There are several benefits of studying Accounting and finance are two of the most popular career options these days. There can be many explanations for this, but the most popular one is that your accounting and finance skills will never run out of demand. Everybody needs to handle their finances, and that is where the field of accounting and finance comes in handy. Working in the finance department means looking after the money of small businesses ranging in the thousands. Or accounts of large corporations, which can be in the millions.
Whatever the case, all organizations, big or small, need an accountant to ensure that their money is going to the right place. You can expect increased job security and an attractive salary package while working in the accounting and finance department. As per the BLS, the average salary of an accountant is around 69,000 dollars per year. Of course, pay will be different for each individual as it depends on the experience he or she has. But, you can take some measures to get that promotion you always wanted. Listed below are a few tips that will help you pursue a career in the accounting and finance department.
Get a Further Education
A bachelor’s degree is usually enough to become an accountant, but if you want to go for a certification, then a master’s degree is a must-have. In most states, you will need 150 hours to become a certified CPA. And the most convenient way to do that will be to get further education. Sure, you can get these hours while studying in an undergrad program, but do you want to overload yourself and fail? We think not. A perfect idea would be to get a master’s in accounting online to get these 150 educational hours. They are affordable and will not come in the way of your daily routine. After that, you can think about getting a CPA.
Get Certified as a CPA
Becoming certified as a CPA will give your career in the finance and accounting department the kickstart it needs. It is a certification that companies recognize in all parts of the world. It will give you a competitive edge over others, whether you decide to work in the finance department of a large organization or public accounting, such as a bank. Why does such a certification hold so much value? It is because the applicant has to go through a rigorous process to become certified.
To become a certified CPA, you have to comply with experience, education, and exams. However, in the end, the choice of going for a CPA is totally up to you. It is not a requirement if you want to work as an accountant. But, it will give your career the boost it needs.
Find a Mentor That is a CPA
A mentor is someone older than you and someone who has more experience than you in the industry in which you want to make a career. This someone already faced problems that you might be facing currently and will provide you with valuable insight on tackling these problems. Having a mentor, you can turn to in times of hardship will be highly beneficial for you when working in a professional setting.
The advice a mentor will give you will help you avoid making mistakes that can derail your efforts in becoming a master accountant. Also, you can acquire multiple mentors instead of a single one. The more you have, the better chance you have of learning from their mistakes and avoiding yours. For example, one mentor might be an expert with accounting technicalities, while the other can give you valuable advice regarding career progression.
Work on Your Networking Skills
You must have contacts for your career to be fruitful when working in the finance and accounting department. These contacts can also provide you with helpful advice, guidance, and ideas on accounting-related issues. However, to have a widespread network, you will need to put in some time to keep your contacts happy.
Perhaps the most beneficial thing about networking is that it will put you in the perfect position when finding your next job. Remember, working at a new place could mean a better pay package and increased responsibilities.
Stay up to Date Regarding Technology
Your learning does not stop when you get a master’s or a CPA after that. To stay certified as a CPA, you will have to adhere to CPE requirements laid out by the board of accountancy in your state. Staying updated with your CPA will allow you to stay updated whenever a new law, rule, or regulation comes out.
Besides staying updated with CPE requirements, you also have to attain technological proficiency and remain updated with new technological developments relevant to your work. These can include acquiring literacy in Microsoft excel, acquiring familiarity with SAP, Oracle, Microsoft dynamics, and business-related tools like crystal reports and Cognos. It should be a priority to attain these skills if you want to further your career.
Brush Up on Your Soft Skills
CPAs should have the know-how of finance, accounting, financial planning, auditing, and taxation. However, knowledge alone will not allow you to progress in your career. You need to have some soft skills if you wish to complement the finance and accounting knowledge.
These skills include empathy, communication, conflict resolution, and time management. These soft skills will allow you to solve workplace issues without relying on others to do it for you.
The success you have at your job will not solely depend on your technical knowledge. You will have to make an effort to advance your career and take some steps in the right direction if you want to do so. The best approach to have is to think of your long-term goals. Always learn new skills and brush up on them the first chance you get.