If you are looking forward to an accounting career, there are several steps you can take to assure your success.
Beyond enjoying math, earning a degree focused on business and accounting practice can go a long way to enhancing a career in accounting.
Many students first discover accounting when they take basic bookkeeping courses in high school. However, accountants do far more than simply keep track of debits and credits. Many accounting professionals also work in investment banking and help business organizations manage budgets, stock portfolios and other financial aspects of business.
Most professional accounting positions require college level course work in accounting principles. Many community colleges offer two year degrees in accounting and this can be an excellent stepping stone to becoming an accountant. In fact, from a strategic perspective, earning a two-year degree can help you find entry level employment and help you finance a four-year degree in business accounting.
Many employers offer tuition assistance benefits to employees who are earning degrees to advance their career. This can be an excellent method of earning a four-year degree or even an MBA focusing on accounting or finance.
If you are currently employed, there are many online MBA programs that are now being offered by prestigious accredited schools. Harvard, Stanford and Wharton School of Business are just a few programs that now offer online MBA programs, which are often more affordable than attending their traditional programs. Online graduate business degree programs offer flexible schedules and often require short periodic residency course work. You can usually earn an online MBA in two or three years.
Certification and Employment Requirements
Although many jobs in accounting and finance do not require you to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), employers find this certification attractive and it may give you an advantage over other job applicants. Receiving CPA status requires an undergraduate degree in accounting and passing an extensive examination process. Once you receive CPA certification, you can formally call yourself an “accountant.” You are also required to take continuing education courses to maintain your certification status.
Many management positions require at least a four-year degree in business finance or accounting and many employers prefer an MBA for upper level managers. Often, larger companies will offer advancement opportunities once you have earned an MBA.
The salaries for careers in accounting largely vary according to level of responsibility, education and experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bookkeepers, accounting clerks and audit clerks earn an average of approximately $34,000 per year. These positions often only require a high school degree and a two-year degree in accounting.
Positions which require an undergraduate degree in business, finance or accounting earn higher salaries. These positions earn approximately $49,000 to $70,000, depending on the position. Examples of this level of employment in accounting include cost estimators, budget analysts and mid-level accountants.
Top level accountants earn significantly higher annual salaries in the range of approximately $75,000 to $175,00 and higher. These positions require an MBA and include upper level managers, general managers, CFO and CEO.
If you want to know how to become an accountant or are looking for ways to advance your career, consider talking to an accounting professional. Education is the key to increasing your earning power and being successful in this field.