How to Become an Accountant

Accountants are the highly-trained financial professionals who are dedicated and exclusively specialize in preparing a wide variety of financial documents. They can choose to be they may choose to be certified public accountants, auditors, government accountants or management accountants.

Here we have given guidelines for becoming an accountant, it will help you to make your home work more strong before to deciding your career option.

Becoming an Accountant

Begin on the right foot

Becoming an accountant is not a short term process and not only about what you graduate in. Begin by fostering a proficiency in mathematics and computers right when you are in high school. If your school offers it, take classes in finance also. The more you accustom with the financial world as early as possible, the better for you later on.

Take the right exams

Take your ACT and SAT exams. The scores for these exams can then be helpful in applying for Bachelor’s degree programs for becoming an accountant.

Doing the right research

Research the licensing requirements for your state. The licensing requirements keep changing every few years and each state will have several tracks to becoming a licensed accountant including the associate’s and bachelor’s degree requirements.

Applying for the right degree program

cartoon with degree certificate

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

The requirements for the degree for becoming a licensed accountant can vary from state to state. However, you could do one of the following, depending upon your state’s requirements –

 Earn a 2 years accounting associate’s degree. Then you look for programs that will place you into entry-level positions that would help you in clearing your uniform accounting exams. You would need to gather the required one or two years of work experience in order to get your license.
 Earn a 4 years Bachelor’s degree, which will help you no matter what state you would be practicing in. With this, you would need only one year of experience in order to be able to apply for your license.

Working the right internship or summer job

Getting an appropriate internship or a summer job could be a great way to get the right experience or even the right job placement once you finish your graduation. While your studies will give you the required theoretical knowledge, the internship or job will help you get first hand practical experience, which is always helpful.

Getting the right experience

Just finishing your studies won’t help. You need to get a license to be able to practice as an accountant. You need appropriate work experience in order to be able to apply for and procure a license. Get an entry-level position, where you can work for 1-2 years under a good licensed accountant and hence, work towards procuring your own license.

Taking the right prep courses

No matter how talented and skilled or how good you are in your studies and how confident you are of the concepts, a little extra help never harmed anyone. Do some digging, and enrol for the right preparation courses for the CPA/CMA courses you would be required to take for getting your license. The uniform accountancy exams are extremely difficult, needless to say, and would require rigorous preparation and review spreading from months to years.

Taking the right exam

The Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam has four parts. Once you have cleared the first part you would get about 18 months to clear the remaining three parts. It would also require you to produce proofs of your degree program, attended hours, and successful completion of the ethics course. So, keep all these proofs ready and available so you can produce them when required without wasting too much time or going mad over hunting for them.

Pursuing the right post graduation

In order to follow some state’s CPA tracks, you might be required to pursue and obtain a Master’s degree. A master’s degree in say business administration or in accountancy could help you take a management track in your field of work or also make you eligible for working for large financial firms, while also enhancing your scope fo growth and promotion in your career. It’s always a plus, and definitely worth considering and pursuing.

Continuing with the right education credits

You cannot hang up your boots once you finish your education if you are an accountant. You need to keep enrolling and obtaining various education credits in order to remain licensed in your state. Your knowledge and skills needs to be kept on being sharpened from time-to-time to continue being a good accountant.

If you are thinking of becoming an accountant, it is better to start preparing and planning early on, and ensuring that you have the right aptitude, education, experience and background for it, before taking the plunge into the numerical and analytical world of accountancy. Think carefully about what to expect and what happens how, so you don’t get a chance to regret it later. Be credible, have an eye for detail and be prepared to keep learning. Make an informed decision, then stick to it and work hard. And don’t hesitate to ask for help while you can. Being a good accountant takes hard work, and they don’t say that the fruits of hard work are sweet for nothing. 

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