cost accountants. CMAs are most common in manufacturing firms but do work in other types of companies as well. To maximize their value to potential employers, some accountants choose to get both the CPA and CMA designation. These individuals may be well-suited for work in positions in which both significant manufacturing and cost-accounting are part of the job, along with a significant external-reporting component. These positions include controller and accounting manager.
- Certified Information Systems Auditors (CISA)
Accountants that are interested in information systems may obtain the CISA designation. Certified Information Systems Auditors, or CISAs, usually work in either external or internal audits and are responsible for testing the information systems of a company. CISAs working in external audits will usually test the internal controls of the information systems of clients as part of a company's audit of internal control over financial reporting. These audits are mandated for large companies under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. CISAs in internal audit perform much of the same work, only they are employed by the company. As such, they may have other responsibilities as well.
- Budget Analysts
Budget analysts help companies get their finances organized. They review company and department budgets, work with project and program managers, review requests for funding, and estimate future financial necessities. As accountants and auditors, a graduate accounting certificate can help an individual with a bachelor's degree either enter this career or hone their skills to advance in it.
Budget analysts who work for the government can earn a Certified Government Financial Manager credential. This requires the passing of an exam and continuing education, as well as a bachelor's degree and 24 credit hours of financial management study.
- Enrolled Agents
Tax preparers who have completed a special Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) program can be designated as Enrolled Agents (EAs). EAs, like CPAs and attorneys, are legally able to represent clients in front of the CRA. Also, like CPAs and attorneys, and EA has no legal restrictions as to the type of client she may represent or tax matters she may argue. Most EAs work in tax preparation and planning. But some will work in their own private practices, while others will work in larger organizations or under the supervision of a CPA.
Studying with Get Trained Get Hired is your opportunity to see if a career in accountancy for you is for you. Reach out to Get Trained Get Hired to book a free 30-Minute career counseling meeting. At Get Trained Get Hired we provide you with the necessary training to learn practical skills to become an accountant. Our training is based on practical real-life cases. After the training, we work on your resume and try to place you in accounting firms through our network. You will also get access to like-minded individuals who are looking for jobs through our WhatsApp group. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected]. Or call us at 647-870-6986.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not consider your situation and is not intended to be used without consultation from professionals. Salman Rundhawa and Gettrainedgethired.com will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page.