Accountants are in charge of overseeing a company’s financial health. Accountants can undertake various tasks, ranging from simple bookkeeping to providing strategic guidance to business owners.
Accounting may appear to be a mundane profession from the outside, but it is a rewarding and in-demand skill set.
What are the functions performed by an accountant?
- Accountants create a company’s financial accounts in order to determine the company’s financial situation.
- Accountants are in charge of thoroughly reviewing and auditing the business’s financial reports to ensure that the business records are compliant with the government laws and regulations.
- Accountants create the company’s budget and monitor it regularly to ensure that no unnecessary expenses are incurred.
- Accountants ensure that tax returns are prepared and filed on time so that the company does not have to pay any penalties. They also serve as tax advisors, advising business owners on how to lower their tax burden by making modifications to their financial systems.
- An accountant aids in the analysis and prevention of risk by predicting future company trends.
To know how to become an accountant, you can keep the following things in mind:-
The proper training and qualifications
If you have no prior accounting or financial expertise, AAT is a good place to start because it has no admission criteria and offers growth chances as well as professional membership once you’re completely certified.
Accounting courses offered by the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) are divided into four levels (Levels 2-4) and integrate industry knowledge with practical work skills.
The AAT is often the entry-level qualification for accountants, but to become a chartered accountant, you’ll need to advance to the ACCA, ACA, or CIMA credentials.
- You can obtain the Associate Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) certification independently or as part of a training arrangement. It focuses on giving its students a more progressive and comprehensive approach rather than merely a technical approach.
There are two levels of ACCA qualifications: Fundamentals and Professionals. It covers a wide range of topics, including everything from company rules to advanced taxation.
This certificate will open up a wide range of employment opportunities for you, including working in the private or public sector, accounting firms, or even starting your own business.
- The Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) is widely acknowledged as one of the most professional accounting programmes available.
To begin this qualification, you must first sign into a training agreement with an employer, which will allow you to complete the course in five years while also gaining job experience. This certification, offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), consists of 15 test modules and 450 days of practical work experience.
- The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a professional organisation dedicated to business accounting. You can train individually or through a training agreement, just like ACCA, but you’ll also require three years of job experience.
Choosing a specialisation
Specialising in a specific area adds value to your business and sets you apart from your competitors.
Under accountancy, there are many career routes that you can take:-
- Audit accounting
- Management accounting
- Cost accounting
- Forensic accounting
- Chartered accountant
- Tax accountant
Relevant work experience
Real-life accountancy work experience is just as crucial as training and qualifications to establish a career in accounting.
To gain work experience, you can do a work placement, volunteer or part-time job in accounting companies. Focusing on real projects and handling your own workload will help you learn key accounting skills and network with people in the industry who can help you advance in your career.
Furthermore, this will be a great addition to your CV and will assist you in becoming a qualified accountant.
Another option is to do accounting apprenticeships. Apprenticeships in accounting are a feasible alternative to university and offer a quick road to chartered status with major professional bodies such as the ACCA and ICAEW.
Through an apprenticeship, you can develop practical skills while earning a wage and obtaining the same perks as other employees at the company.
What are the skills needed to become an accountant?
- Since accountants have to analyse a company’s financial statements, they must pay attention to detail to avoid errors and forecast future trends.
- While you don’t need to be a maths genius but as an accountant, you should have basic numerical and calculation skills along with good logical and analytical thinking.
- Having good communication skills is essential for becoming an accountant. This is because accountants have to interpret the financial data and explain their findings to their clients.
- Accountants should have good computer and technical skills because accounting tools and software can reduce the scope of the error and reduce the time taken to perform accounting functions.
- Accountants have to handle multiple projects regularly. Thus, having organisation and time management skills can help them to meet deadlines and give satisfactory results to their clients effectively.
Sophia is a full-time financial writer at experlu. she is a passionate blogger and love to share her knowledge on various subject. Content created by Experlu– are loved, shared & can be found all over the internet on high authority platforms.