Are you interested in a career in accounting? If so, then you’re making a wise choice. Accounting is a vast field that encompasses lots of career positions. Once you enter the field, you’ll get to decide which path you want to take.
Accountants are always in-demand, and it always comes in handy to have a better understanding of your finances. The career also offers excellent job security and competitive pay.
If you’ve never had an accounting position before, you probably don’t know where to start. That’s why we’re here to clue you in on what to do. Here are the essential steps to start a new career in accounting.
Earn a Degree in Accounting
It’s not always required to have a degree in accounting, but you’ll have an easier time finding a job if you do. That’s especially true if you plan on becoming a CPA in the future. The minimum requirement for CPAs is to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.
Most colleges throughout the United States offer accounting programs. Not only that, but there are plenty of accounting degree programs you can complete online.
Focus on a Specialty
Accounting is a broad field that contains many specialties. Most accountants and CPAs specialize in a few areas. In general, there are two primary specialties: public accounting and business accounting.
Beyond these two catch-all categories, there are plenty of sub-categories, too. These include:
- Environmental accounting
- Internal audits
- Managerial accounting
It’s crucial to decide what kind of accounting career path you want to focus on early in your education. That way, you can begin pursuing additional certifications and certificates.
Decide Between Accountant and CPA
You won’t need a four-year degree if you want to become a regular accountant. A certified public accountant (CPA) is a position that requires additional education. What’s the difference?
An accountant is someone hired to work in the accounting department of a business. Accountants perform limited tasks such as preparing financial documents. They typically lack the licensing or certifications to practice as an independent accountant.
CPAs must have college degrees and pass the CPA exam. Beyond that, they must work a total of 180 hours under the supervision of another CPA. A CPA can perform all the tasks of a regular accountant, plus a lot more. They can also conduct audits, review statements, and represent clients before the IRS.
Land an Entry-Level Position
Before you graduate, try to find any available internships. That will help you get an “in” with an existing company looking for accountants. It would help to bolster your social media profiles with your experience and accolades. Once you get an entry-level position, look for opportunities for continuing your education.
Steps To Start a New Career in Accounting
If you’re interested in accounting, then it’s time to hit the books. You’ll need to at least complete some primary education in finances before applying to jobs. We recommend completing a bachelor’s degree in accounting and then searching for an internship. Also, have a specialty in mind so that you know how to further your education in the future.