School is back in session for most colleges and universities across the country. Each year a fresh crop of bright eyed freshmen enter campus without the slightest idea of what they want to do with their lives. This is normal and sometimes expected. College is about learning who you are and who you’d like to be. What person can honestly say they have it all figured out at 18? If you did, I applaud your decisiveness. I entered school with some idea of where I wanted my career to go, but graduated with a degree far from my original plan. Becoming a Certified Public Accountant is not a particularly easy road, but the career opportunities at the end of the journey are worth the initial sacrifices made.
Often times when people hear accountant, they automatically think anti-social bookworm who excels at math. Well the truth of the matter is, being an accountant usually has little to do with actual mathematics and more to do with being a trusted business advisor. Accountants are not always the stereotypical wallflower. People with vastly varied personalities and interests end up working in the same field. Whether you prefer public accounting or industry, whether tax or audit; the field of accounting has plenty of variety.
So what do you do if you’re one of those bright eyed freshmen or even if you are someone looking for a career change later in life? School. It’s the beginning; it’s the foundation, and the necessity to pursue your dream of becoming an accountant. Once you realize that being an accountant is right for you, you’ll have to decide if you want to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Becoming a CPA and getting your license has a specific group of requirements that you need to satisfy before you can sit for the multi-part examination. Each state has their own specific requirements, so make sure to check with the state accountancy board to know what you need to accomplish before applying. With the specific requirements mandated by the state boards, many individuals that are looking to become certified end up receiving both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees!
It takes a lot of work and dedication, but the career choice is a great one. There are long hours at times, but the work hours can also be flexible! The financial rewards that accompany the work are wonderful as well. So, if you’re leaning towards this career, don’t hesitate!
For more information about a career in accounting, check out this website: “This Way to CPA.” Also, stay in tune with current industry news by subscribing to AccountantsWorld Daily News, OSCPA Publications, or the IRS Tax Talk Today
By: Jill Blakeman, CPA