How to Become an Accountant

While many people think the role of an accountant is a dull one, the reality is quite different.

Accountants work in many different kinds of work environments in a wide range of roles.

Many take the opportunity to travel, as an accounting degree is recognized in most countries worldwide.

Accountants enjoy a good salary, as well as prospects for advancement and further training.

Being qualified as an accountant is a practical skill, there is always a great demand for qualified accountants, and furthermore your will be able to use the skills you have in your own life.

Accounting is referred to as a recession proof job; even in tough financial time people still need to have their books balanced and their tax return filed.

To succeed in accountancy you’ll need to have a good head for figures.

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You will also need to have a high attention to detail and good level of accuracy.

Problem solving skills are also essential, if you enjoy solving an equation or finding a solution, you may find working as an accountant a rewarding career path.

Education Requirements to Become an Accountant

The most important step needed to become an accountant is education.

The first step is to complete a four year undergraduate accounting degree in college, most accountants take either a Bachelor of Business Administration, or a Bachelor’s degree in accounting.

There must be a strong focus or a major sequence of accounting subjects that form your degree.

If you choose to, you can go on to study for the Master of accounting degree, but this isn’t essential to become licensed as an accountant.

To gain the greatest amount of opportunity, you may wish to consider becoming a certified public accountant, or CPA.

To practice as an CPA, you will need to be licensed in your state.

This requires you to have completed your undergraduate degree which has a focus on accounting, as well as having passed the uniform CPA exam.

You will also need to participate in ongoing training over the years.

A CPA is allowed by law to provide accounting services to the public.

Not all accountants are CPAs, but all CPAs are accountants.

A non-CPA accountant is in most states referred to as a Public Accountant.

One of the misconceptions about a career in accounting is that it is a dull and static practice.

In reality, accountants in most states are required to keep up their training and development.

If you want to make sure your mind is always kept busy, then this is a good career to do it.

Accountant Job Description

An accountant’s job description can be varied.

While many will deal within a niche area like income tax, others may provide services to business, assist with litigation, be certified auditors, or financial planners.

Here are some of the things an accountant may find themselves doing.

  • Communicating with clients and colleagues
  • Developing strong relationships with clients
  • Auditing
  • Tax accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Financial Planning
  • Estate Planning

Accountant Salary and Career Path

Many accountants begin by working for firms, both small and large.

Later in their career they may open their own firm or small business.

Accountants are also found working in the public sector.

Later in their career, some move into different parts of finance, or become teachers.

Some accountants will move on to more complex roles, such as that of a senior accountant or financial controller.

Once you are more experienced, you can become a chartered accountant, although not all accountants choose to take this path.

There are many specialized fields of accountant such as business accounting, management accounting, and auditing that you can become licensed to complete.

According to, working as a junior accountant, you could expect to earn between $35,000 and $50,000 per year.

A senior accountant with more than four year experience will earn between $50,000 and $60,000 a year.

Top tier roles such as a financial controller would earn from $60,000 to $100,000 a year, and upwards.

Working as an accountant offers a secure job and salary, good benefits, as well as many opportunities for further training.

If you are looking for a career path with good employment opportunities, as well as the option of working for yourself later on, then becoming an accountant is a good choice.

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