There are many routes that one can take into the accountancy industry and it’s important to select the right mode for you. Typically speaking, accountants have a bachelor’s degree within the field, but this isn’t a compulsory requirement, meaning that many people opt for different routes. Despite this, for a certified public accountant (CPA), a bachelor’s degree or an alternative equivalent is the minimum educational requirement. Similarly, CPAs may also be required to complete coursework and take classes that revolve around financial reporting, taxes, and auditing. Various CPAs also go on to earn their master’s degree to make them stand out to accountancy firms such as Samuels LLP.
Get a Bachelor’s Degree
One of the most common routes of getting into accountancy is by obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Although not all accountancy jobs will require this education level, accounting is a competitive industry, meaning that you’ll want to do what you can to stand out from the crowd. Similarly, you’re more likely to earn a greater salary with a degree under your belt. One of the most common accountancy degrees is accounting, financing, and auditing, as this nicely summarises the role of an accountant.
Obtain an Apprenticeship/Internship/Entry-level Position
However, if a degree isn’t the right route for you, there are multiple apprenticeship programmes available that bring you the qualifications that you need to become an accountant, whilst working at the same time. Similarly, there are also internships and entry-level positions that will allow you to progress in the sector over time; however, this may not present you with the same opportunity to gain qualifications as you work. Many aspiring accountants opt for the apprenticeship route over the degree route, as they don’t incur debt, earn whilst they learn, and also gain the relevant experience.
Select a Specialty
There are multiple specialties within the accountancy field so many aspiring accountants select a field in which they wish to work. For instance, you can choose between public or corporate accounting, and even select a subcategory within this, including auditing or taxes. Your specialty can either stem from the qualifications that you have earned, or it can come from your personal skills and preferences.
Decide whether to be an Accountant or CPA
A standard accountant works within an organisation as a staff member and won’t necessarily require licensure or certifications. However, a CPA will require a variety of requirements to practice accounting. These include working under a licenced CPA for 1800 hours, passing the CPA exam, and a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification. However, as previously mentioned, many CPAs will continue their education until they reach master’s level.
Accountancy training is very exam heavy, meaning that you’ll need to pass all your exams if you want to progress in the field. As far as CPA training is concerned, you’ll be required to pass Regulation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Business Environment and Concepts, and Audit and Attestation. However, whichever route you take into accounting, it’s more than likely that you’ll be faced with a multitude of exams, so make sure you prepare and study for these.
Contemplate the Continuation of Your Education
As previously mentioned, accountancy is an extremely competitive field, meaning that it’s a good idea to gain as many qualifications as possible. Successful accountants don’t tend to end their education as soon as they’ve attained their degree or necessary qualifications. Instead, they go above and beyond to set themselves apart from the competition. As far as accounting is concerned, you shouldn’t really ever stop learning as there is a multitude of ways that you can continue to progress.