Students graduate in this degree are in high demand from governments, organizations and individuals. In order to be a good accountant and participate in important management decisions, the graduate must has a wide and varied background with strong communication skills.
In the last years, the accounting profession has grown with the new government regulations. A person with an Accounting degree is able to work for government at any level (local, state and federal), analyzing programs and formulating budgets among other tasks. With the obtaining of the Certified of Public Accountant (CPA), the graduate is able to work in partnerships, proving accounting services for public and private institutions or governments. On the other hand as an independent CPA, is possible to have a close customer contact, independence and thus elevated financial rewards.
Coursework in Accounting
General accounting education covers many areas so students can get a good idea of the profession, but to earn an account degree is necessary to put effort learning the courses and main themes. The main courses that have to be taken for every accounting student are:
- Accounting basics
Other important courses are international business, financial statements, compensations and bankruptcy, merges and acquisitions and more.
- Business Law
- Cost accounting
- Federal taxation
- Financial Accounting
- Information systems
- Managerial Accounting
- Payroll administration
Accountants can study in several fields or according to particular accounting functions, focusing on four areas:
- Public Accountants: People with a major in public account are focused on auditing and tax functions working for many clients on their own or as part of a firm. If an accountant is really good and shines may become a supervisor, manager, open his/her own accounting firm or become internal auditor in private firms.
Requirements for a Successful Accounting Career
- Management Accountants: People with this specialty usually begin as cost accountants or trainers for other accounting positions, but they also manage the reporting to stock holders, tax authorities and regulatory agencies. When they rise through the corporation, they become accounting managers, chief cost accountants or manager of internal auditing. The reports made by a management accountant should contribute to planning and decision making in the corporation.
- Government Accountants: Who graduate with this major can work at any level of government to examine and supervise the performance and distribution of funds. The federal areas where a government accountant can find a job are the Department of Defense, the IRS and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Auditors and internals auditors: Internal auditors focus in internal controls and accounting information systems as well as conducting compliance audits. With their effort, they can provide recommendations and plans for continued financial improvement.
If you want to make a career in accounting, is important:
- Enjoy working with numbers
Certifications for Accountants
- Be able to analyze and understand facts and figures quickly.
- Have the ability to communicate clearly with different people (clients, managers)
- Feel confident working with different computer software to prepare reports and financial documents.
- Stay updated with latest laws and regulations.
- Accounting and bookkeeping certification: This certificate programs prepare accountants to work in any corporation, organization or business. Students will learn about preparing payroll documents, journals and ledgers, the theory of double entry, etc.
Graduates with this certificate are able to manage computer programs like database software and spreadsheets to help keep track of bookkeeping and accounting operations.
- Certified Public Accountants (CPA): This is an important certificate for all public accountants, it is earned with a combination of experience and passing the Uniform CPA Examination designated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the exam consists of the following four parts:
Additionally is necessary to take an exam on ethics. With this certificate, accountants are able to offer services to corporations and private individuals, giving advices on investments and financial plans, and sign an audit option. They can also provide other services like tax preparation, assurance, financial accounting and more.
3. Financial Accounting and Reporting
4. Business Environment and Concepts
- Certificate in Management Accounting (CMA): Necessary certification to work as a management accountant. In order to obtain this certificate, the graduate must pass arduous five-part exams:
1. Economics and Business Finance
Usually the exam is given twice yearly in June and December.
2. Organization and Behaviour, including Ethical Considerations
3. Public reporting standards, auditing and taxes.
4. Internal Reporting and Analysis.
5. Decision analysis, including Modelling and Information Systems.
- Certificate Internal Auditor (CIA): This is the professional designation for an internal auditor, the exam is really hard and lasts around 14 hours covering four areas:
1. Theory of Internal Auditing
2. Practice of Internal Auditing
3. Management, quantitative methods and Information Systems
4. Accounting, finance, and Economies.
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