When it comes to a career in accounting, there are some things you should know. First, accounting is an incredibly diverse field encompassing everything from auditing to bookkeeping to litigation support and forensic accounting. Second, it can be a challenging profession for someone with no experience, but the rewards of working as an accountant make it worth the effort. This article will help you get started by discussing five ways to kickstart your accounting career.
1- Get Qualified and Pass the CPA Exam
The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam is a rite of passage for many accountants. You’ll need to complete many college credits, earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting and prepare for the grueling CPA exam to become certified. However, if you want to work as an accountant in public practice or for the government, this is the first step in your career.
All accounting professionals must compile and explain financial information to prove their worth, so this is a necessary step. It will also be helpful for any other accounting-related profession you choose later on.
Individuals who do not have the time or money to invest in completing these qualifications can still work as an accountant by getting involved with smaller firms or doing volunteer work for non-profits. This will help you gain valuable experience while building up your resume.
2- Join the Right Associations
Whether you want to start your career, you should consider joining professional associations like the National Association of Accountants (NAA) or your city’s local branch. These organizations provide networking opportunities to help you meet potential employers, mentors, and friends who can push you forward in your career. In addition, joining these associations costs very little and often comes with valuable benefits for new members so that it can be an excellent investment.
3- Train for a Major Accounting Certification
Certifications are crucial for accountants who want to stand out from the crowd, but they aren’t easy to obtain. To become certified as an Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or Enrolled Agent (EA), you’ll have to pass advanced exams. If you don’t believe that this is possible or just don’t like the idea of more schooling, there are plenty of other accounting certifications available. Completing a training course or getting involved with professional associations can help you prepare for these exams.
4- Join a Big 4 Accounting Firm
One of the best ways to kickstart your accounting career is by working for one of the world’s top big four accounting firms: Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young (EY), and KPMG. These are probably the biggest names in the industry. They offer valuable experience, training programs, and plenty of job opportunities for accountants looking to get their foot in the door. These companies are known as chartered or public accountants in the UK instead of being referred to as the big four; however, their functions remain similar across countries.
5- Join a Mid-Size Accounting Firm
While working for one of the world’s top accounting firms will be incredibly beneficial if you can get your foot in the door, smaller firms can also provide excellent practice opportunities. These companies often need help with their audits and may not offer training programs either; however, working for a smaller accounting business can help you gain the experience and connections that you’ll need to succeed in your career.
The final tip for getting started on your accounting career path is to commit yourself fully as soon as possible. While it may be tempting to take some time off after graduation, don’t wait too long if you want to kickstart your career. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to find employment or even get accepted for entry-level positions like bookkeeping.