A step by step guide to starting a career as an accountant
Accountants are responsible for managing all the company’s financial reports, ledgers, and books of accounts. There are also responsible for ensuring the accuracy of these reports and their timely dissemination to all relevant stakeholders. All these activities require accountants to possess a very specific skill set. This step-by-step guide will tell you how to achieve those skills so that you can start your career in accounting.
To find out more about what an accountant does, please check the linked job description article.
Step 1 – Figure out your strengths and weaknesses
Those looking to start a career in accounting will invariably need to possess a high level of numeracy and analytical skills. They would also need to have the ability to manage large amounts of data daily and have the technical know-how to manipulate that data and transform it into useful information. Some of these skills can be acquired through education or via on-the-job experience. However, someone who has a natural propensity towards handling numbers would invariably have a better time in an accounting role.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can be an important first step when charting out your career. Check the following qualifications article to see what skills are necessary to excel in an accounting role.
Step 2 – Strengthen your CV with the right qualifications
To become an accountant, a finance, business or economics degree would need to be pursued. Depending on the role, it might be necessary to achieve additional qualifications. A Master’s degree in any of the above-mentioned courses is one option. However, for the most challenging and rewarding roles in accounting, a formal chartered accounting qualification becomes necessary.
Securing one of these qualifications can be quite a long and drawn-out process requiring considerable time and effort on part of the candidate. However, the result can be quite rewarding, and chartered accounting professionals can expect to earn a lot more and have a lot more opportunities open up to them. You can find out more about these qualifications at the following qualifications article.
Step 3 – Internships and work experience
Better-Paying jobs in accounting require a considerable amount of experience. Initially, in your career, internships are the easiest way to get some experience under your belt. This can be followed by some years of on-the-job experience at an entry-level accounting job. With all this experience, it might be best to pursue an advanced qualification like a formal chartered accountancy certification.
Securing senior-level accounting positions, therefore, requires a lot of commitment. But those who are at the top of their fields are professionals who are always in very high demand and often end up working as independent consultants with extremely lucrative pay packages.
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