Let’s be fair right from the start. Accountancy is not exactly perceived as the world’s most glamorous profession. It doesn’t really stack up against racing drivers, professional footballers, hockey players, or pop and rock stars.
But hold on just a minute. None of the aforementioned sports and entertainment folks would be able to have successful careers without using an accountant – or sometimes a whole bunch of accountants – to sort out their financial requirements.
In fact, being an accountant opens a whole slew of doors into business, government, not-for-profit, and individuals because accountants are always needed, and really good ones can command high prices for their services.
Accountants are essential to make the money world go round. You could be managing multimillion dollar budgets, sorting out the complex network of legislation dealing with taxes, doing financial reporting, or completing audits. If you enjoy and are good at math and have an analytical mind, then becoming an accountant could be just the profession for you.
Getting the training
Just because you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide figures doesn’t qualify you to be an accountant. You probably guessed that. Accountants go through rigorous training to get the appropriate qualifications, with a variety of challenging exams to pass. This training is essential to equip you with the wide range of knowledge and understanding of the financial world that you need, so a good degree is a must.
One of the huge benefits of the internet is the ability to access training online, and Maryville’s online bachelor’s in accounting is an option that you can explore. You do need to be motivated to work hard and do well whatever form of training you access, and you’ll find forums available where you can find like-minded students and swap ideas and information.
Working as an accountant
When you have qualified, there are an enormous number of work opportunities that will be open to you. Without a sound financial base, and people who understand how an organization operates, no institution or individual is likely to be successful.
Your opportunities include working for local, provincial, or federal governments, going into the commercial world working for large corporations or smaller businesses, or helping the financial structures of charities and not-for profits. There are also hundreds of educational institutions and professional bodies that require sound financial advice and support, and you have the option of working almost anywhere in the world.
Global companies hire many accountants, either through major accountancy firms or by advertising senior or junior posts to work in house.
As an accountant, you could find yourself working for multiple clients if you join an accountancy firm, but equally you could set up your own business once you have gained experience and enjoy a degree of autonomy as well as the excitement and challenge of operating your own organization – and you wouldn’t need to hire an accountant (until your firm has grown so that it’s too much to handle on your own!).
Accountancy offers tremendous flexibility, so it’s worth being open to the many possibilities that your expertise and experience can bring to whichever sector you decide is for you.
You are an expert
Never forget, when it comes to finances, you are the one who knows what to do, and you can take pride in knowing how hard you have worked to get to where you want to be. Of course, when you’re starting out after training, you don’t know everything, so get to know your colleagues who have more experience and ask for their advice when they need it. When you have more experience, be willing to pass on your knowledge and advice to junior colleagues. Always look to make friends at whatever level of business you are. People put a lot of trust in accountants, so you don’t want to be letting anyone down.
Always continue to learn
Your initial training is just the starting point. Technology constantly changes as to the regulations and legal frameworks that govern taxation, auditing, and what is required for financial reporting. It’s almost as if governments keep adding to legislation or changing it to make sure that accountants are always in work!
As an accountant, you are part of the financial backbone of any organization, so it’s essential that you keep abreast of all new regulations so that you do not put yourself or your employer in any awkward financial situations. If you’re honest, hardworking, and able to explain complex issues to managers and bosses who don’t have a financial background, then you’re well on the way to making a success of your accountancy career.