Get Started in an Accounting Career with this Guide
Starting a career in accounting is a smart move for those who are organized, detail-oriented, and possess great math skills. Not only does it offer the opportunity for a high salary, there is always a demand for qualified accountants in various fields. Because there are so many areas of expertise to choose from, it’s essential to build a foundation on the basic skills you’ll need, then think about which path is best for you. These include working with individuals on their taxes, becoming a forensic accountant to analyze financial records for businesses, and training to become an internal auditor for large companies, among others. Batiste Consulting invites you to read about a few things to consider when you’re ready to start a career in accounting.
Enroll in a comprehensive program
Regardless of the branch of accounting you want to pursue, you’ll need to earn a Bachelor of Science in Accounting first so you can start building the skills you’ll need. Fortunately, there are several programs available that offer online courses, so you can learn how to become a certified CPA on your own time while keeping your day job or taking care of responsibilities at home. Once you get started with classes in taxation, economics, business law, marketing, and auditing, you can start thinking about the specific field you’d like to focus on and tailor your courses to fit that area. You can also search for an internship with a local company so you can start learning the ropes.
Consider your options
Once you have a good idea of the path you want to take, think carefully about all your job options. Consider whether you’re better suited for a career with a consulting firm that has a lot of clients or one that allows you to focus on one client’s needs, such as with a major corporation. You might even decide to start your own freelance accounting business to help individuals and small businesses with their tax needs. Some types of accounting jobs provide steady work all throughout the year, such as those with private companies, while others will keep you very busy for just a few months. The latter option will give you more time to spend with family or pursue other interests, while the former will allow for a more steady income.
Create a perfect resume
Once you have your certification and are ready to start the job search, it’s crucial to have a resume that will stand out from the crowd. Start by doing some research on the companies you’re interested in so you’ll know exactly what they’re looking for. This way, you can tailor your resume and cover letter for maximum impact. Keep in mind that including both hard and soft skills--such as good communication and problem-solving abilities--are important for a resume that gets noticed. Ask a friend, classmate, or coworker to proofread the final resume, and get ready for the interview as much as possible so you can blow away your next potential employer.
Even after you’ve landed your dream job, it’s important to stay updated on the latest tech, laws, and best practices for your business so you can provide the highest quality of service to your clients. Set aside one day a month to read business-related news, sign up for a class, or search for new tools and technology that will benefit you and help grow your skills. You can also use this time to network or look for opportunities that will allow for making contacts, such as conventions or other local events. Making good use of social media will be helpful, so keep your accounts updated on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to make the most of those platforms. Make sure clients and peers have a way to contact you on those accounts, as well.
Becoming an accountant provides a solid career path with varying levels of flexibility and income, and once you’re prepared, you can start earning money almost immediately. By building your skills over time and keeping yourself open to learning, you can ensure that the path you choose stays interesting and rewarding.
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