Pursuing Accounting as a Profession

Accounting is the practice of analyzing, examining, and interpreting the financial data, information, documentation, practices, records, and statements of an individual or organization’s financial performance. Essentially, it is the study of how businesses, individuals, non-profit organizations, and government bodies monitor their income and assets through the process of keeping monetary records and analyzing financial data over time. This profession is challenging as well as rewarding since it offers its practitioners a variety of career paths to choose from. Accountants, who are educated and trained specialists in this field, are able to obtain professional employment in a number of different settings such as law firms, mid- to large-size business firms, departments within the government, hospitals, medical offices, or self-employment. With regards to advancement, accountants have the opportunity to earn promotions and climb the corporate ladder, perhaps to positions at the head-office level. As opposed to other careers which have a cap on its opportunity for advancement, accountants are able to move up as long as they are willing to put in the work.

There are certain skills and personality traits that make a great accountant. It is important to encompass some of these traits in order to be successful in this career field. Accountants must have exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills. They must have the ability to identify financial issues and suggest appropriate solutions which are tailored to the client and situation. They also examine and interpret numerous financial records and data so they must be detail-oriented and accurate when analyzing this information. Mathematical skills are essential since accountants work with mathematical principles on a daily basis. Because they handle various confidential documents and records, accountants must be conscientious and organized in their work. Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills are important. Accountants interact with different professionals, from clients to organizational managers in head-office, therefore they must speak to others in a helpful, polite, and respectful manner and be able to discuss financial concerns and issues in depth and in terminology that others, who are not familiar with this type of information, will be able to understand.

In order to become an accountant, individuals must obtain a bachelor’s degree in business or accounting. This four-year degree educates students in areas such as cost management, business ethics, income taxation, fraud examination, accounting theory, finance law, micro- and macroeconomics, accounting research methods, and financial statement analysis. Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree program, students must obtain certification to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). In order to qualify for certification, applicants must complete some type of formal education in the accounting field, complete 150-credit degree hours to prepare for the CPA examination, and pass the comprehensive CPA examination. Subsequent to completion of these requirements, students may acquire professional employment as a CPA.

Those who encompass the skills and qualities mentioned above, as well as excel in the bachelor’s degree program in business or accounting, will no doubt be successful in this demanding but lucrative profession.

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Mark Shaftsbury

About Mark Shaftsbury

Mark Shaftsbury has a background in economics and found a passion for writing after a long career abroad. He currently lives in the USA and works for a very well-known American company. He writes articles which involve his knowledge in the business industry as well as articles about education. He is a baseball enthusiast and may be found online blogging about his favorite baseball teams as well as his daughter's journey through life.

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